Linguistic commissions

Dhar Commission

There was a demand from different regions, mainly South India, for reorganization of States on linguistic basis. Consequently, in June 1948, the Government of India appointed the Linguistic Provinces Commission under the chairmanship of S.K.Dhar to study the feasibility of organizing states on Linguistic basis.

The Commission, later on, rejected the linguistic basis of reorganization of States and recommended the reorganization of States on the basis of following criterias :

  1. Geographical contiguity
  2. Financial self-reliance
  3. Administrative viability
  4. Potential for development

JVP Committee (Jawaharlal Nehru, Vallahbhai Patel, PattabhiSitaramayya)

The report submitted by Dhar commission led to much resentment among the people. As a result, in the Jaipur session of 1948, Congress appointed a three member committee to consider the recommendations of Dhar Commission. This committee also rejected the linguistic factor of reorganization of the states. This committee recommended the reorganization of States on the basis of security, unity and economic prosperity of the nation.

However, the Indian Government was forced by the death of PottiSriramulu to create the first linguistic state, known as Andhra State, by separating the Telugu speaking areas from the Madras State. PottiSriramulu became famous for undertaking the hunger strike in support of the formation of an Indian state for the Telugu-speaking population of Madras Presidency; he lost his life in the process. His death sparked public rioting, and Indian prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru declared the intent to form Andhra State three days following.

Fazl Ali Commission

Chairman :Fazl Ali

Members :HridaynathKunzru and K.M.Panikkar

After the formation of Andhra Pradesh on the basis of linguistic factor, all hell break loose. The other regions also started demanding for creation of separate states on the basis of linguistic factor. The intense pressure forced the Indian Government to form a new commission to visit the whole question of whether the linguistic basis of separation of states can be considered or not. It led to the formation of Fazl Ali Commission in December 1953.

The commission submitted its report on September 1955 and acknowledged 4 major factors to be taken into account in any scheme of reorganization of states :

  1. Linguistic and Cultural homogenity
  2. Preservation and strengthening of the unity and security of the nation.
  3. Financial, Economic and Administrative considerations.
  4. Planning and promotion of the welfare of the people in each state as well as of the Nation as a whole.

It suggested the reorganization of 27 states of various categories into 16 states and 3 Union Territories. The recommendations of the Fazl Ali Commission was accepted by the Indian Government with minor modifications. As a result, the State Reorganization Act of 1956 was passed by the Parliament to give effect to the recommendation of the commission. It led to the formation of 14 states and 6 Union Territories on 1st November, 1956.

As originally enacted the preamble described the state as a “sovereign democratic republic”. In 1976 the Forty-second Amendment changed this to read “sovereign socialist secular democratic republic”.