Regionalism and Seperatism

  • The emergence and growth of demands for separate independent states out of India, demands for full statehood for different areas, demands for regional autonomy, and advocacy of regional interests over and above the national interests, all reflect the presence of strong and parochial regionalism in India.
  • The phenomenon of regionalism starts with the identification of parts of territory as separate regions.Different variables operate in different degrees like geography, religion, language, customs, historical, traditions, economic development and political culture. Regionalism has a negative connotation while regional aspirations are positive.
  • Separatist demands from different states like Jammu and Kashmir, Manipur, Nagaland, Mizoram, Punjab and Tripura were raised from time to time.
  • Kashmir issue is not only a dispute between India and Pakistan but also has internal and external dimensions. Akali Dal, the political party of the Sikhs led a movement for the formation of a ‘Punjabi suba’.
  • In Tamil Nadu the movement for reorganisationof state on linguistic basis was continued by the political party DMK. After independence, the Naga tribes residing in the hills of Assam raised a demand for an independent Naga state.
  • Mizo National Front (MNF) started an armed struggle campaign for greater autonomy from Assam.
  • The people of India enjoy a uniform and equal citizenship. Secessionism in every form needs to be checked by forceful implementation of the law and operationalisation of a well-designed socialisation process.
  • There is need to check the evil effects of regional imbalances by taking remedial measures against them. Well planned and concerted efforts for controlling regional imbalances alone can lead to a really widespread process of socio-economic development.

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