Q. India is a “indestructible union of destructible state”. Explain this statement in light of the reorganization of the state under Article 3 of the Constitution.

Structure of the answer:

  • Introduction (India being indestructible but State destructible)
  • Background
  • Reorganization of the state under Article 3
  • Final analysis

Model Answer

India has been called as “indestructible union” by Dr.B.R. Ambedkar as no Indian state can secede from the Indian union as in the case of confederation or loosely held federation. But on the other hand there is situation of destructible nature of the state as seen in context of Article 3. This has given opportunities to accommodate the aspirations of the people to form their own state and maintain unity and integrity of the country intact.

The Article 3 of the Constitution provides for:

  • The Center can change the “name, boundaries and territories” of the State.
  • For doing the same the consent of the state is not necessary. for exampleFormation of the state of Telangana.

Thus, Article 3 suggest the following points:

  • Indian states do not enjoy full sovereignty as in case of States in USA.
  • The USA, unlike India, follows the concept of “indestructible states” as the territorial integrity and continued existence of the state is guaranteed by the constitution.
  • Moreover, any changes brought in the states as per Article 3 is not deemed as an amendment in the Constitution so does not require the process of Article 368 to be followed (no special majority required to pass such a bill). 

Further, as pointed out by Subhash Kashyap it can be said that the center has absolute power in this regard. But existence of such power does not mean use of power without justification. The changed scenario has put several restrictions on the use of such power:

  • Rise of regional parties.
  • Financial non-viability of destructing a state due to additional administrative expenditure.
  • Growth of the concept of constructive, creative, converging, cooperative and competitive federalism (“C5”).

Hence in light of the above analysis it can be said that though legally India is an indestructible union of destructible states but practically this may not hold true under changed circumstances.

Subjects : Polity