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Topic : Demand for Bifurcation of States in India

GS-2 Mains  : Indian Polity

Revision Notes



Demand for Bifurcation of States in India

  • The recent bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh to create Telangana in 2014 highlights the ongoing debate about the formation of new states in India.
  • This demand stems from various factors, and understanding these reasons is crucial for analyzing such movements.

Reorganisation of States in India

  • Prior to independence, the British divided the subcontinent based on administrative convenience, often disregarding linguistic or cultural identities. Post-independence, the call for states based on language gained momentum.
  • The States Reorganisation Commission (SRC) in 1953 was formed to address this, leading to the linguistic reorganization of states in 1956. This resulted in the creation of states like Maharashtra, Gujarat, and Karnataka.
  • Further reorganizations included the formation of Haryana and Himachal Pradesh in 1966, Uttarakhand and Jharkhand in 2000, and Telangana in 2014.

Process of Bifurcation

The Indian Parliament has the authority to form new states or alter existing ones through Article 3 of the Constitution. This can involve:

  • Creation of a new state by separating territory from an existing state.
  • Merging two or more states or parts of states.
  • Unifying a territory with a part of an existing state.
  • Increasing or decreasing the area of a state.
  • Altering state boundaries.
  • Renaming a state (considered a law change, not a constitutional amendment).

However, Article 3 mandates Presidential approval for such changes, along with seeking the concerned state legislature’s views. The President is not bound by the legislature’s opinion.

Factors Driving Demands for Separate States

  • Linguistic and Cultural Identity: Communities feel their language, culture, and heritage are not adequately represented in larger states.
  • Regional Disparities: Uneven economic and developmental progress within a state can lead to demands for bifurcation.
  • Political Representation: Minority communities within a state might seek better political representation through a separate state.
  • Resource Allocation: Disputes over resource distribution (water, land, revenue) can fuel bifurcation demands.
  • Historical Grievances: Unresolved historical issues and perceived discrimination can lead to calls for separation.

Challenges of Bifurcation

  • Political Opposition: Political parties, leaders, and interest groups may resist change due to vested interests or concerns about losing influence.
  • Administrative Reorganisation: Creation of new administrative units, resource redistribution, and boundary delineation can be complex and lead to temporary inefficiencies.
  • Resource Allocation: Division of resources like water, land, and finances can lead to disputes between the new states.
  • Social Integration: Bifurcation can affect social cohesion, especially in regions with diverse identities. Emotional attachments to existing state boundaries can further complicate the process.

The Way Forward

Demands for new states or reorganization of existing ones persist due to regional aspirations, economic disparities, and governance issues. Addressing these concerns requires careful deliberation and negotiation to balance competing interests and preserve national unity.

Source : https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/lead/the-message-from-the-andhra-pradesh-bifurcation/article68243934.ece#:~:text=The%20Republic%20cannot%20afford%20such,firm%20footing%20for%20our%20Republic.

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