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State Reorganization

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Submitted By aishwarya1993
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“At the stroke of the midnight hour, when the world sleeps, India will awake to life and freedom.

A moment comes, which comes but rarely in history, when we step out from the old to the new,

when an age ends, and when the soul of a nation, long suppressed, finds utterance…”1

When the First Prime Minister of India, Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru, gave his speech, he must have

been prepared with the various post-independence hurdles, the infant democracy would have

to undergo. Certainly, India, exemplifies the phrase, ‘Unity in Diversity.’ It is thus, astonishing

to see a country with innumerable divisions and differences, managed to stay united for the 65

years of independence it has seen. Post independence the main motive of the Indian Government

was to ensure that the Indo-Pak partition incident isn’t repeated.2

as many as 136 small and large states were acceded to the Indian Union. The states were

reintegrated soon to form the Union. However, people in various states have been from the time

of independence, till date, extremely vocal of territorial autonomy and political independence.

One such demand relates to the demand of ‘Reorganization of states’3

ethnic differences, and economical differences.

This movement, thus led to what we see today, ‘The Union of India’, with 28 states and 7 Union


On the eve of independence

on the basis of language,

Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru’s speech, at the time of Independence, 15th


2Majeed A. (The Changing Politics of States' Reorganization). 2003 Publius Vol. 33, No. 4, Emerging Federal

Process in India (Autumn, 2003) (pp. 83-98)

The Seventh Amendment to the Constitution, 1956, which bought about changes in- Articles 1, 49, 80, 81, 82,


131, 153, 158, 168, 170, 171, 216, 217, 220, 222, 224, 230, 231 and 232.

Inserted articles 258A, 290A, 298, 350A, 350B, 371, 372A and 378A.

Amended part 8.

Amended schedules 1, 2, 4 and 7. Also changed the composition of council of states thereby changing the

representation of the different states in Lok Sabha also.

August 1947, New Delhi, India.




Typically, the term ‘State Reorganization’, relates to the alteration of the state boundaries

and creation of new states, both being by sanction of the Union Government. The state

reorganization movement has been one of the movements which has deep penetrated roots

since the pre-independence time. The first committee formed in this regard was in the pre

independence time, comprising Motilal Nehru and Jawaharlal Nehru. The Committee submitted

its Report in 1928. The Report clearly laid down that after independence, the Country could

be reorganized on the basis of languages. However with independence as the frontline agenda,

this recommendation took a back seat, but evidently did not disappear from the mainstream.

Post independence, the First Committee formed in this regard was the Dar Commission headed

by S.K.Dar. This committee did not recommend division of states on linguistic basis. In the

year, 1948, an unofficial committee was first formed in this regard, called the J.V.P Committee,

named after its members, Jawaharlal Nehru, Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel, Pattabhi Sitaramayya,

which did acknowledge the possible division on the basis of language, yet suggested that it

could be postponed. However, it suggested that Andhra Province could be formed provided

the Andhraites gave up their claim to the city of Madras (now Chennai). Post independence,

Government’s sole motive was administrative pragmatism and maintaining unity. Thus it could

not accept the domination of a region by giving it the status of a state.

The then Prime Minister, J.L Nehru, and his colleagues aimed at the creation of large,

heterogeneous states because such composite states could discourage prejudiced identities.

However, this was just a mere, wishful thinking. The states were discontented, dissatisfied,

fuming, for even a democracy was not able to give what they really wanted. It was the death of

the iconic leader, Sriramulu Potti of Andhra Pradesh, which set the ball rolling for the movement

to begin. The Andhra leader whose ‘fast unto death’4

of people was the trigger event behind the never ending protests, starting from protests in Andhra

i.e. ‘Madras Manade Movement’ which gave birth to many other, similar movements, Samyukta

, left a really strong impression in the minds

Sriramulu fasted for 59 days, and on the midnight of 15th


population and huge protests ultimately led to the ‘Madras Manade’ movement, meaning, “Madras is ours”

December 1952, passed away. This agitated the telugu


Maharashtra, Mahagujarat Andolan, Punjabi Suba5

various Indian states. The government finally had to give in to the demands of the people and

they formed the SRC, i.e. the State Reorganization Commission comprising, S. Fazal Ali, K.

