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Madhur Bhandarkar
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60 Defining Moments:
How states shaped up

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60 Defining Moments: How states shaped up

Andhra Pradesh was created on November 1, 1956. Kerala and Karnataka were created on the same day.

Gujarat and Maharashtra were established in 1960. With the formation of states according to language, one extremely important principle was recognised - that language was the basis of identity, that language was a life and death demand.

One man's sacrifice spurred the creation of the Indian states on the basis of language. In 1952 Gandhian and freedom fighter Potti Sreeramulu died after fasting for 58 days, fasting for a separate state of Andhra.

After his death, the cry for Andhra Pradesh exploded into a wildfire demand. Nehru, anxious about more splintering after the Pakistan experience, could hold out no longer.

The States Reorganisation Committee presented its report on October 1955. A month later, the map of India was redrawn and the old colonial presidencies of Madras and Bombay ceased to exist. Instead, long suppressed languages got their own lands.