Regionalism

REGIONALISM

To prepare for INDIAN SOCIETY  for any competitive exam, aspirants have to know about Regionalism. It gives an idea of all the important topics for the IAS Exam and the Economy syllabus (GS-II.). Important Regionalism terms are important from Economy perspectives in the UPSC exam. IAS aspirants should thoroughly understand their meaning and application, as questions can be asked from this static portion of the IAS Syllabus in both the UPSC Prelims and the UPSC Mains exams.

Regionalism is defined as a feeling of loyalty to a particular part of a country and a wish for it to be more politically independent. It is not just a territorial unit but a culmination of socio-economic and political factors

 

INTRODUCTION:
  • For understanding regionalism, one must have to clear about various dimensions of the region. As a geographical unit, the area is delimited from each other. The part which is a social system that reflects the relationship between different human beings and groups. Regions are organized in cooperation in cultural, economic, political, or military fields. The region acts as a subject with a distinct identity, language, culture, and tradition.

 

Regionalism in a positive sense It inspires peoples to develop an understanding of brotherhood and unity, which seeks to protect the interests of a particular region and promote the welfare and development of the state and its people.
Regionalism in the negative sense It indicates excessive attachment to one’s region, which is a significant threat to the unity and integrity of the country. e.g. khalistan demand, Bodoland demand; greater nagalim

 

  • Regionalism in India is rooted in India’s diversity of languages, cultures, tribes, and religions.
  • Regionalism is an ideology and political movement that seeks to advance the causes of regions. It is driven by the conscientiousness of loyalty to a distinct region with a homogenous population in terms of cultural, social, political, economic aspiration, or ethnicity.

 

CHARACTERISTIC FEATURES:
  • Regionalism is a psychic phenomenon.
  • It is built around as an expression of group identity, as well as loyalty to the region.
  • It presupposes the concept of development of one’s region without taking into consideration the interest of other regions.
  • It prohibits people from other regions to be benefitted by a particular region.

 

HISTORICAL VIEWPOINT:
  • The origin of regionalism is in India’s manifold diversity of languages, cultures, ethnic groups, communities, religions, and so on, and encouraged by the regional concentration of those identity markers, and fuelled by a sense of local deprivation.
  • For many centuries, India remained the land of many lands, regions, cultures, and traditions. The basic point that highlights this respect is that internal self-determination of community, whether linguistic, tribal, religious, regional or their combinations, has remained the principal form in which regionalism in India has sought to express itself, historically as well as contemporaneously.

 

  • HISTORICAL VIEWPOINT
    1. PRE-INDEPENDENT INDIA
    2. POST-INDEPENDENT INDIA

 

IN PRE-INDEPENDENT INDIA:
  • The British empire-building started around the three nuclei of Calcutta, Bombay, and madras. The acquired territories of east, west, and south India were gradually added to the presidencies of Bengal, Bombay, and madras. This resulted in the formation of 3 original British Indian provinces.
  • The British formed bigger states during the first phase of empire-building. The bifurcation of bigger states initiated the second phase of the formation of the British Indian provinces into smaller ones. Assam was the first state of its kind.
  • The sole purpose of the Britishers in the territorial reorganization and the formation of new States was the advancement of imperial interest and efficient administration.
  • Development and welfare did not form the agenda of the British State.
  • Due weightage was always given to the furtherance of the policy ‘Divide and Rule’.

 

POST-INDEPENDENT INDIA:
  • After Independence, the leaders tried to encourage a feeling among the people that they belonged to one single nation.
  • The framers of the constitution wanted to achieve this by introducing single citizenship for all.
  • But India is a complex country, and keeping in view of its vastness and diversity in culture and language, a strong sense of regional loyalty and love started appearing, and thus regionalism became inevitable.

