You are on page 1of 22

Indian Sociological Society

Cultural Nationalism in a Multi-National Context: The Case of India


Author(s): Subrat K. Nanda
Source: Sociological Bulletin, Vol. 55, No. 1 (January-April 2006), pp. 24-44
Published by: Indian Sociological Society
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/23620521
Accessed: 03-02-2016 13:53 UTC

Your use of the JSTOR archive indicates your acceptance of the Terms & Conditions of Use, available at http://www.jstor.org/page/
info/about/policies/terms.jsp
JSTOR is a not-for-profit service that helps scholars, researchers, and students discover, use, and build upon a wide range of content
in a trusted digital archive. We use information technology and tools to increase productivity and facilitate new forms of scholarship.
For more information about JSTOR, please contact support@jstor.org.

Indian Sociological Society is collaborating with JSTOR to digitize, preserve and extend access to Sociological Bulletin.

http://www.jstor.org

This content downloaded from 130.209.119.131 on Wed, 03 Feb 2016 13:53:19 UTC
All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

Cultural

Nationalism

The Case
SubraK.

in a Multi-National

Context:

of India
Nanda

Nationalism is generally seen as a political principle for establishing


sovereign nation-states. In this paper, it is argued that nationalism in
a multi-national context is viewed differentlyat different levels. By
analysing several cases of linguistic and provincial movements in
India, it tries to demonstrate that in multi-national countries, such as
India, nationalism assumes a political connotation at the macro level
and a cultural connotation at the regional level. While the political
connotation symbolises the establishment of a sovereign nation-state
at the macro level, the cultural connotation, by and large, underlines
the protection of distinct cultural nation/nationality in a given
provincial political space within the common sovereign state.

It is popularly believed that nationalism, either as an ideology or as a


movement, is necessarily linked with the concept of sovereignty. From
this perspective, nationalism as a principle of political self-determination
invariably tends to achieve a sovereign nation-state. However, empirical
evidence in many culturally plural and/or multi-national countries reveals
that the goal of nationalism may vary from different kinds of political
For example, in several
autonomy to outright sovereignty/independence.
multi-national countries it is seen that nationalistic sentiment was and
by people to protect their distinct cultural
linguistic identity within the provisions of provincial political autonomy
under a common sovereign state. This variety of nationalism
seeking
continues

to be

invoked

provincial statehood in a multi-national set-up may be referred to as


This paper proposes
'cultural nationalism'.
to bring into focus this
in
the
context
of multi-national
of
cultural
nationalism
phenomenon
countries in general and in India in particular.
Nationalism
A

multi-national

in Multi-national
country

diverse

Context:

Conceptual

Clarification

consists of people
to culturally
belonging
Such countries all over the world experience

nationality groups.
differing levels of identity, which, in turn, create competing claims upon
the loyalty of their people. Normally, in these countries, people's
loyalty
to their overarching
nation/state competes
with the loyalty to their
SOCIOLOGICAL

BULLETIN,

55 (1), January-April 2006, Pp. 24-44

This content downloaded from 130.209.119.131 on Wed, 03 Feb 2016 13:53:19 UTC
All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

25

Cultural Nationalism in a Multi-National Context

respective nationalities. Stated differently, people in such cases wish to


cling to their civil-political
identity without shedding or tampering their
Edward
specific cultural identity and the notions of ancestral 'homeland'.
Shills (1957) observes that people in such countries display both civil
political and cultural-primordial ties. If the framework is disturbed in any
form, there would be predictable conflict, because one or another nation
ality may feel deprived objectively or subjectively.
Incidentally,
quite a large number of multi-national

counties

are

in the Third World, that is, in Africa, Asia and Latin America.
For a greater part of their history, most of these countries remained under
located

the rule of European colonial powers. European colonialism,


however,
could not obliterate the multi-cultural set-up of these countries. On the
other hand, it provided effective grounds for the growth of nationalism
there.
It may be recalled here that, as a political doctrine, nationalism
originated in modern Europe and then spread to other parts of the world
in different periods (Anderson
was
1983; Gellner 1994). Nationalism
exported

to the Third

Significantly,

while

in Europe

modern

sovereign

establishing
one-nation-one-state
nationalism

World

countries

during the colonial


period.
the emergence of nationalism aimed at
states along national
in the multi-cultural

lines following the


colonial
countries

dictum,
conceived
differently in different contexts. At the
nationalism was seen as an anti-colonial political conscious

was

macro-level,
ness striving to liberate the country from foreign rule and establish a
it was perceived as a form of
sovereign state. At the regional-level,
cultural consciousness
to
seeking
protect distinct cultural communities in
their traditional homelands. Needless
to say, the former represents the
and the latter encapsulates
the cultural
political sense of nationalism
of
nationalism.
expression
There is no denying that the concept of nation - real or imaginary is central to all forms of nationalism. However, in some cases, national
consciousness
arises from a pre-existent nation; in others, it may lead to
the construction
typical

of a distinct national
sense,

nation

meant

identity. By and large, in the


a culture-congruent
sovereign

European
political entity. However, given the dual interpretation of nationalism, in
the multi-cultural colonial world, nation acquired a double connotation:
at the macro-level,
it acquired a political form based on shared colonial
and geo-political
it assumed
a
unity; at the micro-level,
experience
cultural form based on cultural-linguistic-territorial
This
dual
identity.
notion of nation and nationalism persists in these countries even after
In the independent period, the macro-political
independence.
referred to as nation or even nation-state in the political sense

unit is
and the

This content downloaded from 130.209.119.131 on Wed, 03 Feb 2016 13:53:19 UTC
All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

Subrat K. Nanda

26
constituent micro unit is viewed

as nation in the cultural sense.

In other

words, in the multi-national states, nation emerged as a political entity at


the common political level and as a cultural entity at the specific cultural
level.

The

common

former is based

on such political

citizenship
on such socio-cultural

is based

history and distirict language.


standings of nation.
As

as sovereignty,
system. The latter

variables

and common

legal-administrative
criteria as cultural homogeneity, shared
Territory is common to both the under

mentioned

earlier, in the ex-colonial


countries, nationalism
what is often over
as
a
to
colonialism.
However,
emerged
response
looked is that in these countries the colonial rulers created provincial
administrative
boundaries
which did not correspond
to the cultural
of different nationalities.
This provincial arrangement not
rise to disjuncture between culture and territory, but also
led to the domination by one nationality over another in a

boundaries
only

gave

eventually

given provincial unit. The dominated nationalities responded by asserting


their distinct national identity in separatist terms. The political manifest
ation of such assertion varied from the demand for a culture-congruent
provincial unit to a separate sovereign state.
The situation
introduction

of

after independence.
The arrival of freedom,
and
establishment
of democratic
self-governments,
exploded

institutions and civil-political


rights provided the requisite platform for
and
arousal
of national consciousness
among the hitherto subdued
neglected nationalities. Considering the enormity of the problem, some

multi-national countries undertook provincial reorganisation


on primordial basis. The primordial basis, however, differed from one
- for
example, region was the basis of reorganisation
country to another
in
in Nigeria;
sect and religion,
in Indonesia;
tribe-cum-kinship,
ex-colonial