M. Panikkar; H. N. Kunzru.6

southern states must be separated. However, the demands for a Marathi and a Gujarati speaking

state was not granted taking the Gujarati and Parsi business communities (who lived in Bombay),

in consideration. Nor was the demand for a separate Punjabi-Suba granted. As early as 1956,

14 states were formed based on linguistic differences. These were the southern states and the

states of Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, and a new state of Bombay (which included the regions of

present day Gujarat).78

, and many others that started taking place in

The Committee came up with the recommendations that the four


-Two different sides of the same coin

(The Mahagujarat Andolan and Samyukta Maharashtra movement were intrinsically linked

to each other. Both, Maharashtra as well as Gujarat wanted separate states to attain their own

autonomy over the linguistically homogenous territories.)


Sant Fateh Singh and Master Tara Chand, the two key leaders fought for a separate ‘Suba’ or state.


Guha R. (2011). Thinking Beyond Telangana. The Telegraph. 15th

beyond-telangana-2.html, retrieved on 1st


The state of Andhra Pradesh was formed by merging Andhra with part of Hyderabad. Bombay was formed by

merging Kutch, the Saurashtra union and part of what had formerly been Bombay. Kerala was formed by merging

most of the Travancore-Cochin union and part of Madras. Madhya Pradesh was formed by merging Bhopal and

the Vindhya Pradesh union. The state of Mysore was formed by merging Coorg and Mysore as well as parts of the

former states of Bombay, Hyderabad and Madras. Punjab was expanded by adding Patiala and the East Punjab

states to its former territory.


Article 3 of the Indian Constitution states that the parliament can alter the boundaries, increase or diminish the

areas also, alter the name and may create another state as well.


March, 2013


“An All-India Radio announcement of Bombay as 'a separate city state' by Jawaharlal Nehru

on November 20, 1955 was the trigger for the tense situation. The first bout of firing started on

November 21, 1955 and continued for days in parts of Bombay.”9

The movement was spearheaded by Acharya Atre, Senapati Bapat and Prabodhankar


Desai, in his weekly, Navyug, titled “Jantecha Kasai: Morarji Desai.” Literature and large scale

dissemination of information had a positive and a major impact on the Samyukta Maharashtra

Movement and thus was an integral part1112

It was soon realized that giving Bombay to Maharashtra was vital for the survival of the

Congresss base in Maharashtra.

However, this wasn’t a peaceful movement. The entire period from November 1955 to January

1956 saw several attacks and deaths.1314

While Maharashtra knew no peace, Gujarat too was simmering. The Mahagujarat Andolan15was

spearheaded by Indulal Yagnik16

The Congress government under Morarji Desai, supposed to have taken pernicious moves, solely

concentrated on how to prevent Maharashtrian population from taking over Bombay.

. Acharya Atre, who was arrested for having writing an article against Morarji



, Brahmakumar Bhatt17and Harihar Khambholja18


An All-India Radio announcement of Bombay as 'a separate city state' by Jawaharlal Nehru on November 20, 1955

was the trigger for the tense situation among communities who supported Bombay as part of Maharashtra and

objected to the formation of a bilingual state. The first bout of firing started on November 21, 1955 and continued

for days at parts of Dadar, Lalbaugh, Parel, Kalachowkie.


Father of late Shivsena Leader, Bal Thackeray


Atre continued to write articles in the Arthur Road Jail

Samyukta Maharashtra was important because the demand for linguistic statehood was in Mumbai combined


with a popular movement against rigid class hierarchies in an industrial city dominated by big business interests.


The records show 103 people lost their lives in the riots for Samyukta Maharashtra, 71 of them succumbed to

bullet injuries




Kanaiyalal Munshi, eminent litterateur, coined the word Mahagujarat at the Karachi meet of Gujarati Sahitya



Vashi A. (2010). Common man who never became CM. The Times of India. 30th separate-state 17

Brahmakumar Bhatt passes away [Internet]. The Times of India, Ahmedabad, January 7th


Dave J. & Desai K. (2012). Revolution in Gujarat’s blood. DNA. 4th

April, from



Thus, the government was putting in their best efforts in this regard. They worked out various


decided to make Bombay a bilingual state. This angered the Gujarati population and this led to

the ‘Mahagujarat Andolan’ had to give in to the demand of Bombay being made the Capital City

of the new, Marathi speaking state, ‘Maharashtra’.

