Formation or cessation of a new state under constitution of India

Formation or cessation of a new states under Constitution of India

India achieved its independence from Britain in 1947.The biggest challenge among are leaders at that time was to unite India into a single country. This was possible only by the inclusion of the various princely states into the ‘India i.e. Bharat’ .

India comprised two categories of political units, The British provinces(11) and the princely states(552).British before leaving India gave the autonomy to the princely states to either join India or Pakistan or remain independent.

Sardar Vallabhai Patel’s policy of ‘carrot and stick ‘ played a vital role in joining the princely states into the Union of India.  According to this policy Patel first used to persuade the rulers of princely states to join India but in case of any disagreement from the princely states, he used his diplomatic strategies to make them join India. The states that showed the strongest resistance were Hyderabad, Travancore, Junagadh and Kashmir. To make Hyderabad join into Indian Union, Operation POLO was launched and after 5 days of military intervention Hyderabad joined India. Junagadh joined India after a referendum in the state. Kashmir was attacked by Pakistan after which Hari Singh, ruler of Kashmir decided to join India by signing the Instrument of Accession.

Jawaharlal Nehru also played a very important role in consolidating the states of India. Four fold classification of the states of India were done in 1950 as Part A, Part B, Part C and Part D States.

Various committees like Dhar Commission, JVP Commission and Fazl Ali Commission were setup for the reorganization of states and various factors like common language and administrative convenience were taken into consideration. Dhar Commission(also known as linguistic provinces commission) opposed the linguistic factor and advocated for administrative convenience to be the basis for creation states, to create a sense of unity. JVP Commission also rejected language as the basis for reorganization of states.

Violent struggle emerged in present day Andra Pradesh as a result of submission of these reports. Telugu speaking people wanted to separate themselves from Tamil speaking Madras State. In this struggle, Potti Sriramulu, a Congress activist, died after a 56 day hunger strike.

As a result of these agitation and struggle, in 1953, the Government of India created the first linguistic state known as Andra Pradesh. Government of India appointed a 3-member States Reoganisation Commission under the chairmanship of Fazl Ali to re examine the whole question of dividing states on linguistic basis. It decided various factors to be taken into account, one of them being Linguistic and cultural homogeneity.

This Commission’s report led to the enactment of States Reorganisation Act,1956 and 7Th constitutional amendment act, after which 14 states and 6 union territories were created on Nov 1,1956.

States in India in 1956 :- Andra Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Bombay, Jammu and Kashmir, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Madras, Mysore, Orissa, Punjab, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal

Union Territories in 1956 :- Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Delhi, Himachal Pradesh, Lakshwadweep, Manipur, Tripura.

Under the constitution of India, Article 2 empowers the parliament to ‘admit new states’ into Union of India and Article 3 relates to formation or changes in the existing states of Union of India. For example, Goa and Sikkim were added into Union of India through Article 2 while Telangana was bifurcated from Andra Pradesh through Article 3.

Dadra and Nagar Haveli was ruled by Portugese until its liberartion in 1954 and was converted into  Union territory by the 10TH Constitutional Amendment Act, 1961. Goa, Daman and Diu  were also acquired from Portugese by means of police action in 1961 and were constituted as Union Territories by 12th Constitutional Amendment Act, 1962. Later, Goa was conferred  statehood in 1987. Puducherry was acquired from French in 1954 and was made a Union Territory by 14th Constitutional Amendment Act.

Nagaland was formed as a state in 1963. Haryana and Himachal Pradesh were bifurcated from Punjab. Manipur, Tripura and Meghalaya were made separate states in 1972.  Sikkim was added into Indian union after a referendum in 1975, in which the people voted for the abolition of institution of Chogyal and after 36th Constitutional Amendment Act 1975, Sikkim became a full-fledged state. Mizoram, arunachal Pradesh and Goa were accorded the status of states in 1987. Chattisgarh, Uttarakhand and Jharkhand were made separate states in 2000. The newest state to be formed in the present times is Telangana which was formed in 2014. Currently India has 28 states and 8 Union territories.

Cessation of state means separating of any smaller area from the major chunk, i.e. withdrawal of smaller group from a larger entity. Various international examples of cessation that we can see are Ireland leaving United Kingdom or Algeria leaving France

In the Indian context, Pakistan seceded from British India in 1947 to form a separate country. The constitution of India does not allow any state to secede from the Union. After our constitution coming into being, ignoring some fringe elements, we have been fortunate enough to not see any cession demands from any groups in our country. Division of power among center and states has been specifically created through the 7th schedule in terms of List 1 (Union list), List 2( State List) and List 3(Concurrent List). The federal structure mentioned here provides more power to the Center than to the States to counter any cessation demands from the states in the future.

Hence, Indian Union is indestructible union of destructible states, the parliament has been accorded the power to form new states or union territories by uniting a part of state or UT to other part of state or UT.

Moreover our armed forces are well equipped to face anti insurgency operations against elements which want to secede from India. They have been successful in crushing down these movements in various parts of the country like Nagaland, Assam, Manipur, Mizoram, Tripura Punjab. Naxal insurgency has also been a problem in India but their relevance and area of operation has reduced with time.

Author: Yatharth Tripathi,
1st year, Faculty of Law, University of Delhi/ Student

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