When the nation is wrestling with the
issue of how to integrate multi lingual population one wonders how other nations
dealt with similar issues. After independence India too faced similar issues of
simmering tensions of its multi-lingual citizenry.
British had divided India in
two types of territories – provinces ruled directly by British officers and
Princely states ruled by hereditary rulers – and 1950’s Constitution used them
as the basis to create its 28 states. However, such a division did not take into
account the language preferences of the citizens of these states.
So a movement developed for the creation of linguistic based states,
unsettling the stability of the budding nation. In 1953, Nehru appointed a
commission under GB Pant to reorganize states. Pant’s States Reorganization
Commission recommended creation of fourteen states and seven union territories
mainly around linguistic line.
Many other changes to India’s state boundaries
have been made but the states reorganizations enacted by Nehru’s government
essentially facilitated the political integration of the country.