In this article, we will read and understand the story of the formation of Indian states, so read this article till the end for better understanding. Before reading this article, definitely read the Indian Union and its territory .
You can browse all polity article through one page – Polity [If you found this article helpful, please share this page from your social media handle. This will help us a lot.]
Obviously, the India we are seeing today was not like this at the time of independence. But whatever happened in the making of today’s India, it definitely became an interesting story.
| Story of formation of Indian states
15 August 1947, the country had just become independent. For the first time people were able to feel freedom at such a high level. The price of this freedom which he and his forefathers had paid for today was its result.
But the problem was still not completely over. The real challenge was now before the country. And that challenge was to unite the fragmented country. And it was not going to be that easy either.
At the time of independence, there were two categories of political units in India – the British provinces and the princely states. Under the Indian Independence Act 1947, two independent and separate sovereign countries, India and Pakistan were created and at the same time three options were given to the princely states –
2.join Pakistan, or
3.None of these. That is, be free.
At that time there were 552 princely states in the geographical boundary of India. 549 princely states ticked the first option and joined India.
But the remaining three princely states (Hyderabad, Junagadh and Kashmir) did not show such understanding. He refused to join India.
Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel took the responsibility of explaining them the right option. It did not take much time, finally they also understood the right option.
Hyderabad was explained as the right option through police action, Junagadh by referendum and as soon as Kashmir was attacked by Pakistan, they also understood the right option and they also joined India by signing a Instrument of Accessionpdf.
Now India was starting to look like a country. Overall, the position of India was like this –
According to the original constitution, the position of India
The Constitution classified the states of the Indian Union into four types – Part ‘A’ , Part ‘B’ , Part ‘C’ , and Part ‘D’ . These were all 29 in number.
– In Part ‘A’ those were the states, where the Governor’s rule was in British India. That is, an elected governor and the state was governed by the legislature. It was 9 in number.
– In Part ‘B’ those 9 states were included where there was royal rule. And which was ruled by the Rajpramukh.
– Part ‘C’ was the rule of the Chief Commissioner of British India and in some was the royal rule.
– Andaman and Nicobar Islands were kept in Part ‘D’ alone.
|PART A||PART ‘B’||PART ‘C’||PART ‘D’|
|1. Assam||1. Hyderabad||1. Ajmer||1. Andaman & Nicobar Islands|
|2. Bihar||2. J&K||2. Bilaspur|
|3. Bombay||3. Central India||3. Bhopal|
|4. Madhya Pradesh||4. Mysore||4. Cooch Behar|
|5. Madras||5. Patiala & East Punjab||5. Delhi|
|6. Odisha||6. Rajasthan||6. Coorg|
|7. Punjab||7. Saurashtra||7. Himachal Pradesh|
|8. United Provinces||8. Vindhya Pradesh||8. Kutch|
|9. West Bengal||9. Travancore-Cochin||9. Manipur|
| Role of various commissions in formation of Indian states
After independence, the political developments took a new turn and the demand for the formation of new states started rising, people were demanding to form the state on the basis of language. That is, one state for those who speak the same language. Many committees and commissions were formed from time to time to find solutions to these problems that arose unintentionally. In such a situation, it becomes very important to know about these commissions.
In fact, the demand for the formation of Andhra state on the basis of language started gaining momentum from the southern part of the country. At that time there was only one big state Madras, where mainly Tamil, Telugu and Malayalam speaking people lived. The Telugu speaking people were demanding the creation of a new state by cutting off the part of Madras which spoke Telugu.
Remember here that in the year 1917, the Congress itself had said that upon independence, it would support the formation of states on linguistic basis. In the Nagpur session of 1920, Congress committees were also formed on the basis of linguistic province. Talking about Mahatma Gandhi, he was a staunch supporter of state formation on linguistic basis. Pandit Nehru had also given his support to the linguistic base through a letter written in 1937.
But after the country became independent, Pandit Nehru was finding himself unable to do so. There were many reasons for this, such as he was afraid that the country had just been separated on the basis of religion, again separating the country on the basis of language could harm the unity and stability.
A few days before his death, on 25 January 1948, Mahatma Gandhi had reminded him that the time had come for the Congress to fulfill the promise made 20 years ago. Pandit Nehru had come under pressure and along with him many others also started to understand how important language is to the people. And if nothing is done soon then these people will create a ruckus.
