Libmonster ID: U.S.-1435
Author(s) of the publication: V. KASHIN, M. PLESHOVA

The vast majority world's countries unitary States; federal account just over ten percent of them. This includes the Indian Union.

The end of the 20th century was marked by dramatic events related to serious internal conflicts in a number of federal states. We have witnessed the collapse of some of them and the emergence of new independent States in their place. This process was not always peaceful, and its severe consequences will be felt for a long time. It is not necessary to go far for examples - this is both the former Yugoslavia and the USSR. If in the first case the collapse itself was accompanied by bloody wars that continue to this day, in the second case it was bloodless, although in a number of former republics of the Soviet Union, and now independent states, acute conflicts arose, accompanied by armed clashes. Russia had to rebuild its federal relations. This process did not go smoothly.


The experience of building federal relations of a relatively young state, the Indian Union, which has a history of just over 50 years, is of particular interest. Over the years, the country's population has more than tripled. (According to the 2001 Census of India, the population was 1,027,015,247. Every sixth person living on Earth today is an Indian.) Within the framework of this federation, many large and small ethnic groups, linguistic communities, and individual territories were able to exercise their right to self-determination by creating autonomous divisions, that is, states that were designed to help the peoples inhabiting them preserve their culture, language, and traditions, strengthen or develop their own self-consciousness (self-identification), and provide faster economic and social development. and cultural development. As a rule, these achievements were preceded by a long struggle.

The decision to create three new states of Chattisgarh, Uttaranchal and Jharkhand in India on the territories of Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar (respectively) should be considered in the context of the realization of the rights of small ethnic groups, as well as historical and cultural regions (territories) to self - determination within the framework of the current constitution.

The struggle for the creation of these states lasted for more than one year, sometimes becoming very acute. The last few years have been a solution to this problem for the government-

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This was among the top priorities. However, it was not until August 2000 that the Indian Parliament, after being approved by the President, passed the 84th Amendment to the Constitution, according to which the 26th, 27th and 28th states appeared on the political map of India. In fact, this law began to work only in November last year.

It should be recalled here that the Constitution, which came into force on 26 January 1950, declared India a sovereign democratic Republic and established it as a Union of States. The construction of the federal state began even earlier, in August 1947, on the eve of the declaration of independence of India. By this time, the contours of the new state had already been defined. It included most of the provinces of British India, as well as 554 of the 565 formally independent principalities (scattered throughout the South Asian subcontinent) led by local rulers - princes. The departure of the British, whose patronage during the colonial period was enjoyed by the princes, forced them to make a decision as soon as possible about joining India or Pakistan, which were then still dominions. The overwhelming majority, as we can see, decided in favor of India. Under the new conditions, it was impossible to maintain even relative sovereignty. Thus, a new federal state appeared on the political map of the world, in the viability of which very few people believed at that time.

The peculiarities of the formation of the Indian federation, which, unlike many other federations in the world, was created not on the basis of a voluntary agreement between sovereign states, but by turning a unitary state, which was British India, into a federal one, largely predetermined the specifics of its state structure. The scale and complexity of the problems that faced the young state that emerged in the postcolonial space required a strong power, that is, a strong center. At the same time, it became obvious that it would be difficult to build a new modern socially-oriented integral state without preserving the identity and diversity of its regions and peoples. Hence the rather precisely formulated national or state idea - "unity in diversity", which turned out to be quite vital for India, although it, like any idea, had and still has critics. At the initial stage of development, independent India was a centralized federation, which in the event of an external threat or war can live according to the laws of a unitary state. This gave rise to some scientists calling it a quasi-federation. However, the entire subsequent history of the evolution of Indian statehood left no doubt about its federal character.

States do not have the right to secede from the State. This very important principle of the Indian federation, which is enshrined in the Constitution, means that in the event of separatist ideas and movements, the government has legislative means to help it in the fight against separatism. So far, they have been enough to stop all attempts to separate the states from India.

At the same time, the Indian Constitution grants broad powers to the Parliament to admit new members to the Union, as well as to change the boundaries of existing states. This is reflected in articles 2 and 3 of the Constitution, which provide for certain procedures necessary for the final decision on changing the political map of India. These provisions of the constitution proved to be in demand by life.


