Demand for ‘Greater Tipraland’

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    In Context

    • Recently, the demand has grown louder to carve out a separate state of ‘Greater Tipraland’ for the indigenous communities in Tripura Article 2 and 3 of the Constitution.

    Demand for ‘Greater Tipraland’ 

    About:

    • The new demand seeks to include every tribal person living in an indigenous area or village outside the Tripura Tribal Areas Autonomous District Council (TTAADC) under the proposed model. 
    • However, the idea doesn’t restrict to simply the Tripura tribal council areas but seeks to include ‘Tiprasa’ of Tripuris spread across different states of India like Assam, Mizoram etc. as well, even those living in Bandarban, Chittagong, Khagrachari and other bordering areas of neighbouring Bangladesh.
    • It also proposes dedicated bodies to secure the rights of the Tripuris and other aboriginal communities living outside Tripura.

     

    • Historical Background of Demand: 
      • Tripura was a kingdom ruled by the Manikya dynasty from the late 13th century until the signing of the Instrument of Accession with the Indian government on October 15, 1949.
        • The demand mainly stems from the anxiety of the indigenous communities in connection with the change in the demographics of the state, which has reduced them to a minority. 
        • It happened due to the displacement of Bengalis from erstwhile East Pakistan between 1947 and 1971. 
          • From 63.77 per cent in 1881, the population of the tribals in Tripura was down to 31.80 per cent by 2011. 
          • In the intervening decades, ethnic conflict and insurgency gripped the state, which shares a nearly 860-km long boundary with Bangladesh. 
    • The call of Greater Tipraland’ rose due to unfulfilled demands of revising NRC in Tripura and opposition to CAA in the past.
    • Immediate cause:
      • The churn in the state’s politics with the rise of TIPRA Motha and the Assembly polls due in early 2023 are the two major reasons behind the development.

     

    Major Reasons for Rise in demand for Separate state 

    • Economic backwardness of sub-regions within large states has also emerged as an important ground on which demands for smaller states are being made
    • Linguistic and cultural reasons, which were the primary basis for creating new states in the country, have now become secondary in most of these cases.

    Initiatives to Address the Issue

    • The Tripura Tribal Areas Autonomous District Council (TTAADC) was formed under the sixth schedule of the Constitution in 1985 to ensure development and secure the rights and cultural heritage of the tribal communities. 
      • The TTAADC, which has legislative and executive powers, covers nearly two-thirds of the state’s geographical area. 
      • The council comprises 30 members of which 28 are elected while two are nominated by the Governor. 
        • Also, out of the 60 Assembly seats in the state, 20 are reserved for Scheduled Tribes. 

    Challenges in Creation of New States 

    • Setting up various institutions, government offices, universities, hospitals, etc. require huge sums of money, therefore, the new state might end up depending on the Union for funds, which may or may not be available.
    • Different statehood may lead to the hegemony of the dominant community/ caste/ tribe over their power structures.
      • This can lead to the emergence of intra-regional rivalries among the sub-regions.

    Way Forward

    • There should be certain clear-cut parameters and safeguards to check the unfettered demands.
    • It is better to allow democratic concerns like development, decentralisation and governance rather than religion, caste, language or dialect to be the valid bases for conceding the demands for a new state.

    Constitutional Provisions for the formation of new States

    • Article 2 of the Constitution deals with the admission or establishment of new states. 
      • Parliament may by law admit into the Union, or establish, new States on such terms and conditions, as it thinks fit,”.
    • Article 3 assigns to Parliament the power to enact legislation for the formation of new States.
    •  Parliament may create new States in a number of ways, namely by
      •  Separating territory from any State
      • Uniting two or more States
      • Uniting parts of States 
      • Uniting any territory to a part of any State. 
    • Parliament’s power under Article 3 extends to increasing or diminishing the area of any State and altering the boundaries or name of any State.
      • This process is called the reorganisation of the states.
      • The basis of reorganisation could be linguistic, religious, ethnic or administrative.
    • A bill calling for the formation of new States may be introduced in either House of Parliament only on the recommendation of the President. 
    • Such a bill must be referred by the President to the concerned State Legislature for expressing its views to Parliament if it contains provisions that affect the areas, boundaries or name of that State. 

    Source: IE