Skip to main content



2.1.1 Introduction
21.2 region and regionalism: The Indian context

21.3 Regionalismin colonialperiod: Historical genesis
21.4 The Basis of Regionalism:The 1950s - 1960s
21.5 Recent growth ofregionalism: Factors of economic imbalance
21.6 Political Economy India intransition
21.7 Summary
21.8 Exercises

Regional identity, sometimes running parallel but often in competition with, if not in opposition to the national identity has been a perennial feature of the Indian democratic politics. nature of this regional identity needs to be analysed in of the social and cultural forces that been at work. Though the term region is a contextual one, regionalism has acquired through successive phases, as would be discussed below, a distinct connotation in an analysis of the Indian politics. The term is now used to indicate an agglomeration of all those forces that are generally considered to be centrifugal, polarised
to centralism and nationalism.,

The origin of regionalism in India can be historically traced to many of the factors like heritage, geographical isolation, ethnic loyalties etc. For a political theorist, however, it is more to be viewed as the complex of political, economic and ethnic It is an expression of heightened political consciousness, expanding participation and increasing competition for scarce resources. Economic grievances that may be real or perceived have often been articulated in the form of resistance to the economic
policies of the centre promoting of one region at the cost of favouring another .
region. The grievances related to this process of 'internal colonialism' are often fused with
the of cultural anxiety, over language status and ethnic It is this that constitutes the core of an individual's identity and when politicised, takes a potentially virulent form providing regionalism its potency.

It follows that general factors behind the growth of regionalism are the cultural, ethnic and linguistic diversity of India. It is in the recognition of these diversities that federalism as an institutional mechanism has been treated as the cornerstone of India's democratic
system that has enabled the social groups-ethnic, linguistic, .tribal and cultural- to I
obtain a share of resources and their demands for recognition. Indeed the
with which ideutity based politics has asserted itself at the regional level has invested
Indian federalism with a substance not found in putatively federal political systems,
and has provided an important tendency that has run like a thread through
politics since independence. I

However there been, as we shall describe later, features of Indian federal system that have engendered conflict. A significant aspect of the issue of has been the dialectic of and between the centre and the states, the appropriate pattern of devolution of power. Then the of development has negated promise of balanced regional growth inherent in agenda of nation-building and national integration. The introduction of the new economic policies in 1991 the gulf between rich poor regions as the latter have failed to attract the private investment- both and foreign. Besides these, other factors like the increasing electoral of the regional proprietary classes
also the federalisation of political party system in the coalition politics emerged in
the of the Congress as the dominant party can be counted as factors leading to the growth of of Indian democratic politics.


How do concept of is a socio-political as such while various dimensions of the phenomenon,
developed conceptual in order to understand it.

Before engaging tlze discussion on as a concept at the theoretical level, it is pertinent to the tern region. concept of region, in essence, lies at tlze very core of of in sense that this concept provides the existential basis for tlze of tlze of regional loyalty that eventually gets articulated in tlze political of regionalism. Though territoriality provides the basis for of regionalism, social scientists have been concerned with non-geographical factors, as, for them, region always been more an analytical category than a geographical entity.

As for tlze aspects of is a of social aggregation. for differing purposes. view, a is set apart over a period of time, different vasiables operate in degrees. These variables the factors of geography, topography, religion, language, customs, social,
and political stages of development, historical tradition and etc.
Broadly speaking, tlze social scientists identified types of regions in India: historic region based on sacred syinbols and related to linguistic based an language; region-based on cultural homogeneity lastly the region-distinguished the basis of certain structural principles like caste ranking and status.

It follows even if a region is a concept, its are not exclusively territorial and regionalism emerges because of differing perceptions of the regions by respective political the popular masses.

Now let us concretise of tlze case of India. a general theoretical sense, regionalism been analysed by broadly classifying it following
as a manifestation of centre-state relations; as outcome of internal colonialism; as a

subsidiary process of political integration; in terms of the conflicts involving the political elite; as a product of the imperatives of the electoral politics; in contrast with the sub- regionalism; and finally in the context of increasing competitivenessamong the regions in a economy.

The above brings us to some of the representative views on regionalism by the noted theorists of Indian variants of regionalism.