India has gone through more than one territorial transformation in more than 50 years. The largest of these was the reorganization of the states (1956) on a linguistic basis. Under the 7th Amendment Act, the boundaries of a number of states were redefined, many language requirements were met, and differences between states that were former provinces of British India and former principalities were leveled. All 14 newly formed states were equalized in rights; they became full-fledged subjects of the federation. (Only the state of Jammu and Kashmir remained somewhat independent.) At the same time, six union territories were formed, which are administered from the center and are not full-fledged subjects of the federation.

Since then, the number of states has increased from 14 to 28; the Union territory of Delhi has received a special status as a national capital territory, which, under the newly created system of government, has brought it closer to the status of an independent state. There are still six union territories in India, but note that some of those created in 1956 and later at various times were transformed into states.

Previously, the southern, western, and partially northwestern regions were subject to administrative changes first, and then the north - east of the country. Last year, for the first time, three heavily populated Hindu-speaking states of northern and central India were redistributed: Uttar Pradesh (140 million people), Bihar (90 million), and Madhya Pradesh (70 million), which are commonly called the" heart of India " and are still being reorganized for fear of destabilizing the situation in the very center of the country. so far, no government has dared. The role of these states in the alignment of political forces is very large. Suffice it to say that the state of Uttar Pradesh in the lower house of Parliament was represented by 85 deputies out of a total of 545. Uttar Pradesh has long played a crucial role in shaping not only the political elite, but also the country's leadership. Although the region lags behind the more developed western and southern states in socio - economic terms, its cementing role in nation-building is not in doubt.

Each movement for autonomy and self-determination has its own history and roots that go back quite deeply. It was not out of nowhere that demands for the creation of new states in the "Hindi belt" arose, which gradually took shape in movements that enjoyed the support of the population, and were led by local political parties. However, even in the summer of 1998, the idea of creating three states seemed far from being realized, even though it was at this time that the passions were at their peak. Then neither the leadership of the states of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Madhya Pradesh, without whose approval the solution of this issue was impossible, nor the center was in a hurry

* Note that over the past 50 years, these two principles (democracy and federalism) have not been revised either in fact or in the public consciousness. The addition of "socialist and secular" to the description of the Republic in the mid-70s has caused rejection in recent decades among a number of political parties, organizations and public associations that advocate the abolition of these provisions due to their inconsistency with the realities and needs of today's India.

page 20

take responsibility for creating new states.

Naturally, it came as a surprise to many that in 2000, the leader of the ruling coalition, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), known for its negative attitude to all kinds of demands based on ethnic and linguistic motives (this time, however, the ideas of economic feasibility and more efficient territorial management were put forward in the foreground), demonstrated willingness to accept the demands made for the unbundling of the three large states of the Hindi belt and the formation of three new states-Chattisgarh, Uttaranchal, and Jharkhand. It is significant that in 2000 the idea did not cause a negative reaction from other parties, including opposition ones. It was supported by the leader of the opposition Indian National Congress (Indira) - Inc(I), as well as most left-wing parties. A dissenting opinion was expressed by the Communist Party of India (Marxist) - CPI(m), which considers it inappropriate to further divide the states after their reorganization on a national and linguistic basis was largely completed. And the idea of democratizing and improving the efficiency of governance can be realized, according to the KPI(m), by redistributing power in favor of local self-government bodies.


The state of Chattisgarh is located in central India. It consists of 16 districts separated from the largest state of Madhya Pradesh by area. The territory of Chattisgarh is 135 thousand square kilometers (almost six times the size of Kerala), the population is 17.6 million people. The capital is Raipur. The largest forested area in the country. (It was here that R. Kipling's famous story "Mowgli"was set.) The state is rich in natural resources, including iron and manganese ores, bauxite, graphite, corundum, etc.

The most developed industries are metallurgy, mining, and fuel and energy. The largest enterprise is the Bhilai Metallurgical Combine, built in the late 50s with the help of the USSR. The state consumes only 60 percent of its energy output. In May 2001, it was reported that Chattisgarh was ready to supply electricity to Delhi, as well as to Andhra Pradesh, if Madhya Pradesh refused to buy it.

