Reorganisation of States
India is a land of diversities and is decorated with different scripts, languages, traditions etc. after the independence, the major concern of the national leaders was to decide what would be the basis of the State Reorganization.
The reorganization was needed after independence to develop a new administrative setup for this vast country which included both British provinces and princely states and, the birth of a new India has begun with the legacy of regional governance.
Reorganisation of States Category
Due to the above factors, the Reorganisation of States was needed, but it was not an easy task due to extreme physical, social, economic, cultural, political, and administrative diversities in India. After India got its independence, it adopted interim federalism on a temporary basis where four types of states were demarcated:
|Category A||All British Provinces (Governor province of British India) – Assam, Bihar, Bombay, Madhya Pradesh, Punjab, The United Provinces, West Bengal.|
|Category B||Princely states with the legislature – Hyderabad, Jammu Kashmir, Madhya Bharat, Mysore, Patiala, Eastern Punjab.|
|Category C||Medium-sized princely states – States comprising Ajmer, Bhopal, Bilaspur, Cooch- Bihar, Coorg.|
|Category D||It Included Special status states – Territories comprising The Andaman and Nicobar Islands.|
The initial integration of princely states with the rest of India was purely an ad-hoc arrangement. There were growing demands from different regions, particularly South India, for the reorganisation of states on a linguistic basis. Various commissions were established by the Government to look into the demands of the re-organisation of states.
State Reorganisation Commissions
There are some important commissions constituted for the Reorganisation of the State such as the Dhar Commission, JVP Committee and Fazal Ali Commission.
This commission was constituted in June 1948 to assess the feasibility of the linguistic organisation of states. In December 1948, the Commission submitted its report and recommended that states be organised on the basis of administrative convenience.
The recommendations of the Dhar Commission created much resentment. Another committee was set up consisting of Jawahar Lal Nehru, Vallahbhai Patel and Pattabhi Sitaramayya. The committee was named after the first letters of their first names i.e., it was known as the JVP committee.
This committee was set up in December 1948 and submitted its report in April 1949. It formally rejected language as the basis for the reorganisation of states. Potti Sreeramulu, a prominent Telugu leader was demanding Andhra State be carved out of Madras state.
To get his demands met he went on a hunger strike. However, he died in December 1952 (15 December). To calm the massive uproar of the people, the first reorganization of the state on a linguistic basis was Andhra state was created by separating Telugu-speaking areas from Madras state.
State Reorganisation Commission (Fazal Ali Commission)
The Creation of Andhra Pradesh intensified the demand for the creation of states on a linguistic basis in other regions as well. The Government was forced to re-examine the whole question. Thus, a new commission, known as the State Reorganisation (Fazal Ali Commission), was set up.
The Fazal Ali commission was a three-member State Reorganisation Commission that was set up in December 1953. Its other two members were K.M. Panikkar and H.N. Kunzru. The commission submitted its report in September 1955. It acknowledges 4 major factors for the reorganization of states:
- First, Linguistic and Cultural similarities;
- Second, strengthen and preserve the unity and integrity of India;
- Third, administrative, financial and economic considerations and
- Fourth planning and promotion of people’s welfare
State Reorganisation Commission Outcome
The Government accepted these recommendations with minor changes. States Reorganisation Act 1956 and the 7th Amendment Act 1956 were passed. The distinction between Part-A and Part-B states was repealed and Part-C states were abolished.
Some of the states were merged with adjacent states while others were designated as union territories (The term ‘Union territories’ was not there in the original constitution; it was introduced for the first time by the 7th constitutional amendment). In November 1956, India was composed of 14 States and 6 Union Territories:
|Formation of States||Important Facts|
|Andhra Pradesh||1953 – The state of Andhra Pradesh Act of 1953 created the state taking some area from the State of Madras.|
|Gujarat and Maharashtra||1960 – Bombay was divided into two States i.e., Maharashtra and Gujarat by the Bombay (Reorganization) Act, of 1960 and Gujarat became the 15th state.|
|Kerala||Created by the State Reorganization Act, of 1956. It comprised Travancore and Cochin areas.|
|Karnataka||Mysore State (Alteration of Name) Act, 1973 Changed the name of the state of Mysore to that of the State of Karnataka.|
|Dadra and Nagar Haveli||This territory was ruled by the Portuguese until it was liberated in 1954. Till 1961, the administration of the Dadar & Nagar Haveli was carried out by the administrator and the 10th Constitutional Amendment Act of 1961, made it the union territory.|
|Puducherry||Puducherry’s territory includes the former French settlements in India known as Puducherry, Karaikal, Mahe, and Yanam 1954, the French handed over this territory to India. Till 1962 Puducherry was administered as an “acquired territory” with the 14th Constitutional Amendment Act making it a union territory.|
|Nagaland||State of Nagaland Act, 1962, Created the new State of Nagaland (16th state) by taking out the Naga Hills area from Assam especially.|
|Haryana||1966 – the State of Punjab was bifurcated to create Haryana, the 17th state of the Indian Union and the union territory of Chandigarh.|
|Himachal Pradesh||1970 – Himachal Pradesh were elevated to the status of State by the State of Himachal Pradesh Act, of 1970.|
|Manipur, Tripura and Meghalaya||With the enactment of the North-Eastern Areas (Reorganization) Act of 1971. Manipur, Tripura and Meghalaya got the status of 19th, 20th and 21st states, at the same time two new union territories Mizoram and Arunachal Pradesh carved out of the territories of Assam.|
|Sikkim||35th Constitutional Amendment Act (1974) – Sikkim was first given the status of ‘Associate State’. Parliament Enacted the 36th Amendment Act of 1975, giving it the status of full State.|
|Mizoram||State of Mizoram Act, 1986, gave Mizoram the status of a state|
|Arunachal Pradesh||State of Arunachal Pradesh Act, 1986 gave it the status of state. Since 1972 Arunachal Pradesh was a union territory.|
States Reorganisation Act 1956
The Parliament passed the State Reorganisation Act in November 1956 on the recommendation of the State Reorganisation Commission (Fazl Ali Commission). It provided for 14 states and 6 territories that were governed centrally. The 7th Constitutional 1956 Amendment Act was passed to replace the four types of states, known as Part A, B, C, and D
State Reorganisation Act 1956 has added a new Article-350A, which carries out one of the key recommendations of the State Reorganisation Commission addressing the safeguard for linguistic minorities.
The States Reorganisation Act, of 1956 did not make a drastic reorganisation. To create the larger Andhra Pradesh State, the former Part B State of Hyderabad was merged with Andhra State. The former Part B State of Mysore became a more significant State of Karnataka with additional territories transferred from the States of Madras (Tamil Nadu) and Bombay. The State of Kerala was carved of the former Part B State of Travancore-Cochin with new territories acquired from the State of Madras.