By Ravi Kant
When India awoke with independence it was a situation of a tablespoon of honey with a teaspoon-full of vinegar. When India was celebrating its freedom with great zeal and enthusiasm, simultaneously there was series of debates on how to divide the states of India. India had a very tough time to accommodate and listen to the needs and aspirations of different and diverse cultural groups of our country. With lots of debates and opposition finally India took a decision to divide the states on the basis of linguistic lines. Yet as time passed by in the pages of history the new demand for own states kept coming in whether it was Tamil Nadu where they were already a separate state aspired to become a separate country in order to save their language – Tamil or Nagaland separating from Assam.
The demand for creation of new states in the present epoch is endless with the hot and burning issue of Telangana as a separate state. The Times of India on the 5th day of August 2013 wrote, “If Demands met, India could have 50 states.” Now the Telangana bill has been given a nod by both the honorable Parliament and President of India, the question that is striking in everyone’s intellect mind is “How viable or feasible is it to create a small state? Will creating of small states would lead to more growth and development?” Answer to such questions requires thorough investigation about the present conditions of those States that were partitioned in the past.
A majority of the creation of small states are driven by the political aspirations or on the basis of economic backwardness of sub-regions in a large state, for instance, Jharkhand. Jharkhand was created with an intention that if it separates itself from Bihar it has the competency to grow at a faster rate and even claimed that its abundant mineral resources could act as an engine to growth for Jharkhand Economy. 12 years have passed since Jharkhand was made and everyone knows with what rate its economy and political setup is moving.
Mayawati’s demand in the year 2011 for quartered states in Uttar Pradesh was considered by many political parties as an election gimmick. The Nationalist Congress Party’s Praful Patel also expressed the desire for Vidarbha. The creation of Telangana was also motivated by political aspirations as it is said by many that it would give impetus to the UPA Government to win 2014 elections as they are insecure about winning the election this time.
Many also believe that creation of small states would lead to good and better governance and better economic opportunities. Punjab and Haryana as a small state has strengthened the Indian Union. Uttarakhand ever since it was born with Jharkhand in the year 2000 has grown with a tremendous pace. Its Economy’s per capita income has grown by 168 percent from INR 19457 in 2001-2002 to INR 52125 by 2011-12. (Source: Reserve Bank Of India). But the episode of Jharkhand, where Governments are formed everyday that has come twice under President’s Rule, tells us that although the size matters, there is no guarantee that small states bring political stability with them.
So creation of small states require thorough and intense investigation and realization that after separating “Are there enough resources that will generate future economic benefits after separating or will they have to again depend and cry to other States or Centre for the running of their Economy.” It should not be a situation of out of the frying pan into the fire after a State separates itself from a bigger state; we hope Telangana do not have to go through that idiom.
Ravi Kant holds Economics Honors degree from Ramjas College, University of Delhi. He likes researching in the areas of Economics, Strategy, Politics, English Literature and Social Issues. Besides that he loves watching Parallel and offbeat Cinemas of Bollywood. He aspires to be a well-known and an eminent Consultant in the area of Economics and Strategy. Presently he is doing his MBA from Institute of Management Technology (IMT), Hyderabad.
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