State Reorganization

State Reorganization

State Reorganization is one of most important topics under the Constitutional and Political  History of India. Many question comes from the state organization in Judicial and Civil Services Examination. Understanding the past of State Reorganization will provide a pointed edge to estimate the need of current movements across India for creation of new states.


  • The Indian Independence Act (1947) created two independent and separate dominions of India and Pakistan and gave three options to the princely states viz., joining India, joining Pakistan or remaining independent.
  • Of the 552 princely states situated within the geographical boundaries of India, 549 joined India
  • 3 (Hyderabad, Junagarh and Kashmir) refused to join India.
  • However, in course of time, they were also integrated with India—
    • Hyderabad by means of police/army action,
    • Junagarh by means of referendum and
    • Kashmir by the Instrument of Accession

Territory of India in 1950

Linguistic Provinces Commission
Dhar Commission)

  • There had been a demand from different regions, particularly South India, for reorganization of states on linguistic basis.
  • Accordingly, in June 1948, the Government of India appointed the Linguistic Provinces Commission under the chairmanship of S.K. Dhar to examine the feasibility of this.
  • The commission submitted its report in December 1948 and recommended the reorganisation of
  • states on the basis of administrative convenience rather than linguistic factor.
  • Note: This created much resentment and led to the appointment of another Linguistic Provinces Committee by the Congress in December 1948 – JVP Committee.

JVP Committee

  • It consisted of Jawaharlal Nehru, Vallabh bhai Patel and Pattabhi Sitaramayya and hence, was popularly known as JVP Committee. The committee submitted its report in April 1949 and formally rejected language as the basis for reorganisation of states.
  • Note: However, in October 1953, the Government of India was forced to create the first linguistic state, known as Andhra state, by separating the Telugu speaking areas from the Madras state. This followed a prolonged popular agitation and the death of Potti Sriramulu, a Congress person of standing after a 56-day hunger strike for the cause.

Arguments for linguistic organisation

  • It was promised by INC prior to independence and also suggested by SRC-1.
  • Administration becomes easier (rulers and the ruled will have same lingua franca). States can have their own official languages and official works could be carried on more efficiently to the lowest level.
  • Helps for strengthening cultural identity
  • Education can be given in preferred language or mother tongue and this will boost thinking ability and analysis, as is also scientifically proven. Mass Literacy is possible through mother tongue
  • No mentioning of language not to be a criterion for reorganization in constitution.

Arguments against linguistic organisation
Dhar and JVP committees)

  • The situation was fragile after the independence with so many demands for secession for centre to consider this.
  • Regionalism sometimes compromises national interest for narrow interest.
  • Due consideration must also be given to other factors like administrative and economic weightage.
  • Minority languages becomes more vulnerable.

Fazl Ali Commission

  • The creation of Andhra state intensified the demand from other regions for creation of states on linguistic basis. This forced the Government of India to appoint (in December 1953) a three-member States Reorganization Commission under the chairmanship of Fazl Ali.
  • Its other two members were K M Panikkar and HN Kunzru.
  • The committee submitted its report in September 1955 and broadly accepted language as the basis of reorganisation of states. But, it rejected the theory of ‘one language–one state’.
  • It identified four major factors that can be taken into account in any scheme of reorganisation of states:
  • Preservation and strengthening of the unity and security of the country.
  • Linguistic and cultural homogeneity.
  • Financial, economic and administrative considerations.
  • Planning and promotion of the welfare of the people in each state as well as of the nation as a whole
  • The commission suggested the abolition of the four-fold classification of states under the original Constitution and creation of 16 states and 3 centrally administered territories.
  • The Government of India accepted these recommendations with certain minor modifications. As a result, 14 states and 6 union territories were created on November 1, 1956.


  • It shall lay down sound criteria for reorganization.
  • Reorganization is not a one stop exercise but an evolving process.
  • 20 years of LPG have altered the demographic and socio- economic realities leading to regional sentiments of neglect.
  • Population in several states has become exponentially, geometrically, inordinately large.

Illustrative list of demands for new states

S.No Demand for Demand from
1 Bundelkhand U.P
2 Koshal Orissa
3 Kodagu Karnataka
4 Vidarbha Maharashtra
5 Konkan Maharashtra
6 Bodoland Assam
7 Marupradesh Rajasthan
8 Gorkhaland West Bengal
9 Mithilanchal Bihar
10 Delhi Delhi


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