Does more states mean better administration or is it just
another jingoistic call?
The Home Ministry, Government of India, has got approximately 10 applications for the creation of new states out of the existing one! Huge number indeed considering the fact that at 28 states at present, the demand for 10 new ones means almost a number that is one-third of existing states will be added to the count of Indian states!
Let us have a look at the some of the prominent ones:
- Bodoland from Assam
- Gorkhaland from West Bengal
- Mithila from Bihar
- Purvanchal from Uttar Pradesh
- Telangana from Andhra Pradesh
- Vidharbha from Maharashtra
- Vindhya Pradesh from Madhya Pradesh
- Saurashtra from Gujarat
- Harit Pradesh from Uttar Pradesh
- Kosal from Orissa
A map which gives a clear idea about the demand for the creation of "new states" is being presented here.
Most of us wonder why are people demanding new states? Aren't we having some other important issues on our platter that we are supposed to address these? Some of us wonder that aren't the issues related to China and Pakistan not enough to give the Indian Government some sleepless nights? Whatever the case may be, the demand for new states is still prominent and time and again resurfaces.
The Reasons for:
The major reasons for the demand are:
- Linguistic and Religion/ Communal Preferences
Fuelled by linguistic and religion/ communal preferences, many are asking for new states. Some glaring examples are Bodoland, Gorkhaland, Telangana, etc.
- Sense of economic and regional deprivation
Most of the people demanding new states reason that they are being sidelined by their state.
- Creation of new a breed of politicians and bureaucrats
New states will mean a new state government and definitely a new breed of politicians having more power will come up. A new state also means new administrative machinery and jobs. Definitely those in search of power will go for a new state rather than sticking to an old one wherein their power is limited.
- Access to larger share of national funds for states
Every state has a share in the Central Government's fund for development. By having a new state, the state will have access to more funds than it would have got if it were just a region.
- Creation of "new cities" to fuel growth in the region
Creation of cities (because the state will have a new capital and major cities will come up too) will improve the infrastructure facilities in the state too. This will help in getting employment too.
- Better administration (if the current region of the state is too large at present)
A large state (in terms of land area) is difficult to manage, the promoters of the new states theory say. Smaller states will mean effective management as the span of control reduces and the size of the machinery managing it increases.
The Reasons Against:
With the help of technology we can easily reach out to most of areas. Dividing the states into smaller parts will not necessarily help.
New state may find itself lacking in infrastructure and other facilities, atleast for the initial few years. History shows us that it takes almost 10 years for a new state to get into momentum. The cost of doing all these things is also high.
- Better administration
Better administration, development of cities, development of infrastructure and other such things can be made by making strong regional centres within the states. It does not necessarily call for new state.
- Power politics
Smaller states will also mean more pressure to the central government as most of the Governments these days are "Coalition Governments". Smaller states may affect the stability of the Central Government.
- Pluralistic Society
A more open society rather than one based on religion and language will be beneficial to India. We should not forget that the essence of India is "democracy".
A careful analysis should be done before giving in to the demand of the creation of a new state. Possibly a second State Reorganisation Commission can be formed and the issue can be addressed.
However, looking at the current state of Indian economy, the demands do not look justifiable. We need to focus on economical issues that the country faces rather than focussing on such regional ones. The jingoistic elements within a person may sit quietly for some time for the larger interest of the nation.
(This article is for academic purpose only. With inputs from the Times of India, The Hindu, Wikipedia, Business Standard and Business Today)