Creation of the state of Chhattisgarh and the new political strategies within the Indian federal system

The objective of the research is to analyse the changes in the relationship between the Central Government and the States through the process of creation of the State of Chhattisgarh in 2000. Are we witnessing a weakening of the central government in the face of regional political forces or, at the least, the affirmation of a new regional political elite specific to Chhattisgarh, a State often described as ‘tribal’?

The main method used for scientific investigation consisted of a comparison between official literature and the reality in the field (systematic analysis of the origins of political representatives at different levels of the political machinery, political measures undertaken by the two successive governments and a critical reading of the themes developed by the representatives). The diversity of sources (studies, official documents, local newspapers, accounts) made it possible to establish this perspective.

It can be established that the creation of this state was not the outcome of the emergence of a new political force, since the political scene was totally dominated by the two main national parties. Chhattisgarh was created more with reference to a geo-linguistic entity, which found itself divided into two by current borders. Further, none of the dominant sociological groups were able to really enhance their political representation. The creation of the state should be placed within the framework of the currently dominant philosophy of liberal governance in India. A study of economic and administrative measures has made it possible to corroborate this analysis (openness to multinationals, cottage industries, privatisation, role of NGOs). The creation of this new state does not, therefore, imply the restoration or even the establishment of public services in this region, which has many resources, but which essentially remains under-administered.

Funding sources

- Go to the website MSH : Maison des Sciences de l’Homme (Paris, France)