At the same time, in terms of agricultural development, Chattisgarh is one of the last places. There is little fertile land here. The irrigation system covers only 15 percent of the cultivated area. Slash-and-burn agriculture and excessive deforestation have undermined the normal reproduction of forests, which provide a significant part of the population with means of subsistence.

The new state is part of the tribal belt. The largest of them are gonds, bhils, halbas, oraons and kanwars. The language of communication remains Hindi. Six tribes have the status of "registered" and enjoy the right to reserve places in higher education institutions and in the civil service. Autonomous councils have been established in districts where registered tribes are the majority. The activities of these councils are hindered by other categories of the population. They fear that land sales may fall under the jurisdiction of the autonomous councils.

The idea of creating an independent state of Chattisgarh appeared in the mid-90s. However, K. Bagel, a member of the upper house of Parliament of the Council of States, a member of the INC party, first started talking about secession in the mid-60s. The Chattisgarh Bhratir Sangh, an organization of liberal intellectuals founded by him, made the main demand for the provision of state funds for the development of the region. Subsequently, the idea of independence of Chattisgarh was supported by such well-known congressional politicians as Ch. Chandrakar and A. Jogi. This idea is also close to the affluent peasant elite.

In 1994, the Chattisgarh Asmita Sangathan (HOUR) party was established in Raipur. Manage it-

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lem became Professor of Linguistics M. Yadu. The party declared the establishment of a new state as its main goal. In 1999, it became part of the Chattisgarh Raya Sangarsh Morcha grassroots movement. Its activists organized numerous rallies and demonstrations. CRSM members considered themselves secularists and were guided by the INC(s).

However, the BJP has been particularly adept at exploiting the fruits of the battle for Chattisgarh. In the 1996 People's Chamber (lower house of Parliament) elections, the BJP won 6 out of 11 seats from this region, 7 in 1998, and 8 in 1999. In turn, the congressional government of Madhya Pradesh, which has been in power since 1993, prepared a bill for the creation of the state of Chattisgarh back in 1998, but the president of the country sent it for revision. The situation finally cleared up in 2000, and a new state appeared on the map of India.

A sense of historical, geographical and cultural community among the people of Chattisgarh, which is in many ways different from the rest of Madhya Pradesh, helped the movement's leaders achieve their goal of creating an independent state.

"The paradox of Chattisgarh is that it has the richest natural resources, but its population remains poor," said Chief Minister A. Jogi. A. Jogi named the development of irrigation and reduction of the administrative staff as the priority measures of the government of the new state.

The state of Uttaranchal is formed from 13 districts located in the north of Uttar Pradesh. The territory is 55,845 square kilometers, the population is seven million people. The capital is Dehradun. Located in the foothills of the Himalayas. Historical and geographical regions - Kumaon and Garhwal. The Ganges (Ganges) and Yamuna (Jamna) rivers, which are revered by Hindus, flow here and are famous pilgrimage centers-Hardwar, Gangatri, Rishikesh and Kedarnath. The Hindu festival of Kumbh mela gathers several million participants of the sacred ablution from all over the country in Hardwar.

Two-thirds of the state's population lives in 11 mountain districts and speaks the Pahari language. The mountaineers ' source of income remains forest gifts and ancillary crafts, as well as pastoral cattle breeding in the regions bordering Tibet. Residents of the lowland districts of Hardwara and Udham Singh Nagar (USN) speak Hindi. Their main occupations are agriculture, trade, and industrial production. Part of the population of the USN is from Punjab and West Bengal.

One of the most important features of the mountain people's identity is the sense of isolation from the rest of India, which they call desh (country). Back in the 50s, the idea of creating a state of Uttarkhand was born in the Kuma-on Himalayas. In the late 1980s and early 1990s, it received widespread support from the local population, who were dissatisfied with the existing income distribution system, the lack of modern infrastructure and the large scale of corruption in the Uttar Pradesh government structures. A number of prominent Indian politicians supported the idea of creating Uttaranchal (as Uttarkhand became known in the final phase of the struggle), and the BJP included this requirement in its election manifesto in 1999.

