Various forms of Regional Conflicts:
- Demand for Secession from Indian Union
It is extreme form of regionalism that region demand that it wants to break away from the Indian union. The DMK in Tamil Nadu, the Akali Dal in Punjab and the Mizos and Nagas in North-East India and more recently the supporters of Khalistan movements had demanded session from India. However, no moment of secession has been successful.
- Demands for Separate Statehood
Another form in which regionalism has found an expression in India is that some of the areas have been demanding a separate statehood, but the people of the area could develop their language and culture. This demand is mainly raised with the view to attain a distinct political entity for the people of a particular region. This type of regionalism gained momentum after the reorganization of the states on linguistic basis.
- Demand due to Imbalanced Development
The states that were established on the basis of language were very big in size and as a result, there was imbalance development in those states. Resources were inequitably distributed. Hence, some sub-regions remained underdeveloped. This led to a demand for separate state in these sub-regions. Demand for establishment of Vidarbha is one of the examples of such in balanced development.
- Demand for full-fledged Statehood
After the passing of State Reorganization Act, there were two categories of units in the country, viz., the States and the Union Territories. Regionalism found its expression in the latter when UTs demanded that they should be given the status of full-fledged state. The agitation of these UTs became so intense that with the passage of time the Union Territories of Himachal Pradesh, Manipur, Tripura, Goa, Mizoram and Arunachal Pradesh got full statehood.
- Inter-State Boundary Disputes
Another form of regionalism is in the form of interstate disputes. There is a dispute over Chandigarh between Punjab and Haryana. There are boundary disputes, for example, between Maharashtra and Karnataka on Belgaum where Marathi speaking population is surrounded by Kannada speaking people.
- Inter-State Water Disputes
The first important dispute regarding use of water resources over three rivers namely Narmada, in which the states of Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Gujarat and Maharashtra were involved. Another dispute arose among states of Maharashtra Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh over the use and distribution of waters of river Krishna and dispute also arose over the use of Kaveri waters among the states of Tamil Nadu Kerala and Karnataka.
Forms of Linguistic Conflicts:
There were series of agitations that happened in Tamil Nadu during both pre-and post-independence period. The agitations involved several mass protests, riots, student and political movements in Tamil Nadu regarding anti-Hindi agitations. The anti-English riots in the 50s had its demonstrations began in Northern states of UP, Bihar, MP and Rajasthan. The mobs who were mostly students indulged in the act of lawlessness and violence involving destruction of govt. property. The struggle for protecting Marathi and Marathi and interest were taken into consideration by Shiv Sena and now the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) which are aggressively advocating the cause of Marathi language and people. The majority linguistic community in Maharashtra feels marginalized and hence a sizeable section support Shiv Sena and the MNS.
Effects of Regionalism and Linguistic Conflicts:
Regionalism led to establishment of regional parties. Several regional parties such as Akali Dal, Shiv Sena, Asom Gana Parishad and more recently MNS came into force. After 1967, many regional parties came to power in states and not only aspired to capture power in their respective states but also started playing an important role in the national politics. Today, both National Parties that is Congress and BJP have to establish pre-and post-poll alliances with regional parties to gain majority in the Lok Sabha. Leaders like NT Rama Rao, Anna Durai, Bal Thackeray, Mamata Banerjee also gained popularity in the respective regions for taking up the cause of the regional growth and development, also started playing an important role in national politics.
Several regional leaders started talking about outsiders and said that they cornered jobs which should have been given to the local people. Bal Thackeray began campaign against South Indians in the late 60s. Now Raj Thackeray, the leader of MNS is now campaigning against the illegal influx of people from UP and Bihar especially in Mumbai. Nowadays, no party in many of the states or at the Centre could come to power on its own. Parties have to establish coalition governments in which regional parties are playing an important role.
To conclude, it can be said that regionalism and linguistic disputes have proved to be a cause of disparity and division of society. As far as the negative undertone is dominant, they will continue to be hazardous for peaceful development of the nation.
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