Rasheeduddin Khan argues that regionalism is most fundamentalto the concept of the Indian federalism. While India as a multi-regional federation, Khan argues that the concepts of nationality and ethnicity are not adequate to explain its socio-cultural diversities. The regions in India have distinct social, cultural, historical, linguistic, economic and political connotations and the term regional identity is to be considered as a comprehensive expression of the plurality of Indian society.

However, as A argues, the factors like ethnicity and nationality cannot be discounted, The regional movements in Meghalaya, Tamil Nadu, and Gorkha Land have seen a distinct role of ethnicity. Then most of the ethnic groups in the Eastern states of India and in [the Muslims] would like to perceive themselves as distinct nationalities that invariably brings them in a sort of confrontation with the Indian state as the assertion of their identity is perceived as inimical to the idea of the Indian nation.

D.C. Burman views regionalism in India both as a doctrine that implies decentralisation of administration on a regional basis within a nation, a social-cultural counter movement against the imposition of a monolithic national unity, a political counter-movementaiming to achieve greater autonomy of sub-cultural region. In this context it would be pertinent to note that regionalism is a complex phenomenon and to reduce it to either as a movement for autonomy vis-a-vis centre or as a reaction against federal administrative is tantamount to oversimplification.

Paul R Brass argues that territoriality provides us only a partial understanding of the phenomenon of regionalism and hence it is imperative to explore other dimensions of the phenomenon. While taking a legal approach for the analysis of regionalism he seeks to demarcate the issues falling under the regional and national jurisdiction. In this context one can argue that there cannot be a total segregation of the issues. That the assumption of mutually exclusive national and regional domain can be best illustrated by the fact that a regional problem like the sharing of river waters of Kaveri [between Karnataka and Tamil Nadu] and link canal [between and Haryana] receives national concern. Moreover such approach does not enable us to analyse the nature of the forces responsible for the regional conflicts. Brass states that the societal forces that valourise India regionalism and decentralisation are inherently stronger than those
'favouring homogeneity, nationalisation and centralisation. It follows that the process of
consolidating power in India is inherently tenuous and that power begins to disintegrate immediately at the maximal point of concentration.At that point, Brass contends, regional
forces and decentralising tendencies inevitably reassert themselves unless the national leadership chooses to bring about a more definitive consolidation by taking recourse
to the unitaryprovisions in the Indian Constitution. It is obvious that Brass seems to indicate

a kind of vicious circle in the sense that only a strong central authority can keep the centrifugal forces under control, but at the same time argues that regional forces become active as a reaction against excessive centralisation.

It follows the above that anattempt to view merely in terms of federalism or as a legal concept is theoretically inadequate to comprehend the phenomenon in its entirety. Another perspective on the nature of from the writings of Duncan B Forrester who has drawn a between regionalism and sub regionalism primarily in of the territorial and demographic size of the two. Such an argument is hardly to be accepted, as the size of a region need not be the criterion for regionalism and regional movements. Moreover the demands and grievances of regional and sub-regional entities are not always distinguishable, even if it is assumed that the former covers a broader area the latter. Conceptualising sub-regionalism in concrete context of Forrester argues that historical and economic factors produce sub-regional identities and encourage the growth of compelling political sub-cultures that not only do not correspond, but also are in conflict the larger unities of language, culture and caste represented by the linguistic state.

A study of regionalism in India would do well to take into account the formulations of Iqbal Narain. He has given the broadest possible definition of regionalism that covers geographical, historical-cultural, economic, political-administrative and psychic factors. However, his definition is too broad to capture essence of regionalism. It may mean almost anything to anybody. As a of fact, the multiplicity of factors that Iqbal Narain seeks to associate with the phenomenon of regionalism may even apply to nationalism or any other societal phenomenon.

would be pertinent here to refer to the nativist movement that signifies the conflict between the migrants and the sons of the soil. Myron Wiener holds nativism as a of ethnic identity that seeks to exclude those who are of the local or indigenous ethnic group residing and working in a because they are not natives. Wiener points towards the development of either a regional or national identity as a precondition to the development of nativism. He has identified five factors causing the nativist movements
. in India. These are: presence of migrants outside the cultural region; cultural differences
between the migrants and local community; immobility of the local population in comparison to other groups in the population; a high level of unemployment among the indigenous middle class and a substantial portion of middle class jobs held by culturally alien migrants and a rapid growth of educational opportunitiesfor the lower middle classes.