 

During the 1950s and 1960s  à Intense (ethnic) mass mobilization occurred in south India. For separate statehood for the Telugu-speakers out of the composite Madras Presidency. Pottu Sriramulu was the leader he went on unto death in 1952 for his demand led to the formation of the State Reorganization Act, 1956.
During the 1970s and 1980s à The main aim of reorganization was North-east India. The basis of reorganization was tribal uprising for separation and statehood. It drives to the formation of the North-eastern States Reorganisation Act, 1971, which upgraded the Union Territories of Manipur and Tripura, and the Sub-State of Meghalaya to full statehood, and Mizoram and Arunachal Pradesh (then Tribal Districts) to Union Territories. The latter became states in 1986. Goa (based on Konkani language (8th Schedule)), which became a state in 1987, was the sole exception.
During the 1990s à Demand for Chhattisgarh out of Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand out of Bihar, and Uttaranchal out of Uttar Pradesh. Regional backwardness was the reason. In 2000 all three states were carved out of their parent state.
Most recently The division of Andhra Pradesh, giving a separate state of Telangana in 2014.

 

 

REGIONALISM AS A SUB-STATE MOVEMENT:
  • In its positive sense, regionalism implies an idea of searching the self-identity of the people of that particular area.
  • In other sense, it is instead a separate demand for protecting and preserving the racial, linguistic, and economic interest of a group of people belonging to a nation.
  • Regionalism is, in fact, is a movement of a Sub-nationality against a prevailing nationality.
  • It is important to note that regionalism in India, in its present form, has various connotations like ‘provincialism, ‘localism’,son of the soil theory’, ‘disintegration of Indian States,struggle for separate statehood or provincial autonomy, struggle for more power, especially economic power, etc. whatever may be the connotations, the concept of regionalism has now become a separatist movement in different parts of India in various forms.
  • India is now infected with the regional upsurge of different kinds like geographical regionalism, linguistic regionalism, cultural regionalism, ethnic regionalism, and so on.

 

TYPES OF REGIONALISM:

The three main types of regionalism are:

  • TYPES OF REGIONALISM
    1. Supra-state regionalism
    2. Inter-state regionalism
    3. Intra-state regionalism

 

Supra-state regionalism:

  • In this type of regionalism, the group of states joins hands to take a common stand on the issue of mutual interest vis-a-vis another group of states or at times against the union.
  • It is not an instance of a permanent merger of state identities in the collective identity. Even at times, inter-group rivalries, tensions, and conflicts may tend to persist, simultaneously along with their cooperation.
  • For Example, North Eastern states in India may be said to have possessed the supra-state regionalism.

 

Inter-state regionalism:

  • It is coterminous with provincial territories and involves juxtaposing the identities of one or more states against another. It is also an issue specifically.
  • The issue is highlighted because it sabotages their interest.
  • For example, Disputes between Karnataka and Tamilnadu over the distribution of Kaveri water may be construed as inter-state regionalism.

 

Intra-state regionalism:

  • The third type of regionalism refers to intra-state regionalism, wherein a part of the state strives for self-identity and self-development. Therefore, it is taken in a positive sense.
  • In negative terms, it militates against the collective interest of the state as well as the nation.
  • For Example, there is always a feeling of the coastal region and western region in Orissa.

E.g. Vidarbha in Maharashtra, a Saurashtra in Gujarat, a Telangana in Andhra Pradesh, an East U.P. in Uttar Pradesh

 

MANIFESTATIONS OF REGIONALISM-
  1. Separate flag for state E.g. Karnataka.
  2. Son of soil doctrine
  3. Local reservations in employment E.g. Karnataka, Goa, Andhra Pradesh.
  4. Inter-state river water conflicts & non-cooperation E.g. Karnataka and Tamilnadu
  5. Rejection of new education policy over 3 language formula E.g. Tamilnadu protest
  6. Para-diplomacy. E.g. Andhra Pradesh (S.E Asia) and Tamil nadu (USA)
  7. Violence against migrant workers. E.g. MNS began their violent agitation against North Indians. Bhojpuri films were not allowed to run on theatres in Maharashtra.
  8. Khalistan movement with its aim to create a Sikh homeland from state of Punjab.
  9. Linguistic Reorganization of States E.g. AP in 1953 and others.
  10. The Demand for Autonomy. g. Delhi
  11. Demand for special category status. E.g. Andhra Pradesh.
REGIONAL PERSPECTIVE OF REGIONALISM –
  • Karnataka and Tamilnadu à Cauvery water dispute
  • Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh belt à Lack of tribal development and naxalist hotspot
  • North East India à Governance and autonomy issues, identity crisis, outsiders’ issues, development deficit.
  • North Vs South à Issue of Hindi language.

