Regionalism in India

There are various aspects that unite the people living in a particular region. A region is characterized by a common language, culture, demographic composition, geographical features, social, historical and political backgrounds. Hence a person tends to be very loyal to a distinct region more than to the country. Regionalism implies excessive loyalty to one’s region or state that tends to pose a danger to national unity. There are differences between the natural resources, endowments and even the levels of development of various regions. These inequalities are actually intensified by politicians who for their vested interests have directed resources for development of certain states and not others. Within states certain regions are favoured while others are neglected. These regional imbalances fuelled by political motivations are responsible for regional conflicts in India.

Regional conflicts have assumed extreme forms from time to time whether it be the demand for autonomy, river disputes or boundary disputes;

Separatist agitations – The Kashmir debate has been raging for several decades now. The people of Kashmir always live in a state of fear as internal fundamentalist threats and cross border terrorism seems to have become a daily reality for them. Telangana’s demands in Andhra Pradesh, anti- Hindi stance as well as demand for statehood by Tamil Nadu have done irreparable damage to the national identity. Jharkhand , Chhattisgarh and Uttaranchal were states created because of the inter-state disparities.

Inter-state river water disputes – the Cauvery and Krishna river water issue between Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Kerala have led to bloodshed in the recent past. Punjab and Haryana have clashed over the issue of Ravi- Beas waters.

Border disputes – For ex. Belgaum which lies on the border of Karnataka and Maharashtra has a large Marathi speaking population and was caught in a linguistic conflict with Karnataka.

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