Thursday, February 14, 2008

Should India continue to have linguistic states?

The recent mob violence in parts of Maharashtra are a cause for deep concern as well as national shame. While the immediate motivation maybe short-term political gains, the underlying cause remains the fact that the Indian people are divided across lingustic lines. Differences in language exist, and cannot really be changed, for India will remain a diverse country. However, linguistic states have contributed to strong identification with people of their own state as compared to those from other states, and this has reinforced regionalism.

In these times, with increasing regionalism in Indian politics, India needs to examine whether it should continue with linguistic states. Any step to change the status quo, however, is fraught with political suicide. The question then is who, if any, will bell the cat?


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