How can we compare the nativist and regional movements? The similarity between nativist and regional movements lies in the fact that both have a basis. The dissimilarity lies in the following manner: first, unlike the nativist movement, the regional movement does not necessarily presuppose the presence of outside the region in question or exploitation of natives by the migrants. Hence the nativist movement is not always characterised by the ethnic selectivity.

As for the view of Lewis P that the political parties play the role of catalysts of regional consciousness, one may point out that political parties are not always indispensable to the politics of regionalism. The movements of various kinds are often found to be capable


of articulating the regional aspirations on behalf of the people of any region while pursuing
the non-political party All Students Union [AASU], Telangana .
movement, Uttarakhand movement, Chhattisgarh movement etc. In a related perspective
it has been argued all regional demands originate in the of elite

Michael Hechter has contributed to the study of regionalism by articulating the internal colonial model to analyse the nature of regionalism in India. He states that regionalism is the outcome of real or perceived sense of exploitation by the core communities of the peripheral

To sum up it be argued that the regionalism in India has been an organised effort on the part of the regional leadership not necessarily related to a political party in articulating the regional grievances and aspirations the formal and informal democratic forums and using its hegemony for popular mobilisation. It is on the basis of the assertion of
the regional identity by the community that the regional elite negotiates the centre for better deal.


Regionalism in India can be linked to the growth of Indian nationalism and the nationalist movement. Pertinently both nationalism and regionalism have had their origin in the national movement politics. Thus the pan-Indian national identity did not substitute the sub-national regional identities but grew along with them. Regional identities in most cases post-dated the emergence of the national identity and, as we would discuss, have been crucially linked to the problems emanating from the nation-state's attempt to promote national integration and homogeneity. The nationalist leadership expressed its discontent against the British colonial domination and highlighted the unity of Indian people in their struggle against it. This is how the two major concepts of Indian nationalism- and
Swadeshi-evolved in the of Congress led anti-colonial movement.

With the advent of modernity and nationalism, a process of bourgeois class formation took place transcending the barriers of caste, religion and tribe. the alchemy of this intermingling process, however limited under the colonial constraints, there appeared simultaneously two of national consciousness- one, pan- Indian and the other, The was professedly based on observed pan-Indian homogeneity of such as a common all- Indian tradition and history, economic life and psychological makeup and the accepted role of Sanskrit, Persian, English and Hindustani by turn. The regional consciousness was built upon and promoted by the national movement professedly based on the relevant region's distinctive homogeneity and demands for substantial or exclusive control over its resources and market facilities. It was helped by the fact that the British drew state boundaries on the basis of administrative convenience and they did not coincide with the distsibution of the major linguistic groups. Congress' regional policy regarding the linguistic divisions of the states wherever possible was articulated in the early 1931 in the form of its declaration of rights and subsequently reiterated in its 1945-46 manifesto.

It follows that the Indian nationalism comprised of both pan- Indian as well as the regional feeling. Today it is widely that India is a n-iulti-national state. During the anti- colonial struggle Indian nationalism was predominant and sub-national regionalism was subdued. However, even then, leadership been making limited use of nationalism to mobilise the masses the revival of Ganpati festival and the cult of by in Maharashtra. Overall, however, during the colonial period regional forces were largely dormant as they were not well and inoreover at time the overarching goal of the Congress led anti-colonial movement was to attain from the British
The exceptions were the Dravida and the moveinents.


In the immediate of decolonisation regional emerged in the form of regional pressures and the whose of operation coincided with the federal territorial division of the union into different states. In this regard we can also refer to the centre-state and inter-state conflicts, tliat is, those regional tensions or
that led or directed by the state

as a was in the Indian Constitution by Constituent as recognition of the regional heterogeneity of India. As for its adherence to the
concept of 'co-operative federalism' regarding the allocation of Constitutional power between the central and the states interdependent, it was due to an urgent need felt among members of the Assembly to assuage communal sectarianism, to deal effectively acute food crisis, to integrate the princely states in India, and to undertake the task of and the policies for industrial and agricultural development. It would, however, be pertinent to note that there were members though
in minority who did advocate greater decentralisation the Indian federal system. Of belonging to congress them were clearly inspired by of panchayat or village based-federation as envisaged in his 1946 to the Committee of the Congress.