Lebanon;

race,

in Malaysia;

1971).

language

tribe, in Pakistan

(Geertz

keeping the following


between
(a) establishing
parallelism
politico-adminis
goals
trative unit and cultural unit; (b) maintaining the unity and integrity of
the diverse population under a common
the state; (c) accommodating
Provincial

reorganisation

was

and

undertaken

in view:

authority; (d) promoting a 'terminal' civil loyalty to the


of multiple primordial loyalties; and (e) introducing large
modernisation
so that all types of disaffection
state-sponsored

civil-political
state in place
scale

resulting from the ties of race, colour, language,

religion, etc. would

be

displaced

eventually.
countries neither the desired
Unfortunately, in many ex-colonial
between administrative unit and cultural identity has been
parallelism
fully met, nor the highly expected

'displacement

syndrome'

and

This content downloaded from 130.209.119.131 on Wed, 03 Feb 2016 13:53:19 UTC
All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

the

Cultural Nationalism in a Multi-National Context

27

much

hoped-for singular loyalty to the state have emerged. What is


emerging, on the contrary, is a set of multiple cultural nations co-existing
under common sovereign political unit, thereby allowing two notions of
identity, a dual level of loyalty, a dual conception of nationality and
finally a double interpretation of nationalism. Given this scenario, it is
quite likely that those nationalities whose language and territory are not
protected will indulge in nationalistic mobilisation
demanding
recog
nition of identity and autonomy.
It is well known that nationality problems grip the multi-national
countries of the ex-colonial world; the older and well-integrated western
countries remain relatively free from this malaise.
these
However,
countries
cultural
National

also experience stiff resistance from their people belonging to


different from the mainstream nation/nationality.
backgrounds

latent or avowed,
now exist among the Scots,
movements,
Welsh and Irish in the UK; French-Quebecois
in Canada; German Swiss
in Switzerland;
and Catalans
in Spain; and Burgundies
and
Basques

Britons

in France

(Satyamurthy
nationalisms

and
1983). In fact, both 'state-aspiring'
are found in the contemporary western

'state-renouncing'
world (Oommen
1997).
It follows that both the old and new multi-national

states experience
In
such
few exceptions,
a
states, people, barring
nationality problems.
want to survive through self-rule within a common
state.
sovereign
Commenting on multi-national states A.D. Smith (1973) notes two polar

'statist' and 'ethnicist'. The statists perceive and define


perspectives:
nationalism from the viewpoint of mainstream nation and culture and the
unity and integrity of the state. The ethnicists, being desirous of main

insist on recognising specific cultural


taining cultural distinctiveness,
nation and nationalism in the multi-national set up. The statists advocate
the assimilation of cultural nationalities into the mainstream mould, but
the ethnicists

with a view to retaining


incessantly resist assimilation
identities.
for
the
Moreover,
ethnicists, subordination of specific
multiple
cultural identity in favour of an overarching state identity and an alien
mainstream

nation and culture would

mean many things: (a) it may run


of identity and, hence, autonomy; (b) it may lead to
unfettered hegemony of the mainstream nation; and (c) it may amount to
loss of instrumental socioeconomic
benefits and of equal opportunity.

the risk of loss

Nationalism

in India

In India, the magnitude of nationality problems is stupendous. Being a


new state and the largest multi-national country, she faces the uphill task
of reconciling
national
of
integration efforts with accommodation

This content downloaded from 130.209.119.131 on Wed, 03 Feb 2016 13:53:19 UTC
All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

Subrat K. Nanda

28

multiple nationalities within the framework of a single sovereign polity.


all the more difficult as free India has adopted a
The task becomes
secular democratic
It is well

political system.
known that India is a veritable

labyrinth of cultural
India is home to numerous

time immemorial,
Of these
tribes, races, and castes and sub-castes.
in
tribe
to some
India,
and,
pluralism
language,
be
as
not
serve
to
as
crucial,
extent, religion, happen
they
only
important
markers of group identity, but also provide viable bases for nationality
Since

pluralism/diversity.

languages,
religions,
elements of cultural

formation. The fact that linguistic and tribal identities in India are linked
or 'desk', rein
to a definite territory, that is, a concept of 'homeland'
forces their salience.
the
term
desk
Moreover,
implies not merely a
a
territory, but also
people, language, style of life, and pattern of culture;
N.
in the European
sense of the term. Madhav
of
is
that
the
'homeland'
(1983)
variously
Deshpande
concept
in Indian vocabulary
as 'desk',
etc. In
'nadu',
'rastra',
expressed
distinct
addition, several linguistic and tribal groups in India possess
history, culture, myths, symbols and. values. All these elements go into
in fact, a

nation

observes

the making of territorially rooted cultural nationalities in India and render


her multi-national character. Given such a complex socio-cultural reality,
any attempt to disturb the natural linkage between language, culture and
would cause disaffection among the affected people. As a
and
matter of fact, this natural linkage between territory, language
culture was disturbed for the first time in India during the colonial
homeland

period.
India emerged

The
as single political unit under British colonialism.
British, however, systematically divided the Indian territory into 'British
India' and 'Indian India'. Administrative provinces were created to rule
India' directly. 'Indian India', comprising 562 princely states,
ruled
was
by native princes under British paramountcy. This colonial
policy of keeping Indian states separate from 'British India' was perhaps
'British

designed to thwart the development of nationalism at the all-India level.


It did not, however, take long for nationalism to grow at the all-India
level. However, unlike nationalism in Europe, nationalism in India did
not emerge from industrialisation or bourgeois revolution to capture state
power. It resulted primarily from the inevitable political framework of
situation.
and the cultural framework of multi-national
colonialism
content and it
Obviously, Indian nationalism assumed a liberal-political
from a sense of pan-Indian geo-political
evolved
unity and an anti
to diverse cultural
colonial
shared by people
belonging
perception
the
all-India
national
Needless
to
say,
backgrounds.
nationality

This content downloaded from 130.209.119.131 on Wed, 03 Feb 2016 13:53:19 UTC
All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

Cultural Nationalism in a Multi-National Context

29

consciousness
was mainly articulated by the nationalist
various cross sections of the Indian middle class.

elite comprising

Apart from the all-India level, nationalism in India was also seen at
level. Unlike the pan-Indian national consciousness,
the regional-national
however, the regional national consciousness
emerged as a form of
cultural nationalism
vis--vis

seeking to preserve identity and protect 'homeland'


in the country. It is in this sense that the
other nationalities
cultural nationalism
differed from the pan-Indian
political

regional
nationalism

which aimed

at India's

and the establishment


independence
Moreover, the regional national consciousness
from a cultural sense of 'pre-existent nation' defined in terms

of the Indian nation-state.


emanated

of a distinct culture, shared history, specific language


and common
territory. Thus, the origins of cultural nationalism in India date back to
the colonial times. The rise of such cultural nationalism
was mainly
attributed to the existence

of artificial provincial units in colonial India.


