Demand for Greater Tipraland

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    • Recently, TIPRA (Tipraha Indigenous Progressive Regional Alliance) Motha chief announced that they will ally with any political party that gives them written assurance to support their demand for Greater Tipraland.

    Greater Tipraland

    • Regional extent: It includes the region under Tripura Tribal Areas Autonomous district Council (TTADC) and 36 villages out of it, within the Tripura State boundaries. 
    • Demand of Tipra Motha: Tipra Motha is demanding that this area should be carved out as a State or a Union Territory. 
    • Encouraged by: It is essentially an extension of the ruling tribal partner Indigenous Peoples Front of Tripura – IPFT’s demand of Tipraland, which sought a separate state for tribals of Tripura.
    • Includes: 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.
    • Applicable to: 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.

    Reasons for demand

    • The TTADC receives two percent of the State budget while it has 40% of the State’s population.
    • The call of Greater Tipraland arose due to unfulfilled demands of revising National Register of Citizens (NRC) in Tripura and opposition to CAA in the past.
    • Tripura saw turbulent violent struggles by different outlawed insurgent outfits like the Tripura National Volunteers (TNV), United Bengali Liberation Front (UBLF), National Liberation Front of Tripura (NLFT), All Tripura Tiger Force (ATTF) etc. – all demanding self-determination and sovereignty, albeit on different ethnic and community lines.

     

    Image Courtesy: FP 

    Constitutional Provisions for the formation of new States

    • The reorganisation of the states: The procedure for the formation of new States laid down in Article 3 of the Constitution provides that a State has no say over the formation of new States beyond communicating its views to Parliament.
    • The basis of reorganisation could be:
      • Linguistic, 
      • religious, 
      • Ethnic or 
      • Administrative.
    • Article 3:
      • It 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.
      • 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.

    Reasons for the demand for new states

    • Economic backwardness of sub-regions within large states has also emerged as an important ground on which demands for smaller states are being made.
    • The lack of industry, agrarian crisis, and a low level of infrastructural facilities push demand for such states.
    • 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.

    Issues

    • 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.

    Source: TH