presently and 7 Union Territories. Going strong for further sub-division,
solely on linguistic and dialectal grounds, and sometimes even on religious
ones, but sadly constitutionally valid, it won’t be too long before we see a
dozen more dissections, if not more.
power for the creation of new states and territories in India with the
President, who can do so by announcing new states, separating territory from an
existing state or by merging two or more states or part thereof.
from the British Rule when the erstwhile princely states were annexed and
merged to create the 19 states that formed the Union of India, there has not
been a single instance ever where the power of the President of India was used
to amalgamate and unify states. In fact, every single time, this authority has
only been used to segment them further to form the 29 states that exist today.
journey from the pre-independence era when India was divided into
British-administered provinces and nominally autonomous princely states
governed by the British administration, to the current date.
administration continued even after the independence almost till 1956 though
the partition saw some of the administrative divisions becoming part of the
Dominion of Pakistan while the remaining states and provinces formed the
Dominion of India.
passed in 1956 which abolished the provinces and princely states in favour of
new states based on language and ethnicity. We have seen the birth of several
new states and union territories since then.
happened in 1960 with the Bombay Reorganisation Act excruciating the Bombay
State into the linguistic states of Gujarat and Maharashtra.
and the Punjab Reorganisation Act of 1966 saw the creation of a new Hindi
speaking state of Haryana carved out of Haryana from the southern districts of
the state of Punjab and a union territory of Chandigarh was created to be
designated as the joint capital of Punjab and Haryana.
were transferred to a new state of Himachal Pradesh in 1971 and Manipur,
Meghalaya and Tripura too were accorded statehood.
kingdom of Sikkim joined the Indian Union as a state, perhaps the only
territory outside the original atlas at the time of independence to join the
Pradesh were declared states first followed by Goa in the same year, while Goa’s
northern exclaves of Daman and Diu became a separate union territory.
three new states were carved out of the existing states in 2000.
was created out of Madhya Pradesh, while Uttaranchal was created out of the
mountainous districts of northwest Uttar Pradesh and the state of Jharkhand
carved out of the southern districts of Bihar.
renamed as Uttarakhand in 2007.
was in 2014 when Telangana was separated from Andhra Pradesh as a new state.
sub-dividing the existing states further on the basis of linguistic, ethnic and
religious disparities; it won’t be too surprising to find our country divided
in the same manner as it used to be once in the hands of the princely rulers.
Union of India on paper, but are we really united! Conceivably we need to contemplate
breadth of India and through my journey, I met different people. I met
Kashmiris, Punjabis, Gujaratis, Bengalis and Marathis. As I travelled south, I
met Goans, Konkanis, Telugus, Kannadigas, Koduvas, Tamilians and Malayalis. Occasionally
at the same domicile and habitation, I met Hindus, Christians and Muslims too.
and phonologically alienated from each other, but sadly I never met a single