A state for me too Mr. Prime Minister?

Fasts come full circle for Andhra. Its almost like a cruel joke of irony played on that state. Almost exactly 57 years back, in the December on 1952 Potti Sreeramulu went on a similar fast, which eventually claimed his life. Except that then his motive was the unification of all Telugu speaking regions into an Andhra state. His death and the uproar it caused forced Nehru to go ahead with forming states on linguistic basis, what we have now.

And now, KCR’s fast divides the state all over again. I just can’t get enough of the irony here! Question is, what will become of Hyderabad. Again its almost like Mumbai, developed by the Gujjus mostly it was claimed by the Marathis simply because it fell inside their state. And yes, you guessed it right! It took a lot of agitation and political arm twisting of Nehru to get that done. Hyderabad was developed as part of AP, and its now being claimed for Telengana simply because its inside that region. Its almost like they kicked Andhra out and asked them to form their own state! And again it will take a lot of agitation, fasts, suicides, self-immolations as each state stakes claim to the crown jewel.

What worries me most is what it will give rise to in other states. People around the Darjeeling-Siliguri belt have already intensified their agitation for Gorkhaland. Some are talking of Harith Pradesh. God knows where! Not sure what it will give rise to in Karnataka. Will the northerners in the Mumbai-Karnataka belt ask for their own state? Will the Kodavas rise up for their own state? I kind of feel the latter is less likely to happen, as they don’t have much political influence. Saurashtra is another state that is being called for. But except for Harith Pradesh and Gorkhaland, the rest of the calls have been pretty muted, barely causing a ripple or a 2 inch mention in the papers.

Have always wondered how demands for statehood arise. Is it for genuine reasons like lack of development, like in the case of Jharkhand or Uttarakhand because the state was already too big? Or is it more likely subtle cultural differences that are blown out of proportion by vested interests looking for vote banks and poll planks? I can hardly see any reason for the formation of Telengana as that place seems to have more resources and is seemingly more prosperous than the remaining Rayalseema/Andhra belt. Is it just people refusing to share their resources with the rest of the state, like Mumbai not being happy about having its money ending up with corrupt Thakurs in UP.

Oh well, its difficult for me to see the point behind all this. I guess am just an idealist thinking of bigger issues like food for 7 billion people, the amount of food that Americans consume, the number of forests they bring down, how we’ll all die once the Ganges dries up or I guess am just too tired at 10 in the night and already struggling to put words together to form coherent sentences.
Guess I’ll just drop and sleep now.

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8 thoughts on “A state for me too Mr. Prime Minister?

    1. I don’t think we should be all that worried about creating smaller states. May be it will address the development concerns and also make administration of the province much easier. May be it will make our central govt stronger 🙂
      The problems happen when two states are fighting over the same resource (whether a city or a river).

      1. Was reading that smaller states (and a doubling of the current number) is something that has already been suggested. From a development perspective it might be good, except that formation of a state is almost treated like partition and causes untold troubles like agitations, riots and all kinds of political arm twisting to secure cities and then river policies….
        Look at how Telengana has been created…people holding a University for ransom, one guy going on a fast…and now MLAs resigning over its creation…
        it is no longer a simple logical thing for administration…
        Also, how many states were formed for purely development reasons to ensure better administration? It is mostly a case of some people not identifying with those in the capital and feeling that they are not part of the majority that rules…differences in culture, language etc…feeling that their language should get prominence and hence they should have their own state…
        Giving up area for another state is seen by most as a humiliating thing which should be prevented under any cost….
        And there is a skewed distribution of resources too…those areas that have more resources sometimes tend to be much farther away from the power centres…causing what locals there would view as a kind of colonialism…
        All said done, I would say ideally we might have to go the division way, but considering the costs involved (mostly emotional and political) we need to see how much it is worth…and probably come up with a better model like empowering local civic bodies more….

  1. I don’t think we should be all that worried about creating smaller states. May be it will address the development concerns and also make administration of the province much easier. May be it will make our central govt stronger 🙂
    The problems happen when two states are fighting over the same resource (whether a city or a river).

  2. Was reading that smaller states (and a doubling of the current number) is something that has already been suggested. From a development perspective it might be good, except that formation of a state is almost treated like partition and causes untold troubles like agitations, riots and all kinds of political arm twisting to secure cities and then river policies….
    Look at how Telengana has been created…people holding a University for ransom, one guy going on a fast…and now MLAs resigning over its creation…
    it is no longer a simple logical thing for administration…
    Also, how many states were formed for purely development reasons to ensure better administration? It is mostly a case of some people not identifying with those in the capital and feeling that they are not part of the majority that rules…differences in culture, language etc…feeling that their language should get prominence and hence they should have their own state…
    Giving up area for another state is seen by most as a humiliating thing which should be prevented under any cost….
    And there is a skewed distribution of resources too…those areas that have more resources sometimes tend to be much farther away from the power centres…causing what locals there would view as a kind of colonialism…
    All said done, I would say ideally we might have to go the division way, but considering the costs involved (mostly emotional and political) we need to see how much it is worth…and probably come up with a better model like empowering local civic bodies more….

  3. The costs involved in dividing not withstanding, just think of the number of MLAs and subsequently MPs, the governance cost and more politicians taking the people’s money through bribes. I am looking little forward. The reason for making a different state will most probably get defeated in all these negative aspects.

  4. The costs involved in dividing not withstanding, just think of the number of MLAs and subsequently MPs, the governance cost and more politicians taking the people’s money through bribes. I am looking little forward. The reason for making a different state will most probably get defeated in all these negative aspects.

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