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Krishna Kumar Singh, also known among friend circles KK and among close relative Krishna; Matriculation from Mithila High School Balour, Darbhanga in 1959, Graduated in Political Science Honours from C M College, Darbhanga, Bihar University in 1963; Joined post-graduate in Political Science the same year but dropped; joined Naxal movement under Charu Mazumdar, Kanu Sanyal, Satya Narayan Singh and Umadhar Singh in between but circumstances compelled to join literary work, clerk, proof readers etc in different publishing houses for livelihood; Finally joined journalism as career in different English newspapers and before my retirement from active journalism, I worked in The Times of India for about 19 years and retired as Chief Reporter  a few years back; continuing in journalism-reading more and more, writing more and more and praying to Almighty more and more-currently writing for different national English and Hindi dailies and magazines..

Saturday, 10 August 2013

Creation of new states in India open Pandora's box as decision is made politically !



Since Independence, it is invariably seen that successive political leadership take decisions, keeping in mind only 'politics and pressure tactics'. In this essay, I will put facts about  creation  of new 'States' since independence. Recently the Union government of the UPA led by the Congress, has given green signal to create "Telangans  state" of the Indian Union, bifurcating the areas from the old Andhra Pradesh! Mainly the successive union governments have kept in their mind the 'political aspect' and  language  in creating new states spoke since independence. Thus people, who mostly spoke the same language were brought together in one state. In the process, the successive governments ignored minority languages and dialects within the areas. Several north Indian states are all predominantly Hindi-speaking states ! Demand for economic viability, regional autonomy and other factors were never considered in creating new states.Demand for separate state of Telagana  , which has been merged with  other Telgu-speaking regions to create the state of Andhra Pradesh in early 1950s despite vehement opposition , was never considered.. And since than, agitation for creation of separate Telagana  state continued unabated. At that time also the SRC, had not recommended merger in 1954 only  because the areas was passing through communist-led uprising. The struggle  of the Communist uprising for the first began in Telegana areas because of social and political discrimination of the  merger of Telagana areas were completed. At that time, the then Prime Minister Pundit Jawahar  Lal Nehru, while giving a note of dissent over merger of Telegana areas with Andhara Pradesh, has cautioned and said " this particular  marriage should contain provision for divorce".

Now the pave for  new Telagana  state has come out, again on "political consideration," many, both of Telagana  and Andhra regions, have many reservations. At the time of merger of Telagana  with Andhra  for an united Andhara Pradesh state ,the concern of the people of Telagana  areas were mainly economic including distribution of resources-such as river water, as the headwaters of the Krishna and Godavari rivers were in Telegana but the planned irrigation projects at coastal Andhra. There were general apprehension that Telegana region was not so developed, especially in education sector ,  in comparison to other parts of the state -hence  Andhra elite will usurp job and other opportunities in the united Andhra Pradesh.Such reasons continued to haunt Telengana people and they intensified their agitation for separate Telegana state since long .Eminent Columnist Jayati Ghosh has written in The Guardian , "The concern of the Telagana  people have indeed been justified but the Telagana  is by no means the part of the state that is struggling most-that dubious privilege rests with Rayalaseema region and some northern districts. The state capital-Hyderabad, which is emerging as modern   metropolis, lies squarely within the region. While it is true, that locals have fewer of the coveted jobs in Hyderabad, in most other respects it is hard to make much of a case for economic discrimination of the region......"\

"........but the sense of injustice has remained to some extent, and has been periodically fed by political forces. The Telegana Rashtra Samithi Party was formed in 2001 when some leaders split from the Telgu Desam party to focus on the one demand. Since the TRS has been in alliance with the Congress party at the national level, the Congress in turn has blown hot and cold on this issue. The first United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government promised Telegana statehood but did not deliver. Many hunger strike and riots there, it seemed that this on-again-off-again state of affairs would continue, possibly indefinitely, comments Jayati.

But in the changed political scenario Congress led UPA government, in the recent past, started giving  new thinking  and gave go ahead signal for creation of Telagana state. Political calculation seems favourably to Congress in dividing Andhra Pradesh. The Congress party has currently 35 Lok Sabha seats from united Andhara Pradesh , thanks to charismatic leader but corrupt local leader  late Y S Rajshekhar Reddy, who had later started behaving like feudal lord  in the state .Realising its mistakes in giving long rope to late Reddy , the Congress started cutting to size his son and he is prison on various charges of corruption despite the facts that Reddy's son has huge mass following. Congress must have thought that the party will be routed in Andhara region because of late Reddy's influence-hence it created a new state of Telegana for rooting  up the Congress in Telegana region.