One of the striking features of Mahagujarat Andolan was the involvement of Dalits in large


the rest of the state, Indulal Yagnik, and other leaders of the movement, made an effort to

connect to the region culturally.2324

Ultimately, they got a state which had language and customs as a commonality, in 1960, which

they could have got in 1956, had they conceded to the demand of the Maharashtra state in 1956.

Inspite of the immense effort, this was one of the most futile movements.2526

. However, to their detriment, nothing seemed to work out and Congress

and the involvement of women21

. Since Dang22

was considered to be detached from


19E.g. Bombay being made a separate territory, or a centrally administered state or being jointly administered by

both the states


Shinoda T.(2002). The Other Gujarat. Popular Prakashan, retrieved from





Indulal Yagnik, asked the women volunteers of the andolan to participate and called for a ‘Jail Bharo Andolan’.

The women leaders (Ranjanben Dalal and Shardaben Bhatt), then went from place to place and spread a word

about the movement. They were arrested and put in the jail for 21 days.


Dang, in South Gujarat is dominated by the tribal population. Agitation reached its peak when Morarji Desai

claimed Dangs to be a part of Maharashtra.

Gujarati Sabha also formed a committee comprising painter Ravishankar Raval, Pandit Omkarnath, Professor


Yashwant Shukla, renowned linguist Madhusudan Modi and others to get in-depth details about history, culture,

art, customs and language of people of Dang. Moreover, the sabha also started agitating about the state

government's statement to create awareness among people. in 1960, when Gujarat was founded on the basis of

its language and Dang was part of it.


Dave J. & Desai K. (2012). Revolution in Gujarat’s blood. DNA. 4th


Shinoda T.(2002). The Other Gujarat. Popular Prakashan, retrieved from




Hundreds of people laid down their lives and thousands were injured because of police brutality during the 226-

day agitation.



Punjab Suba27

different from the rest of the movements with formation of Khalistan and violent activities

coming to forefront. 28The issue of Chandigarh remains unsolved. The 1956 amendment

brought about a change only in Assam in the north east, with rest being formed in the 1960s

and 70s.29

Kuki(Mizoram) and the Naga groups still are at loggerheads.31

The Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand divide, based on economic differences and empowerment,

sets a precedent for the Telangana issue32

The fight over the division of the state of Andhra Pradesh is based on economic differences.3334

The new millennium began with a change in the Indian Map again. Three new states were

formed. However, the three new states of Uttarkhand, Jharkhand and Chattisgarh were mainly

formed on ethnic differences and language had no role to play. Movement for the disintegration

Chattissgarh was relatively peaceful compared to the other two states. Uttarakhand presented

a unique case of division on the basis of topography, while the tribal population of Jharkhand

aimed at preserving their identity. The main contention of all the three states was the economic

neglect and lack of development in the agitated regions.

movement led to the division of Punjab. However, its consequences were

30However, the viability ranking of the north eastern states continues to be low as the



Master Tara Singh v. Singh vs State Of Punjab And Anr. 1961 CriLJ 547


Punjab was disintegrated from the old, Hindi speaking conglomeration to the new, Punjabi speaking resent day

Punjab state.


Nagaland was formed in 1963, and Meghalaya in 1972 with Tripura and Manipur.








Srikrishna Commission gave 6 recommendations in 2012.

Telangana and Andhra speak the same language but have contrasting economic interests. In fact, the latter is


accused of exploiting the former‟s resources. Telanagana gets the least amount of funding but gives best returns.

Rayalseema, on the contrary uses more funds but gives lesser returns.


K Chandrasekhara Rao, a leader of the Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS), used his 11-day fast to force the

government into announcing a separate Telangana state. In Telangana, where socioeconomic deprivation and

political exclusion were causing much frustration, this demand for a separate state had been continuously

expressed for over fifty years. It is economics which now determines the dynamics of Indian federalism. The

different regions contest on the resources consumed in comparison with the returns provided.


