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Read the passage and answer the questions below:
One of Hazarika’s songs.. … dwells on the unity theme; the seven states of north-eastern India become seven sisters born of the same mother. …. ‘Meghalaya went own way…., Arunachal too separated another daughter.’ ….. …. .. The song ends with a determination to keep the unity of the Assamese with other smaller nationalities that are left in the present-day Assam – ‘the Karbis and the Mising brothers and sisters are our dear ones.’ — Sanjib Baruah

(a) Which unity is the poet talking about?
(b) Why were some States of north-east created separately out of the erstwhile State of Assam?
(c) Do you think that the same theme of unity could apply to all the regions of India? Why?

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Solution

a. The poet is referring to the unity of the Northeast states, The region that consists of an amalgamation of seven states, also referred to as the ‘seven sisters’, was carved out from the Assam province. The poet is also referring to the geographical unity of the region, which after partition was reduced to a land-locked region.

b. States like Meghalaya, Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram, Tripura and Manipur were created because of the following reasons:

a. To ensure economic development of the region

b. To give recognition to diverse cultures and ethnicities of the region

c. To maintain the cultural identity of the people of the Northeast

d. To prevent the outbreak of violence and riots in the region by the non-Assamese who felt that that the Assam Government was imposing Assamese language and culture on them

c. Yes, India has rather applied the principle of recognising diversity to keep the unity of the country intact. The linguistic reorganisation of states was the first and the major test for India’s democratic system and politics and certainly evoked mixed responses from the political leadership. Though many leaders were initially apprehensive about such a reorganisation, it certainly enhanced the unity of the country in the following manner:

a. India, being a linguistically diverse country after Independence, decided to alter the boundaries of older states on the basis of language so as to ensure that people speaking same language resided in the same state. This helped in creating a sense of affiliation among the same language speaking group.

b. Had this reorganisation not taken place, India would have been divided into several nations with several linguistic cultural groups clamouring for representation and recognition of their diverse interests, resulting in political instability, turmoil and strife.

c. Linguistic reorganisation was a result of the Vishal Andhra Movement that demanded separate Telugu-speaking state to be carved out from Madras province. Because of massive protests, India’s national leaders acted in the larger interests of the country and created states on the basis of language.

d. It allowed for the representation of diverse linguistic groups.

e. It has helped in expanding democracy and has reduced the chances of possible conflict and disintegration of society by accommodating its interests.

f. It has fostered a sense of unity in the country by appeasing different linguistic groups and by not imposing the Centre's will upon the states.

g. It has contributed to administrative convenience.

h. It has strengthened federal structure where states are given their due recognition.


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