Regionalism is the expression of a common sense of identity and purpose by people within a specific geographical region, united by its unique language, culture, language, etc.
Unequal distribution of resources is one of the reasons for amplifying regionalism but it is not the soleone. Various other things are responsible.
Basis of regionalism
- Common regional pride
Regionalism is basically focused on the idea of common pride expressed by a group of citizens. This expression of pride encourages them to pursue a common goal of development of regional affiliation, which is more than national pride.
Reasons for regionalism
- Economic reasons
Economic reasons involve a lack of development in a given region that has resulted in poverty. Due to step-motherly attitude, major development projects such as industries, roads or other facilities are not provided. As a result, the region will be left behind when compared to the rest of the state.
Ex: Bundelkhand region is plagued with a lack of economic development.
- Cultural reasons
Lack of protection for the culture and heritage of the region may force the people to be vocal towards regionalism. The cultural reasons can be language, religion, tradition, or any other factor that holds the utmost importance for the people.
Ex: Bodoland movement based on Bodo culture.
- Political reasons
Political reasons involve a lack of political representation for the region. This means that the region will miss out on support in the government and lose its significance. If the region has to prosper and develop, it must be relevant in the state or national politics.
Ex: Telangana movement.
Thus, regionalism as an ideology is not only development or economic oriented. It is based on various other factors that tends to create a separate identity for the region.
In Other hands
Regionalism has risen from the utmost love and inclination of different sects of the civilization towards their region based on various factors like geography, terrain, language, ideology, and sacred beliefs. Regionalism is two dimensional, positive, and the negative side.
*Regionalism can be positive when it is put in the use of uplifting the local community. *Regionalism can negative when it is used to spread false propaganda, decrease the pace of national growth, and create differences.
Yes, unequal distribution of benefits of development on a regional basis eventually promotes regionalism as people start feeling that the government is biased towards a particular community and is undermining the interest of a respective region.
*The reasons for negative regionalism are as follows :
1. The feeling of supremacy: Generally, people of a region greater in number tend to establish their supremacy over the other.
2. Concept of Son of Soil: The world has grown to be more competitive with the resources being the same and needs rising the brim, people fear the loss of jobs and population explosion gives rise to survival extinct of people, this situation coined the statement “Son of Soil” which means that only the particular part of the population has the right over all the resources and amenities of a region.
3.Political propaganda: Most often political parties promote regional differences to build their vote bank. Vote bank politics make the politicians fuel the negative regionalism both knowingly and unknowingly, the complete electoral system is stuck in this vicious cycle.
4. Socioeconomic development: The Govt. has repeatedly failed in ensuring equitable development of particular states/province and distribution of resources. This injects negative regionalism. *Ways to overcome negative regionalism:
1. Inculcate the feeling of nationalism over regionalism.
2. Political leaders can act more like leaders and less like a sales manager to a political party who just fetches votes.
3. The Election Commission of India can put a check on leaders involved in hate speech concerning regional discrimination.
Regionalism should be put into good use i.e for creating a special identity and not to create a hurdle for the country’s growth and nationalism as a whole. A country should focus more on its global identity.