Reorganisation of Indian States

Introduction

  • The reorganisation of Indian states refers to the process of redrawing boundaries and reconfiguring the administrative divisions of states in India.
  • It aimed to ensure efficient governance, linguistic and cultural coherence, and equitable development across the country.

Historical Background

1. Pre-Independence Era

  • British India was divided into provinces and princely states based on historical, administrative, and political considerations.

2. Post-Independence Era

  • Linguistic Reorganisation:
    • Demands for states based on linguistic lines gained momentum post-independence.

Major Reorganisation Acts

1. State Reorganisation Act, 1956

  • Recommendations of the Fazal Ali Commission:

    • Based on linguistic principles, the Commission recommended the creation of states.
    • The act was enacted to implement these recommendations.
  • Creation of States:

    • States were reorganised on the basis of language.
    • Example: Andhra Pradesh (Telugu-speaking areas), Maharashtra (Marathi-speaking areas).

2. Formation of New States

  • Punjab Reorganisation Act, 1966:

    • Creation of Haryana and Himachal Pradesh from the erstwhile state of Punjab.
  • North-East Reorganisation Act, 1971:

    • Formation of Meghalaya, Manipur, and Tripura as separate states.
  • Statehood to Union Territories:

    • Delhi and Puducherry were granted statehood in 1992 and 2006 respectively.

3. Telangana Formation Act, 2014

  • Formation of Telangana:
    • Carved out from Andhra Pradesh to create a new state, Telangana, based on linguistic and regional differences.

Rationale for Reorganisation

1. Linguistic and Cultural Cohesion

  • Linguistic Homogeneity:
    • People speaking the same language share a common culture and heritage.

2. Administrative Efficiency

  • Better Governance:
    • Smaller states can lead to more efficient administration and better service delivery.

3. Equitable Development

  • Regional Balance:
    • Ensures equitable distribution of resources and development opportunities.

Criticisms and Challenges

1. Communal and Regional Tensions

  • Identity Issues:
    • Formation of states based on linguistic or regional lines can sometimes reinforce regionalism and identity politics.

2. Administrative Burden

  • Increased Expenditure:
    • Setting up separate administrative machinery for each state adds to the financial burden.