INDIA: Separatism Rampant

When Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru in 1953 created India's first state with linguistic boundaries, setting a precedent for the big boundary reshuffle of 1956, many Indians objected that language was not the only basis on which to establish a community of interest. They felt that Nehru risked encouraging a chain reaction of fragmentation, with different sections demanding statehood on any convenient pretext just when India most needed to find unity in its bewildering diversity.

Last week some of their apprehensions seemed about to be realized. To the sound of conch shells and...

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