Regionalism In India: Two Case Studies

Tehnaz Dastoor
The purpose of this study is to investigate if regionalism in India would cause the secession of any of its parts into independent states. Two case studies are used: North-East India and Punjab. North-East India is examined during the years of riots which developed into large scale violence from 1979 to the signing of an agreement between New Delhi and Assam in 1985. Punjab was studied from India's post-independence status through the 1984 violence at the Golden Temple, which led to the
more » ... ation of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi and to the signing of the accord between New Delhi and moderate Sikh leader Harchand Singh Longowal. The thesis concludes by reiterating the theme of "unity through diversity" and illustrates that regional problems in India can be contained when the central leadership in New Delhi is responsive and deliberate in its actions. v The second chapter shall deal with the case study of North Eastern India and its importance for regional politics in the country. The North East during the period between 1979-81 was in a state of turmoil regarding the issue of whether "foreigners" should be allowed to vote. These "foreigners" were people from the bordering states of West Bengal, Nepal and Bangladesh. The North Easterners felt that too many outsiders, mainly Bengalis, would swamp the vote in their own favor, shunting the native population to the position of second class citizens. Hence, they revolted against this so called illegitimate vote, striking against the government and causing a total breakdown of all communication within this region. Naturally when the issue could not be resolved through normal channels of communication, President's rule was imposed, and after a year of turmoil and turbulence, the situation was eventually stabilized by the central authority.7 The various books which shall be used to facilitate the writing of this chapter are Hill Politics in the North East by Shibanikinkar Chaube, Conflict in Nagaland by V.K. Anand, Social and Economic profile in North East India edited by B. Datta Ray, Problems of the Hill Tribes. North-East Frontier. 1873-1962 by H.K. Barpeigoni and Minority Safeguards in India by K.K. Wadhwa. Regarding the daily events between 1979-81, various newspapers articles, journals and literary magazines have also been utilized.
doi:10.21220/s2-pw4p-kw96 fatcat:sdyg254jxzhwdiapgdm2mdamne