Like colonial experience elsewhere, in India too, British colonialism
carved put administrative provinces which did not match the physical
distribution
cases,

of nationalities

several

example,

and their socio-cultural

the Bengal

In some

were juxtaposed
in one provincial unit. For
presidency contained different nationalities like the

Bengali,
Oriya, Assamese,
The Madras
communities.

Maithili,

Bhojpuri
included
Presidency
while the Bombay

and Kannadigas;
Malayalees
the Marathis,
Gujaratis,
Kannadigas
instances,

affiliation.

nationalities

of

and

and

host

the Tamils,

of tribal
Telugus,

Presidency comprised
In some other
Konkanis.

particular nationality (for example,


Oriyas,
etc.) were apportioned to two or more provincial units.
reduced
the smaller nationalities
into a minority
Juxtaposition
people

Kannadigas,

led to cultural fragmentation and territorial


position; apportionment
dismemberment of some nationalities. The fragmentation of culture and
territory created disjuncture among language, culture and territory. Thus,
tension and conflict resulted in both the cases: in the case of juxtapo

sition, conflict resulted from domination of one nationality over another;


in the case of apportionment, tension resulted from a fear of loss of
'homeland'
and, hence, identity.
The mainstream

nationalities, whose culture and territory were not


fragmented and who happened to be in majority, emerged as dominant
nationality under favourable colonial conditions. While their culture and
language flourished under colonial patronage, the language and culture
of the dominated

and

faced serious threats.


peripheral nationalities
the deprived nationalities perceived the subordination
of

Furthermore,
their cultural identity to the mainstream as the root-cause of their socio
economic and political deprivation. Thus, the fear of 'culturocide'
and a

This content downloaded from 130.209.119.131 on Wed, 03 Feb 2016 13:53:19 UTC
All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

Subrat K. Nanda

30

deprivation motivated several neglected and dismem


to assert their national identity by invoking a sense of
cultural
defence and by demanding
a separate province
indigenous
to
'homeland'.
This
of protecting and
anchored
very consciousness
sense

of material

bered nationalities

preserving one's cultural identity within a culture-congruent provincial


unit gave rise to several cultural nationalisms in colonial India. The rise
of

national

consciousness

and Malayalees,
Telugus,
Jharkhand tribes are some

the Oriyas,
Assamese,
Sindhis,
among
and the assertion of tribal identity by the

cases in point. As mentioned earlier, these


at the regional level were pursued simultaneously
along with the anti-colonial national movement for liberation of India.
Several studies have discussed this dual character of nationalism in
cultural nationalisms

the Indian context. A.R. Desai

(1966: 368), for example, noted that from


the standpoint of the united national movement for India's independence,
the movement of the nationalities for self-determination assumed deci
sive significance. Some recent articulations
reiterated this thesis quite unequivocally.

identity in India
M.N. Kama
example,

on national
For

(2000: 94) observes that both language and region have shaped regional
national identity in India and that pan-Indianness
objectively co-exists
with the regional national consciousness.
G. Aloysius (1997) argues that
and cultural

both political
India.
The Oriya

National

nationalisms

Movement

contributed

in Colonial

to the making

of

India

that flared up in colonial India, the Oriya


to
be the most noteworthy for a variety of
happens
were
in India
reasons. First, the Oriyas
among the few nationalities
whose culture and territory were fragmented in colonial times. Second,
Oriya language and culture faced serious threats on account of territorial
dismemberment. Third, the Oriya movement was the first cultural nation
Of the cultural nationalisms

national

movement

alism in British India which demanded


formation of separate

Orissa

BritishIndia.

province

a separate province. Finally, the


was the first linguistic province in

times, Oriya nationality was divided between British


and Princely Orissa. Moreover, British Orissa was apportioned to

In colonial
Orissa

units: the southern part was placed in the Madras


areas in the Bengal
tract and the adjoining
and the western part comprising the Sambalpur region was

different administrative
Presidency,
presidency,
first placed

the coastal

and then under the Central Provinces (CP).


as
comprised
many as twenty-six smaller principalities.
Princely
of Oriya land fragmented the Oriyas
The territorial dismemberment
in Chhotanagpur

Orissa

This content downloaded from 130.209.119.131 on Wed, 03 Feb 2016 13:53:19 UTC
All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

Cultural Nationalism in a Multi-National Context

31

culturally and turned them into insignificant cultural minorities vis--vis


the dominant Bengalis, Telugus and Hindi speakers in the Bengal and
and in CP respectively. Because
of their longer
Madras Presidencies
in the Bengal
the Bengalis
Presidency
enjoyed a pre-eminent position in matters of education, employment and
administration. Obviously,
therefore, the officials posted to the Orissa
association

with the British,

of the Bengal Presidency turned out to be Bengali migrants who


in turn occupied the important positions in administration, law, teaching
and clerical services (Bailey
1959). In the same way, in the Madras
division

dominated by the
Presidency and in CP, the Oriyas were economically
and
Telugus
Hindi-speakers
respectively.
position
Initially, the Oriyas reacted to their inferior socioeconomic
in every province they were appended to. When the 'outsiders'
posed
serious threats to Oriya language and culture, signs of nationalistic unity
began to appear among the Oriyas. The cultural threat largely came from
the Bengali chauvinists who tried hard to suppress Oriya language by
denying its independent status and by urging the government to introduce
Bengali as the medium of instruction and administration in the part of
Orissa

under the Bengal presidency (Patnaik


1968). This was
the
of
by
replacement
Oriya by Hindi language in CP. Similar
in the Madras
plans were also made to replace
Oriya by Telugu
Under
British
the
faced
both
material and
rule,
thus,
Presidency.
Oriyas
placed

followed

cultural deprivation.
To save their language

from extinction and to preserve Oriya identity


India, the articulate Oriya leadership launched a language
agitation in the form of 'save Oriya campaign', which eventually crystal
lised into a well-organised
national movement under the banner of Utkal
Union Conference (UUC), the first Oriya national organisation (Mohanty
in British

1984). The UUC vigorously pressed for a united Orissa. At first UUC
leadership favoured unification of Oriya areas under a single adminis
tration. However, the perceived danger involved in maintaining cultural
distinctiveness
vis--vis any 'alien' nationality goaded them to call for

the constitution

of a separate Oriya province. The culmination of this


aspiration came in 1936 when a separate Orissa province comprising six
British-administered
Oriya districts was formed on linguistic basis. The

province, however, did not comprise princely Orissa. This part of Oriya
homeland was integrated with Orissa province following the spread of
national consciousness
to the princely areas. There was no apparent
external threat to Oriya language and culture in Princely Orissa. Here
nationalism

resulted

because

of extreme

economic

and
exploitation
there was
political oppression caused by the feudal rulers. Nonetheless,
an anticipated fear of loosing Oriya identity had these princely areas

This content downloaded from 130.209.119.131 on Wed, 03 Feb 2016 13:53:19 UTC
All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

Subrat K. Nanda

32

been integrated with any non-Oriya province. Subsequently,


Oriya princely states were merged with Orissa province

twenty-four
in 1947-48

contiguity and
following the principles of linguistic unity, geographical
cultural homogeneity (Patra 1979).
The Oriya experience brings out some serious sociological
implica
tions of nationalism

in a multi-national

context. It points out that when a


and assigned
to different

divided

is

nation/nationality
artificially
administrative
units, the national

sentiment
may crystallise
if the administrative arrangement

nationalism.