 Not only creation of Telegana, many states including Punjab, Haryana, Karnataka, Himachal Pradesh, Maharshtra, Uttarakhand, Jharkhand, and many eastern states were created on ethnic and languages formula as well as political consideration. Master Tara Singh of united Akali dal fought for creation of separate Punjab on language formula by separating Haryana and Himachal Pradesh and he succeeded in 1950s. Karnataka had also been created on language basis by carving out from the then Madras state, now Tamil Nadu. Likewise , Gujarat was created from taking away territory from old Maharshtra state. Even today there is fight for Chandihgarh  for respective capital town  between Haryana and Punjab. However, Chandigarh is governed as union territory .Such fight is bound to creep up over location of Hyderabad as joint capital of both proposed Telegana and Andhra Pradesh. Both the regions are harping for their respectve capital- Hyderabad. It will be appropriate for Hyderabad as a suitable capital site for Telagana because entire areas of proposed areas of new state are situated in and around Hyderabad  . All round development of Hyderabad has become bone of contention  for Andhra Pradesh and Telagana  for their capital-ultimately a plan has been presently thought out for location of capital of both states at Hyderabad. And later , there is proposal to declare Hyderabad as union territory .

How the political considerations take place in creating new states ? The best example is the creation of Jharkhand, which even after huge natural resources and small in size , is going down to the drains because of rampant corruption and instability. Originally, there was plan to create Jharkhand state following bifurcating tribal population as well as forest and mineral resources, by merging tribal-dominated areas from West Bengal and Odisha. The agitation for Jarkhand state by tribal population and their political wings were for amalgamating tribal areas of Odisha, West Bengal and Bihar for new Jharkhand state. But both Odisha and West Bengal government declined to part away their areas from their respective sides. And axe failed on  joint Bihar, thanks rto weak political, leadership of the then chief minister of joint Bihar Laloo Prasad Yadav and his hunch that he will not remain chief minister if Jharkhand and Bihar areas remain united because BJP had upper hand in the number games .And Laloo added fuel to the fire and at a great loss , Bihar was divided

 During the NDA government of Atal Behari Vajpayee, a Jharkhand state was created only bifurcating parts of tribal dominated areas as well as mines, forest and mineral resources on political consideration because  BJP had largest number of seats in Bihar assembly from tribal belt of Jharkhand. Bihar was left  a poverty -ridden state because of weak leadership.Likewise, Uttar Pradesh was also divided at that time and a new state of Uttarakhand was created-here again the BJP had majority support in the areas. And both state-Jharkhand and Uttarakhand continued to be worse-governed states in the country because of instablity as well as immature leadership in both states. Uttarakhand,  has been virtually perished  in recent past because of unplanned decision on development and Jharkhand because inefficiency of political leadership and corrupt practices by all hues of politicians. People of both the states are languishing  with no development in their economy at the sight.

It is said that creation of new states without any serious thoughts open Pandora's box in India ! Just with the announcements of creation of Telagana state, people of other parts of the country-Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Assam, West Bengal etc have opened new agitation fronts for creation of new states by bifurcating  Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Assam, West Bengal. Smart and concentrated agitation are going on in these states for harping for new states in their respective zones . The people of Darjeeling have started agitation for Gorakhaland, people of Assam for Bodoland, Maharashtra for Viudarbha, Uttar   Pradesh for  Harit Kranti, Purvanchal and also two other tiny states by bifurcating the present Uttar Pradesh.

All these agitation are getting momentum in the respective states by the regional separatists across the country  and the Manmohan Singh government keeping mum over the issue. Property worth crores of rupees have been destroyed in the ongoing agitation in Assam, West Bengal, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh besides killing of hundreds of people in  agitation in recent past.

Although, I do  share the views that present states must be reorganised but not on this fashion , SRC must be revived for taking rationale decision in reorganising states as envisaged in the Constitution. Some academician have expressed their views that creation of new states will balk anise the India, some say smaller states should be created for  good governance  inclusively While justifying the creation of smaller states in India some of us have given examples of USA where there are as many as over 42 states and that country is doing well in all respects. China is also smaller in areas in comparison with USA.Similarly, some have cited the examples of China also, which have 34  provinces including municipalities, autonomous regions and two special administrative areas  They must know that USA has vast areas  (four times more) in comparison to India-the USA has land mass of 9629091 square km and 3717813 square miles  where as India has areas of 3166414 square kms and 1222559 square miles. Like wise, China has 9706961 areas in square km and 3747879 square miles . Population of USA is 316418000  , which comes to 4.45 percent of world population while India's population is  1232320000 , about 17.3 percent population of the world, and China's population is 1359250000, about 19 percent population of the world. Amid these vast areas and population both USA and China time to time reorganise their states for good governance and development following the recommendations of legally constituted committees for the purpose.

Jayato Ghosh has said, " some argue that this is fine, because smaller states are easy to govern. And there may well be a case for another SRC to look into all of these issues. But the recent history of newly formed states such as Jharkhand does not suggest that things are always better in smaller states. What is clear is that created the Congress party, in its push for some immediate political benefit, has let the genie pout of the bottle-with very uncertain consequences. One again, we are reminded that we need to be careful what we wish for."

In India politicians must not take decisions on whims and dictatorial manner for the good of the country. There must be rationality in any decisions the governments takes !

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