Solution: Daily Problem Practice [Modern India: Week 28]- 23 April
Q. Has the formation of linguistic States strengthened the cause of Indian Unity? [10 Marks]
India was fragmented into 565 princely states and a number of provinces when it became free. After independence and their integration with India, there began the process of organising them into politically and economically viable administrative units.
First the Dhar commission, and then the JVP commission rejected the reorganization of states on linguistic basis but Fazl Ali commission in 1953 accepted the basis of language while giving primacy to administrative convenience and in this way, Andhra Pradesh became the first state to be formed on linguistic basis followed by Gujarat, Maharashtra etc.
How the formation of linguistic states strengthened the cause of Indian unity –
- Creating linguistic states helped each state to officially patronize its language. People were assured that their culture & language were secure, had no problem in learning other languages or appreciating other cultures out of their own free-will.
- By accepting diversity instead of seeking to level it, India had indirectly strengthened the federal fabric of the nation and forestalled escalation of region-centric grievances into violent forms. It helped in strengthening unity within the nation.
- Many states formed on the linguistic basis have been forerunners of development in the country and has contributed in its unity and integrity by bringing economic prosperity. For example – Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra etc.
- It has enabled the preservation of local customs, cultures and festivals and over time, people of one state has started to cherish these things of other states contributing to strengthening of Indian nationhood.
- It has also contributed to promotion of vernacular languages, primary education in vernacular language, peoples’ participation in the democratic process due to use of their local languages etc. thus in a sense, strengthening the roots of Indian democracy and adding to its cause of Unity.
- Other examples of other neighbour countries like Sri Lanka and Pakistan also points towards the same. For example – In case of Sri Lanka, imposition of a majority language over minority Tamils led to prolonged civil war and loss of thousands of lives and still peace eludes the country. In case of Pakistan, crushing of Bengali speaking citizens led to independence of Bangladesh. Whereas in India, linguistic reorganisation has added to the strength of nation and its unity and integrity.
However, there are also downsides of this linguistic reorganisation like –
- Sons of the soil doctrine and attack on outsiders like attack on Hindi speaking people in Maharashtra by Marathi speaking activists for political gains.
- Conflicts over interstate river dispute, inter state boundary disputes etc also witness the mobilisation of people on the linguistic lines and the resultant violence and arson which raises question mark over linguistic organisation. For example – Violence and conflicts witnessed between Tamil Nadu and Karnataka over Cauvery water.
On the whole, the linguistic organisation of states have strengthened the cause of Unity and integrity barring few instances here and there and it has prevented the balkanization of India which was forecasted by many western political commentators.
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