However, the all India presence of Congress as the party and the absence of strong regional or provincially-based political parties especially the of Muslim League can be termed as the most plausible explanation as to why the Constituent Assembly finally adopted a Constitution which in the famous words of could be 'both unitary as well as federal according to the of time and circumstances'.

Needless to add, the balance of power in India's federal system leaned towards the centre important aspects: limited of the states, the ultimate Constitutional paramountcy of the centre, and the balance of administrative The presence of Congress as the dominant party at the centre and the state and the overarching agenda of nation- building also promoted the centralised tendencies in the union putting a question mark over the capacity of the polity to provide fair deal to all the regions. Though we
must concede that unlike the recent decades, the Congress had a much decentralised and democratic federal in the 1950's and

The first significant political expression of regionalism was in the form of the demands for the reorganisation of the states in early on linguistic basis so that the major

linguistic groups could be consolidated into states of their own. Political groups representing these groups called for the redrawing boundaries. The then federal' government resisted these movements as the Congress leaders at the national level argued that these 'fissiparous' movements might lead to the Balkanisation of union. The attempt on the part of the nationalist leadership to impose Hindi as the national language evoked anti-Hindi Dravida movement in the South India.

This linguistic regionalism primarily emerged as a result of the alleged unequal distribution of scarce resources among the different social-cultural sub-regions. In such movements economic factor played a crucial role as in a resource scarce state like India, the demand for distributive justice gained ground in face of the ever-rising expeciaiion with the widening of the democratic base. However due to an overemphasis on homogeneity and and integrity in the model of cooperative federalism, as discussed above, the demands based on regionalism and autonomy of the states were not considered as legitimate. In aftermath of partition all centrifugal forces were often dubbed as nature. Congress had favoured the linguistic reorganisation of the states in the pre-independence period, as was evidenced in the form of the Nagpur session in 1920, was now not supportive of the idea in the post-partition India due to its fear of the of India. It was no then that the dominant opinion in the Constituent Assembly was in favour of the strong centre but there were Gandhians who supported the idea of the greater decentralisation of power drawing inspiration from the notion of Hind this context one can the names of Kunzru, H V Shibban Saksena, R K Choudhari, VS and B Das- many of them Gandhians whose position can be as regionalist in

This explains as to why both the linguistic provinces commissions headed by SK Dar and subsequently the JVP committee [comprising of Nehru, Sardar and P constituted in June December 1948 respectively to look into the demand for the reorganisation of the states rejected the demand for linguistic reorganisation of the states on the basis that it would pose a danger for the national unity. They thought that the bigger states would counterbalance the fissiparous tendencies linguistic, ethnic and cultural regionalism that these leaders apprehended could degenerate regional chauvinism, detrimental to national integration. Moreover it was thought that under the planned economy it would be easier to formulate and implement the development policies. That explains as to why the Congress leaders like JL Nehru and GB Pant criticised M for suggesting a division of Pradesh.

However, in the case of the linguistic regional movements it must be conceded that the Congress leadership at the centre soon realised that the creation of linguistic states was less than the outright rejection of the demand. Thus, on the basis of the recommendation of the states reorganisation commission comprising of Ali, and Panikkar, division took place vide states reorganisation Act,

Significantly other considerations besides linguistic homogeneity also played role in the reorganisation of the states. For instance, in the case of and the newly emergent middle caste rich supported the demand whereas in the of the Northeast Meghalaya, and Pradesh ethnic and

economic factors played a major role. Then religion was a major factor in the case of creation of and Division within the speaking north states of Pradesh, Pradesh and took place along the issues of history, politics and of integrating'the princely states. Some other cultural-linguistic regions got separate statehood as a result of the elevation centrally administered units to full-fledged states Goa and Himachal Pradesh.

Brass has argued that in the above form of states' reorganisation the centre observed unwritten rules. First, the demand was not to be secessionist or in nature. Second, such a demand was to be popular at the grassroots level without inviting the hostility of a sizable section of the population from that region itself.