 

FORMS OF REGIONALISM

 

Secessionism Secessionism is a form of regionalism that involves militant and fundamentalist groups advocating a separation from India on the basis of ethnicity or any other factor. E.g. NSCN (IM), Islamic fundamentalist groups in J&K, ULFA in Assam, Khalistan movement.
Separatism Separatism is a demand for separate statehood within the Indian Union. This kind of sub-regionalism was validated by the State Reorganization Act 1956. The most recent examples include the formation of Uttarakhand, Jharkhand, and Chhattisgarh in 2000 and Telangana in 2014. E.g. Demands for the creation of Bodoland in Assam; Gorkhaland for ethnic Gorkha (Nepali) people in West Bengal; a Bundelkhand state (covering part of MP and part of UP) for promoting the development of the region
Demand for Full Statehood The union territories have been forwarding such demands like the NCT of Delhi. E.g. Most of such demands have already been accepted. In 1971, Himachal Pradesh got the status of a full state and thereafter Manipur, Tripura, Mizoram, Arunachal Pradesh (former NEFA) and Sikkim got full statehoods.
The Demand for Autonomy Since 1960’s, with the emergence of regional parties, the demand for state autonomy has been gaining more and more strength due to the central political interferences. E.g. the DMK in Tamil Nadu, Akali Dal in Punjab, Telgu Desham party in Andhra Pradesh, Assam Gana Parishad in Assam, National conference in J&K and Forward Bloc in West Bengal the have been continuously demanding a larger share of powers for the states.
Demand for Regional Autonomy within a State In some of the states, people belonging to various regions have been demanding recognition of their regional identities. E.g. in      J & K, the Ladakhis are demanding a regional status

 

REASONS FOR REGIONALISM:

 

(i)  Geographical Factor:

  • The territorial orientation based on geographical boundaries relates to the inhabitants of a particular region, which are symbolic, at least in the Indian context, because of the linguistic distribution along geographic boundaries.
  • The topographic and climatic variations, along with differences in the settlement pattern, induce in people the concept of regionalism. Tribal people living in forests depend on it for food, shelter, and other needs, and they have a different lifestyle from the rest of the population.
  • Factors responsible for regionalism in India
    1. Geographical Factor
    2. Historical Factors
    3. Scarcity of resources
    4. Economic Factors
    5. Cultural & Religious Factors
    6. Political-Administrative Factors.
    7. Ethnic factors

(ii) Historical Factors:

  • In the Indian scenario, the historical or cultural factors may be considered the prime components of the phenomenon of regionalism.

 

Ancient phase of history India was largely ruled by regional kingdoms. E.g. Cholas and Pandyas of South India and Satavahanas of Andhra.
Medieval India India was ruled by kings who belonged to various sections of religions. There were numerous governors who ruled the smaller provinces and had their own autonomy and culture. E.g. Rajput, Marathas.
British rule in India Policy of divide and rule, encouraged the regional differences. Autonomy and concessions to numerous princely states. They fought wars by using one king against another. E.g. Carnatic wars.

 

  • The historical and cultural components interpret regionalism by way of cultural heritage, folklore, myths, symbolism, and ancient tradition The most striking example is that of Dravida Kazhagam (DK) and the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) in Tamil Nadu and Shiv Sena in Maharashtra and Telugu Desham (TDP) in Andhra Pradesh.
  • People of a particular cultural group also derive inspirations from the noble deeds and glorious achievements of the local heroes. Nevertheless, there are sudden political and economic realities that can be covered under the gamut of historical and cultural factors.

 

(iii) Cultural and Religious Factors:  

  • Southern India (home of Dravidian cultures), which is itself a region of many regions, is evidently different from the north, the west, the central and the north-east. Even the east of India is different from the North-East of India comprising today seven constituent units of Indian federation with the largest concentration of tribal people.
  • Past Traditions: Reverence of historical local leaders by the local people.
  • g. Shivaji in Maharashtra, Maha Rana Pratap in Rajasthan, Lachit Borphukan of Assam.

