Regionalism is a feeling or an ideology among a section of people residing in a particular geographical space characterized by unique language, culture etc. and the feeling that they are the sons of the soil and every opportunity that exists in their land must be accorded to them first and not to the outsiders. It is a sort of Parochialism. In most of the cases it is raised for expedient political gains.
‘Regionalism’ has come in different forms and accompanied by varying degrees of violence. The first and most legitimate kind of regionalism has demanded a separate space or state of one’s own. This variety of regionalism was pioneered by the Telugu-speaking residents of the erstwhile Madras Presidency. The forms of protest it used were attacks on state property, and the hunger-fast, most definitively in the case of Potti Sriramulu, who in 1952 died after not eating for 52 days with his death leading, to the creation of the state of Andhra Pradesh and to the wholesale redrawing of map of India on linguistic lines.
The creation of states based on language did not, how ever, lead to the extinction of regional sentiments. This now expressed itself in the shape of asking for a better deal now expressed itself in the shape of asking for a better deal from the centre. The pioneers here were the Tamils, who argued that the central government was a captive of north India (specifically Hindi-speaking) interests. The protests were loud and successful; in 1967, the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam became the first regional party to win power through the ballot-box. They were later emulated by the Akali Dal in Punjab, the Telugu Desam Party in Andhra Pradesh, and the Asom Gana Parishad in Assam, all of whom won state elections by successfully claiming that they stood for the rights of their regions against the hegemonic domination of the centre. These parties proclaimed themselves regional by their very names, but it is also possible to view the West Bengal unit of the.