Essay on the Growth of Regionalism and Regional Parties in India Introduction:
In India regionalism is a heavy weight on the political system. Even prior to independence, regionalism was used as a tool by the imperialists to promote their policy of keeping India divided. Regionalism was deliberately encouraged by many with the result that the people of each region thought more in terms of their region rather than of India as a whole after independence efforts were made to make the people realise that they belonged to India as a whole. Development of Thought:
India is perhaps the most diverse nation in the world in terms of language, culture, religion and caste. These diversities for ages now are so deep-rooted in the Indian psyche that they have done more harm than good to the nation. However, when the struggle for Independence was on, there was a stroll sense of patriotism which kept the regional chauvinism under check and height and national consciousness. It gave people a new identity of being an India first and then anything else. This was mainly due to the efforts of Mahatma Gandhi who had successfully sowed the seeds of national identity in the minds of the otherwise fragmented masses. His contribution in this respect is even More laudable keeping in view the British rulers 'policy of divide and rule which was pursued to ensure that India did not emerge as a formidable force. On one hand Gandhi was trying to unite the different groups while on the other, there was a rise in the number of class conscious Communist revolutionaries who saw these divisions as a hindrance in their fight against British imperialism. Both these forces did further the cause of nationalism in their own way. However, after Independence, efforts for national unification became gradually weak and the emphasis once again shifted onto regionalism with a rise in the number of parties projecting themselves as champions of regional interest. Conclusion:
A serious review of the Centre-State relations is needed correct some of the genuine grievances of states. A federal structure with more autonomy to the states can be the only solution to preserve India's unity in the face of growing regionalism. To understand regional politics in India, one has to observe the internal conflict inherent in the Indian society. The national movement negated these inherent regional tendencies. The British rule was a blatant reminder of harsh racial dominance of outsiders and this was a vital factor which transformed the Indian masses and made them forget, at least temporarily, their mutual differences. But as soon as the Britishers left, the sense of unity evaporated. The problem now was to keep these fragmented masses together. The national identity, which crystallized during the freedom struggle and brought the heterogeneous groups under one national umbrella, got submerged with the resurgence of regional casteist identities. Despite Gandhi's untiring efforts, the gap between the Hindus and the Muslims could not be bridged and Pakistan became a reality. A section of the Sikhs had also raised the demand for a separate homeland then. Though they gave up their demand which remained subdued for a few decades. It flared up again with the rise of Jar nail Singh Bhindranwala who demanded the creation of Khalistan. The national identity took roots to the extent people were willing to compromise their regional, lingual and religious identities. The Congress derived Maximum mileage out of this and embarked upon a nationwide membership campaign. This was the reason why it emerged a national party in the true sense with members drawn from diverse socio-cultural groups. The party was instrumental in bringing and making them a part of the national mainstream even while they retained their regional identities. One reason why the Communists failed where the Congress succeeded was because the former failed to resolve the national and the regional dichotomy and hence could never make...
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