As it has turned out besides the linguistic reorganisation of the states and the three-language adopted vide official language Act, 1963 on the basis of the recommendation of
the official language cominission headed by BG Kher submitted in 1957- has proven to be a stabilising factor. Under the the states have in their institutions English, the regional mother tongue and a third language not of that region. It has proven to be a non-coercive way of promoting I-Iindi in a union in which according to the 1961 census of the Central Institute of Indian languages 197 languages [not dialects] were spoken. As per 1971 census there were 22 languages spoken by more 1.5 million people. Over the years the regional languages have grown in their respective states, without undermining the influence of English that remains the real link language of politics and trade and in union.
On the ethnic and cultural basis, James Manor identifies four distinct types of regional identities having a territorial basis: (a) regional identities based on commonality of religion the Muslims in the Kashmir valley in the state of and Kashmir and the Sikhs in the case of (b) the identities primarily based on language like in the case of the Telugus of Andhra Pradesh, Tamils of Tamil Nadu (c) the identities based on the tribal like in the case of the Adivasis who have undergone the process of acculturation in states of Jharkhand Chhattisgarh (d) the tribal identities among the groups residing in Himalayan and the North-Eastem states who are racially distinct the peoples of the Bodos and the Meities.

All these above forms of have given rise to the regional or sub-regional movements either demanding in the form of separate statehood or secession in different parts of India at different periods in the last fifty-six years of independence.

It follows that an secular national identity claiming precedence over a narrower, and region specific linguistic and cultural-ethnic identities have been replaced by the increasing assertion of the latter in the form of either separate statehood or autonomy, Significantly despite sharing a of common features such as history, language, culture, territorial all these region specific ethnic, cultural and linguistic identities are not necessarily potential national identities. Moreover they also differ in terms of the nature of demands make on the political process in the sense that larger ones might be inclined to seek statehood, whereas smaller ones might seek autonomy and adequate representation within existing state. Making a further distinction between
. latent and conscious identities, in his significant study of movement


argues that any ethnic, cultural and linguistic that is not self-conscious of its identity remains primarily a sociological descriptive category and cannot be termed as a politically identity group.

Thus regionalism is a natural phenomenon in a federal polity like India where diversities are territorially grouped, largely on political, ethnic, and linguistic basis. The federal of polity has indeed made regionalism feasible and vice-versa. In the words of Khan: 'the cultural distinctness of regions in India tends to counteract the tendency of centralization and constitutes a centrifugal force in the federal political Expressing the diversities of the various units in a grouped fashion, it prevents concentration of power in the central government. therefore, has been considered to be basic to the very concept of federalism.'


has been evident from the above discussion it was the language, ethnicity, culture and religion that became the basis of the of regional identity in the first years of independence. earlier forms of regionalism found expression in the for Samyukta Vishal or in fifties. As discussed above, the of the states vide the 1956 States ReorganisationAct was meant to concede such

From a class perspective, the regionalisation of Indian polity in the sixties and seventies can be attributed to the rise of the rich landed peasantry in league with the regional parties in the aftermath of green revolution. The widening of the electoral democracy in
of increased participation of the mostly rural peripheral social groups led by
strong middle caste dominant peasantry consolidated the power basis of this class. Both the agrarian bourgeoisie as well as the urban petty bourgeoisie were obviously to benefit from the federal in the financialand administrativematters.

Besides accentuating the centre- state conflicts, the emergence of this new class force also led to the growth in the inter-regional tensions, as the peripheral sub-regions felt neglected both economically as well as politically. This explains partially the construction of regional identity increasingly either the basis of perception of economic discrimination or the urge for speedier development like in the case of Kutch, Saurashtra, Marathwada, Vidarbha, Telangana and Jharkhand. The mobilisation of the different sub- national identity groups drawing on their linguistic, cultural and tribal was correlated with the grievance against lack of underdevelopment. Moreover, the significance of the nationalist agenda in the first years of Indian independence which had a statist slant also explains as to why these regional groups modified their original
basis of articulation of demands to include the need for special development ,

Thus development boards had to be constituted for Kutch, Saurashtra, Marathwada and
Vidarbha to address the grievances of these regions that saw their regions being treated as

internal colonies in their own states in order to benefit the politically more dominant regions in the fifties and sixties itself.

