A border dispute is going on between the states of Assam and Mizoram. 26 July was one of the bloody days for both the states and nation as a whole as 6 police personnel lost their lives in the interstate boundary dispute. However, this is not the first time that these two states are facing this issue. In fact, a dispute for land or region has taken place between other states of India as well.
Another example is the prolonged border dispute between Maharashtra and Karnataka over the village of Belgaum. Both the states claim that Belgaum is part of their respective state. Some deadly incidents have also taken place regarding this issue one was when Morarji Desai was the Prime Minister of India and Shivsena under the leadership of Balasaheb Thackeray agitated for the inclusion of Belgaum in Maharashtra.
Thus these incidents evidently prove that Regionalism is one of the prominent aspects of Indian politics. India is a nation that is comprised of a number of states. Each state has its unique qualities taking from language to culture and one more important aspect is ideology. India has a long history of regional movements. Regionalism in India goes back to the time when people had started demanding separate states on the basis of language which is a part of regionalism.
People take pride in their roots in the land where they belong to for them their soil is everything. Every state has a policy of ‘sons of the soil’ in which the first preference is given to the person belonging to that particular region or state and then to the outsiders or one’s called migrants. For instance the attacks on north Indians in Maharashtra by Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS).
Also, the demand for a separate state persists. There has been a demand for a long time for a separate state of Vidarbha or the state of Khalistan. The formation of Telangana as a full-fledged state was also a demand made by the citizens and creating pressure government for the creation of a separate state. Regionalism does worse than it does good.
Regionalism is one of the greatest threats to the country as it leads to the division of the nation. It is because of regionalism that there are so many regional political parties in India. Regional parties find a strong base in the states as there is the feeling among the citizens that national parties will overlook the actual needs of the citizens of that particular state or region and hence regional parties find their space and work on the local issues because the citizens are more concerned about their day to day problems. In India, every state has multiple regional parties.
Thus it is a reciprocal situation that Regionalism makes way for regional parties and vis – a- vis regional parties accelerate regionalism. Today regionalism is not just limited to the peace of land or a geographical region it has taken the form of an ideology that times result in hatred for the other people which is a threat to peace, unity, security, and integrity of the nation.