 

(iv)  Caste and Region:

  • The caste system and religion in Indian society play only a marginal role in causing regionalism. Only when caste is combined with linguistic preponderance or religion it may cause the regional feeling. In the like manner, religion is not so significant except when it is combined with linguistic homogeneity or based on dogmatism and orthodoxy or linked with economic deprivation.
  • However, regionalism is usually a secular phenomenon in a relative sense, and it can cross-cut the caste affiliation or religious loyalties. For e.g., The differences based on religion have led to the creation of Pakistan. Similarly, the violent demand for an independent country of Khalistan was raised by Sikhs in the 1980s.
  • These economic factors cause problems between regions. E.g. formation of states like Jharkhand and Telangana were based on lack of development

 

(v) Economic Factors:

  • In the present times, uneven developments in different parts of the country may be construed as the prime reason for regionalism and separatism.
  • Economic policies have led to regional imbalances and wide economic disparities among various regions resulting in discontentment among them.
  • There are certain regions in the country where industries and factories have been concentrated, educational and health facilities are sufficiently provided; the communication network has been developed, rapid agricultural development has been made possible. For example, the lack of development was the reason for the formation of states like Jharkhand and Telangana.
  • But there are also specific areas where the worth of independence is yet to be realized in terms of socio-economic development.

 

(vi) Political-Administrative Factors:

  • Political parties, especially the regional political parties as well as local leaders, exploit the regional sentiments, regional deprivation and convert them to solidify their factional support bases. e.g. TDP (Andhra Pradesh), DMK (Tamil Nadu), Akali Dal (Punjab)
  • They give place to the regional problems in their election manifesto and promise for political and regional development.

 

(vii)  Linguistic factors-

  • India has 22 official languages that is recognized by the constitution. But there are around 1600+ mother tongues in India. The mother tongue of a person creates a profound attachment to his own language and hence the identity of belonging also develops. E.g. Bombay to Mumbai, Bangalore to Bengaluru, and Madras to Chennai shows the affinity of people towards their language.
  • Hindi has been envisaged by the constitution to be promoted as a “Lingua Franca”. Indian Government after independence has made efforts to promote Hindi. But there has been widespread agitation against this move from non-Hindi speaking states. For Example, The Anti Hindi agitations in southern states.

 

(viii)  Scarcity of resources:

  • Due to the scarcity of resources, which is shared by two or more regions, often, the competition is fuelled by regional aspirations. Example – Cauvery water dispute

 

(ix)  Ethnic Factors:

  • India has many ethnic differences that formed the base for demands for political autonomy and secession. E.g., based on their ethnic identity, the Nagas of Nagaland are demanding a nation.

 

WHY REGIONALISM STILL PERSISTS IN INDIA?
  • Low rate of economic growth à With respect to High population growth, the economic growth has been not enough to catch the development with full speed. Now economic growth is reeling under the influence of world economic crisis and other bottlenecks at domestic level.
  • Socio-economic and political organisation of states à Relative failure of land reforms in majority of states and the feudal mentality still persists. Bhoodanand Gramdaan movements were not enthusiastically carried and even land under land Banks were not efficiently distributed. The political activities in the backward states were limited to vote bank politics and scams.
  • Lower level of infrastructural facilities in backward states à The level of infrastructural development, such as- power distribution, irrigation facilities, roads, modern markets for agricultural produce has been at back stage. All these are state list subjects.
  • Low level of social expenditure by states à Education, health and sanitation subjects are core for human resource development. The states which have invested heavily on these subjects, fall under the developed and advanced states, E.g. Tamil Nadu, Kerala where health care services in Primary health centre is benchmark for other states.
  • Political and administration failure à This is source of tension and gives birth to sub-regional movements for separate states. JharkhandChhattisgarhUttarakhandand recently Telangana are result of these failures only. Many such demands are in pipeline such as- Vidarbha, Saurashtra, Darjeeling and Bodoland, etc. These failures also weaken the confidence of private players and do not attract investors in the states.
  • “Son of the soil”doctrine à explains a form of regionalism, which is in discussion since 1950. According to it, a state specifically belongs to the main linguistic group inhabiting it or that the state constitutes the exclusive homeland of its main language speakers, who are the sons of the soil or local residents.