However, the dominant linguistic elite that was able then to/~~ - otphet
developed sub-regions into larger linguistic regions was soon not able to do the same in the name of linguistic or cultural as a result of the lopsided economic of the sub-regions. The feeling of being treated as peripheries with the
forming the core ones was accentuated by the fact that most of
sub-regions were in terms of and natural resources Moreover the fact that some of these big states to be for in the economic field Bihar, Pradesh Uttar Pradesh led the distinct sub-regions of these states to think in of states capable of speedier economic growth on lines of Kerala, Himachal Pradesh and Haryana. The regional movements in the for the separate for Uttarakhand, and Chhattisgarh can
be referred in this context. we also refer to the assertion of the different dialect communities in bigger states of Hindi heartland of India Bundelkhand, Pradesh in and Mithilanchal in

It follows that the very process of above formation of the political identity in these regions their unique ethnic-cultural connotations can be correlated with the process of of public policies that were supposedly aimed at bringing about regional balance. failure of the 'rationalist-integrationist bureaucratic' model of administration, adopted India, in responding adequately to the political demands from the newly articulated political identities on cultural factors and the perpetration of uneven and unequal accorded legitimacy to the
'development-deficit' definition of the autonomist movements like in Jharkhand. Consequently, the historically marginal regional groups been mobilised to articulate themselves as self-conscious ethnic in order to augment their political resources and influence the policy process their favouc The recent granting of the district council or region status to of these sub-regions like in Bodoland, hardly the aspirations of local people.


Among political factors responsible for the upsurge in growth of regionalism in the recent decades been factor of the decline of the Indian National Congress as the dominant party with its proven electoral ability to create a social coalition of different and regions. steady and ideological decline of the Congress as well as its increasing the politics of populism and radical rhetoric devoid of the efforts the sixties and the seventies saw the loss of its capacity in all of interests. over of the political power at the and attempt to the regional non-Congress of significance led to
the strengthening of the forces of regionalism in the states like and and

Moreover the Green Revolution in late sixties saw the emergence of the regional rural-elite led regional parties whose influence on the state level politics became much visible after the
1977 elections. coalitions since become the endemic feature of the Indian electoral politics both at the federal as well as at the state level leading to the federalisation of Indian party politics. This can be attributed to the gradual decline of Congress as the natural party of governance and inability of any other national party to occupy the vacant space. The bifurcation of the assembly and the parliamentary elections since early seventies has also enabled the regional elite to emerge politically

For the first four decades of Indian independence, the state governments relied overwhelmingly upon the centre to set the overall strategy for development and to determine the flow of resources by sector and by location. centre justified the concentration of political and economic power on the ground that it would promote equity among regions and ensure that the least developed regions would not be left behind. Moreover it was also argued that the central allocation of resources a balance of power the regions besides providing legitimacy to the federal government.

However a situation in which year- to- year increases in the central financial grants exceeded inflation, the states in the aftermath of the introduction of economic policy have had to cope with the central funding level that have not even kept pace with the rate of inflation. Since most allocation of the funds are tied to specific programmes over which the receiving states have virtually no control and which in any case have led to the rise of demands that far outstrip the made available, the notion of grants has become more illusory than real.

Most importantly for our purpose since richer states are more equipped than the poorer ones to regain a of lost revenue by adapting to other aspects of the federal government's liberalisationpolicies, this divides the regional political elite different states. The competitiveness the jealousies between the political elite of different states partly explain
those cases where political resistance to the economic reform measures has been attenuated, or overcome completely by the centre.

While effecting a series of incremental fiscal reforms the emphasis since 1991 has been on increasing Foreign Direct Investment [FDI] as well as Portfolio Equity [PEI] resorting to the policies of privatisation,deregulation and decontrol. In the process as the different states vie against each other for FDI and PEI the original model of co- operative federalism based on the idea of the inter- governmental cooperation has increasingly given way-to inter-jurisdictionalcompetition. While the states or more correctly some sub- regions within these states with developed and better governance have become magnets for all forms of investment the underdeveloped regions have lost as not only they do attract any investment but also suffer due to dwindling central grants. In this fiscal the institutions like Planning Commission, National Council have not been able to adapt to the emerging competition among the states. What is needed is to constitute inter-jurisdictional institutions to attract foreign investment into a number of regions including the poorer ones by promoting certain
,sectors oil production and consumer non-durable. Moreover the
states should be given'more financial power to cqllect the corporate, land usage and sales
taxes to enable them to grow on their to achieve .'the optimal level' of centralisation and


In the aftermath of independence regionalism, which is the form of sub-nationalism initially, manifested itself in movements for the reorganisation of the states on the linguistic basis. Later it manifested itself in the of anti-Hindi Besides as uneven development occurred in the country, that was hardly surprising given the distorted nature of the capitalist developinent, breaks began to appear within the coalition of the dominant proprietary classes. The clash between national and regional proprietary classes in the of the Green Revolution began to concrete shape the form of latter demanding for more economic and political The assertion of cultural, political economic aspirations of the different nationalities emerged as a reaction to over-centralisation of the polity. The assertion of cultural, political, aspirations of the different nationalities received an impetus at the political level with growing regionalisation and of the ever-widening Indian democracy.

