Why is Puducherry a Union Territory and Not Ladakh? Right here Are Some Causes


In September 2016, the 4 main spiritual organisations of Leh district in Ladakh submitted a memorandum to Prime Minister Narendra Modi demanding Union Territory standing for Ladakh with an elected legislature—thus breaking away from the executive management of Jammu and Kashmir.

“On behalf of the tribal individuals of Ladakh, the heads representing the Buddhist communities, the Shia group, the Sunni group and the Christian group in Leh hereby enchantment to Prime Minister Narendra Modi for grant of Union Territory Standing with legislature for the frontier area,” a memorandum submitted by the 4 main organisations to the Prime Minister mentioned.

“It’s inaccurate to equate Kashmir valley with the remainder of the State. Ladakh constitutes 69.6 % of the overall J&Ok territory with a definite geopolitical and geo-cultural id of its personal,” the memorandum goes on so as to add.

Demand for Union Territory standing for Ladakh traces again to the fast post-Independence interval, when a delegation of senior Ladakhi leaders met Jawaharlal Nehru in Might 1949, in search of separation from Jammu and Kashmir.

During a protest for Union Territory status in Leh. (Source: Facebook)
A banner raised throughout a protest for Union Territory standing in Leh. (Supply: Fb)

Nonetheless, till the enactment of the Ladakh Autonomous Hill Growth Council Act in 1995, the J&Ok State structure didn’t recognise the federal precept of organising political energy that represents the cultural and social heterogeneity of the area, regardless of demanding the identical from the Centre.

An analogous scenario has arisen in southern Assam’s Barak Valley bordering Bangladesh, which consists of three districts—Karimganj, Cachar, and Hailakandi. The truth is, the area has its personal Union Territory Demand Committee, which is main the cost.

“Individuals of the valley have been disadvantaged by Assam for a very long time now. Slowly, individuals have began to grasp that separation is the one manner out,” mentioned Sanjib Debnath, president of the committee to Scroll.in.

So is a Union Territory the reply to all of this? For that, we want first to know what a Union Territory is –

It’s an administrative unit which comes instantly underneath the jurisdiction of the Central authorities, in contrast to States which have their very own elected governments with vital powers underneath the federal construction mandated by the Structure of India.

India has seven UTs—Delhi, Chandigarh, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Daman and Diu, Lakshadweep, Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Puducherry. These administrative models come underneath the direct jurisdiction of the Central authorities represented by its appointee the Lieutenant Governor or within the case of Daman and Diu, an Administrator.

Puducherry: For representational purposes only (Source: Wikimedia Commons)
Puducherry: For representational functions solely (Supply: Wikimedia Commons)

Each these workplaces technically characterize the President, who additionally ceremonially appoints them. Though in sure instances, some UTs have an elected legislature and a Chief Minister (Delhi and Puducherry), they don’t have the identical powers as State governments.

UTs are ruled underneath Article 239, 239A (creation of legislature and Council of Ministers), 239AA (particularly for Delhi) 239AB (in case the executive equipment breaks down within the nationwide capital), 239B and Article 240.

How did every of those UTs come into existence?

There isn’t one reply, and the circumstances behind the formation of every UT may be very totally different. Chandigarh, for instance, was given UT standing as a result of each Haryana and Punjab laid declare to it, and was thus created right into a union territory to function the capital of each these states.

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One can hint again the creation of UTs to the colonial period Authorities of India Act, 1935, which divided its provinces into three classes—Governor’s Provinces, Chief Commissioner’s Provinces and the Indian States. As per the Act, the “the Chief Commissioner provinces must be instantly administered from the centre ‘by the Governor-Common performing to such an extent as he thinks match by means of a Chief Commissioner to be appointed by him in his route’.”

This piece of laws fashioned the premise of Article 239 within the Indian Structure for the governance of Union Territories.

The creation of former French colony Puducherry, for instance, was based mostly on the Treaty of Cessation of 1956 which the Indian authorities signed with the French authorities for full sovereignty over the territories the latter held.

In 1962, the French Parliament ratified this treaty, and in July 1963, Pondicherry and different enclaves of Yanam, Karaikal, and Mahe got here underneath the executive unit of the Union Territory of Puducherry. As soon as ruled by very totally different techniques, in contrast to different areas managed by the British, these enclaves didn’t wish to be part of up with neighbouring states.

Learn additionally: Delhi Ho Ya Leh: How Ladakhi Youth Can Reclaim Their Cultural Id

Different causes for his or her formation embrace environment friendly administration (too small an administrative unit to turn out to be a state), safety of indigenous cultures, prevention of political turbulence, strategic compulsions and different associated issues of governance. Some have cited the claims of the States Reorganisation Fee, which created States alongside linguistic traces. With out leaning closely on the Centre these “economically unbalanced, financially weak, and administratively and politically unstable” territories can’t survive as separate administrative models, it claimed.

“Thus, the State Reorganisation Fee felt that they need to be merged with adjoining States or must be centrally administered, together with safeguards being supplied in both case for minority or different distinct cultural teams,” writes Sudhir Kumar in his ebook titled Political and Administrative Setup of Union Territories.

Primarily based on the SRC’s suggestions, Parliament enacted the Structure (Seventh) Modification Act, 1956, based mostly on which these territories had been declared as Union Territories. The time period (UT) was first utilized in 1956 to designate the territories which couldn’t discover parity with States on account of important strategic or different issues, notes Sudhir Kumar.

Aberdeen Bazaar, Port Blair. For representational purposes (Source: Wikimedia Commons)
Aberdeen Bazaar, Port Blair. For representational functions (Supply: Wikimedia Commons)

Over time, the composition of areas referred to as UTs has modified. Initially, states like Himachal Pradesh, Manipur and Tripura had been thought-about UTs. In the end, “a few of these UTs attained statehood and few extra had been added to it on account of the liberation of overseas pockets in India,” which included the likes of Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu (from the Portuguese).

Coming again to Ladakh, members of the present ruling celebration on the Centre had promised UT standing on the marketing campaign path. Nonetheless, the demand for UT hasn’t obtained unanimous help in Ladakh with the Shia Muslim-dominant Kargil district unwilling to share the aspirations of their Leh counterparts. Extra pertinently, any try at establishing Ladakh as a UT should come after the abrogation (or main amendments to) of Article 370, which at this juncture appears unlikely.

As argued earlier, there isn’t a set precedent or foundation for the formation of union territories, in contrast to within the case of states.

The creation of a UT seemingly is dependent upon the political dynamics of the day on the Centre and the actual area by which these calls for come up. What the longer term holds, solely time will inform.

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