Reasons for the Formation of States Reorganization Commission (SRC) under Fazal Ali in 1953-Main Provisions and Recommendations of SRC-Dr. B. R. Ambedkar’s views on SRC and smaller states.

The presidential order under 371(1) constituted AP Regional committee order, 1958 was issued on February, 1958. Word Telangana was omitted and council has been changed to Committee. It was wide powers on subjects like local self Governments, public health, primary and secondary education, regulation of admissions in Telangana educational institutions, prohibition of liquors, sale of agricultural lands, Cottage and small scale industries, agriculture, markets, development and economic planning. All the legislatures and MPs were members of this committee, the chairmen was given Cabinet Rank. Telangana Regional Committee made volumes of reports on Telangana problems. This committee has used its powers to report but it has no powers to implement and administer. This Regional Committee from the beginning worked hard for the implementation of Gentlemen’s Agreement. State Governments never shown sympathy towards the issues raised by the Regional Committee. In the year 1968 Regional Committee chairman Chokka Rao brought pressure over state and Central Governments to stop illegal shifting of Telangana funds to Andhra, for the implementation of Mulki Rules and against rules that helping Andhra employee’s promotions in getting promotions illegally. Telangana Movement politicians entered. Hence it is false that, the politicians developed Telangana Movement. But Telangana Movement was a result of exploitation of Telangana people’s land, resources and employment by the Andhra dominant class. The movement which was started for the implementation of safeguards given to Telangana, converted in to the formation of Telangana Separate state because of their attitude towards Telangana people.

Formation of Linguistic States:–

 India is a land of many languages, each with its distinct script, grammar, vocabulary and literary tradition. In 1917, the Congress Party had committed itself to the creation of linguistic provinces in a Free India. After Congress’s Nagpur Session in 1920, the principle was extended and formalized with the creation of provincial Congress Committee by linguistic zones.

The linguistic reorganization of the Congress was encouraged and supported by Mahatma Gandhi. After the bitter partition on the basis of religion the then PM Nehru was apprehensive of dividing country further on the basis of language.

Dhar commission

During that time some Marathi speaking Congress members raised the pitches for separate Maharashtra State. Following this demand, other language speaking people too demands a separate state for them. Hence, Constituent Assembly in 1948 appointed the Linguistic Provinces Commission, headed by Justice S.K. Dhar, to enquire into the desirability of linguistic provinces.

The Dhar Commission advised against this at that time reason being it might threaten national unity and also be administratively inconvenient.  

JVP Committee

After some time the clamor for linguistic states again got momentum. To appease the vocal votaries of linguistic states, the congress appoints a committee (JVP) in December 1948 consisting of Nehru, Sardar Patel and Pattabhi Sitaramayya to examine the question afresh. This JVP Committee revoked the seal of approval that the congress has once put on the principle of linguistic provinces.

The demands for separate state on the linguistic basis didn’t subside. There were renewed movements aimed at linguistic autonomy in 1948, 1949. There was the campaign for Samyukta Karnataka, uniting Kannada speaking spread across the states of Madras, Mysore, Bombay, Hyderabad, Samyukta Maharashtra, Maha Gujarat movement. In case of Punjab, struggle brought together both the factors language and religion (Sikh).

Andhra Movement

After Independence, the speakers of Telugu asked the congress to implement its old resolution in favour of linguistic states.

On 19 October 1952, a popular freedom fighter, Potti Sriramulu undertook a fast unto death over the demand for a separate Andhra and expired after fifty-eight days. After his death people were agitated and it was followed by rioting, demonstrations, hartals and violence all over Andhra. The Vishalandhra movement (as the movement for a separate Andhra was called) turned violent. Finally, the then PM, Nehru announced the formation of a separate Andhra State in December 1952.

State Reorganization Commission

The formation of Andhra Pradesh spurred the struggle for making of other states on linguistic lines in other parts of the country.

Hence Nehru appointed in August 1953 the states Reorganisation Commission (SRC) with justice Fazl Ali, K.M. Panikkar and Hridaynath Kunzru as members, to examine “objectively and dispassionately” the entire question of the reorganization of the states of the Union. The SRC submitted its report in October 1955. It recognized for the most part on the linguistic principle and recommended redrawing of state boundaries on that basis.

The then government accepted the SRC’s recommendations. Finally, the states Reorganization Act was passed by parliament in November 1956. It provided for fourteen states and six centrally administered territories. SRC opposed the splitting of Bombay & Punjab.

Recommendations

  • It submitted its report in September 1955 and widely accepted language as the basis for state reorganization.
  • It identified four major factors that should be considered in any scheme of state reorganization:
    • Preservation and strengthening of the unity and security of the country.
    • Linguistic and cultural homogeneity.
    • Financial, economic, and administrative considerations.
    • Planning and promotion of the welfare of the people in each state as well as of the nation as a whole.
  • The commission suggested the abolition of the four-fold classification of states and territories under the original Constitution and the creation of 16 states and 3 centrally administered territories.
  • It also recommended that the institution of Rajapramukh and special agreement with former princely states should be abolished.
  • It also recommended that the general control by the government of India as per Article 371should be repealed.
Significance

Significance

  • It rejected the ‘one language, one state’ theory.
  • Its position was that India’s unity should be the primary consideration in any redrawing of the country’s political units.
  • The Indian government accepted these recommendations with minor changes.
  • The State Reorganisation Act of 1956 and the 7th Constitutional Amendment Act of 1956 abolished the distinction between Part A and Part B states, as well as Part C states.
  • Some were merged with neighboring states, while others were designated as union territories.
  • As a result, on November 1, 1956, 14 states and six union territories were formed.

Dr. B. R. Ambedkar’s views on SRC and smaller states

As a chairman of the drafting committee of the Constitution, Ambedkar gave particular attention to the demand of linguistic states during the formative years of 1947-53.Ambedkar consistently argued that the proposed linguistic states would become socially more homogeneous and politically democratic in due course of time. His proposals about the formation of linguistic states emanated from his democratic impulse to accord political and cultural recognition to the term region, otherwise defined predominantly in a geographical spatial sense. He gave importance to the size of the population of a state and had suggested the creation of present-day Uttaranchal, Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh in his writings. He wanted Bombay to be a separate city state, while Maharashtra would remain representative of Gujaratis and Marathis. The idea of one state, one language that he defended over one language, one state was predominantly guided by his quest for development, justice, equality and freedom for the untouchables and dalits who could perhaps learn the language of the new state and participate in its political and administrative affairs.

With the Andhra movement gaining ground during this period, Ambedkar recognised and emphasised the immediacy and urgency to meet with the demands for linguistic states from different parts of the country, and admitted that it would be better to subside the issue of linguistic provinces now than to have a break up of the country like the Turkish empire or Austro-Hungary empire. In his view, linguistic provinces were to achieve limited political realisations, and linguistic identity need not be counted as the political ideology of the nation state. Therefore, the creation of linguistic provinces does not have to coincide necessarily with the making of provincial language/s as official language/s because there can only be one official language. He seems to be aware of the dangers of linguistic majoritarianism and minorityism arising out of complex processes of political patronage and protection offered to dominant linguistic communities at the time of state formation and consolidation of the national identity.

 

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