Friday, May 31, 2013

Need for more States: Myths in making new states

In last article we looked into what are the factors that can help us accelerate the development in India via forming states defined by certain parameters. To read the article click here Need for more states: Factors behind Development

However when there is a talk of forming new states and rearranging certain states then there are certain standard concerns (Or Myths!!) that are raised. I would not look into all the myths one by one

1.    This will lead to Disintegration of the nation
Really, this is the most illogical statement that can be heard. When India got Independence it had got 14 states and now there are 28. Has this lead to any disintegration of certain states leaving the country.
Please remember that the constitution of India states “Union of India” and not “Federation of India”, which means that India is mostly unitary in power and Centre has most of the powers and over-riding powers in case of any emergency requirement.

2.    It will promote regionalism and regional parties will gain sway
People give examples on how smaller parties will gain sway in smaller states and hence problems in center. Let us look into the states and see the status of regional parties

Breaking the myth that small states leads to regional parties
As seen in this it completely breaks the myth. Out of 10 bigger states 7 States have strong regional parties which are a major force. Then in the medium 10 states (Including Delhi)  this number drops by 1 to 6. Interestingly out of these 6, 2 parties SAD and NC are historical parties which have been in existence even before Independence while in big 10 only 1 state has such a historical party. This myth is completely broken when we see the next 15 Units (9 States and  6 UT’s) and just 2 have a regional party as a major force.
Hence the myth is completely wrong. Rather in a bigger state like UP people have faith that Samjadwadi Party will be able to influence in centre if it wins from UP, and similar for say NCP, while in smaller states people have a tendency to vote for bigger national parties as otherwise their voice will be lost
Here by National Parties we mean parties having Pan India presence in major states- INC, BJP, BSP, CPM & CPI

3.    Smaller states have not been successful like in North East
Very true. That is why in previous article we have defined the range in which states needs to be in term of Population, Area and Homogeneity. When making new states the 3 factors will be need to be taken into care in majority of the cases.

4.    More States means more risk of disintegration
Well if the new states are formed in a proper way keeping all 3 points into consideration, then it would mean more development coming in. Another point worth noting is that most of militant movements have been in the smaller states and it has been easy to manage them. If tomorrow we have terrorism problems say in Tamil Nadu which commands 39 seats in parliament then constitutional means against it become very difficult due to political clout while it is easy against say Tripura with 2 seats.
It has been the case that can be seen, with political leaders of these big states like Maha, TN have been involved in demanding more for themselves at the cost of others and still money does not reach the people because it is virtually more money for themselves.
If more similar sized states are there then it would reduce such things and give governments a chance of doing the distribution in a technical way

5.    Tomorrow more people will demand there state and every district will be a state
If the states are made that they were made last time with no explanation of principal behind them, then it can go deep into such level, but I are already defined a clear cut principle, which should be put in front of the people.
Also with the formation of smaller efficient states, if development reaches more people, then it would serve the purpose of people. After Uttarakhand has been formed there has been rapid progress, and now there are no further demands of a separate Garhwal and Kumaon, despite being difference in culture of both the regions.

6.    The demands are mostly political
This is another reason given by the critics to the idea, who simply dismiss. Well people should understand that the politicians do make politics but why? Because they see an opportunity. Why is there an opportunity, because there is a need of the people. Why there is a need because people feel so. So the bottom line is we cannot dismiss a demand by saying it is politics. That is the voice of people; if it was not the case then no politics will happen. Politicians creates politics out of need of people to favor himself.
Yes definitely politicians also look for their personal gains. But what we have suggested that new states be formed according to a predefined set of norms and by a technical committee. This would take out the politics

7.    If UP is broken then the new states cannot survive, because they have no resources
Not having anything against people of UP, but this is the answer I get when I talk about the idea with them. When I find it surprising and think that it has come out of a feeling that they belong to the "biggest state of India" and feel proud of it even when rest everything is zero. If UP is broken into 3 or 4 states , then in Area each state would be little bigger than that of Haryana and Punjab. About the resources, what resources does Haryana have and still is much better than UP. There is not even a single major river and the soil there historically was considered as maru (Bad soil for farming). The fertility of soil and water situation in UP is much better than even Punjab. In Punjab now only 2 rivers flows through the state, while the third Ravi passes through the border. When I compare UP, it has Ganga, Yamuna then the other major rivers like Gaghra, Gandak, Chambal, Sind, Betwa. Besides that UP has got ultra fertile area of Terai in the foothills of Himalaya.
Hence I nowhere feel that UP even if broken down would be anywhere less in resources. Yes an Initial investment would be required to build the infrastructure of the capital.

This concludes my second part of the article. If I have missed any concern do post in comments and I would try to address them too. In the next part I would discuss the concerns and steps that need to be addressed before going for new states. The article can be found here Need for more States: Concerns and Issues that need to be addressed


  1. Replies
    1. Prove that and don't be a coward hiding behind that name "Anonymous". Come forward and have a discussion :D