Static – Modern History (Post-Independence) – Regionalism (I) | Focus – Mains

Notes for Modern History (Post-Independence)

Understanding Regionalism

  • In the 1950s, many saw regionalism as a major threat to Indian unity.
  • What do not constitute regionalism?
    • Local patriotism and loyalty to a locality or region or state and its language and culture do not constitute regionalism.
    • To have pride in one’s region or state is also not regionalism.
    • Aspiring to or making special efforts to develop one’s state or region is not to be branded as regionalism.
    • Defending the federal features of the constitution is also not to be seen as regionalism.
    • The demand for a separate state within the Indian Union or for an autonomous region within an existing state, is also not regionalism.
  • So what essentially regionalism is?
    • If the interests of one region or state are asserted against the country as a whole or against another region or state in a hostile manner and a conflict is promoted on the basis of such alleged interests it can be dubbed as regionalism.
    • In this sense, there has been very little inter-regional conflict in India since 1947, the major exception being the politics of the DMK in Tamil Nadu in the 1950s and early 1960s.
  • Regionalism could have flourished in India if any region or state had felt that it was being culturally dominated or discriminated against. But, in fact, the Indian nation has proved to be quite successful in accommodating and even celebrating India’s cultural diversity.
  • The linguistic reorganization of India and the resolution of the official language controversy have played a very important role by eliminating a potent cause of inter-regional conflict.
  • Many regional disputes, of course, do exist and they have the potential of fanning interstate hostility . For example, friction between different states over the sharing of river waters. But, these disputes have remained within acceptable, limits.