Week 17 - Ethnic and secessionist conflict II.docx

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Political Science
Professor Kanta Murali

Week 17 – Ethnic and Secessionist Conflict II – Regional and Secessionist Crises in India February 4, 2013 Agenda -these conflicts are key to India’s federal structure -ethnic b/c they contain an ethnic component in addition to demands for greater sovereignty -regional and successionist conflicts -political demands for self determination -Overlap between ethnicity and demands for greater autonomy -a brief overview of some key conflicts Recap of India’s federal structure -federal system -28 states, 7 union territories -separation of responsibilities between the union gov’t and the states -states are broadly organized on linguistic lines -linguistic reorganization thought to have quelled potential secessionist conflicts -accommodation of demands and formation of new states -linguistic reorganization under Nehru (1956) -creation of new states in 2000 -empirically, the system does have enough flexibility to accommodate certain demands -current demands -subregional demands – to split up Maharashtra or Andhra Pradesh into sub states -how centralized is Indian federalism? -formal features point to considerable centralization -eg. President’s rule, fiscal federalism -trajectory of politics and leadership styles/tactics -accommodation and management of demands for regional autonomy -Gandhi – mismanagement of federal conflicts Background of regional and secessionist demands -regional and secessionist demands -center-state relations -political demands for greater self-determination -links with ethnicity -demands over time -increasing number since 1960s -“manageable” and “troubled” cases (manor 2001) Conflicts and political management -Andhra Pradesh -inter-related agitations prior to 1952 -Hyderabad, Andhra, and Telangana -three tiers of demands (national - hyderabad, regional – andhra, subregional – telangana) Week 17 – Ethnic and Secessionist Conflict II – Regional and Secessionist Crises in India February 4, 2013 -late 1960s – Congress managed to quell the Telangana agitations through a series of “carrots” -shifting identities -national, regional, and sub-regional -fluidity of identities -helped the center quell these demands -political cooptation and accommodation Second conflict in Tamil Nadu -rhetoric of separatism in 1940s and 1950s -creation of a separate Dravidian state outside the Indian union -ambiguous demands -movement started as an Anti-Brahmin caste demands under the British -under independence – moved to a more regional nationalist movement -demands on the basis of caste to Dravidian identity to language -ethnic identity different from the Aryan north -who constituted the Dravidian “nation”? -weak mass appeal -New Delhi’s management and internal heterogeneity -abandonment of demand by late 1950s -a series of carrots the center gives to the state Conflicts in “troubled” states -Punjab -major crisis in 1980s -considerable violence through the movement and state repression -for many scholars, political interference and mismanagement was at the root of the crisis -Indira Gandhi and her supporters propped up the extremist preacher, Bhindrawale to undercut the mainstream base of the Akali Dal -backfired – Bhindrawale spearheaded a movement to establish a separate Sikh state of Khalistan -failure of political management -inconsistent approach -Operation Bluestar -biggest political disaster -encourages the extremist movement and disillusions the moderates as well -height of the secessionist appeal -Indira Gandhi’s assassination -followed by Anti-Sikh riots -continued violence in 1980s -Rajiv Gandhi Week 17 – Ethnic and Secessionist Conflict II – Regional and Secessionist Crises in India February 4, 2013 -carrot, sticks and decline in popular support A brief overview of some conflicts -north-east
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