This will aggravate


and
to economic
exploitation

cultural

Stigmatisation

into
leads

of the victim

nationals.
From the Oriya point of view, both the British and the Bengalis were
perceived as enemies. Since the British were a common enemy at the all
with the rest of the Indian nationalities
India level, cooperation
was
for giving birth to political nationalism. On the other hand, the
Bengalis were viewed as the internal colonisers sapping the vitality of
Oriya nationalism and, therefore, cultural nationalism crystallised in the
called

Oriya-speaking

land.

In

the

case

of Orissa,
for selective

the

two

nationalisms

with the
simultaneously
calling
cooperation
proceeded
British in the context of Oriya nationalism, and necessary cooperation
in the context of Indian nationalism.
The Oriya
with the Bengalis
that the disjuncture
between the cultural
and
administrative
of
nationality
boundary may lead to nation
boundary
alistic mobilisation by a deprived nationality. Admittedly, this mismatch
persisted in India after independence and it continues to exist even today.
national
movements
Little wonder,
then, that regional
demanding
example

provincial
Cultural

further clarified

states continue to emerge in India.


Nationalism

and States

Reorganisation

the biggest challenge before the Indian government


of princely states with the Union of India. Sardar
with his astute statesmanship made this task possible. However,

After independence,
was the integration
Patel

after integration, the political map of India retained several bigger multi
lingual units such as the provinces of Bombay, Madras, Punjab, Assam
and a few bigger princely states such as Hyderabad,
Mysore, PEPSU
(Patiala and East Punjab States Union), etc. It may be noted that the
British through various constitutional measures had visualised India as a
union of autonomous
provinces. Independent India inherited the same
political

vision

and hence

cultural nationalism

proliferated in the post-independence

seeking

provincial

period.

This content downloaded from 130.209.119.131 on Wed, 03 Feb 2016 13:53:19 UTC
All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

units

33

Cultural Nationalism in a Multi-National Context

of freedom, the political climate in India had


establishment
of a federal polity, introduction of parlia
changed.
and
the
thrust
on constitutionalism and self-rule not
mentary democracy
a
new
laid
the
foundations
of
political era, but also contributed
only
immensely to strengthening the forces of cultural pluralism and cultural
the arrival

With

The

nationalism

in

India.

The

Indian

pluralism by listing fourteen major


under Articles 344 (1) and 351.

Constitution

cultural
legitimised
in
the
Schedule
languages
Eighth
Sindhi (in 1967),
Subsequently,

Manipuri, Konkani and Nepali (in 1992) and Maithili, Bodo, Dogri and
were added to the Schedule,
Santhali (in 2003)
thereby raising the
In
to
the
number of scheduled
languages
twenty-two.
changed atmos
phere, thus, people increasingly
cultural-national identity.

became

conscious

of their linguistic

struggle for a separate Telugu province was the first leading


of
cultural nationalism in independent India. Telugu nationalism
example
had its origin in the colonial
period. The Telugus
mainly protested
The

against the economic and political domination of the Tamils in the erst
The Telugu
while
Madras
national
composite
province.
struggle
culminated in the formation of Andhra stgte in 1953 (Rao 1973). The
formation of Andhra

state, however, opened the floodgates of regional


aspirations in India. The situation went to such an alarming
height that the liberal-democratic
leadership of India had to accept
as
the basis
of restructuring the
homogeneity
linguistic-cultural
nationalist

provincial map of the Indian Union. The Indian leadership accommo


dated people's
demand primarily within the framework of the Indian
Constitution. The significant step in this direction was the setting up of
the States

in 1953. With regard to


(SRC)
broadly followed four major principles:
(i)
and strengthening the unity and integrity of India; (ii)
preservation
linguistic and cultural homogeneity;
(iii) financial, administrative and
Reorganisation
the SRC
reorganisation,

economic

and (iv) successful working of the national


the formation of
Although the SRC recommended

considerations;

1955).
plan (SRC
sixteen states and
eventually

Commission

three union territories (Ibid.),


the country was
into fourteen states and six union territories
reorganised
the States Reorganisation
Act of 1956.

following
The states
'linguistic

of 1956 was popularly referred to as


reorganisation
It is true that the SRC largely followed the
reorganisation'.

linguistic principle for states reorganisation and did not recommend the
creation of any state on the basis of tribe or religion. However, on a
closer look one finds that the 1956 reorganisation created only some
linguistic provinces such as Kerala, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu, while
some other states like Orissa, Bihar, Bengal, Uttar Pradesh (UP), etc.

This content downloaded from 130.209.119.131 on Wed, 03 Feb 2016 13:53:19 UTC
All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

34

Subrat K. Nanda

the reorganisation. In some instances, the princely states having


linguistic affinity and geographical
contiguity were merged with an
erstwhile province such as Andhra, Bombay, etc. It may further be noted
that the major Hindi-speaking
North Indian states such as UP, Madhya
Pradesh (MP), Bihar and Rajasthan were created following historical and

preceded

geopoliticl

considerations.

Again, going by the linguistic principle the entire Hindi-speaking


region should have been constituted into either a single state or split up
into many smaller states based on the distribution pattern of speech
communities
such as Maithili, Bhojpuri, Awadhi and Bundelkhandi
in

the Hindi belt. Even the administrative

viability principle was not met in


the case of the bigger states like UP, Bihar and MP. The retention of the
two major bilingual states of Bombay and Punjab and the multilingual
state of Assam further nullified the linguistic principle at that time.
Hence, the goal of ensuring parallelism between administrative unit and
linguistic group was not satisfactorily met by the reorganisation of 1956.
Furthermore, the 1956 reorganisation was carried out on the basis of
some

scheduled
The 1961 and
constitutionally
recognised
languages.
Census of India reported that as many as 1,652 languages
and
mother tongues are spoken in multi-lingual India; of these, 1,549 are
native to India (Nigam
1971). The 1991 Census of India listed 1,576
1971

languages

and mother tongues

which

were further classified

into 114

languages following appropriate linguistic methods. Of course, this does


not mean that as many states should be created for as many languages
the people with a distinct language,
spoken in India. Nevertheless,
sizeable strength and a specific homeland would stand a better chance for
having a separate province.
Besides, the identification of a constitutionally recognised language
with a particular province in India has converted many languages
into
either dialects or minority languages. Numerous tribal languages
were
left outside the scope of the constitution even though they are spoken by
a fairly large number of people.
language in the Eighth Schedule