Thinking this, in June 1948, India appointed retired judge SK Dhar. and Linguistic Provinces Commission was appointed under the chairmanship of Dhar. People got some consolation that now something good will definitely happen, our words will definitely be heard. But as soon as the commission presented its report in December, 1948, it said that the reorganization of the states should not be on linguistic basis but according to administrative convenience.
Again there was great discontent among the people, those who did not want to listen had to listen. The government also felt that with this step the matter would be resolved, but it got even worse.
Seeing the matter getting more intense, another Linguistic Provinces Committee was constituted by the Congress in December, 1948 so that the matter could be completely pacified. The members of this committee became Jawaharlal Nehru himself , Vallabhbhai Patel and Pattabhisitaramaiah. Based on the first letter of the names of these three, it was known as JVP Committee.
The agitating people again got consolation that this time if our popular leader is included in this committee then something good will definitely happen. Maybe this time our wishes will be fulfilled. But this committee also submitted its report in April, 1949 and recommended to postpone the reorganization of the linguistic state for at least 10 years.
This did not stop the controversy, but in the year 1949, many other movements were also started such as the Samyukta Karnataka movement for the formation of a separate state for the Kannada speaking people spread over Mysore, Bombay and Hyderabad. With this the Samyukta Maharashtra movement also started, Malayalis started demanding a state for themselves. The demand for a separate state for Punjabi speaking people also started from Punjab.
On the whole, voices began to rise from a large part of the country for the formation of a state on the basis of language, in all this there was a very aggressive movement by the Telugu speaking people.
Although the JVP report upheld the demand for a separate Andhra state, it also said that it can be fulfilled only if the supporters of Andhra state give up the demand for Madras. As we mentioned a while back, Madras used to be the largest city in South India at that time, so both Tamil speaking and Telugu speaking people wanted Madras to be a part of their state. But the then Chief Minister C. Rajagopalachari did not want this.
Pandit Nehru threw this dice so that he could get time, people would also get assurance and the matter could be settled, but it was a rejection.
This decision broke the hearts of the pro-Andhra people because the one who was expected to be loyal had committed infidelity. Hurt by this, Potti Sriramulu, a Gandhian ideologue, went on a hunger strike in October 1952.
Thought now someone would come to celebrate. It’s been 57 days, nobody came. Potti Sriramulu died on the 58th day due to hunger strike.
After that, the government was left with no option but to come to persuade them and finally in October 1953, the Indian government was forced to form the first state on the basis of language, and then the Telugu speaking areas from Madras. Andhra Pradesh was carved out of it. Thus Andhra Pradesh was formed.
Fazal Ali Commission
Now as soon as Andhra Pradesh was formed, where the other states were going to remain silent, the demand for formation of a state on the basis of language also arose from other regions of the country.
Now the Government of India started to understand that if nothing is done again, then other states will also start getting angry. With this thinking, the Government of India constituted the State Reorganization Commission in December 1953 under the chairmanship of Fazal Ali . There were also two other members of this commission – K. M. Panikkar and H. N. Kunjuru.
Fazal Ali already knew what would happen if the recommendation did not go in favor of the people. Perhaps that is why when he presented his report in 1955, it was widely accepted that language should be made the mainstay in the reorganization of the states.
Yes, but the main and most widely spoken language should be considered the basis. [This decision was also right because if it was not so, then there would be as many states as there are languages in the country today.]
This commission advised that the four dimensional classification of states established under the original constitution should be abolished i.e. the classification of states as Part A, Part B, Part C and Part D should be abolished and 16 states and 3 union territories should be constructed.
The Government of India had prior experience, that is why before other states also agitate for it. The Government of India accepted these recommendations with very few changes. 14 states and 6 union territories were formed by the States Reorganization Act 1956 and the 7th Constitutional Amendment Act 1956.
By the States Reorganization Act 1956, a new state of Kerala was formed by joining Travancore of Cochin State and Malabar of Madras State and Kasaragode of Dakshina Kannada. In this way the demands of the Malayali speaking people were fulfilled.
This act also merged the Telugu speaking areas of Hyderabad State into Andhra State. In this way Hyderabad became a part of Andhra Pradesh.