At first, the Sikh majority of the USN categorically rejected the prospect of joining Utta Ranchal. They rightly feared that their representatives would be in the minority in the legislative assembly of the "mountain" state. Farmers also expressed concern about the possible revision of the Uttar Pradesh maximum land tenure scale and the withdrawal of some of their land. Their sentiments were shared by the leadership of the Shiromani Akali Dal Party (SHAD), members of the ruling National Democratic Alliance (NDA), led by the BJP. But the BJP leaders themselves believed that all these problems could be solved by including another lowland district, Hardwar, in Uttaranchal and maintaining the existing land maximum rate.

All this gave rise to D. Fernandes, who until recently served as the Minister of Defense of India, to make a statement in the People's Chamber that the population of the USN would not oppose the district's entry into the new state. The bill was supported by the main opposition party INC(I) and received the required number of votes.

However, the final decision to create a new state of Uttaranchal from 13 districts with its capital in Dehradun, as well as the subsequent appointments to the highest official posts-Chief Minister and governor-caused a mixed reaction in the state's political circles. The discontent came primarily from the leadership of the Jan Sangharsh Morcha (JSM) organization, which has been at the forefront of fighting for the creation of Uttarkhand since 1990. They were not satisfied with the fact that the capital of the "mountain" state they were fighting for was located in the flat part. In addition, the achievement of their main goal-to preserve the integrity of not just the geographical region consisting of Kumaon and Garhwal, but also to create the necessary conditions for the formation of their own socio-cultural identity among the population of this region-turned out to be illusory.

According to many observers, the political standoff in the new state may be prolonged and will be accompanied by increasing economic difficulties. Local income to the treasury in 1991/1992 fi-

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In the fiscal year, it was only 50 million rupees ($1.1 million), and since then there has been no significant growth.

Meanwhile, Uttaranchal has unique natural and climatic conditions for organized tourism. On its territory is one of the best national reserves Corbet Park, where a unique project called "Tiger" is successfully implemented, which aims not only to preserve, but also to increase the number of this predator. Corbet Park is very popular not only with Indians, but also with foreign visitors. It's always cool in the mountain town of Nainital, with a picturesque lake in the center. During the hot season, many Indians and foreigners escape from the heat and spend their holidays here. The sacred places mentioned above for Hindus and the resort towns that are rare in their beauty make this state one of the main tourist centers of the country, which promises considerable financial benefits.

In the meantime, the Government of India decided in May 2001 to grant Uttaranchal a special status (special category), which will allow it to count on more extensive assistance from the Center and on more favorable terms. Before that, over the past 30 years, 10 more states received similar status, the first of them were Jammu and Kashmir, Assam, Naga Land, followed by Himachal Pradesh, Manipur and others.

The state of Jharkhand is separated from the state of Bihar, which consists of 18 southern districts. The territory is 79,714 square kilometers, the population is 21.84 million people. The capital is Ranchi. One of the richest regions in natural resources (the country's largest reserves of coal, copper and uranium and the world's largest reserves of sheet mica). It also produces iron ore, bauxite, apatite and 40 other types of industrial minerals.

In addition to the mining industry, Jharkhand has developed metallurgy, heavy machinery and chemical industry. The country is well known for the Bokaro metallurgical plant, which was created earlier with the help of specialists from the USSR. The main industrial facilities of Jamshedpur are owned by the Tata family.

The state is poor in farmland. Iron-rich red soils predominate almost everywhere, and their fertility is low. In the dry season, the rivers dry up, and there is a problem of water supply. A third of the territory is covered with forests, but these are sparse and undermined by the slash-and-burn system of agriculture practiced by the tribes.

Small peoples and tribes (mainly Santals, Munda, Oraon, Ho and Kharpa), which make up less than half of the population, live on the Chota Nagpur plateau. This is the poorest and most backward part of the population. They use tribal languages, while the population of Northern Jharkhand speaks Magadhi, an eastern dialect of Hindi.