Hence, the race for inclusion


of the Constitution escalated

of one's
after the

reorganisation of states. In a sense, the scheme of reorganisation mainly


benefited the bigger and/or mainstream nationalities;
the smaller and
peripheral nationalities, by and large, remained in a state of domination
within a multi-cultural

administrative unit. Thus, the states


of
1956
created
as
reorganisation
many problems as it solved.
at
As noted above,
the time of reorganisation, Bombay and Punjab
were kept as bilingual provinces regardless of the people's
demand to
deprivation

bifurcate them. The discontented


Maharashtra

movement

Marathi people launched the Samyukta


against the decision
(Deshpande

in protest

This content downloaded from 130.209.119.131 on Wed, 03 Feb 2016 13:53:19 UTC
All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

Cultural'Nationalism

35

in a Multi-National Context

as popular unrest rose to soaring heights, Bombay


1983). Consequently,
was bifurcated in 1960 and the provinces of Maharashtra and Gujarat
both Marathi and Gujarati national
to accommodate
were established
sentiments.
and
of 1956 and the creation of Maharashtra
reorganisation
crucial
of
Indian
have
into
focus
a
dimension
in
1960
brought
Gujarat
and the role of
of cultural nationalism
polity, that is, legitimisation
with
in
the
creation
of
passage of time, th
language
provinces. However,
central government has accepted some other bases of provincial reorga
The

nisation such as tribe, region and, to some extent, religion (for example,
identity, religious-cum-tribal

religious-cum-linguistic
Tribal

identity).

Nationalism

provides a viable basis of nationality formation in India. Tribal


people constitute nearly 8 percent of India's population and, as far as
spatial distribution is concerned, they form an overwhelming majority in
some pockets. The greatest concentration of tribes is seen in Centraf and

Tribe

North-East

It is generally assumed that language-based


cultural
is absent among Indian tribes. This is because most of the

India.

nationalism

tribal languages are not so well developed (in terms of script, standardi
sation and literary tradition) as to cause nationality formation on
linguistic basis. Not only a large number of tribes in India are too small
self-sustaining units, but some of them are utterly multi
this is the reason why the SRC
did nc;
lingual, too. Probably,
recommend the creation of any state on the basis of tribal language. It, in
to constitute

fact, rejected the demand for Jharkhand state on the ground


region lacked common culture and language.

that the

The fact of the matter is that several tribes have been able to define
their nationality in terms of their language as well as tribal identity. For
example, the Santhalis in Central India, more often than not, define their
nationality in terms of a distinct Santhali language in addition to their
tribal identity. The Santhali language is spoken by more than 3 million
its own script called '01 chiki' (Mohapatra
people, and it also possesses
Like
the
the
Santhalis,
Mizos, the Khasis and the Garos also
1986).
define their nationalities

in terms of their distinct language and tribal


Khasi, Garo and Mizo languages are used as the

identity. Importantly,
medium of instruction in schools
However,
is based on

in their respective regions.


and
the
articulation
of tribal nationalism in India
by
large,
tribal identity, common
common
culture and common

territorial bonds (Singh 1984). Jharkhandi nationalism, for example, has


developed on the basis of a common tribal identity comprising a group of

This content downloaded from 130.209.119.131 on Wed, 03 Feb 2016 13:53:19 UTC
All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

36

Subrat K. Nanda

disparate tribes such as Santhali, Munda, Oraon, and Ho. Anjan Ghosh
and N. Sengupta (1982) observe that a nascent lingua franca, common
tribal identity serve as the basis of
cultural traits and a common
Jharkhandi
Mundari,
considered

nationalism.

such as Santhali,
Although, several languages
Ho and Kurukh are spoken in the Jharkhand region, Sadri is

as the lingua franca by both tribes and non-tribes inhabiting


the region (Keshari 1982).
In the case of the diverse Naga tribes, nationalism is articulated not
on the basis of a distinct language, but on the basis of a common Naga
identity,

'homeland'
and a spoken
link
Naga
In Arunachal
Pradesh, tribal nationalism

Nagamese.
terms of common
either Hindi

called
language
is expressed
in

territory, tribal identity and the link language (that is,


or Assamese).
In the Chhattisgarh region, cultural nation

alism developed
in terms of tribal identity, economic
dialectal variation and common historical experience.

backwardness,

In North-East

India, cultural nationalism among the Khasi, Garo and


Jaintia tribes emerged in protest against the language policy of Assam
and the imminent fear of Assamese

cultural domination. The All Party


Conference, which was formed to safeguard the interest of
the hill tribes, opposed the introduction of Assam State Language Bill of
1960 and demanded
the formation of a separate province comprising
Hill Leader's

Khasi, Garo and Jaintia tribes. Later, the state of Meghalaya


comprising
the Khasi, Garo and Jaintia tribes was formed in 1972.
Demands
for creating provinces based on tribal identity have been
since independence:
provinces like Nagaland,
Manipur, Megha
Pradesh, Mizoram and Arunachal Pradesh were formed
laya, Himachal
tribal regional-national
senti
between 1960 and 1986 to accommodate

made

ments. In 2000, three more states, namely, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and


Uttaranchal were carved out by reorganising the states of Bihar, MP and
UP. Interestingly, in the formation of these three states the official Hindi
language served as the factor of linguistic homogeneity.
Tribal nationalism in India, barring a few exceptions, tends to accept
the idea of self-determination within the provisions of provincial auto
nomy. However, the Nagas, Mizos and some Manipuri tribes have time
and again developed secessionist
For example, the Mizo National

orientation in their nationalist struggle.


Front under the leadership of Laldenga
state for the Mizo tribe. Later, the

for an independent
to autonomy,
of
Mizo nationalism changed from secessionism
trajectory
as Mizo leadership accepted the Indian Constitution and preferred to
the state of
exist as a cultural nationality in India. Subsequently,
not
been able
Mizoram was created in 1986. The Nagas, however, have
clamoured

to reconcile

with the Indian political

identity and the Indian nation-state

This content downloaded from 130.209.119.131 on Wed, 03 Feb 2016 13:53:19 UTC
All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

