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All regional movements need not lead to separatist demands. Explain by giving examples from this chapter.

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Solution

Regional movements have been an integral part of Indian politics. Although many regional movements started with the demand for greater autonomy leading to demand for secessionism from the Indian Union, posing a threat to the national integration, resulting in widespread violence, such regional aspiration are very much part of the democratic politics. However, not all movements necessarily demand separatism or secessionism from Indian Union, they rather demand solution by being an integral part of the country.

a. We may give examples of some regional movements that demanded greater autonomy and separate statehood. For example, demands for political autonomy arose when the non-Assamese felt that the Assam Government was imposing the Assamese language. Tribal communities wanted a separate tribal state for themselves, resulting in the creation of Meghalaya, Mizoram and Arunachal Pradesh out of Assam. Tripura and Manipur were upgraded into states too.

b. Likewise, communities like Kabris, and Bodos have also demanded separate state but the government has entered into negotiations for them, resulting in communities like Karbis and Dimasas being granted autonomy under district councils while Bodos were recently granted autonomous council.

c. We may also give example of the Dravidain movement that strongly opposed and agitated against the Brahmins’ dominance and affirmed regional pride against the political, economic and cultural domination of the North and most importantly, against making Hindi as the official language of the country. The country, in order to maintain its unity intact, has followed a unique language policy, to prevent the possible disintegration of the country and give due recognition to varied languages.
The constitution makers realised the importance of Hindi as the language is spoken by 40% of Indians, but the fear of balkanisation and of the conflict by the non-Hindi-speaking states made them adopt English as the link language to be used for official purposes.

d. We may give example of the creation of state of Chhattisgarh and Uttarakhand on ethnic basis and also to bring about balanced regional development. The creation of Telengana can also be seen in this context.

e. One may also cite example of Goa that, after its liberation from Portuguese, witnessed a problem as the Marathi-speaking population in the state desired merger with Maharashtra, while some demanded separate statehood. Referendum-like procedure was used to ascertain people’s wishes on this issue. The majority voted in favour of remaining outside Maharashtra. Thus, Goa continued as a Union Territory. Finally, in 1987, Goa became a State of the Indian Union.


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