As the 29th state is formally inducted into the Indian union today it raises many fundamental questions about the structure of the government and the distribution of powers in the Indian union. On the one hand India is not a purely federal state but on the other hand it isn’t completely unionist either. Ever since the formation of the Indian union after partition of the Indian subcontinent states of the Indian union have undergone changes. Many new states have been carved out and the boundaries between certain states have been reorganised.
The division of the states on linguistic lines was conceived to make the administration easier and to unite the people belonging to the linguistic groups so that their culture and heritage is preserved . But it has always been debatable. As there is no clear cut demarcation of area of people belonging to a certain linguistic group. It has lead to inter state conflicts and also the demand for newer states to be carved out of existing ones. While the aspirations of the people should always be honored but we can’t ignore the fact that it has raised many questions of whether the present method of demarcation of states is effective. Also we can’t help but wonder how many states do we actually need for administrative convenience.
Also due to the troubled histories of certain regions of the Indian union special legislatures are currently being enforced in those regions. Thus, it seems that all states are not the same in the eyes of the union for better or for worse. Besides autonomous councils within certain states have also been formed to protect the rights of the indigenous people and to let them handle their resources properly. But this again has not been totally effective as often the states and the councils have conflicting opinions on the allocation of funds and utilization of resources.
With the intent for decentralization of power the panchayats and town councils had been set up. Although many regions have benefitted from this structure many again have lots to be done for the proper decentralization of power to take place.
All these things have slowly lead to lesser people identifying themselves as Indians before bowing allegiance to the region to which they belong. With so many divisions of power in the Indian union it seems chaotic . But still the Indian union has stood the test of time, and although it may have been crippled with agitations and protests at times it is still united.