Summary, Discussions, and a Road Map
All special category state were born with severe disadvantages inherited from their history and geography. They were ruralized states characterized by scarcity of natural resources, low income, low growth and heavy dependence on agriculture. Inaccessibility and physical isolation were disadvantages produced by geography which were reinforced by events like partition and insurgent militancy over which these states had little control. The mechanism of special category status devised to address their problems was also a flawed mechanism that failed to address their deep-rooted structural weaknesses and lacked coherent strategy. Thus instead of empowering these peripheral, marginalized states and bringing them within the folds of the mainstream, it has create states overwhelmingly dependent on central funding, unable to negotiate the future on their own strength. This chapter also examines the demands made by some states for this status and prompts a relook into the entire arrangement of special category status, advocating a redesigning of the scheme.
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