37

Cultural Nationalism in a Multi-National Context


The Naga national consciousness
2002).
of
an
concept
independent Naga nation-state.
Some tribes such as the Gorkhas, Bodos,
(Ao

still persists

with the

Garos, Karbis, Kukis,


and Reangs still persist with their quest for cultural-national
identity and homeland. Since the 1980s, the Gorkha National Liberation
Front has been struggling for a separate province for the Gorkha-Nepali
Rabhas

in the northern hill districts, particularly in Darjeeling


Similarly, the militant Bodos and the Karbis in Assam

nationality located

(West Bengal).
are fighting with the mainstream

Assamese
nationality for carving out a
for their respective tribes. The Garo (A'chik)
in Meghalaya
and the Reang separatism in Mizoram are some
homeland

provincial

separatism
other instances

identity.
The

case

of tribal nationalism
of Assamese

here. In Assam,

cultural

for preservation

of cultural-national

needs special mention


in
the
context
of anti-Bengali and
emerged
The Assamese
national consciousness
was not
nationalism

nationalism

anti-foreigner struggle.
directed at achieving
any separate province; it was rather aimed at
the
Assamese
protecting
nationality from the imminent danger posed by
in
the Bengali migrants
the initial stages and the illegal foreign infiltra
tors in the later period. In the initial stage, Assamese
nationalism was
more cultural in orientation; later, it turned more economic in orientation.
After the formation
of Nagaland,
and
Mizoram,
Meghalaya
Arunachal Pradesh, the boundaries of Assam shrunk to the Assamese
dominated

Surma or
Brahmaputra
valley and the Bengali-dominated
Barak valley. Like the Oriyas, the Assamese too faced both cultural and
material deprivation because of Bengali domination. Anti-Bengali
agi

tation broke out in Assam

the Bengalis, particularly in the Barak


valley, offered stiff resistance when Assamese
language was declared as
the official language in 1960 and as medium of instruction in 1972. The
Assamese
perceived the Bengali resistance as a threat to 'Assamiya'
because

national

identity and culture. In the 1980s, however, the Assamese


nationalism largely centred on nativism, that is, economic deprivation of
the native Assamese
by the outsiders, particularly the illegal Bengali
infiltrators (Das
nationalism turned
1983). Interestingly, the Assamese
secessionist

with the rise of United Liberation

Front of Assam

The ULFA

for Assamese')
plays the 'sons of the soil' ('Assam
it has been pressing for the idea of a sovereign Assam state.

Religion
Like

and Nationality

(ULFA).
card and

Formation

language,
religion too plays an important role
nationalism.
Some scholars, however, dismiss religion

in growth
a basis

as

This content downloaded from 130.209.119.131 on Wed, 03 Feb 2016 13:53:19 UTC
All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

of
of

38

Subrat K. Nanda

there is no necessary linkage between


nationality formation because
religion and territory (Oommen
1986). Moreover, a particular religion
to diverse linguistic affiliations;
a
may comprise
people
belonging
particular speech community may include people professing different
faiths; and people having both religious and linguistic unities may differ
on grounds of geography, history, culture and political ideology.
There is no denying the fact that secularism is the hallmark of India's
polity and society. Given the secular fabric, the central political leader

ship in India does not entertain regional nationalistic aspiration based on


instances of cultural nationalism using religious
religion. Nevertheless,
elements are available
in India. For example, the Sikh-Punjabi
nation
which

alism,

selectively

led

to the formation

of Punjab
state in 1966, very
in
the
religious symbols
defining
identity of Punjabi
Pre-partition Punjab was a multi-lingual and multi-religious

used

nationality.
province. After partition, the Indian part of Punjab comprised two major
linguistic groups: the Punjabis and the Hindi-speaking
people. In terms
of religion, the Punjabis are further divided into the dominant Sikhs and
Hindus

and the minority Christians and Muslims.


The Sikh-Punjabis,
who were largely concentrated in the north-west part of erstwhile Punjab
province, differentiated themselves from the Hindus and on that basis
demanded
movement

the
a separate Sikh state. The Akali Dal, which spearheaded
for a Sikh-Punjabi
used three prominent
state, exclusively
national identity: (i) historical symbols
to define Sikh-Punjabi

symbols
drawn from the glorious Sikh kingdom; (ii) religious symbols, that is, the
'five Ks\Kesh,
Kachha, Kangi, Karha and Kirpari)\ and (iii) linguistic
1974). As the
symbols, that is, Gurumukhi-Punjabi
language (Brass
central government did not consider the demand purely on the religious
basis, the Sikh leadership changed their stand and demanded a Punjabi
Suba on the secular basis of Punjabi language (Nayyar 1969). In granting
identity was acknow
Punjabi Suba, however, linguistic-cum-religious

ledged to some extent. The supporters of the Khalistan movement have


this limited version of Sikh homeland;
not accepted
they strongly
clamour for a sovereign Sikh state.
element was present in Tamil nationalism, too. The pro
Religious
Dravidian
Tamil nationalism
emerged by contrasting itself with the
Hindi
and the Indo-Aryan
brand
of
Hinduism
Aryan (Brahmanical)
language

and

culture.

The

Tamil

leaders

used these
systematically
national
to define Tamil

cultural and linguistic symbols


North India (Hardgrave
as
boundary
against the Aiyan-dominated
Barnett 1976). The national movements of various North-East
religious,

tribes, such as the Nagas,

Mizos,

Khasis

1965;
Indian

and Garos, were and continue to

This content downloaded from 130.209.119.131 on Wed, 03 Feb 2016 13:53:19 UTC
All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

Cultural Nationalism in a Multi-National Context

39

laced with religious overtones. These tribes define their national


identity in both tribal and Christian terms.
The movement
for independent Kashmir
is yet another notable
of
nationalism.
the
fact that Jammu and
example
religion-based
Despite

be

Kashmir

comprises the Muslim dominated Kashmir valley, the Hindu


majority Jammu region and the Buddhist dominated Ladakh region, the
Muslim separatist nationalists identify the whole state exclusively
with
the Muslims. In recent times, the proposal for trifurcation of Jammu and
Kashmir has been raised by several quarters. According to this argument,
the state should be reorganised to form three separate provinces: Jammu,
Kashmir and Ladakh. If this scheme is implemented, the proposed new
states will surely be based on the factors of language, religion and tribe.
What is, however, significant is that religion-based cultural nationalisms
in India share one thing in common, and that is the tendency to develop a
secessionist
Regional
The

goal.
Disparities

and Cultural

Nationalism

recent demand

for a separate Koshal state in Orissa brings into


limelight another variety of cultural nationalism. In this case, despite the
linguistic unity nationalism
crystallises due to tensions and conflict
from

As
regional
developmental
disparities.
previously
the
of
state
Orissa
came
into
mentioned,
being following the rise of
this state contains two distinct regional
However,
Oriya nationalism.
resulting

belt and
units, namely, coastal
differential rate of socioeconomic
These

western

region, which experienced


and political mobility.
development

two regions also differ in terms of geographical,


historical and
features. Basically, the western region, which previously
formed a part of princely Orissa, experienced
relatively low level of
development and continues to lag behind the coastal districts in matters
socio-cultural

of education,

employment and occupation, irrigation, agricultural deve


and rate of urbanisation. In the
lopment, transport and communication,
political sphere also the western region lags behind the coastal belt.

Given these wide-rangingdisparitiesand political inequality,regional


discontent

and disaffection began to grow in the relatively backward


western region of Orissa, notwithstanding the overarching Oriya identity.
This regional tension, in recent times, not only weakened
the
forces
of
but
also
caused
to
the
integrative
Oriya nationalism,
dissipate

extent of Oriya feeling among a section of people in the western region.


