While much has been written on Ambedkar’s views on caste and identity, Buddhism, and the lower-caste movements led by him, his views on the issue of states reorganisation have not attracted serious scholarship. This book addresses this lacuna by revisiting the mid-1950s when the first round of states reorganisation took place and the principles on which this was undertaken.
Ambedkar feared that fostering cultural identities would result in separate nationalities. In 1956, when the States Reorganisation Commission submitted its report, he identified its flaws, and famously laid down his ‘One state, one language’ principle. Unfortunately, the speeches, tracts and articles that Ambedkar produced on these lines were soon forgotten.
In contemporary India, as new states are being formed, Ambedkar’s works find renewed relevance. Revisiting 1956 presents these works by Ambedkar that reveal his remarkable and consistent vision on state formation that administrators can learn from today. In presenting his criteria for reorganisation of states—viability, size, economic feasibility, equality, federal balance, and the divisive issue of language—he has already addressed concerns that we now have today.
This book will be invaluable for students and scholars of political science, demography, public administration and Indian history.
Sudha Pai is former Professor, Centre for Political Studies, and Rector (Pro-Vice Chancellor), Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi.
Avinash Kumar is Assistant Professor, Centre for Informal Sector and Labour Studies, School of Social Sciences, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi.
List of Tables and Maps
List of Abbreviations
PART I Tracing Ambedkar’s Thoughts on States Reorganisation
In Lieu of a Conclusion
PART II Speeches and Writings, 1938–56: Compendium