 

International Examples of regionalism- In UK, there are regional aspirations in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Spain faces such issue in Basques and Sri Lanka in Northern Province of the country.

 

POSITIVE IMPACT OF REGIONALISM
  • Given the increasing uncertainty in the contemporary globalized world, regionalism has become a source of identity among people. The accommodation of such identities is healthy for maintaining the socio-cultural fabric of India. For Example, the Naga movement was to preserve the distinct character of their proposed Nagalim.
  • It further helps in the economic development of backward regions. For Example, demand for Vidarbha in Maharashtra solely to deal with Economic distance present in the region.
  • It has brought imbalanced regional development and regional issues to focus on and the opportunity to solve them. The creation of new states like Uttarakhand had resulted in the fast growth of it.
  • It can lead to inter-group solidarity in a specific region. People belonging to a region may feel the need to come together to protect their vested interests, setting aside their differences.eg. Tripura Tribal Autonomous District Council that was formed in 1985 has served to protect an otherwise endangered tribal identity in the state by providing a democratic platform for former separatists and has reduced the bases of political extremism in the state.

 

   NEGATIVE IMPACT OF REGIONALISM
  • It gives internal security challenges by the insurgent groups, who propagate the feelings of regionalism against the mainstream politico-administrative setup of the country.
  • Regionalism impacts politics as days of coalition government and alliances are taking place. Regional demands become national demands, policies are launched to satisfy local demands, and generally, those are extended to all pockets of the country. Hence national policies are now dominated by regional demands.
  • Violence is a very popular character of regionalism. To protect regional identity, people may take violent means – Example Nellie massacre during the Assam movement.
  • It impacts the ease of doing business. Due to regional aspiration, local people pass difficulties for private investors to hire freely as per their own requirement private companies are often forced to reserve jobs and contract only for local people son of the soil.
  • It can give a leeway to external factors (E.g. terrorist groups, extremist groups) to get involved in regional issues and create disruption by inciting the masses
  • It can be exploited and used for political leverage in order to garner votes.

 

WHAT IS THE SON OF SOIL?
  • It has been in discussion since 1950, and it explains a form of regionalism.
  • According to it, a state mainly belongs to the major linguistic group inhabiting it, or the state constitutes the exclusive homeland of its primary language speakers, who are the sons of the soil or local residents.
  • Examples of implementation of the concept to further the cause of regionalism include campaign for safeguard of interests of Maharashtrians by the Shiv Sena, clashes among Bodos and Bengali speaking Muslims in Assam, among others.

 

Why the son of the soil?

  • A competition for the job between migrant and local educated middle-class youth always remained.
  • The theory of son of the soil works mostly in cities because here, outsiders or migrant peoples also get an opportunity for education, etc.
  • Due to rising aspirations, the significant involvement of people takes place that leads to more competition.
  • For the young workforce, the economy’s failure to create enough employment

 

Examples of Son of Soil Doctrine

  • Job reservations for locals in private sector in Andhra Pradesh and Goa.
  • Mulki rule” provided in article 371(D) of Indian constitution safeguards the rights of local people in employment and education and was created after agitation in the state of Andhra Pradesh.
  • Anti-migrant or implementation of Sons of the Soil doctrine was movement led by Shiv Sena and MNS which appealed regional chauvinism.

 

DEMAND FOR KHALISTHAN
  • The claims for Khalistan, as a separate theocratic country for the Sikhs, have its origin in the 1940s, due to the fear of being reduced into a minority after the partition of India and Pakistan. The separatist movement reached its zenith in 1970 and 1980 with increasing funds from outside India.

 

DEMAND FOR DRAVIDA NADU
  • The early 20th century saw a rise in the social reforms movement in Tamil Nadu and other southern states of India.
  • The Justice party and the social reform leader V. Ramaswami accused the Brahmins and the North Indians for dominating the Dravidians and forcing Hindi language and culture.
  • The movement was an anti-Brahmin, anti-Aryan, and and-Hindi movement. In the early 1960s, the DMK and other pro-Tamil organizations arranged for a joint campaign throughout Madras state demanding for a sovereign and independent Tamil Nadu’.
  • Later, DMK proposed that the states of Madras, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, and Mysore should come together and secede from the Indian union and form the independent Republic of Dravida Nadu.

