Earlier demand for a new state was based on the linguistic, cultural, and ethnic composition of an area, but today it is based on development and progressive considerations.
Even at present, there are demands of smaller states, currently, development has become the basis of new states’demands and a secondary factor is culture.
For example, earlier the demand of the Vidarbha state was on a cultural basis, but the present priority has changed from linguistic to a development basis and it is a healthier trend for the unity and sovereignty of India.
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Several States in Demand for Creation
Faizl Ali State reorganization committee recommended that the formation of new
- states should be adjudged by the following principles –
- Economic viability
- Administrative viability
- Ecological viability
- Socio-ethnic viability
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Some of the states that are under demand for creation are:
Harit Pradesh (Western Uttar Pradesh)
Harit Pradesh is a proposed state, which would comprise 22 districts of Western Uttar Pradesh, currently forming six divisions – Agra, Aligarh, Bareilly, Meerut, Moradabad, and Saharanpur.
Purvanchal (Eastern Uttar Pradesh)
Purvanchal is a geographic region of northcentral India, which comprises the eastern end of Uttar Pradesh state. To the north, it is bounded by Nepal, while Bihar state forms its eastern border. The south is bordered by the Bagelkhand region of Madhya Pradesh state, and the west is bordered by the Awadh region of Uttar Pradesh. Purvanchal comprises three divisions – the Awadhi region in the west, the Bhojpuri region in the east, and the Baghelkhand region in the south.
Bundelkhand comprises parts of Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh. While the Bahujan Samaj Party government under Chief Minister Mayawati proposed in 2011, the creation of Bundelkhand from seven districts of Uttar Pradesh, organizations such as Bundelkhand Mukti Morcha (BMM) want it to include six districts from Madhya Pradesh as well.
Vindhya Pradesh is a former state of India. It occupied an area of 23,603 sq. miles. The province was named after the Vindhya Range, which runs through its center. It was situated between Uttar Pradesh to the north and Madhya Pradesh to the south. Additionally, the state of Madhya Bharat surrounded the enclave of Datia, which lay a short distance to the west.
Bodoland (Northern Assam)
The agitation for the creation of a separate Bodoland state resulted in an agreement between the Indian Government, the Assam state government, and the Bodo Liberation Tigers Force. The government of Assam created the Bodoland Territorial Council, an entity subordinate to it, to govern four districts covering 3082 Bodomajority villages in Assam, according to the agreement made on February 10, 2003.
Saurashtra (Southern Gujarat)
The Saurashtra state movement for separate Saurashtra state was initiated in 1972 by advocate RatilalTanna, who was a close aide of former Prime Minister Morarji Desai. Saurashtra is linguistically different from the rest of the state with its Saurashtra dialect being in use.
Gorkhaland (Northern West Bengal)
Gorkhaland is a proposed state covering areas inhabited by the ethnic Gorkha (Nepali) people, namely Darjeeling hills and Dooars in the northern part of West Bengal. The movement for Gorkhaland has gained momentum in the line of the ethnolinguistic cultural sentiment of the people who desire to identify themselves as Gorkha.
Kongu Nadu (Southern Tamil Nadu)
Based on demography, culture, linguistics, and other factors, there have been demands for creating a separate state of Kongu Nadu (also known as Kongadesam), with its capital at Coimbatore. This state would comprise the regions of western Tamil Nadu, parts of southern Karnataka, and central-east Kerala.
Vidarbha (Eastern Maharashtra)
Vidarbha is a region that comprises the Amravati and Nagpur divisions of eastern Maharashtra. The State Reorganisation Act of 1956 placed Vidarbha in Bombay State. Shortly after this, the States Reorganisation Commission recommended the creation of Vidarbha state with Nagpur as the capital, but instead, it was included in Maharashtra state, which was formed on May 1, 1960.
Konkan is a rugged section of the western coastline of India. It consists of the coastal districts of Maharashtra, Goa, and Karnataka. The proposed Konkan state includes the districts of Ratnagiri and Sindhudurg of Maharashtra, north and south districts of Goa and Karwar up to Aghanashini in Karnataka
Demand for New States in India
Basis of Formation of New States
Physiographic character/distinctiveness: It is an important factor in the demand for the creation of new states, for example, Uttarakhand is a mountainous region, Jharkhand is a plateau and Chhattisgarh is a basin.
Level of Economic Development: The lack of industry, agrarian crisis, and a low level of infrastructural facilities push demand for such states, growth can be achieved in spite of these handicaps. E.g.,Gorkhaland
Resource base – The new state should be self-sustainable for e.g.Tulunadu, Kudagu would not be a self-sustainable state. The demand for Bundelkhand and Maru Pradesh is based on this factor only.
Ethnicity – One main reason for the creation of new states in India is cultural or social affiliations. For instance, the state of Nagaland in the Northeast was created taking tribal affiliations into account.
Size of state/Geographical area – Big size of the state makes the governance of the larger area difficult, which leads to inequality in the level of development within the state. For example, demand for Harit Pradesh in UP and Maru Pradesh in Rajasthan is based on the above consideration.
Tribalism or nature of society – This is based on the argument that specific planning like area-based planning or tribal planning is required to develop the region. For example – Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand.
Need of Second States Reorganisation Commission
The formation of new states must be competent in terms of their economic, administrative, and ethnic viability and they mustn’t impede the progress of the Nation and shouldn’t be antithetical to National Integration. Based on the aforementioned principles, we may form a new States Reorganisation Commission to revamp and restructure Indian states on constitutional lines, ensuring that it does not impact regional consciousness and the interests of the people.
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“Why do we need a new States Reorganisation Commission?”
India has passed 60 years of Independence and a new vibrant economy and the emergence of new regional disparities, regional consciousness requires a restructuring of the Indian Union of States.
Taking the importance and complexity of carving out smaller states into account, it is crucial to avoid making decisions in the heat of inflamed passions and under the pressure of political agitations.
In the absence of a political consensus, decision-makers will have to engage in wide-ranging consultations and rely on a well-laid-out roadmap when addressing concerns related to the wider implications for other parts of the states during the creation of new states.
Advantages and Disadvantages of the Creation of New States
Better management of economic resources
More investment opportunities
Faster economic growth
More people of the same small state and same province will have a say in their state affairs
Possibility of increase in the inter-State water, power, and boundary disputes
The feeling of nationalism would diminish in the cries of regional autonomy
Small states depend to a substantial extent on the central government for financial aid
Different statehood may lead to the hegemony of the dominant community
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