Shuffle the States

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By 1952, the demand for creation of a Telugu-majority state in had become powerful, and Andhra State was formed in October, 1953. This sparked off agitations all over the country, with many linguistic groups demanding separate statehoods.

To reorganise the states, the Government of India constituted the State Reorganisation Commission (SRC) under the chairmanship of Fazl Ali, a former Supreme Court judge. The SRC submitted its report in September 1955, recommending the abolition of the four-tier (A/B/C/D) state system in force at that time, as well as doing away with the institution of Rajapramukh.

The SRC also said that, only the Andaman & Nicobar Islands, Delhi and Manipur, should remain as Union Territories, while eight other Part-C/D territories should be merged with adjoining states, and that “it is neither possible nor desirable to reorganize States on the basis of either language or culture, but that a balanced approach to the whole problem is necessary”.

The States Reorganization Act of 1956 implemented some of the recommendations of the SRC. In addition to the three Union Territories (UTs) proposed by the SRC, it also established Laccadive, Minicoy & Amindivi Islands (now called Lakshadweep), Himachal Pradesh and Tripura as UTs. It established a total of 14 states, in addition to these UTs.

If you look at all the maps in the pic, you will see that the map of India was redrawn as many as six times during Nehru’s regime, and another five time since then.

And the problems are still not over, with demands for Vidharbha, Bundelkhand, Gorkhaland, amongst quite a few others.

These 12 reorganizations of states (with some more to come in the future) have not just cost the nation a huge amount of time and money, apart from loss of lives, it has also divided the country along linguistic lines, which results in hundreds of border skirmishes and/or linguistic clashes, almost on an annual basis.  It also plays a big role in people calling themselves a Bengali or a Tamilian rather than an Indian.

What were the errors made in 1956, which still cause trouble (including fatal violence that takes innocent lives) from time to time?

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