Similarly, Madhya Pradesh state was formed by merging Madhya Bharat State, Vindhya Pradesh State and Bhopal State.
Under this act, the state of Saurashtra and Kutch was merged with the state of Bombay, the state of Coorg was merged with the state of Mysore (this was called Karnataka in 1973), Patiala and East Punjab were merged with the state of Punjab, and Ajmer state was merged with the state of Rajasthan.
Apart from this, new Union Territories – Lakshadweep, Minikay and Amindivi Islands were created by cutting it from Madras State by this Act. In this way the map of the country was now completely changed. The 14 states and union territories were as follows-
Formation of Indian states under the States Reorganization Act 1956
|1. Andhra Pradesh||1. Andaman & Nicobar Islands|
|2. Bihar||2. Delhi|
|3. Bombay||3. Himachal Pradesh|
|4. Assam||4. Laccadive, Amindivi and Minicoy Islands|
|5. Jammu and Kashmir||5. Manipur|
|6. Kerala||6. Tripura|
|7. Madhya Pradesh|
|9. Mysore (Karnataka)|
|13. Uttar Pradesh|
|14. West Bengal|
After doing this, now the Government of India breathed a sigh of relief, but this peace did not last long. Despite the large-scale reorganization of the states in 1956, due to language or cultural uniformity and other reasons, the demand for the creation of other states also arose from other states. From here state formation took an interesting turn. How did this happen? Let’s see.
| Formation of Indian states and union territories after 1956
Maharashtra and Gujarat
After Andhra, the biggest dispute happened over Maharashtra and Gujarat. Maharashtra and Gujarat were earlier a single state called Bombay or Bombay. But here too the linguistic dispute gained a lot of momentum. Bombay Citizens Committee whose members were Purushotam Das Thakurdas and JRD Tata. wanted Bombay to remain separate from Maharashtra, because if Bombay had become the capital of Maharashtra, then the monopoly of the Marathi people would have been established here. While on the other side there was the Samyukta Maharashtra Parishad, headed by Sankardeva; These people wanted a greater Maharashtra with Bombay as its capital. This too was reached when the Fazal Ali Commission report came out in 1955. In this, he rejected the greater Maharashtra and recommended the formation of a new state by combining Marathi speaking districts, which was named Vidarbha.
Although there were protests in the first few months of 1956, hundreds of people were killed in police action, but ultimately the Samyukta Maharashtra Parishad did not accept to leave Bombay and thus Bombay State was formed in November 1956. But it could not last long. In the year 1960, the bilingual state of Bombay had to be divided into two separate states –
Maharashtra came into existence for Marathi speaking people and Gujarat came into existence for Gujarati speaking people. Thus Gujarat became the 15th state of the Indian Union.
If we recall once again, now altogether 15 states which are as follows – Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Orissa, Mysore (which is called Karnataka since 1973), Madras (which was changed to Tamil Nadu in 1969), Punjab, Assam, Jammu and Kashmir, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan. Similarly, if we talk about the Union Territory, it is as follows – Tripura, Manipur, Himachal Pradesh, Delhi, Andaman and Nicobar Islands and Laccadive, Aminidivi and Minicoy Islands (it was changed to Lakshadweep in 1973).
Dadra and Nagar Haveli
It was ruled by Portugal, in 1954, the Government of India got it freed from the rule of Portugal. Till 1961, the administration itself elected by the people continued here. Later on, it was converted into a Union Territory by the 10th Constitutional Amendment Act 1961 .
It was ruled by the French. In 1954, France handed it over to India. Till 1962, its administration continued as an acquired territory. Then it was made a Union Territory by the 14th Constitutional Amendment Act .
Goa, Daman and Diu
Here too Portugal was ruled, but in 1961 these three regions were merged in India through police action. They were established as a Union Territory by the 12th Constitutional Amendment Act 1962 . However, later in 1987, Goa was made a full-fledged state.
Remember here that Goa, Daman and Diu and Dadra and Nagar Haveli were under Portugal. Out of which Goa got statehood in 1987 and in the year 2020, Daman and Diu and Dadra and Nagar Haveli were merged into a single union territory.
