Regionalism in India

² AUGUST 20, 2008

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By Vinay On 15th of December 1953, when Potti Sriramulu succumbed to death not able to sustain 52 days of marathon fast that was undertaken to demand a separate state for Telugu speaking people, little did he realize that his death would become a launch pad for the dawn of Political Regionalism in India ± that would in course of time alter the whole landscape of India. But the brand of regionalism that evolved after Potti Sriramulu¶s death was legitimate, genuine and logical. It reflected the aspirations of people at that time. It stood for fulfilling the longstanding desire of people to have their own linguistic state. Thus, Andhra Pradesh became the first linguistic state of India. Today, Nellore district of Andhra Pradesh is renamed as Potti Sriramulu. After the death of Sriramulu, reluctant Nehru was forced to accede to the various cries from other parts of the country with similar demands. In 1954, a States Reorganization Committee was formed with Fazal Ali as its head, which recommended the formation of 16 new states and 3 Union Territories based on the language people spoke in those respective regions. This heralded a new phase in the Indian politics. The subsequent movements for separate states and territories gave birth to slew of regional parties, which eventually became prominent at national level and thus started coalition culture in Indian politics. Regionalism: Meaning Regionalism is a feeling or an ideology among a section of people residing in a particular geographical space characterized by unique language, culture etc. that they are the sons of the soil and every opportunity that exists in their land must be accorded to them first but not to the outsiders. It is a sort of Parochialism. In most of the cases, it is raised for expedient political gains but not necessarily. Growth and Development
Regionalism in India can be traced back to Dravida Movement started in Tamil Nadu. The movement initially focused on empowering Dalits, non-Brahmins, and poor people. Later it turned against imposition of Hindi as sole official language on non-Hindi speaking areas. Finally, the movement for some time focused on seceding from India to carve out their own Dravidastan or Dravida Nadu. The

Article 19 of the Constitution of India provides a citizen of India to move freely throughout the territory of India. they include Mizoram. regionalism has come a long way. which fought for complete independence. in Andhra. Petty politicians and secessionist organizations readily use regionalism in present day India for political gains. Bodoland. to reside and settle in any part. It can be traced that regionalism slowly turned from non-violent means to violent means to achieve their goals. Tamli Nadu. or to carry on any occupation. AIADMK. in Punjab against non-Punjabis that gave rise to Khalistan Movement and earlier Akali Movement. BJD have to some extent represented those people who were . Telangana Movement with an aim of separate state. DMK. The states. they clearly violated law of the land and the Constitution. trade or business. Today regional parties define how the governments are formed and conducted both at the centre and at the state level. India is too big for these states to fight against and win. My identity outside India is that of an Indian. Economic reasons are exploited for political dividends. it is a criminal act and is punishable. The fear of Balkanization is void of any logic. in Assam ULFA militants against migrant Biharis and Bengalis. BSP. India is bound by a common culture that has flourished on this land many thousand years ago. When violence is used against people in the name of regionalism. I may be Kannadiga or Tamil but I am an Indian first. Indeed it is a good development as some political entities such as RJD. are now part of Indian Union and they have renounced violence to some extent. In Maharashtra against Kannadigas in the name of Marathi pride and recently MNS activists against Biharis. Throughout India regionalism persisted. Nagaland. Kashmir. Do we need to fear Regionalism? No. LJP. even above the Parliament.movement slowly declined and today they have become prominent regional parties after many splits and factionalism. and to practice any profession. From Potti Sriramulu¶s non-violent means of fatsing to Maharashtra Nav Nirman Sena (MNS) and ULFA¶s violent means. in North-East against other Indians. which is above all. Regionalism in India is only a short cut to attain the political ambitions by emotionally exploiting the sentiments of the people. When ULFA (United Liberation Front of Assam) militants or MNS (Maharashtra Navnirman Sena) activists used violence against poor migrant workers.

regionalism is good for India. We are united by an idea called India and that unity is imperative if we want to do a ¶Chinese¶ thing in future ± that of actually walking on the path to becoming a global superpower instead of daydreaming«. A Bihari becomes Mumbaikar when a bomb explodes in Mumbai and a Mumbaikar becomes Bihari when Kosi wrecks havoc in the plains of Bihar. As long as they thrive for regional development without discriminating against outsiders. Every Indian is a son of this soil.neglected in the political process for long time. .

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