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kewal sethi
Posts: 33

more the merrier

finally the central government , or rather the party inpower , have decided to accept the demand for telengana. the reaction has beenvigorous in seemaandhra i.e. the areas of andhra pradesh outside telenganaregion. why? how do they suffer except for the fact that the capital hyderabadwill not be with them. the question arises how they benefited by having thecapital at hyderabad. every city has grown over the years and so has hyderabad.in madhya pradesh indore has grown though it is not the capital. pune haslikewise grown in maharashtra. many other cities can be counted as benefitingfrom the growth in economy. if the case is that hyderabad has grown because thepeople from outside telengana could work there, the answer is who stops themfrom doing so in future. telengana is not going out of india. every citizen canmove there and contribute to the growth. if the argument is that they werebenefiting because hyderabad had certain qualities which would not be availablein (say) vijayawada. it means they were exploiting the potential of hyderabad. inthat case, it can only mean that demand for separate state was right.

many of the newspapers have commented adversely on thedecision. their case is that other regions will also demand a state. what iswrong with that? if the people of a region want their own state, why should itworry anyone. there are no guidelines on what should be the area, population orother attributes which would be necessary for forming a state. in 1956 languageis said to have been the criterion. but this was not followed in the case ofhindi. it was not followed in the case of gujarati and a violent agitationcould only get gujarat. mumbai was not even made the common capital. it was notfollowed for manipuri. again violence led to formation of manipur. so the criteriaof language being the deciding factor is not appropriate.

next argument is that administratively, it would not beappropriate to have smaller states. going emotional, it is said that it willgenerate never-ending demands for new states. taking the argument further,  it is said that india may also break. this isnothing but emotional blackmail. it is not demanded that any region will secedefrom india. in the past, there were such demands in the north east but eventhey feel that it was not  a good move. whyshould administrative structure not work in a smaller state? what is wrong withgoa? haryana has not suffered after separation from punjab, nor haschhattisgarh been hit by calamity after separation. on the other hand largesize of uttar pradesh has not led it out of the group of states known as'bimaru'. in fact, it may be other way round. smaller size can lead to betterresults. in punjab, if the minister makes a promise in a district meeting, heis bound by it otherwise the persons from that area will flood capital todemand why it has not been done. in erstwhile madhya pradesh, it took days toreach capital and so it was out of reach for large tracts. promises made wereforgotten. what is worse is that both sides knew it. in punjab, the person, orthe delegation, can go to chandigarh, talk to the minister and return the sameday. not expensive either in time or in money.

in 1971, i had, as an activity of idle time, started writinga constitution for india which i thought would fit  our nation and democracy. one of the pointswas that there should be 500 or so states. each one will have onerepresentative in the lok sabha chosen by the local assembly of the state. forcertain projects – irrigation, roads and such others – the states could form azone in which common points of interest would be discussed and / or implementedfor mutual benefits. for different purposes different zones could be formed. andthus a state could be participant in more than one zone. mutual cooperation isnot ruled out simply because a state has got its own administrative structure.

gorkhaland, or bodoland, or tululand may be demanded and mayeven be reality in not too distant a future. why have bloodshed and unnecessaryagitations before we concede it? it would not lead to weakening of the centre.it may only strengthen it. none of the smaller states would have a veto powerin the centre. coalitions may be order of the day formed on the basis of mutualinterests but it would not be negation of democracy which involves discussionsand compromises. it is argued that it would mean local satraps taking chargeand then indulging in scams. but it would be noted that large scams have takenplace only in large states, with the centre leading the charge. smaller statesmay have smaller scams but the benefits have to be shared with the people asotherwise those who indulge in scams may be thrown out next time. they cannothide behind the party at centre and they cannot change their constituency as itwould mean going to another state.

i am of the view that formation of telengana is not detrimentalto the health of the nation. if it is sick at present, the reason is not thenumber of states but something else. it may lead to demand for new states and bifurcationor trifurcation of existing states but that is to be welcomed as expression ofstrong desire of the local people to decide their own fate. instead offormation of another reorganization commission which means decision by a groupof persons, howsoever exalted, steeped in their prejudices and pre-conceivednotions. the best way would be to organize a referendum in the concerned regionto let the people decide their future. such referendum shall not be repeatedbefore five years for any particular region. but the main point is that theoutsiders will not decide on this issue. it may be argued that in such referendums,people will be led by emotion only to regret the decision later. this criticismcan be met by making the procedure reversible.

let us welcome telengana and hope that others will come up soon.




August 3, 2013 at 5:48 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Devinder Das Chopra
Posts: 21

Our Constitution guarantees a federal structure; no State can secede, whatever be the spirit and content of prevailing democratic process on the ground. GOA is an example of a small state managed and run with some element of good governance, fair to good economic development and with some focus on improved services for the civil society. Integrated development of the rural and urban services is viable and manageable.

Uttar Pradesh with a population of 22 crores and a massive physical spread is and has remained, unmanageable. Even if there has not been a passionate movement (like the ones for Telengana or Gorkhaland or Bodoland) needs to be seriously evaluated whether its trifurcation will lead to an improved economic and social development. 

If the USA could have over 50 States with about one-fourth of India's population, could be a young and a dynamic democracy, then ther is no reason why we could not get to 30 or 35 States from our current figure of 28 and soon to be 29.

Elimination of unemployment, economic & industrial develolpment and a growing GDP and elimination of malnutrition, hunger, poverty, illiteracy, improved and a better quality of education, health, sanitation and environment will make India better governed than it is today. Smaller or medium sized statehood (Goa, Himachal, Punjab, Haryana and Chattisharh, to name just a handful) will suggest the priority area that the Parliament and the Centre ought to look at, more seriously, than has been the case in recent years.

Especially where the "bimaru" States are concerned.... is my contribution after educating and motivating myself subsequent to well analysed piece from  Shri Kewal Sethi sahib.

dev chopra in gurgaon//un retiree--13 th Aug 2013



 - Devinder Das Chopra

August 12, 2013 at 3:17 PM Flag Quote & Reply

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