Kutch State

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Kutch State
State of India / one of the Aspirant states of india

1947–1956
History
 -  Abolition of the Baroda, Western India and Gujarat States Agency 1947
 -  Merger into Bombay State 1956
Legal Case of 1954 : Kutch State

Kutch State was a state within the Republic of India from 1947 to 1956. Its capital was Bhuj.

The state's territory now forms a district within the Indian state of Gujarat.

History[edit]

Kutch State was formed out of the territory of the former princely state of Cutch, whose ruler (Maharao Sri Vijayaraji) had acceded to the Dominion of India with effect from 15 August 1947.[1]

The administration of Kutch after accession, however, remained in the hands of its former ruler until his death on 26 February 1948, when it then passed to his son, Maharao Shri Meghraji. On 1 June 1948 the administration was transferred to the Government of India, working through a Chief Commissioner.

Initially Kutch functioned as a province. Upon the Constitution of India coming into force on 26 January 1950, Kutch became a "Class C" state, i.e. its administration was under the direct control of India's central government.

On 1 November 1956, Bombay State was re-organized under the States Reorganisation Act, absorbing various territories including Kutch State, which ceased to exist.

Chief Commissioners of Kutch State[edit]

  1. Chhotalal Khovshaldan Desai (from 1 June 1948 to 1952)
  2. Sambhajirao Appasaheb Ghatge (from 1952 to 30 October 1956)[2]

Revival Movement for separate Kutch State[edit]

Gujarat has demands for separate states of Kutch State, Sourashtra State and Bhilistan from many decades. [1],[2], [3], [4], [5]

Demand for separate Kutch State keep surfacing time to time. [6], [7], [8] While Kutch Rajya Sankalp Samitee (KRSS) is spearheading demand for separate Kutch State under leadership of Pragmalji III.

At the time of integration of the princely state with India in 1947, the accession was done on the condition that Kutch would retain the status of a separate state. It enjoyed this status till 1960, when a separate state of Gujarat was carved out of Maharashtra and Kutch was merged with it. The main reason behind a separate state is cultural and geographical distance from Gandhinagar. The latter, according to KRSS, is also a hindrance to the development of the region. Kutch is still governed by an administration in Gandhinagar, which sits 400 km away. In 1960, Kutch was promised an autonomous development board under Article 371(2) of the Constitution, which never came into existence due to lack of political will. Narmada water does not reach the farms of this region, which is basically a desert land. [9],

Demand for Combined Sourashtra-Kutch State[edit]

There is also demand for combined Kutch Sourashtra State or Sourashtra-Kutch State. Mansukhbhai Joshi, has called a meeting under the banner ‘Kutch Saurashtra Vikas Sangharsh Samiti’ to find ways to rekindle the issue. The former minister claims people of Saurashtra do not emotionally associate themselves with Gujarat. He says leaders from the territory have always faced hostility in Gandhinagar. Yuva Kranti Sena is another organisation fighting for separate Saurashtra-Kutch State [10], [11]

Similar movement for Separate Sourashtra State[edit]

Movement for separate Saurashtra State was initiated in 1972 by advocate Ratilal Tanna, who was close aide of former Prime Minister Morarji Desai. As per Saurashtra Sankalan Samiti, more than 300 organisations across the Saurashtra region support the demand of the separate State. Samiti also claims that compared to other parts of Gujarat, Saurashtra is underdeveloped. Big industrial projects are coming near Ahmedabad and Vadodara, while Saurashtra is being ignored. It is claimed that, People of Saurashtra are facing shortage of drinking water and even youths are forced to migrate in search of jobs. No development is made along the coastline and if Saurashtra had its own state government the region would have done much better. Parag Tejura is current president of Saurashtra Sankalan Samiti. [12], [13], [14]

Sourashtra has separate identity from rest of Gujarat. Region has its own Sourashtra language dialect. Sourashtra people have their own diaspora all over world including that in Tamilnadu for centuries. Some agitators claim, people from Saurashtra are often taunted with titles such as “kathiawadi” and “via Viramgam”. [15]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

Coordinates: 23°54′54″N 70°22′01″E / 23.915°N 70.367°E / 23.915; 70.367