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Regional Resurgence in India | Social Issue Essay, Article, Paragraph for Class 12, Graduation and Competitive Examination.

Regional Resurgence in India

Scheme of the Essay

Exposition: The constitution has not taken adequate cognizance of sub-national identity.

Rising Action: Amendment to article 371 provides for regional development.


(1) Regional discontent has resulted in demand for separate states; regional autonomy can solve this problem.

(2) Region-state relations should be patterned on center-state relation pattern.

(3) The fears about sub-state regional setup are exaggerated.

Ending: Choosing between statehood and status quo can be offset by giving more autonomy.

It is high time to take a macro view of regional resurgence in several states and to evolve a national policy and appropriate constitutional and institutional arrangements to deal with it instead of an ad hoc response to a situation when it explodes.

The Constitution had not taken adequate cognizance of sub-national identities based on language and culture except for providing a broad federal structure. With the process of modernization, the urge for such identities became pronounced. Linguistic reorganization of the states was meant to satisfy them. Amendments to Article 371 of the Constitution and the addition of several clauses to it provided for some experiments of regional autonomy or regional development boards in some states. The scheme of democratic decentralization recommended by the Balwant Rai Mehta Committee and the Panchayati Raj Act, under the 73rd constitutional amendment, were further steps to accommodate emerging sub-state identities.

These steps are clearly inadequate as is evident from regional assertions in varying degrees in several states. The Indian Constitution, which provides for the formation of new states, has no provision for regional autonomy which constitutions of most of the federal and plural countries provide with the result that every regional discontent tends to take the form of a demand for a separate state. In some cases, this may be the only alternative. But in many cases, division of the states may create fresh problems, on account of their demographic composition or geographic position.

Regional autonomy may be the best answer to the problems of regions in such states. Even in most homogeneous states, the role of the regional tier needs a fresh look. But this crucial link between the state and the district is conspicuously missing power. in the entire debate on federalism and decentralization of

Regional identities can no longer be dismissed as parochial, particularly when our polity takes cognizance of sentiments based on religious communities, linguistic groups, and lately even caste. It has further been shown that instead of dismissing smaller identities and allowing them to conflict with one another, it is more advisable in the interest of national integration to accommodate them and reconcile them mutually. In some cases, regional consciousness is a very healthy force. For instance, in the three regions of Jammu, Kashmir, and Ladakh in the J & K State, it provides a common loyalty to diverse communities in each region and acts as a secularising influence on them.

Region-State relations could be broadly patterned on the Centre-State relations so that the State List of subjects can be further subdivided in order to delegate subjects of regional importance to a regional authority. The form of regional authority need not be uniform all over the country. But it must be an elected body with legislative, executive, and administrative power. The process of delegation of authority should be directly linked with the three-tier system of democratic decentralization at district block and panchayat levels.

The fears expressed about the centrifugal potentialities of sub-state regional set-up are exaggerated. If the reorganisation of the states on a linguistic basis and a federal set-up of the country has contributed to the stability and integrity of the nation, regional autonomy is also likely to provide a voluntary harmonious, and sound basis for the unity of the states.

In fact, the opposite may be truer. If regional identities are not recognized and given adequate political expression, tensions between regions might grow and break several states which otherwise need not be broken.

Regional autonomy is also likely to generate fresh popular enthusiasm which can be harnessed for speeding up the pace of development. There is likely to be a greater response from the people of a region to government efforts for fundraising, including through taxation, if they are assured that the bulk of such funds would be spent within their region.

In any case, a clear constitutional provision of regional autonomy will make people conscious of this alternative, which they might opt for if they like instead of the present tendency to choose between the status quo and separate statehood.


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