Regionalism is a feeling or an ideology among a section of people residing in a particular geographical space characterized by unique language, culture etc. and the feeling that they are the sons of the soil and every opportunity that exists in their land must be accorded to them first and not to the outsiders. It is a sort of Parochialism. In most of the cases it is raised for expedient political gains.
‘Regionalism’ has come in different forms and accompanied by varying degrees of violence. The first and most legitimate kind of regionalism has demanded a separate space or state of one’s own. This variety of regionalism was pioneered by the Telugu-speaking residents of the ...view middle of the document...
The redrawing of India’s map still left people dissatisfied. The success of regionalism spawned a new species which academics were to name sub-regionalism. For, within the new states based on language, there existed groups who were minorities in the state as a whole, but who occupied a definite territory within it, and who, by virtue of language or ethnicity, had enough to bring them together and o bind them against the majority community in that state. These communities include the Nepalis in West Bengal and the Bodo-speakers in Assam, both of whom organised movements for separate states of their own, but had to be content in the end with autonomous councils within the existing order. More successful were the hill people of Uttar Pradesh, whose protests delivered to them a new state called Uttaranchal, and the tribal and other residents of the Chhotanagpur Plateau, who were finally to claim, the state of Jharkhand.
An early manifestation of regionalism was the Telangana movement. The princely ruler of Hyderabad, the Nizam, had attempted unsuccessfully to maintain Hyderabad as an independent state separate from India in 1947. Starting in July 1946, communist-led guerrilla squads began overthrowing local feudal village regimes and organizing land reform in Telugu –speaking areas of Hyderabad, collectively known as Telangana (an ancient name for the region dating from the Vijayanagar period). In time, about 3000 villages and some 41000 square kilometers of territory were involved in the revolt. Faced with the refusal of the Nizam of Hyderabad to accede his territory to India and the violence of the communist-led rebellion, the Central government sent in the army in September 1948. By November 1949, Hyderabad 1949, Hyderabad had been suppressed. The effect of the 1946-51 rebellion and communist electoral victories in 1952 had led to the destruction of Hyderabad and set the scene for the establishment of a new state along linguistic lines. In 1953, based on the recommendation of the States Reorganisation Commission, Telugu-speaking areas were separated from the former Madras States to form Andhra, India’s first state established along linguistic lines. The commission also contemplated establishing Telangana as a separate state, but instead Telangana was merged with Andhra to form the new state of Andhra Pradesh in 1956.
The concerns about Telangana were manifold. The region had a less developed economy than Andhra, but a larger revenue base which Telangana feared might be diverted for use in Andhra. They also feared that planned dam projects on the Krishna and Godavari rivers would not benefit Telangana proportionately even though Telanganas controlled the headwaters of the rivers. Telanganas feared too that the people of Andhra would have the advantage in jobs, particularly in government and education.
The central government decided to ignore the recommendation to establish a separate Telangana state and, instead,...