By Shweta N. Pandey, GLC Mumbai.
Article 3 of the Indian Constitution provides for the creation of a new State through a bill which is to be tabled in Parliament on the President’s recommendation after consultations with the legislatures of the affected States. In other words, it is only after the President has consulted with the states which are to be affected by such a bill that deals with reorganizing of any state in India is presented to the Parliament for execution.
During the British reign, India was divided into nearly 600 princely States and Provinces which were ruled by Britishers. On 15th August, 1947 two separate dominions of India and Pakistan were formed due to increase and agitated religious demands for separate nations. On the same hand, various States united themselves creating The Republic of India. Hyderabad which was one of the most prosperous provinces chose to be independent but India using its military power annexed Hyderabad and thus making it a part of the Indian Federation.
In 1950’s there arose a movement to create a Telugu-speaking state out of the northern portion of Madras and in 1953 the 16th State of Andhra Pradesh was created. In 1960 States of Maharashtra and Gujarat were created by the division of the State of Bombay. In 1966, the State of Punjab was divided into Haryana and Himachal Pradesh. In the year 1972 Meghalaya, Manipur and Tripura were formed. In the year 1987 Mizoram, Goa and Arunachal Pradesh were created. Another addition was made in the year 2000; the States of Uttrakhand, Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand were created which took the state tally to 28 in India.
In December 1953, States Re-organization Commission was formed that created a report in 1955 recommending the re-organization of Indian States. The States Re-organization Act was enacted on 31 August 1956. Before, the Act came into effect on 1 November, an important amendment to the Constitution was also enacted that brought about changes in the boundaries of various States of India and it is in force since then.
The most recent addition made to the above list is the formation of the State of Telangana in 2013. On 30 July 2013, the ruling Congress party requested the Central Government to form a separate state of Telangana. On 3 October 2013, Union Cabinet approved the creation of a new State of Telangana by bifurcation of the then existing State of Andhra Pradesh. After the formation of the State of Telangana there has been increase in demand for separate States for distinct reasons throughout the nation.
As the State of Uttar Pradesh witnessed the prior Mayawati Government proposed bifurcation of the State into four parts, the reason stated for such bifurcation was the need for smaller state for efficient governance unlike governing a big state as Uttar Pradesh is. There were some movements in West Bengal for bifurcation of the State and the State of Assam survived an antagonized protest by the citizens. The question is that should a creation of a new state in our nation patronize the demand for some more States?
The merit for such bifurcation of the states may be the efficient governance of the smaller state compared to that of the bigger ones. The problem while governing huge States with big population is considerably reduced in regards with the States with limited extension. But who can deny the fact, that in India the States with bigger dimensions are more prosperous compared to the smaller ones. Again the smaller States depend on the Central Government for assistance time to time while bigger State is content to aid them without any assistance.
It can be seen time and again India has gone through division and bifurcation of herself. The bifurcation is executed for various Political, Social or linguistic reasons that has resulted in the balkanization of India.
Let’s analyze the reasons that necessitate bifurcation of States in India and their justification:
The recent formation of the State of the Telangana has put forward many questions that need to be answer by the law makers of our nations. While in the support of the formation of the State of Telangana it was argued that 1. The State of Telangana has been deprived and was backward since Independence. 2. The demand for Telangana was arose by the people speaking Telangana language saying that if there can be 9 Hindi speaking states then what is wrong in having two Telgu speaking states.
To answer this let us not forget that The State of Telangana bestowed India with great leaders like PV Narasimha Rao, Marri Chenna Reddy, and T. Anjiah. Some of whom were in power for more than a decade. If the State of Telangana suffered exploitation and backwardness being a minority group in the State of Andhra Pradesh then why dint these leaders sworn in power worked for the betterment of the State of which they themselves belonged? Is the demand on the basis of backwardness still justified?
Let us now, trace the origin of Telangana language. Telgu language has dialects namely Berad, Dasari, Dommara, Golari, Kamathi, Komtao, Konda-Reddi, Salewari, Telangana, Warangal, Mahaboobnagar (Palamuru), Gadwal (Rayalaseema mix), Narayanapeta (Kannada and Marathi influence), Vijayawada, Vadaga, Srikakulam, Visakhapatnam, Toorpu (East) Godavari, Paschima (West) Godavari, Kandula, Rayalaseema, Nellooru, Prakasam, Gunturu, Tirupati, Vadari and Yanadi (Yenadi) . Considering this it can be stated that Telangana is only a dialect and Telangana-speaking State is created only on the demand of a section of people in India. Hindi language has 39 official dialects in India. So considering the above demand should we divide those 9 Hindi-speaking States into further 39 States?
The 1991 census recognizes 1,576 languages classified as “mother tongues”. The People of India project reported 325 languages which are spoken by various communities in India. Around Twenty-two of the 780 languages are scheduled as Indian languages. Of them, 122 have been declared by the census as spoken by a population exceeding 10,000 and the rest are spoken by less than 10,000 people. If India is to be demarcated on the basis of language then there is a never ending list of dialects spoken in India. So will India be divided into as many parts?
If there are chances that again such a demand for new State can arise in future who can be sure that none of the State may come up with a demand to form an independent nation? If such demand of bifurcation and formation of the States is patronized there can be a sun rise in India demanding an Independent nation out of the Indian Federation on the basis of language or religion. India is not a stranger to such a demand as it has already witnessed bifurcation on the basis of religion resulting in formation of two dominions during Independence.
The Constitution of India is based on the most important principles of Fraternity and Unity. And other fascinating principle embarked therein is the prohibition of discrimination on the basis of religion, caste or sex etc. As, India is a secular nation and many religion find their home in India the policy of unity and fraternity works in favor of integrity of the country.
So, isn’t bifurcation of States in India on the basis of language is in contravention to the basic principle of Unity and Fraternity? Isn’t demarcation of the nation on the basis of language is nothing else than dividing the people of our nation?
Is such demand for reorganization for the benefit of our nation? Is such demarcation in accordance with the Constitution of India? Will such demand lead the people of India to be united as one? Will such division inculcate feeling of Unity in the next generation? What will India turn into if such demand is patronized by 1.2 billion ignited minds of India?