Conclusion and Legal Analysis

It is not unknown that the road to this achievement is far from being termed as ‘smooth’.

Thus, it is inspiring for a country to endure and acknowledge the differences that exist and

promote the varied interests of the various communities. It was essentially a bottom-up approach

movement, with people demanding, protesting and ultimately getting what they wanted. This

movement saw a large scale uprising and spread like a forest fire. Social Change is dependent

upon Political change and vice versa.35

Tracing the evolution and the very concept of state reorganizations, it is important to note

that the Government, by postponing division and deliberation created huge problems. The

amendment which should have been brought before the independence to set the things clear,

was brought 9 years after that. By this time, the people had a feeling of dissatisfaction and

unhappiness. In the process of nationalism of India, language was understood as a uniting factor.

By denying the amendment, the government was overlooking the homogeneity that people

shared. It is illogical to put people of different cultures and aspirations together. The amendment

and the allied acts that were passed provided a respite, if not to all, at least to some states. The

composition of council of states and Lok Sabha participation underwent a substantial change.

36This change aimed to ensure maximum representation which could be ensured by changing

the composition. The provision in article 81(1) (b) that "the States shall be divided, grouped or

formed into territorial constituencies" will no longer be appropriate, since after reorganization

each of the States will be large enough to be divided into a number of constituencies.37


Punjab post reorganization proved to be more volatile and violent, the sociology of Punjab underwent a change

by a legal change. On the other hand, with clear demarcation of states like Gujarat and Maharashtra, the economy

too has witnessed a boost. The same applies to the case of Uttarakhand as well.

Clause 3 of The Amendment, which brought about a complete change in the fourth schedule, which provided a


change in the composition of the council of states.


Under the Seventh Amendment, the existing distinction among Part A, Part B, Part C, and Part D states was

abolished. The distinction between Part A and Part B states was removed, becoming known simply as "states". A

new type of entity, the union territory, replaced the classification as a Part C or Part D state.

A further Act also came into effect on 1 November, transferring territories from Bihar to West Bengal.


Constitution seeks to promote the interest of linguistic, economically backward sections and


citizens. With a large state, the population will also be huge which makes the approachability of

the government functioning even at the state level tough inspite of a federal structure, healthy

competition among smaller states40

promote and with territorial animosity and conflicts, fraternity cannot be ensured. Even after

provisions in the constitution of India, there are still demands for new states. The committees

formed in this regard, must carry out viability test, present day situation and consequences

For some, government has appointed a committee41

loom in uncertainty42

smaller state implies more inter-state disputes and infrastructural challenges for the new states,

besides battling a feeling of disintegration.43

commission at this time.4445

being in consistency with the principles of democracy and unity, at the same time ensuring equal

opportunities and empowerment.46

The preamble to the constitution specifically seeks to ensure ‘Equality’ for all its

. Fraternity is something that the constitution seeks to

to look into the matter, while the rest still

. The government should act before it gets too late. At the same time, a

There is a severe need for a second reorganization

Ultimately the advantages and disadvantages can be weighed by


Article 29, The Constitution of India


Ahmedabad St. Xaviers College v State of Gujarat &Anr. 1974 AIR 1389


Punjab and Haryana being an example.


It is recommended that the members of the committee should hail from the place in dispute. This would ensure a

better, and a more subjective analysis of the situation.

Harit Pradesh in western Uttar Pradesh, Vindhyachal in Madhya Pradesh, Telengana in Andhra Pradesh, Vidarbha


in Maharashtra, Kodagu in Karnataka, Gorkhaland and Kamtapuri in West Bengal and Bodoland in Assam.


Indian Polity latest developments and related basics, reorganization of states [Internet]. Available on: http://, last visited on March 2nd


Singh R. (2010) Need for the Second States Reorganisation Commission, Mainstream Weekly February 27th


Also, the government must ensure that the majority doesn’t rule over the minority like Sri Lanka, nor should the

government appease minority rule. It should be, as far as possible an unbiased approach.


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