Nagaland was also the result of a movement that was carried out by the Nagas. In fact, the present day Nagaland was earlier a part of Assam itself. After independence, nationalist activities emerged in some sections of the Nagas, which gradually increased. Playing a key role in all this was the Naga National Council, headed by Angami Japu Phizo. This organization wanted autonomy. The movement later turned violent and government officials were attacked.
In 1955, the Government of India sent the Indian Army with the aim of ending this impasse and restoring peace. Gradually, an atmosphere of talks was created and in 1957 an agreement was signed between the Government of India and the Nagas, under which it was said to give autonomy to the Naga Hills and Tuensang region and made it a Union Territory.
But the Nagas were not satisfied with this. And again discontent began to be expressed. Finally, in 1960, again an agreement was reached between the Government of India and the Naga People’s Convention, under which it was said to make Nagaland a full-fledged state.
The State of Nagaland Act was passed in the Parliament in 1962 and Nagaland was formally established as a state on 1 December 1963. And thus Nagaland became the 16th state of the Indian Union.
Haryana, Chandigarh and Himachal Pradesh
When the country became independent, Punjab was also divided into two parts. The part which went to Pakistan was called West Punjab and the part which came to India was called East Punjab. When the Constitution of India came into force in January 1950, it was called Punjab and placed under Part ‘A’.
Some parts of this Punjab were ruled by kings, So, a new state Patiala and East Punjab State Union (PEPSU) was formed by merging eight such princely states.
The northern mountainous region of Punjab was called Himachal Pradesh and was treated as a union territory. But in 1956 when 14 states and 6 union territories were created under the State Reorganization Act. Then PEPSU was also merged with Punjab. That is, the independent existence of PEPSU was abolished.
What we call Haryana today was actually a part of Punjab. And this too a new state was formed on the basis of language. In fact, people in Haryana spoke Hindi. While Punjabi was spoken in the rest of Punjab.
There was a demand of Punjabi speaking people that there should be a separate state for Punjabi speaking people. This demand was further strengthened in the 1960s under the leadership of the Akali Dal and by 1966 it had become such a situation, when the Government of India was forced to give serious consideration to it.
The Government of India constituted the Shah Commission and in 1966, on the basis of its recommendations, Haryana was made out of the Hindi speaking area from Punjab. And the capital of both was made Chandigarh, and Chandigarh was made a union territory. In this way Haryana became the 17th state of the Indian Union and Himachal Pradesh was still allowed to remain a Union Territory.
Later in January 1971, Himachal Pradesh was given full statehood. And thus Himachal Pradesh became the 18th state of the Indian Union.
Manipur, Tripura and Meghalaya
Crores of Bangladeshis fled to India due to the devastation caused by Pakistan in Bangladesh before the 1971 war and the Indian government gave them shelter.
Now if you remember the map of Northeast India, then you must have remembered that these Bangladeshis fled to Manipur, Tripura, Assam, Meghalaya and West Bengal. Because here the Indian state is adjacent to Bangladesh.
West Bengal was already a state, Assam was already a state but Manipur, Tripura and Meghalaya were not a state. Its administration was handled by the center.
When Bangladeshi came to these areas too much, these areas asked the Indira Gandhi government to give full-state status. So that the administration there can handle it according to its own accord. So overall the condition of the country at that time became such that these three were given state status in 1972.
In 1971, an Act was passed by the Parliament, which was named North-Eastern Areas Reorganization Act. Under this, Manipur and Tripura, which were made Union Territories under the State Reorganization Act 1956; was given full statehood. as well as Meghalaya, which was earlier an autonomous part of Assam; was also given the status of a full-fledged state. In this way Manipur became 19th, Tripura 20th and Meghalaya 21st.
Apart from this, the Union Territories of Mizoram and Arunachal Pradesh (known as Northeast Frontier Agency-NEFA) also came into existence from the same North-Eastern Areas Reorganization Act 1971.
Sikkim was a royal state of India until 1947, ruled by the Chogyal. Sikkim was protected by India at the end of British rule in 1947. In 1974, the Government of India granted Sikkim the status of a Associate state.
But the people there had started losing faith in the monarchy system. Because all other states were following democracy and enjoying immense freedom.
That is why a referendum was held there in 1975. The people voted to end Chogyal’s rule during a referendum.
And thus Sikkim became an integral part of India. After the 36th Constitutional Amendment Act 1975 came into force, Sikkim was made a full-fledged state and thus became the 22nd state of the Indian Union.
