What is the basis of regionalism? Is it that unequal distribution of benefits of development on regional basis eventually promotes regionalism? Substantiate your answer.

Regionalism is the identity movement which according to Harihar Bhattacharya is fuelled by deprivation and neglect and in context of Indian society is rooted in culture, religion, tribes, language and is integrated by geographical concentration of the same.
Paul Brass cites this to be driven from religion, caste, community instead of a pan-Indian identity.
In democratic societies like India, there are great expectations of development and when the development falls short of expectations and it lags behind other regions, the forces of regionalism become strong.
This type of regionalism finds its origin in the colonial India where the government emphasised on developing princely states more than the other states and the North-Eastern states in particular were deprived of the fruits of development.
In 1959 when famine struck Assam, the government put little to no emphasis on Mizo people living there which led the formation of Mizo National Front demanding a sovereign Mizo state.
The Naga movement also arose due to the negligence of Naga tribes which had to accommodate with the majority Assamese and Bengali population in Assam.
The 6-point plan by Indira Gandhi government in the case of Telangana was aimed at equal distribution of jobs and resources with Telangana natives in Andhra upon failure of which the separatist movement gained strongholds.
Son of the soil movement gained popularity across many states which aims at sharing development with indigenous people and removing outsiders access to it.
The creation of Jharkhand and Ch’garh was due to the fact that despite having rich resources, these states were still backwards as the benefits of the resources didn’t reach the target.
Thus, it could be said that regionalism also gets enhanced by economic disparities. (Contributed by Ankit Shubham)

Question for UPSC Mains:
What is the basis of regionalism? Is it that unequal distribution of benefits of development on regional basis eventually promotes regionalism? Substantiate your answer.

Published: December 5, 2016 | Modified:April 5, 2020

Comments