This section now sees regional separatism in clear nationalistic terms. It
that the people of western Orissa belong to a separate
emphasises
Koshali
nationality which is different from the mainstream
Oriya

This content downloaded from 130.209.119.131 on Wed, 03 Feb 2016 13:53:19 UTC
All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

40

Subrat K. Nanda

The leading role in articulating this concept of Koshali


is
Sammilani'.
nationality
played by the Khosal
party and 'Khoshal
These separatists try to use selective historical, linguistic and cultural
nationality.

symbols to define the Koshali national boundary. It is maintained that


western Orissa constituted the great Koshal Kingdom
in ancient and
medieval
and
that
the
of
the
times,
people
region speak Koshali
(Sambalpuri)
language, which can be distinguished from the mainstream
like 'Sambalpuri
Also, leading cultural organisations
Oriya speech.
Lekhak Sangh' and 'Koshal
Bhasa Sahitya Parisad' have made serious
efforts to develop a literary tradition in the Koshali language. Besides,
the Koshali
culture, which reflects a synthesis of tribal and Aryan
elements,
of Orissa.

is highlighted

to differentiate the western region from the rest

the protagonists
of 'Koshali
by the foregoing
logic,
claim that the existence of a separate Koshali nationality
in cultural and political terms
the right to self-determination

Going
nationalism'

implies
within the framework of the Indian Union.

Hence, they urged the central


state on the basis of the distinct

government to create a new Koshal


Koshali language and culture (Koshal
Sammilani Memorandum
1993).
The projection of regional articulation as a national movement under the
banner of 'Koshali

nationalism'

in western Orissa

seems

to have come

(i) practical advantages involved in defining collective


identity in linguistic-cultural terms; and (ii) linguistic identity and home
land happen to be the chief bases of formation of provinces in India.
The articulation of Koshali nationalism shows that, within a linguis
province, developmental
disparities between regions
tically homogenous
for two reasons:

of nationalism

in the less developed


region.
and
separate states of Telangana
Vidarbha resemble this variety of regional nationalism. The people of the
deprived region in such a situation attempt to reconstruct their identity in
more objective cultural-linguistic
terms. Once that happens, a regional
may lead to crystallisation
The continuous
demand

consciousness

turns into a national consciousness

cultural

India,
overtly
'Hindu

for the

nationalism

or covertly.
are
Rastra'

The
to

of the mainstream

in the cultural sense. In


Hindus

of 'Hindutva'

ideology
some extent

articulations

also operates
the concept of
of Hindu cultural

and

However, this brand of Hindu cultural nationalism differs


substantially from the type of cultural nationalism seeking provincial
statehood in India.
nationalism.

The appraisal of the Indian situation, thus, reveals that language,


as
culture, tribe and, some extent, religion have been institutionalised
crucial bases of cultural nationalism and for granting of statehood. Given
this socio-political

reality, the drive to maintain cultural boundary within

This content downloaded from 130.209.119.131 on Wed, 03 Feb 2016 13:53:19 UTC
All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

Cultural Nationalism in a Multi-National Context

41

a provincial unit anchored to homeland is but natural. It may be recalled


that in 1956 the political map of India comprised only fourteen states and
six union territories. However, by the end of 2000 the number of states
goes up to twenty-eight. Thus, between 1956 and 2000 the number of
states has doubled and in the process as many as fourteen states, apart
from seven union territories, are created. Again, looking at the present

day mobilisations
the Indian Union

it seems that the restructuring of the provincial map of


is far from over. The demands for the creation of such

states as Bodoland,

Gorkhaland, Garoland, Karbi Anglong, Rabhaland,


Vindhyachal, Bundelkhand, Harit Pradesh, Vidarbha, and Telangana, and
the recent demand for trifurcation of Jammu and Kashmir bear testimony

to this fact. Of course, not all of these 'state' demands are based on the
concept of regional cultural nationality; some of them are articulated on
the basis

of regional identity, regional backwardness,


for the creation of smaller states in the Indian union.
Most

of these

demands

and the rationale

continue

to persist because
of (a) the
between politico-administrative
unit and cultural nationality,
the urge to become a recognisable
entity, (c) the regional socio

dissonance
(b)
economic
asserting

and (d) the socioeconomic


backwardness,
and
identity
autonomy. Cultural nationalism

variety of
secessionist.

forms
The

such

as

irredentist

irredentist,
type aims

autonomist,
at unifying

of
advantages
assume
a
may
and
separatist,
the vivisected

territories of a nationality under one provincial roof. The autonomist and


separatist types also desire to protect cultural nationality in a provincial
framework. However, the secessionist type seeks to obtain a sovereign
state and turns into political

nationalism.

Concluding

Observations

This paper has argued that people in multi-national countries invariably


seek to express their national identity at two levels: political/civil and

The former is meant for their state/country as a whole


regional-cultural.
and the latter is reserved for their respective regional national identity.
Given this different contextualisation
of national identity, the sole inter

pretation of nationalism as a sovereign-state-seeking


political movement
or a form of loyalty to the nation-sate (as in the case of most parts of
Europe) do not hold good in a multi-national situation such as in India. In
this context, nationalism,
in addition to its nation-state meaning, also
a
consciousness
for
implies
preservation of regional national identity
within a denoted provincial homeland.
Three
alism:

key variables are important in the understanding of nation


(i) the concept of national identity, (ii) the potentiality for self

This content downloaded from 130.209.119.131 on Wed, 03 Feb 2016 13:53:19 UTC
All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

42

Subrat K. Nanda

rule, and (iii) the parallelism between culture and polity. Significantly,
the concept of national identity, which embodies a collective
identity,
can be expressed either in sovereign political or in specific linguistic
cultural terms. The consolidation of several multi-national states substan
tiates this point. The potentiality for self-rule can also be realised in
terms. Similarly, the parallelism
between
independent or autonomous
culture and polity can be obtained in independent or autonomous
terms.
In other words,

nationalism

may be directed

at achieving a culture
state or culture-congruent provincial state. Thus, in
congruent-sovereign
a multi-national
can be dis
context, two varieties of nationalism
nationalism
and
cultural
nationalism.
While
tinguished: political
political
nationalism

is invariably associated
with sovereignty, cultural nation
alism mostly seeks to survive within the framework of autonomy inside a
common sovereign polity. It follows that nationalism can be understood
without sovereignty.
In India, nationalism
the macro national

connotation at
acquired a sovereign-political
level and a primordial-cultural form at the regional

national level. Unlike Europe, in India, many distinct nationalities did


not tend to acquire their own states, but preferred to retain their distinct
cultural identity under a sovereign federal polity. It is this urge to retain
cultural identity which gives rise to several cultural nationalisms in India.
in India operates mostly within the
Importantly, cultural nationalism
cultural framework of national identity and political framework of auto
nomy anchored to homeland.
In India, the subjection of people to a common sovereign democratic
state has not destroyed their cultural-national boundaries altogether. This
adherence
to the broader Indian identity has never been
is because
welcomed
national

by the Indian people at the cost of dismantling


identities and their motivation
for self-rule.

