December 17, 2009

It is a dangerous precedence to create more states based just on mere political ambitions!

The untimely demise of Y S Rajasekhara Reddy could not have happened at a worse time. The sequence of events that happened post his death proved the same. If initially it was a major political crisis that erupted with respect to the nomination of a candidate as the next chief minister of the state, later on, it was the demand of K Chandrasekhar Rao (KCR) for a separate state of Telangana that turned one of the most prosperous and properly administered states into a virtual battleground. The state, which for a very long period has been in the news for its strides in Information Technology and the successful battle against Maoists, is now in the news for all the wrong reasons. True to its style, the government at the Centre easily gave in to the demands of K. Chandrasekhar Rao, who was quick to realise the political vacuum that was created by the death of YSR and found the revival of Telangana movement for a separate state an ideal platform to re-launch his political career graph.

But what was most surprising was the manner in which the decision makers at the Centre and especially in the Congress High Command believed in what they saw in the media and steered according to the way it was ill-advised by some political opportunists who thought that a formal announcement by the Centre to create a separate state would douse the flames that had erupted in Hyderabad and were engulfing almost the entire state. Thus, with the formal announcement of the Centre about its intent to create a separate state like Telangana, for KCR, victory (subsequent to his tactically timed fasting) was imminent. But what he and the decision makers at the Centre did not gauge was the extent to which anti-Telangana sentiments prevail in the state. The resignation drama in the Andhra Pradesh assembly that followed, forced the government to be on the back foot again. But by then, the damage was already done. Even before the Central Government realised its folly in hurrying up the creation of a new state – although not surprising – newer and rather ridiculous demands for newer states started emanating from different regions of the country. There have been fresh movements for trifurcation of Uttar Pradesh into Harit Pradesh and Poorvanchal, and also a shocking Bundelkhand with some regions of Madhya Pradesh too. There have been demands for Gorkhaland, Greater Cooch Behar, Kamtapur as also Vidharba. What is disgusting is that in many cases, these demands for new states have had one individual proponent whose political career depended solely upon the creation of the new states. Thus, while there is Bimal Gurung in Gorkhaland, who has literally isolated that place from rest of West Bengal, there is Ajit Singh of Rashtriya Lok Dal for Harit Pradesh, and then once-upon-a-time part-time actor Raja Bundela leading the Bundelkhand campaign.

The two issues that need attention here are: One, would these proposed new states be viable on their own or not? Two, should new states be created merely to fulfil the political ambitions of struggling politicians? Can states like Bundelkhand or Gorkhaland ever be viable on their own without external support? In the issue of the Telangana movement, Hyderabad is a wonderful case in point. One of the most critical grudges of the pro-Telangana agitators is that the whole region has been deprived of all development which has gone to the coastal regions. Yet, in the last one decade or so, Andhra Pradesh has become synonymous with the incredible development of Hyderabad and its prominence as the pioneering hub of information technology. Now, this development in the once notorious Hyderabad was not brought about by the people of Telangana but by the people of Andhra Pradesh as a whole. Today, Telangana cannot ask for Hyderabad just like that. Billions of dollars have been invested there by people who are not originally from Telangana. Similarly, the calls for a Gorkhaland to be made into a separate state curved out of West Bengal are absurd because, for example, the hill-station of Darjeeling is completely dependent on millions of tourists coming every year from the plain-land of Bengal, and is also dependent on the trade of tea, for which Kolkata is the hub.

The last three states that were curved out in India were Jharkhand, Uttarakhand and Chhattisgarh. Barring Uttarakhand to some extent, there hasn’t been much development in the states of Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand. Both have literally failed to tackle the problem of Naxalism; and corruption is rampant. The common man there is not far better off than what they were before the creation of the states. Of course, people like Madhu Koda have made billions by making the best of the political instability in terms of number games in the legislative assembly.

All in all, even if India needs to create smaller states for better administration, the objective to create such states should be purely based on better governance and overall development rather than caste, creed, religion or regionalism as that would only divide India more. More than that, it is an extremely dangerous precedence to set for the future!



Chetan Gupta said...

I love u Arindam Sir...!!!

