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State PCS

Mains Practice Questions

  • Q. Regionalism has different types of manifestations. In the line of this statement suggest measures to deal with it. (250 Words)

    03 Oct, 2022 GS Paper 1 Indian Society


    • Start your answer by giving a brief about Regionalism.
    • Discuss the different types of regionalism.
    • Discuss the reasons behind regionalism.
    • Conclude your answer by giving a way forward.


    Regionalism is the expression of a common sense of identity and purpose by people within a specific geographical region, united by its unique language, culture, language, etc.

    In a positive sense, it encourages people to develop a sense of brotherhood and oneness which seeks to protect the interests of a particular region and promotes the welfare and development of the state and its people.

    In the negative sense, it implies excessive attachment to one’s region which is a great threat to the unity and integrity of the country.


    Types of Regional Movements

    • Secessionism: It is a form of regionalism that involves militant and fundamentalist groups advocating a separation from India on the basis of ethnicity or any other factor.
    • Separatism is a demand for separate statehood within the Indian Union. This kind of sub-regionalism was validated by the State Reorganisation Act of 1956. The most recent examples include the formation of Uttarakhand, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, and Telangana.
    • Demand for Full Statehood, the union territories have been forwarding such demands like the NCT of Delhi. Most of such demands have already been accepted. In 1971, Himachal Pradesh got the status of a full state and thereafter Manipur, Tripura, Mizoram, Arunachal Pradesh (former NEFA) and Sikkim got full statehoods
    • The Demand for Autonomy, since 1960s, with the emergence of regional parties, the demand for state autonomy has been gaining more and more strength due to the central political interferences.
    • Demand for Regional Autonomy within a State, in some of the states, people belonging to various regions have been demanding recognition of their regional identities. The genesis of such demands lies in the regional imbalances resulting from inefficient planning for instance in J & K, the Ladakhis are demanding a regional status.

    Reasons behind Growth of Regionalism in India

    • Historical and geographical isolation: Some regions or areas have traditionally remained outside of the ambit of big populated areas and even the terrain of the areas is not good for connectivity which promotes the feeling of distinct identity.
    • Lop-sided development: Some of the regions are less developed than others which creates a feeling of relative deprivation in the minds of the people of another region.
    • Continuous neglect of a region by the government for the consideration of different development projects promotes the feeling of regionalism.
    • Insider-outsider complex that nurturers nativism and son-of-the-soil ideology
    • Internal colonialism, i.e., despite being rich in natural resources some regions remain economically underdeveloped. The reasons being either ill-conceived top-down approach or survival of one region at the cost of the other region. Chhota Nagpur plateau is an example of this type of underdevelopment.
    • Political vested interests can accentuate and exploit regional loyalties.
    • Reaction to an imposed ideology that can make its appearance as a reaction against the perceived imposition of a particular ideology, language or cultural pattern on all people and groups.
    • Linguistic aspirations that have remained a formidable basis of regionalism.

    Way Forward

    • Unity in Diversity ethos needs to be preserved for the pluralistic character of the Indian nation state.
    • The accommodation of multiple aspirations of a diverse population is necessary.
    • Bottom-Up Approach: The formation of the NITI Aayog has been a positive step to enhance co-operative federalism by fostering the involvement of the State Governments of India in the economic policy-making process using a bottom-up approach.
    • Effective Implementation of Government Schemes: While a number of steps such as the launch of centrally sponsored schemes, and incentives to private players for development in backward states have been taken by the government for inclusive development, there is a greater need for their effective implementation.
    • There is a need to increase the level of social expenditure by the states on education, health, and sanitation which are the core for human resource development.
    • Introducing a system of national education that would help people to overcome regional feelings and develop an attachment towards the nation can act as a long-term solution to the problem of sub-nationalism.
    • Full Utilisation of National Integration Council: While the National Integration Council was set up in 1961, there is a need to utilise its potential more effectively.

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