their cultural

Undoubtedly,
impact on the pre-modern ascriptive
values
and institutions in India, but the anticipated
'displacement
did
not
occur.
The
of
modernisation
has
not even
syndrome'
pace
curtailed the 'quest for identity' calling for separate politico-adminis
modernisation

had

an indelible

trative units. Furthermore, instead of being completely neutralised, the


primordial-cultural ties are getting revitalised and legitimised on a wider
scale under the influence of modernisation, secularism and democracy.
For one thing, in modern times, people all over India are increasingly
of the instrumental advantages
involved in making
getting conscious
as
viable
bases
of collective
self
and
language, tribe, region
religion
definition in cultural terms. The burgeoning influence of globalisation
- has failed
all its ramifications - economic,
political and cultural
of the people.
undermine this consciousness

This content downloaded from 130.209.119.131 on Wed, 03 Feb 2016 13:53:19 UTC
All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

in

to

Cultural Nationalism in a Multi-National Context

43

In multi-national countries such as India democracy is not seen just


as an institution of voting or a form of governance, it is more associated
with the systems of power-sharing, decentralisation, and the right to self
determination.
Here, democracy
plays a crucial role in shaping the
of identity and
cultural-national

politics

it sustains

autonomy;

rather than

weakens

regional
identity. Here, democracy, culture and power
are intertwined as far as identity politics and dynamics of socio-political
mobilisations for autonomy are concerned.
By and large, in India, all forms of cultural nationalism emerge in the
context of equality and identity. In some cases, equality is demanded on
the basis of a pre-existing cultural nationality; in others, a search for
cultural nationality is made for equality. In either case, cultural nation
alism results from a sense of cultural deprivation and domination of one
nationality over another. However, cultural nationalism in India basically
uses the autonomy card and hence it does not pose any serious threat to
The civil-political
her overarching
nationhood.
Indian
civil-political
national

identity can harmoniously co-exist


nations and nationalisms within its fold.

with the multiple

cultural

Acknowledgements
I thank the anonymous

referee for her/his comments

and suggestions.

References
G. 1997.
Aloysius,
Press.
Benedict.

Anderson,
Ao,

Nationalism
1983.

Delhi:

F.G.

Bailey,
Bamett,

1959.

'The

M.

1976.

Ross

Princeton
Paul.

Brass,
Das,

Mittal

a nation

in India.

communities:

Imagined
Verso.

London:
of nationalism.
A. L. 2002. From Phizo
New

without

to Muivah:

The Naga

New

Oxford

on the origin

Reflections
national

Delhi:

question

and

spread

in northeast

India.

Publications.

Economic
Oriya movement',
weekly, 26 September:
The politics
in south India.
of cultural nationalism
Press.
University

1974.

University

Language,

University Press.
1983. Assam's
Amiya.

religion

and politics

A socio-economic

agony:

in north India.

Cambridge:

and political

analysis.

1331-33.
New

Jersey:

Cambridge
New

Delhi:

Ljancer.
Desai,

A.R.

1966.

Social

background

of Indian

nationalism.

Bombay:

Popular

Prakashan.

Deshpande, Madhav N. 1983. 'Nation and region: A socio-linguistic perspective on


Maharashtra', in Milton
Geertz, Clifford. 1971. 'The integrativerevolution: Primordial sentiments and civil
polities', in CliffordGeertz (ed.): Old societies and new states (47-63). New Delhi:
Amerind.
Gellner,

Ernest.

1994.

Encounters

with nationalism.

Oxford:

Basil

Blackwell.

This content downloaded from 130.209.119.131 on Wed, 03 Feb 2016 13:53:19 UTC
All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

44

Subrat K. Nanda

1982. 'The nationality question


in India', in N. Sengupta
Anjan and N. Sengupta.
Fourth world dynamics:
Jharkhand (240-54).
Delhi: Authors Guild.
R.L. 1965. The Dravidian
movement. Bombay:
Oxford University
Press.
Hardgrave,
Ghosh,

(ed.):

Israel
Kama,

(ed.): National
M.N.
2000.
Oommen
Orient

Keshari,

unity: The South

'Language,
Nation
(eds.):

Asian

(75-87).
experience
national
identity',

region and
and national

identity

in South

New

Delhi:

in S.L.
Asia

Promilla.

Sharma

(75-96).

and

New

T.K.
Delhi:

Longman.
1982. 'Problems

B.P.

(ed.): Fourth
Koshal
Sammilani.

world
1993.

and prospects
of Jharkhandi languages',
in N. Sengupta
Jharkhand (137-53).
Delhi: Authors Guild.
dynamics:
Memorandum
submitted to the President
of India for formation

state. Sambalpur.
of Koshal
Mohanty, N. 1984. Oriya nationalism:

Quest for united Orissa, New Delhi: Manohar.


and
ritual, New Delhi: Oxford University Press.
Mohapatra,
B. R.1969.
'Sikh
in D.E.
Smith (ed.):
South Asian politics
and
Nayyar,
separatism',
Princeton:
Princeton University Press.
religion (93-102).
S.K.

1986.

Modernisation

R.C.
1971. Language
handbook
on mother tongues in census (Census
centenary
New Delhi: Office of Register General, Government
of India.
monograph).
T.K. 1986. 'Social
and nation-state
in India', Journal of economic
movements
Oommen,

Nigam,

and social
.

1997.

studies,

Citizenship,

Cambridge:
Patnaik, P. 1968.
Patra,

K.M.

Polity

1979.

Indian

3 (3):

115-23.
and

nationality
Press.

Odiya sahitya (in Oriya).


Orissa
state legislature

Council

of Historical

ethnicity.

Reconciling

competing

identities.

Cuttack:

Vidyapuri.
and freedom
struggle:

1912-47.

New

Delhi:

Research.

K.V.N.
1973. The emergence
of Andhra Pradesh.
Bombay:
Popular Prakashan.
world. London:
T.V.S.
1983. Nationalism
in contemporary
Frances Pinks.
Satyamurthy,
sacred
and civil ties', British journal
Edward.
1957.
Shills,
'Primordial,
of
personal,

Rao,

sociology, 3 (2): 130-45.

Singh,

K.S.

1984.

Smith, A.D.
States

K.

Nanda,

<nanda

in India.

New

Delhi:

Manohar.

21 (3): 5-185.
sociology,
Government
of India.
1955.

Current

Commission,
commission.

New

Report

of the states

Delhi.

of Rural
in Sociology,
Department
Hill University, Tura Campus,
North-Eastern

Lecturer

Production,
Agricultural
794 002, Meghalaya
Email:

movements

'Nationalism',

Reorganisation
reorganisation

Subrat

Tribal

1973.

Development
Chandmari,

skn98@hotmail.com>

This content downloaded from 130.209.119.131 on Wed, 03 Feb 2016 13:53:19 UTC
All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

and
Tura