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Remapping IndiaNew States and Their Political Origins$
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Louise Tillin

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199336036

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199336036.001.0001

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History of Territorial Design and Federal Thought in India

History of Territorial Design and Federal Thought in India

(p.27) 2 History of Territorial Design and Federal Thought in India
Remapping India

Louise Tillin

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines the territorial architecture of India’s federal system since independence. It explains how the federal system and the history of political thought with regard to the territorial organisation of federalism in India evolved in the context of developments in India’s political economy and party system. It begins by looking at constitutional provisions and debate about the design of Indian federalism. It then considers the decision to reorganise states along linguistic lines in the 1950s and 1960s after initial reluctance to do so. It asks why large states were maintained in Hindi-speaking north and central India as the counterpoint to linguistic reorganisation. Maintenance of the boundaries of Bihar and Uttar Pradesh was envisioned as a bulwark against the possible mobilisation of further destabilising claims for statehood on a non-linguistic basis, and reflected the continued political dominance of upper castes in north India – as B.R Ambedkar recognised. The chapter then introduces the political dynamics that helped to open up discussions about territorial reorganisation, including within the Hindi heartland from the late 1960s onwards. It charts the development of the political philosophy of the Hindu right and its changing approach to the federal organisation of power as it negotiated its rise to political power.

Keywords:   Linguistic reorganisation, Caste, Ambedkar, Uttar Pradesh, Hindu right

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