Reorganisation of States
Need of Second State Reorganisation Commission
● Recently, Chairman of the PM - Economic Advisory Council Bibek Debroy had spoken of the need for a 2nd State Reorganisation Commission as an agenda for further reform.
● There has been increasing demand for separate state status fuelling in various regions of India such as Gorkhaland in West Bengal, Bodoland in Assam etc. A similar trend was observed in 2000 when the three new states Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and Uttarakhand were formed.
Need of Second State Reorganisation Commission to fulfil the demand for separate state status fuelling in various regions of India. Critically Examine.
States Reorganisation Commission:
The States Reorganisation Commission was constituted under the chairmanship of Fazl Ali by the Union government in 1953 to recommend the reorganisation of state boundaries. It identified four major factors that can be taken into account in any scheme of reorganisation of states:
Constitutional provision for reorganisation of states:
● Under Article 3 of the Indian constitution, the Union is empowered to form a new State by separation of territory from any State or by uniting two or more States and so on.
Reasons for the rise in demand for separate states:
● Linguistic and cultural reasons: Post-independence, States such as Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Punjab and Haryana were born as a consequence of the demand for separate statehood based on language.
● Perceived negligence by the political executive: All the three states formed in 2000 were much richer in natural resources than their mother states but were more backward. It was the political apathy of the mother statesthat forced people in these regions to demand separate states.
● Unbalanced and inequitable growth has created intrastate disparity: Similarly, the demand for Purvanchal, the eastern part of Uttar Pradesh, is primarily based on demand for development.
● Regional and cultural identity: The demand for Bodoland, a separate state in Western Assam, is also primarily based on the conflict over land resources between the ethnic Bodos and other communities in the region; the Bodos are also demanding statehood based on ethnic identity.
● Liberalisation of Indian economy: The establishment of a market economy, too, has opened the floodgates to private capital that has led to increasing regional inequalities and, thus, contributed to the rising demands for smaller states.
The Need for Second State Reorganisation Commission:
● The reorganisation of the state will fulfil the long-standing aspirations of the people for faster growth and development on all fronts.
● End of the politics of cultural identity and regional deprivation as part of separate statehood movements.
● Better governance and greater participation, administrative convenience, economic viability and attention to developmental needs of subregions of state.
● Internal security issues arising from border conflict between states will be resolved.
● Better inter-state relation and centre-state relation.
● Expenditure on development of state infrastructure like Amaravati in Andhra Pradesh.
● Domino effect concerning demands from other regions of India.
● The formation of a smaller State is no guarantee for a better Human Development Index. Smaller states like Uttarakhand continue to be at the lower end in the Human Development Index.
● Many critics have correctly argued that the mere creation of smaller states out of the existing bigger ones does not guarantee good governance and faster and inclusive economic development.
The creation of a federation consisting of smaller states is a complex task and requires careful attention. Considering the plethora of demands being raised, it is time for a second States Reorganisation Commission (SRC) that can redraw India’s federal map, creating many smaller states and keeping in mind the twin criteria of economic viability and people’s aspirations.