Mizoram, Arunachal Pradesh and Goa
While forming new states, the government also started enjoying it. So in 1987 three more states were formed.
Mizoram, which was earlier a union territory, was given full statehood and Mizoram became the 23rd state of the Indian Union . Arunachal Pradesh was also given full statehood and became the 24th state of the Indian Union.
And, Goa, which was earlier a Union Territory, was also given full statehood. And it became the 25th state of the Indian Union.
Chhattisgarh, Uttarakhand and Jharkhand
After 1987 no new state came into existence for a long time. But it was not the end of all this. Soon people started to demand new states, the government was ready; He fulfilled the demand. Soon three new states were born in the year 2000.
Chhattisgarh was made out of Madhya Pradesh. Uttarakhand was made out of Uttar Pradesh, and Jharkhand was made out of Bihar.
Now remember, this was Andhra Pradesh which was formed first. Still it did not get satisfaction. In the year 2014, the state of Telangana was formed out of the state of Andhra Pradesh. And it became the 29th state of the Indian Union. and thus became 29 states and 7 union territories
Everyone got used to the 29 states and 7 union territories. But this habit soon changed again.
In the year 2019, as a result of a historic development, Jammu and Kashmir was divided into two union territories. Jammu Kashmir and Ladakh. And in this way till more new states are not formed, today there are 28 states and 8 union territories in our country.
| Current status of Indian states
|Andhra Pradesh||Amaravati||1 November 1956|
|Arunachal Pradesh||Itanagar||20 February 1987|
|Assam||Dispur||26 January 1950|
|Bihar||Patna||26 January 1950|
|Chhattisgarh||Raipur||1 November 2000|
|Goa||Panaji||30 May 1987|
|Gujarat||Gandhinagar||1 May 1960|
|Haryana||Chandigarh||1 November 1966|
|Himachal Pradesh||Shimla (Summer)|
|25 January 1971|
|Jharkhand||Ranchi||15 November 2000|
|Karnataka||Bangalore||1 November 1956|
|Kerala||Thiruvananthapuram||1 November 1956|
|Madhya Pradesh||Bhopal||26 January 1950|
|1 May 1960|
|Manipur||Imphal||21 January 1972|
|Meghalaya||Shillong||21 January 1972|
|Mizoram||Aizawl||20 February 1987|
|Nagaland||Kohima||1 December 1963|
|Odisha||Bhubaneswar||26 January 1950|
|Punjab||Chandigarh||1 November 1966|
|Rajasthan||Jaipur||26 January 1950|
|Sikkim||Gangtok||16 May 1975|
|Tamil Nadu||Chennai||1 November 1956|
|Telangana||Hyderabad||2 June 2014|
|Tripura||Agartala||21 January 1972|
|Uttar Pradesh||Lucknow||26 January 1950|
|9 November 2000|
|West Bengal||Kolkata||26 January 1950|
|Union territory||Capital||UT established||Official languages|
|Andaman and Nicobar Islands||Port Blair||1 November 1956||Hindi|
|Chandigarh||Chandigarh||1 November 1966||English|
|Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu||Daman||26 January 2020||Gujarati, Hindi|
|Delhi||New Delhi||1 November 1956||Hindi, English|
|Jammu and Kashmir||Srinagar (Summer Jammu (Winter)||31 October 2019||Kashmiri, Urdu|
|Ladakh||Leh (Summer) Kargil (Winter)||31 October 2019||Hindi, English|
|Lakshadweep||Kavaratti||1 November 1956||Malayalam, English|
So this was the story of the formation of the Indian states, I hope you can understand. Be sure to read the articles given below. For now hindi quiz is available on Formation of Indian states, if you wish, do try…
Formation of Indian states Practice Quiz [in Hindi]
|Other articles related to Formation of indian states|
|Emergency 1975 : A Bitter Truth [UPSC]|
|Preamble : Meaning, Importance, Need, Purpose|
|Cauvery Water Dispute: History, Present & Agreements|
|National Legal Services Authority :NALSA|
|Constitution making story|
State Reorganization Act 1956↗️
Formation of Indian states and union territories of India↗️
Story of Madras and Bombay↗️
Polity – P K Agrawal
Polity – M Laxmikant etc.