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Post independence consolidation of india

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  • 2016

    6. Has the formation of linguistic states strengthened the cause of Indian unity? (2016)

    Though the demand for linguistic states precedes India’s independence, it was resisted by national leaders in the early years of independence. It was feared that demand for separate states along linguistic lines would endanger the unity of the young nation. It was felt that linguistic states may foster separatism and create pressures on the newly founded nation.

    However, the prophets of gloom and doom have been disproved. Linguistic states have strengthened not weakened Indian unity. It did not lead to the disintegration of the country as was feared. By accepting linguistic claims of all regions, the threat of division and separatism was reduced. The linguistic states underlined the acceptance of the principle of diversity. By embracing democracy, India did not merely adopt this format of elections, but it was a choice in favour of recognizing and accepting the existence of difference which could at times be oppositional. By reorganizing states on linguistic lines, a major grievance and source of discord was removed which could have led to separatist tendencies.

    Further, linguistic states have in no manner adversely affected the federal structure of the union. The central government wields as much authority as it did before. If anything, national government has been strengthened by the creation of coherent state units which could be administered through a medium that the vast majority of the population understands.

    In hindsight, instead of being a force of division, language has proved to be a cementing and integrating influence.

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