Chapter : 15
What Are Regional Aspirations ?
The basic principle of the Indian approach is to respect diversity and to allow democratic ideas to be expressed. Democratic politics also means that regional issues and problems to be accommodated. Soon after Independence, Jammu and Kashmir, North-East, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Maharashtra, and Gujarat-regional aspirations turned into agitation for separation from India.
- The ‘Kashmir issue’ is always seen as a major issue between India and Pakistan. Before 1947, Jammu and Kashmir was a Princely StateIn October 1947, Pakistan sent tribal infiltrators from its side to capture Kashmir.
- Indian Army successfully drove out infiltrators but India agreed to maintain the autonomy of Jammu and Kashmir.
- Externally, Pakistan has always claimed that Kashmir valley should be part of Pakistan.
- Internally Article 370 gives greater autonomy to J&K compared to other state of India. State had its own Constitution till August, 2019. In 1974, Indira Gandhi reached an agreement with Sheikh Abdullah and he became the Chief Minister of the State
- Jammu and Kashmir is one of the; living examples of plural society and politics.
- Punjab had to wait till 1966 to be reorganised on linguistic lines for the creation of a Punjabi speaking state.The militants made their headquarters inside the Sikh holy shrine, the Golden Temple in Amritsar and turned it into an armed fortress.
- In June 1984, the Government of India carried out ‘Operation Blue Star’to flush out the militants. Prime Minister Indira Gandhi was assassinated on 31st October, 1984
- The agreement known as Rajiv Gandhi- Longowal Accord or the Punjab Accord tried to bring peace.
Three issues dominate the politics of North¬East: demands for autonomy, movements for secession and opposition to ‘outsiders,’The reorganisation of the North-East was completed by 1972.
In 1986 a peace agreement was signed between Rajiv Gandhi and Laldenga.granted Mizoram as full-fledged statehood.
The story of Nagaland is similar to Mizoram ,Nagas signed an agreement with the Government of India but it was not acceptable to other rebels.
The Assam movement from 1979 to 1985 is the best example of such movements against ‘outsiders’.
With the successful completion of the movement and after the ‘ Assam Accord’ Asom Gana Parishad (AGP), which came to power in 1985 with the promise of resolving the foreign national problem as well as to build a ‘Golden Assam.’
In 1975, Sikkim was merged with India and it became the 22nd State of the Indian Union.
Regional aspirations are very much a part of democratic politics The best way to respond to regional aspirations is through democratic negotiations rather than through suppression.
Goa was liberated in 1961 from Portuguese by an army operation. Goa, Daman and Diu was declared an Union Territorries.