You are absolutely right. And even if there are few resignation of MLA's, government should accept them & hire new ones. I don't see a valid logic in there request for requesting for a separate state for Telengana except their personal political interest. If we accept there request, then take my words every week we will be recieving same kind of requests from other cities & soon every district & then every street who will ask for themself being a state.

Luv u Sir..!!

Manuj said...

Totally agree. India has to be a well planned country. Needs to improve infrastructure & energy supply as well.

yogeshmani said...

Looks like this article needed a little more time 'curved out' for

Technology Journal said...

Today is the age of the antithetical.

People question status quo.

People want change and experimentation.

Let a few states experiment with leaner govt structures.

The result would be a benchmark in political administration and may be a case study for HBR.

Sridhar said...

Where were the so called well wishers of Telangana when the recent floods that struck the state (which was considered the worst in 100 years)??? It's obvious that as usual people with vested interests want a separate state. The people of Telangana had clearly indicated what they wanted in the 2009 Assembly elections where TRS hardly got 10 out of 50 seats from Telangana. The majority of the people were with YSR(Can't say Congress as a whole)who was against Telangana. The infighting within the ruling party in the state has brought it to this situation which one wouldn't have imagined even 5 months ago wen YSR was alive... It's sad that the people who suffer in the End are the people of Telangana who wouldn't benefit from a new state... Hoping things get back to normal asap of this wonderful state... :) Cheers!!!

Iftikhar Islam said...

Very much helped by this article. Thank you sir.

I wanted to know the economic condition of a country if the states divide specially AP, will the growth rate decrease and what will happen to the dream of 2020, that India will become a developed Nation... plz comment

PGP student of IIPM - Hyd

Bharath said...

so new states should not be formed since some people are against it, have you thought about it that there would probably be more violence if telangana was not declared ?
another lousy argument is about Hyderabad, just cause people have invested in Hyd, doesnt mean they have to leave after telangana has formed. new state only effects people who might work for govt, and how govt revenues are spent.

The author dares to make opinions without minimal understanding of the situation, its just has diatribe against politics.

Bharath said...

the author has no idea as to what development is, he calls hyderabad progressing, probably compares it with bihar. he needs to visit china or developed nations for better understanding about standards of living and progress.

shush said...

Arindam I do agree with your article, as we've seen that KCR's supporter had held Hyderabad on ransom for almost a week, demanding for separate state Telangana, in the light of less developement in this territory, and most of us arguing that small state allow for better governance including one of the famous business magazine, but to be very frank its not small state which allow better governance its all about leaders who govern these state, and it is evident in business world when Louis Gerstner shown that "Who says elephant can't dance"

DHANU said...

i agree with Bharat the writer doesn't make his judgement on prorer information.he doesnt even have any idea of ysr promising seperate telangana for 4years when he was in power and he doesnt mention any violations in regard of gentle men treaty which is the major cause of revolt.

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Dantuluri said...

Respected Sir,
As an Andhrite and a passionate nationalist, I fully subscribe to your idea that bifurcation of states including Andhra Pradesh does not serve the common man of India but would result in filling coffers of vested interests as well as illegitimately empowering divisive elements. Political parties of all affiliations and hues should consider the fissifarious fallouts of such divisions and curb attempts to create rifts between the people peacefully coexisting in the already complex world of today.
Your thoughtful analysis should be an eye opener for all citizens clamouring for separation from the main stream.
Hats off to you, Sir.
-DVSN RAJU, Visakhapatnam

paul said...

A sense of regionalism is growing everywhere in India today, mostly provoked by politicians, and the Idea of 'India' has often been forgotten. This is the cause for all such problems like this. Like the MNS claimed months back that Mumbai belongs to Maharastrians. If every state and its people can take their own decisions to divide states, then for what purpose the central government is functioning in this country.The issue of Telegana supporters may be genuine or may not,(They have been demanding for a seperate state for years).whatsoever, I think these kind of decisions should be strictly taken by the central government and its decision would be final. for that,the centre should also have a terrific leadership to deal with such problems, like say, Indira Gandhi. it's not that any body can threaten or black mail the government by going for fast unto death or indulge in violence.
The centre could have handled this situation better.

pankul gupta said...


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