Countering “breaking-India” forces via states reorganisation
On 15th August 1947, India was a hopeless puzzle with 582 pieces—565 princely states + 17 provinces. The British got up & walked away with full intent of watching India shatter to pieces, so they can scoff that Indians are unfit to govern themselves. Unfortunately for them and fortunately for India, a determined Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel unified the nation into a stable entity. This was shocking and unacceptable to the British and other Western powers that had recently won World War 2. So, they began one of the longest conspiracies in the history of humanity—the breakup and recolonisation of India. For this, they exploited caste, religion, and language to aggravate societal faultlines. In effect, these wily slave masters cleverly used India’s strength of plurality and diversity against it.
In their game-changing research work, Breaking India: Western Interventions in Dravidian & Dalit Faultlines, Rajiv Malhotra & Aravindan Neelakandan reveal in specific detail how foreign forces & their Indian collaborators are working for decades to balkanise India along caste, religious, and linguistic faultlines by manipulating ignorant or seditious Indians. The above map (Fig.2) illustrates one of their separatist visions. Government of India’s new plans to redraw India’s map as per the whims & fancies of locals could very well feed into the vision of India’s enemies.
Terms have powerful influence on human psyche. So, at first, let’s use the term “National” to denote “Central” and avoid “Federal” or “Union”, as it implies separateness. The term “Provincial” is used for sub-entities, as the term “State” has other legal connotations.
The image below (Fig.3) shows the permanent borders of the reorganised Indian provinces. Provinces should not be frequently modified to suit political or social conveniences. Taking a cue from the map of United States of America, India should have permanency in its provincial borders for better long-term administration.
For a strong border security
Currently, India has 28 provinces and 9 national territories. When provinces were originally reorganised as per the States Reorganisation Act 1956, the nation was still a fledgling entity with various forces pulling it in different directions. Large provinces were carved out and national territories were strategically placed amidst them. A holistic plan based on national security was not part of the reorganisation agenda. This has resulted in a disjointed mosaic of conflicting forces at play in the map of India that weakens national integration and security. To address this, here is a new plan that prioritises national security over all other considerations.
In this plan, the entire length of the international and coastal borders of India is lined with a 25-kilometre-deep (or suitable) land strip of National Territories. In the above image (Fig.3), the 8 colours represent the 8 National Territories under the direct administrative control of the Government of India without a Provincial legislature. The islands of Lakshadweep, Andaman & Nicobar are also entirely National Territories. Here, note that, in case of disputed international borders, the adjoining province becomes a national territory, until the border is finalised and the NT defined permanently.
For long-term water security
In this proposed plan, provinces are completely reorganised with rivers as natural borders. The above image (Fig.3) shows 45 provinces, with each province having at least 1 perennial river, shared with its neighbour. Rivers are nationalised and jointly maintained by the National Government and the respective Provincial Governments. Dams are owned and maintained by the National Government only. While static freshwater bodies (i.e., ponds & lakes) within a province are owned and maintained by the respective Provincial Governments, all freshwater bodies within the territory of India are monitored by the National Government. The National Government should eventually link all provincial border rivers to ensure there is perennial waterflow and zero flooding in any Indian province.
For better national integration
The original 1956 reorganisation plan was based on the language of the local people. However, as we all know, caste, religion, and language are emotional matters that typically result in societal division. This is exactly what we witness today. For example, since the first reorganisation, Tamil Nadu wanted to secede from India and become an independent nation. TN politicians have constantly attempted to invoke “Tamil Pride” to stoke the fire of separatism in the Tamil population. Similarly, Kashmiri politicians wanted to break that province away from India based on religious faultlines. Bodoland is demanded based on cultural faultlines, whereas Tipraland is on caste lines. There is just no end to this ghettoization!
In this proposed plan, provinces are reorganised from the divisive linguistic/cultural/religious/ caste basis to the non-segregating geographical basis. So, citizens will eventually shed narrow parochial mindsets based on language and integrate better with the nation as Indians. With all languages getting mixed, citizens will be motivated to adopt a single common link language to communicate. Also, sharing of a river from both its banks will promote mutual respect for this life-giving resource and its pollution control.
For better democracy
Generally, smaller provinces enable citizens to get easier access to their governments. Panchayatiraj administration is significantly strengthened with better proximity between citizens and government.
Prakash Bebington is a PhD scholar, independent blogger and passionate humanist who espouses the cause of life, liberty and duty. Having worked closely with students as a Professor of Management & Engineering, he has a sense of obligation to these future citizens. He owes his allegiance to no political party, but only to the great nation of India and her future leaders.