The new economic reforms have seen the federal government withdrawing from its role of regulation of political of development.Under the structural adjustment programme at the behest of the WTO regime, the centre has been unable to give liberal grants to the different regions especially the poorer ones. Thus the regions have been competing againsl each other for domestic and direct investment. The regions with the developed infrastructure have been able to attract far greater investment than the regions with poor This has widened gap between the rich and the poor regions raising
prospect of the regional tensions.

To conclude, is not secessionist but so if it is not handled properly. Thus' regional imbalance has to be addressed properly and cannot be left to the forces that are exclusionary in nature and therefore detrimental to the interest of the peripheral regions.

On a positive existence of so many different of identities in India has been a positive factor in the sense that it has prevented regional conflicts being concentrated along one particular fault line, as has been the case with the federal democracies of Canada and Australia.


What do you understandby the concepts of region and regionalism?

2) Analyse the differing perspectiveson the nature of regionalism in India?

3) Why was the ruling Congress apprehensive about the regional demands for the
of states on the cultural and basis?

4) Identify the basis of the of regional identities in the first years of Indian independence.

5) regionalisationof Indian politics and its implication for new economic policies.


Popular posts from this blog



13.0 Learning Outcome

13.1 Introduction

13.2 Initiatives towards Constitutional Status to Local Governance

13.2.1 Features of 73rd Constitutional Amendment

13.2.2 Features of 74th Constitutional Amendment

13.2.3 Decentralised Planning in Context of 73rd and 74th Constitutional Amendment Act

13.3 Initiatives after Economic Reforms

13.4 Functioning of PRIs in Various States after 73rd Amendment

13.5 Functioning of Local Governance after 73rd and 74th Constitutional Amendment: Observations

13.6 Conclusion

13.7 Key Concepts

13.8 References and Further Reading

13.9 Activities


After studying this Unit you should be able to:

• Identify the background of revitalisation of local governance;

• Understand the features of 73rd and 74th constitutional amendment;

• Discuss the initiatives after economic reforms; and

• Outlines the functioning of local governance in various states after the amendment.


The revitalization of Pancha…

General Studies :: Indian Polity #1

Constitutional evolution under British ruleRegulating Act 1773beginning of British parliamentary control over the East India Companysubordination of the presidencies of Bombay and Madras to BengalGovernor of Bengal made Governal-Generalcouncil of Governor-General establishedSupreme Court established in CalcuttaPitt’s India Act 1784commercial and political activities of the Company separatedestablished a board of control over the CompanyCharter Act 1813trade monopoly of the Company abolishedmissionaries allowed to preach in IndiaCharter Act 1833Governor-General of Bengal becomes Governor-General of Indiafirst Governor-General Lord William Bentickends commercial activities of the CompanyCharter Act 1853legislative and executive functions of the Governor-General’s council separatedopen competition for Indian Civil Services establishedIndian Council Act 1861establishes legislative councils at the centre, presidencies and provincesGovernor-General’s executive council to have Indians as non…



1.0 Learning outcome

1.1 Introduction

1.2 Concept of Democratic Decentralisation

1.3 Evolution of Democratic Decentralisation

1.4 Significance of Democratic Decentralisation

1.5 Democratic Decentralisation in India

1.6 Conclusion

1.7 Key concepts

1.8 References and Further Reading

1.9 Activities


After studying this unit, you should be able to:

• Understand the concept of Democratic Decentralization;

• Know the evolution and significance of Democratic Decentralization; and

• Describe the Democratic Decentralization pattern in India.


The dawn of 21st century is marked by decentralized governance both as a strategy and philosophy of brining about reforms and changes in democracies. These changes led to such virtues of transparency, responsiveness and accountability and ensures good governance. Today decentralization and democracy are the most significant themes in the development discourse. In the present contex…