The Jharkhand movement dates back decades. It began in 1916, when the British colonial administration tried to create autonomy for individual tribes. In 1937, the Adivasi Mahasabha, an organization dedicated to protecting tribal interests, was founded in Chhota Nagpur. In 1949, it was renamed the Jharkhand Party( PD), whose main goal was to separate Chota Nagpur into an independent administrative unit. The party's founder was Jaipal Singh, an Oxford-educated tribal leader. But under pressure from caste-based Hindus, the State Reorganization Commission in the mid-1950s rejected the idea of Jharkhand. After that, the PD entered a period of disagreement. Some of its members supported joining the INC, which was formalized in 1963. In the future, there were armed incidents in the south of Bihar, provoked by left-wing radical groups under the slogan of Jharkhand. They were resolutely suppressed by the police and troops.

In 1972, the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha Party (JMM) was formed. Its program included creating a separate state in southern Bihar, boosting the region's economy, developing wastelands and developing irrigation. Under the leadership of the DMM, the struggle is intensified and leads to large-scale actions. So, in the autumn of 1998, 12 political organizations in South Bihar organized mass demonstrations in support of Jharkhand.

The country's leading parties, especially the BJP and the INC(I), were also affected by these events. They put forward their own candidates for the post of chief minister of the new state. The balance of power in the legislative assembly of the new state was in favor of the BJP and its allies (the necessary majority was provided by two independent deputies), as a result of which the post of Chief Minister was taken by the representative of the ruling NDA in India, D. Marandi.

For the loss of the southern districts, the Bihar government requested compensation in the amount of 1,799 billion rupees (more than $ 40 billion) from the center, but it was refused. Meanwhile, Jharkhand's contribution to the budget of Bihar was 55 percent, and its allocation can seriously affect the economic state of the latter. Bihar is considered one of the most economically backward regions of India with a very difficult socio-political situation.

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The leadership of the new state of Jharkhand immediately had to face violence and terror. The main threat comes from left-wing communist groups and ultra-revolutionary organizations, whose members are known in India as the Naxalites. In at least 14 districts out of 18, they are very active, and in four southern districts they are actually in control of the situation. The plight of the majority of the population, especially in rural areas, creates favorable conditions for the action of these forces.

What will be the alignment of party and political forces in the new states, will show the legislative elections to be held in 2003. In the meantime, their functions are carried out by deputies of the legislative assemblies of Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Bihar, elected in the last elections from the regions included in the new states.

It is too early to say to what extent the creation of new states will contribute to the economic and cultural development of these regions and the preservation of their identity. Time will tell. However, it is already clear that the system of government created in accordance with the constitution opens up wide opportunities for the local elite to participate in the administration of the states themselves through legislative and executive authorities, as well as to directly lobby for the interests of the territories through their deputies in the lower and upper chambers of parliament and not to depend as much as which they were part of until recently.


The formation of new states last year sparked a debate in India about what the country's future holds. Some scientists and politicians saw this event as the beginning of a new stage in the development of the Indian federation. For example, such a well-known scholar as Rashiduddin Khan believes that the appearance of new states on the political map of India is inevitable. The total number of states, he believes, may later reach 56 - 58. Khan sees this as no threat to India's integrity. This process, in his opinion, is associated with the approximation of administrative boundaries to the natural historical, geographical and cultural boundaries of the regions that make up most of the states, including northern and central India. Sometimes the borders of such natural regions cover the territory of several states, and the sense of community among the peoples inhabiting them has been preserved to this day.

There were proposals to create a new special commission for the reorganization of states, which could comprehensively study the urgent problems and direct the process of administrative reform in a manageable direction.

The fact is that in the last decade, India has undergone major changes both in the economy (liberal reforms of the 90s) and in politics. The BJP took the lead, coalitions came to power in the center, in which regional parties play a large role, and there is a drift in the direction opposite to the centralized federation.

However, the constitution and the current political system in India allow us to overcome these difficult moments of history without revolutionary upheavals. Federal relations in India are treated as a political process that is designed to harmonize relations in society by meeting reasonable demands for self-determination within the federation, while unconditionally preserving the territorial integrity and unity of the country.

Predictions of India's imminent disintegration may be considered premature.


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