Regional attitude as threat to National Unity

Regionalism is putting regional interests and ideas above national interests. India being a big nation with huge diversity, regionalism is inevitable. Regionalism in acceptable levels produce positive results like growth and development of the region. The recent trends of increasing regionalism is giving out negative results and has become a threat to the national unity. The following are the ways in which regionalism is posing the integrity of nation:

  • Emergence of regional political parties as a result of secessionist tendencies. This trend is polarising citizens of the country on regional lines. Example, Telugu Desam Party of Andhra Pradesh, DMK and AIDMK of Tamil Nadu.
  • Its effect on legislation and executive is also evident. To maintain majority in the house, the ruling party has to form coalition with regional parties. This is leading to a situation where regional demand is portrayed as national demand.
  • International diplomacy is also affected to a great level due to weak centre and coalition government. The previous government was forced to abstain from attending commonwealth heads meeting in Sri Lanka due to the animosity between Tamil Nadu and Sri Lanka. 
  • Mass mobilisation for regional causes is taking violent turn. Non violent means to achieve the ends are transformed to violent means. The recent bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh saw violent agitations across the state which caused huge damage to public property. 
  • Regionalism reached that stage where it is equivalent to be an internal security threat to the country. It is causing friction among states. The hostility is being established on grounds of boundary disputes, irrigation issues, etc. The great dispute on sharing of Kaveri river water between states of Tamil Nadu and Karnataka is never ending. Recent attacks on the Tamil people in Karnataka show how relations between states effect innocent civilians. 
  • Citizen’s fundamental rights are also affected by regionalism. Migrants from one state to another state are attacked on the backdrop of regionalism. This violates the freedom to move and settle anywhere in the country. Examples are present everywhere in different scales, from civilian attacks on North East state natives in the country’s capital to organised ULFA militants against Bihari and Bengali migrants. 

Regionalism essentially is not harmful. Its ill effects are only the results of poor political ideologies. This could be brought under control through establishing cooperative federalism. The setting up of NITI Aayog is a step towards the same. NITI Aayog is aiming to respect the regional diversity and bring out competitive  and cooperative federalism through its various initiatives. 

Question for UPSC Mains:
"Increasing regional attitude is a direct threat to the unity and integrity of India." Discuss.

Published: December 30, 2017 | Modified:December 30, 2017

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