Reorganisation of States
reorganisation of States is undertaken periodically to accommodate administrative ease or set at rest political turmoil that demands it. Read on to know more.
The Indian subcontinent had over 565 native or Indian states in 1947, at the time of its Independence, and in the initial years after independence, the states were categorized as Part A, B, C, and D. The Government of India had formed a State reorganisation committee on 29th December 1953 to overlook the process of reorganisation of states in the country. A lot of ideas were taken into consideration before the states were reorganised in independent India. The States and Union Territories came into existence only after the reorganisation of states was completed in the country.
Reorganisation of states into 4 parts in the initial years of independence?
Part A: Regions that were provinces having governors during the times of British India were categorized into this part. An elected governor and a state legislature ruled these groups of states. Bombay, Madras, Punjab, Orissa, West Bengal, and Uttar Pradesh were categorized into the Part A states
Part B: The regions that were formerly princely or groups of princely states fell under this category. A Rajpramukh was elected by the President of India to rule over these states. Patiala and the East Punjab State Unions or PEPSU, Hyderabad, Jammu and Kashmir, Madhya Bharat, Rajasthan, Saurashtra, Mysore, and Travancore-Cochin were known as the Part B states.
Part C: The states included in Part C of both some princely states and chief commissioner’s provinces. These states were ruled by a chief commissioner and similar to the Rajpramukh of Part B states, the chief commissioner was also appointed by the President of India. Ajmer, Bhopal, Coorg, Delhi, Himachal Pradesh, Bilaspur, Manipur, Tripura, Kutch, and Vindhya Pradesh were the Part C states in India.
Part D: Only the Andaman and Nicobar Islands were referred to as the part D states. The central government appoints a Lieutenant Governor who governs this province.
Reorganisation of States in Independent-India
The drafting committee for the reorganisation of states in India was headed by H N Kunzru, Fazal Ali, and KM Panikkar. They took various existing views into consideration and deeply looked into the matter before redrawing the existing boundaries of states. Their first consideration was to reorganize and name the newly formed states according to the native languages of the region. The underlying idea of this proposal was to mitigate the existing caste and religion-based difference and replace it with less controversial topics like linguistic identities.
What is the reorganisation of States?
The reorganisation committee successfully managed to merge over 500 native or Indian states into 27 states. This reorganisation by the committee was carried out by taking political and historic views into consideration. However, this particular reorganisation was carried out on a temporary basis. Over the course of 2 years, the reorganisation committee had submitted a report in 1955, based on which the Indian government passed the ‘State reorganisation Act’ in November 1956. After the passing of this Act, Independent-India 14 different states and 6 union territories which marked successful endeavour of reorganisation of states.
The State reorganisation Commission stated that a single test of language or culture is an insufficient basis for reorganizing states in the country. At a later point in time, they realized that reorganizing states would ease administration for the government and would promote the development of vernacular languages. Apart from language, the reorganizing commission also accounted for the cultural affiliations while conducting reorganisation of states.
The primary reason to use language as a basis for reorganisation of states is that local people would play an important role in administration because of a common language. This made administration easy for the government. Another area of interest was the development of native languages, an aspect that was never considered in the British period. While the existing areas and regions were organized, new states and union territories were formed because of cultural and social affiliations and the need to preserve the culture and traditions of some regions (in the case of Puducherry and Daman and Diu, which were made union territories).
Independent India had over 565 native or Indian states which was a very big challenge for the administration. Thus, leaders of those times, including Jawaharlal Nehru, Sardar Vallabhai Patel, and Pattabhi Sitaramayya formed a committee to resolve the issue and decided for the reorganisation of states. Initially, the reorganisation of states was done temporarily based on political and historical viewpoints, which later turned out to create more problems within the country. Hence, over the years the government adopted linguistic grounds for the separation and managed to reorganize India into 14 states. Over the next couple of decades, various events in history led to the formation, bifurcation, and elimination of states in the country, and today in 2022, India has about 29 states and 8 Union Territories.