 

There have been many demands, including the creation of Bodoland for the Bodo-speakers in Assam; Gorkhaland for ethnic Gorkha (Nepali) people in West Bengal; a Bundelkhand state (covering part of Madhya Pradesh and part of Uttar Pradesh) for promoting the development of the region.

 

CONSTITUTIONAL PROVISIONS TO PROMOTE NATIONAL UNITY AND INTEGRITY
  • Freedom of speech and expression (Art. 19) to express regional priorities and criticize the government if a region is being neglected.
  • Fifth and sixth schedule to preserve tribal identity.
  • Article 38 (DPSP) to deal with inequality in income status and opportunity among individuals and regions.
  • Schedule 7 (division of power) between center and state to give more regional autonomy through∙ state
  • Eighth schedule recognized different regional languages in the constitution of India∙
  • Article 79 and 80 provisions of Rajya Sabha as Council of States
  • Article 368 amendment procedure for having ratification by half of the States if an amendment is∙ affecting federalism.

 

GOVERNMENT EFFORTS TO PROMOTE NATIONAL INTEGRITY
  • GOI constituted the Interstate Council under Article 263 after accepting the Justice Sarkaria Commission’s report on center-state relations. Its vision is to develop the Inter-State Council Secretariat as a vibrant organization to support Centre-State and Inter-State coordination and cooperation in India.
  • The Backward Region Grant Fund (BRGF) is a Programme implemented in 272 identified backward districts in all states of the country to redress regional imbalances in development.
  • Pradhan Mantri Khanij Kshetra Kalyan Yojana (PMKKKY) was launched in September 2015 for the welfare of tribals and tribal areas and others affected by mining.
  • State Reorganisation act of 1956 à Zonal councils to promote interest of different geographic zones.
  • North-eastern States Reorganisation Act, 1971.
  • Creation of new states by taking economic and administrative viability into account. E.g. Telangana
  • Plan assistance to the backward statesà Backward Area Development Program.
  • Public investment à Industries such as steel, fertilizers, oil refining, petro chemicals, heavy chemicals, and in power and irrigation projects has been a tool for the reduction of regional inequality. E.g. Polavaram irrigation and Indira Gandhi canal projects.
  • Government incentives have been provided to the private sector to invest in backward areasà subsidies, tax concessions, concessional banking and institutional loans.
  • New institutional structures like NITI Aayog to ensure federal equilibrium.
  • GST council to ensure fiscal federalism
  • Cultural connect and student exchange programme among states education Institutes.
  • Ek bharat Shrestha bharat
  • National Register of Citizens of Assam Govt.à To expel outsider and protect cultural identity of natives.
  • National Integration Council (NIC)
  • North-Eastern Council (NEC) was set up in 1971 to provide a forum for inter-state coordination regional planning and integrated development of the region to avoid intra-regional disparities.
  • Representation to regional parties in parliamentary
  • Inter State Council to resolve issues of common interest à 263
  • Special status in Indian constitution setupà 371 to 371 F
  • Special category status to economically backward states. E.g., hilly, border states.

 

REGIONALISM Vs. NATIONALISM
  • Nationalism is a sense of belonging to one nation, a feeling one shares with all the citizens of the country regardless of their caste, creed, culture, religion, or region.
  • Regionalism puts the regional priority above the national priority. Therefore, it may impair the national development.
  • While a nation tries to establish harmony between all its citizens by uniting them through a constitution, national symbols, and songs, regionalism glorifies the heritage of only one particular region and one culture.
  • Regionalism leads to the formation of multiple communities within one nation and restricts the efforts of national integration.

