The boundaries of the provinces in pre-1947 were drawn in a haphazard manner, and were not on linguistic basis and thus most provinces were multilingual and multicultural.
It was incorporated in the Congress Party’s manifesto of 1945-46 that the provinces were to be redistributed on a linguistic basis. The promise was backed with the argument that it would make the administration easier, in view of to make linguistic identities in front, in place of more controversial ones, like caste and religion-based identities.
But dramatically, post independence the stance of the top Congress brass was found completely contrary to this. Now Nehru and Sardar Patel were not in opposition to the linguistic states; they started apprehending this, saying that it could harm the national harmony and sovereignty.
Nevertheless, to check the need and feasibility of such reorganization, the then President Rajendra Prasad constituted ‘Linguistic Provinces Commission’ headed by SK Dhar in 1948. It outright rejected the idea on basis of threat to national unity and administrative inconvenience. And its report came to the same conclusion as “the formation of provinces on exclusively or even mainly linguistic considerations is not in the larger interests of the Indian nation”. Besides this, it recommended the reorganization of the provinces by geographical contiguity, financial self-sufficiency, and ease of administration. The committee also advised against states based on linguistic basis citing prior importance of national security and economic development.
But there arose opposition to the suggestions of the Dhar commission for which the JVP committee was made in 1948 to examine the question afresh. The JVP Committee comprised of Jawaharlal Nehru, Vallabhbhai Patel and Pattabhi Sitaramayya. Its report of 1949 affirmed that the time was not suitable for formation of new provinces, and in this manner, its approach was to temporize the matter for next ten years.
On December 22, 1953, Jawaharlal Nehru announced the appointment of a commission under Fazl Ali. The other two members of the commission were K M Panikkar and HN Kunzru. The commission submitted its report after taking into account the wishes and claims of people in different regions.
It recommended the reorganization of the whole country into sixteen states and three centrally administered areas. However, the government did not accept these recommendations in toto.
While accepting the Commission’s recommendation to do away with the four-fold distribution of states as provided under the original Constitution, it divided the country into 14 states and 6 union territories under the States Reorganization Act 1956.
The states were Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Bombay, Jammu and Kashmir, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Madras, Mysore, Orissa, Punjab, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal. The six union territories were Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Delhi, Himachal Pradesh, Laccadive, Minicoy and Amindivi Islands, Manipur and Tripura. The Act was implemented in November, 1956.
New states created after 1956
Following are the new states in India created after 1956.
|Gujarat and Maharashtra||The State of Mumbai was divided into two States i.e. Maharashtra and Gujarat by the Mumbai (Reorganisation) Act 1960|
|Kerala||Created by the State Reorganisation Act, 1956. It comprised Travancor and Cochin areas|
|Karnataka||Created from the Princely State of Mysuru by the State Reorganisation Act, 1956. It was renamed Karnataka in 1973|
|Nagaland||It was carved out from the State of Asom by the State of Nagaland Act, 1952|
|Haryana||It was carved out from the State of Punjab by the Punjab (Reorganisation) Act, 1966|
|Himachal Pradesh||The Union Territory of Himachal Pradesh was elevated to the status of State by the State of Himachal Pradesh Act, 1970|
|Meghalaya||First carved out as a sub-State within the State of Asom by 23 Constitutional Amendment Act, 1969. Later in 1971, it received the status of a full-fledged State by the North-Eastern Areas (Reorganisation) Act 1971|
|Manipura and Tripura||Both these States were elevated from the status of Union-Territories by the North-Eastern Areas (Reorganisation) Act 1971|
|Sikkim||Sikkim was first given the Status of Associate State by the 35th Constitutional Amendment Act 1974. It got the status of a full State in 1975 by the 36th Amendment Act, 1975|
|Mizoram||It was elevated to the status of a full State by the State of Mizoram Act, 1986|
|Arunachal Pradesh||It received the status of a full state by the State of Arunachal Pradesh Act, 1896|
|Goa||Goa was separated from the Union-Territory of Goa, Daman and Diu and was made a full-fledged State of Goa, Daman and Diu Reorganisation Act 1987. But Daman and Diu remained as Union Territory|
|Chhattisgarh||Formed by the Constitutional Amendment Act, 2000 by dividing Madhya Pradesh on November 1, 2000|
|Uttarakhand||Formed by the Constitutional Amendment Act, 2000 by dividing Uttar Pradesh on November 9, 2000|
|Jharkhand||Formed by the Constitutional Amendment Act, 2000 by dividing Bihar on November 15, 2000|