 

REGIONALISM VERSUS FEDERALISM
  • If we see our past, we can observe that there has been a continuous demand for respecting the federal features of the Indian political system. Moreover, there is also the demand for decentralization of resources and powers, both for the state level and to grass root levels.
  • Divergent ethnic identities and their continuous struggle for more autonomy, as expressed in the demand for separate statehood for themselves, within the federal system, too much complicated the work of centralized governance from any level.
  • Federalism is seen here as a social equilibrium, which results from the appropriate balance between shared rule and self-rule.
  • The relations between the two may be conflicting as well as collaborating depending on the manner of accommodation, if any, which is undertaken in a federal system.
  • Federation rather than a nation-state, ideal-typically, is better able to accommodate ethnically distinct regions because while the nation-state demands uniformity, federalism is based on the recognition of differences.
  • A two-tier federation may not be sufficient to accommodate regionalism in many forms and levels. A tier below the ‘states’, or ‘provinces’ with appropriate constitutional guarantee may be necessary for regional accommodation.

 

WAYS TO PREVENT REGIONALISM AND PROMOTE UNITY AND INTEGRITY
  • While the government has taken several steps, such as the launch of centrally sponsored schemes, incentives to private players for development in backward states for inclusive development, there is a greater need for their effective implementation.
  • Moral education and national education is the key to reduce regionalism Governments should use their arms to give free and compulsory moral education, which will reduce unemployment, increase the rate of skill development, etc, which will ultimately minimize regionalism.
  • The Election Commission should provide rules for regional parties as they should not use regionalism as the main list to gain political mileage.
  • Most of the backward regions of the country do not have a proper link with the rest of the country through the transport and communication system. Due to this reason, their interaction and contact with other regional groups become restricted, and they develop a feeling of alienation. Therefore, the transport and communication system should be developed in the backward areas to bring economic and social development.
  • Due to the uneven development of different areas of the country, political issues have been made (As in the case of Telangana in Andhra Pradesh and Vidarbha in Maharashtra) and hostility between different regions increased. Therefore, if the top priority is given to economic development of those areas where the people have developed the feeling of relative deprivation, the situation will improve, and they can be drawn into the national mainstream.
  • The Formation of the NITI Aayog has been a positive step to enhance cooperative federalism by fostering the involvement of the State Governments of India in the economic policy-making process using a bottom-up approach.

 

IS REGIONALISM A THREAT TO NATIONAL INTEGRATION?
  • Regionalism is not significant merely as a disintegrating force. Regionalism is not opposed to national integration. Both can exist together in a creative partnership. Both are in favor of development.
  • Regionalism stresses the development of a region and national integration for the development of the nation as a whole.
  • Regionalism is not disruptive of national solidarity. The important condition for national solidarity is that nationalism should be able to hold the different types of regional sub-nationalities together.
  • Regionalism can make federalism a greater success.
  • It will reduce the centralizing tendencies in a nation and power will shift from the centre to the states.

 

CONCLUSION
  • It is vital to develop each region of India through the devolution of power to local governments and empowering people for their participation in decision-making. The state governments need to find out the alternative resources of energy, source of employment for local people, use of technology in governance, planning, and agriculture development. The 12thfive-year targets for “Faster, sustainable and more inclusive growth”, which will be instrumental for balanced regional growth.
  • If religious, communal, cultural, and linguistic differences threaten the unity of India, they present, as well, a challenge to the social Union. For ‘unity in diversity’ is at once a threat and a promise”.

 

PREVIOUS YEAR QUESTIONS:
  1. Discuss whether the formation of new states in recent times is beneficial or not for the economy of India. (2018) – 15 Marks
  2. What is the basis of regionalism? Is it that unequal distribution of benefits of development on a regional
  3. basis eventually promotes regionalism? Substantiate your answer. (2016) – 5 Marks
  4. The growing feeling of regionalism is an essential factor in the generation of demand for a separate state. Discuss. (2013) – 10 Marks
  5. Has the formation of linguistic states strengthened the cause of Indian Unity? (2016) – 5 Marks
PRACTICE QUESTIONS:
  1. Is regional inequality in India actually a problem of economic geography? Discuss
  2. What is regionalism? Critically examine various reasons that led to regionalism in India. Support your answer with relevant examples.
  3. Regionalism puts the regional priority above the national priority. Comment
  4. Discuss the role of the Government of India to reduce regionalism. Suggest some measures to promote national unity.
  5. What do you understand by regionalism? Do you agree that regionalism supports India’s federal character?

 

 

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