Does India need smaller states?

Reasons for separate statehood demands :-

  • Unequal development.
  • Poor governance.
  • Negligence.
  • Perceived negligence. Some people are feeling that they are neglected, though they are not.
  • Differences in Language/ culture/ ethnicity.
  • Historical reasons. Some regions have great history, so the people there want separate state.
  • Located at a long distance from the administrative center. If the capital is very far from the region, they feel neglected. And it’s difficult to travel to capital for administrative related works.
  • Marginalization of people based on their region. There is an unequal distribution of state funds among regions within the states.
  • Selfish motives of few politicians. Some politicians do spread misinformation and encourages people to protest for separate state, so that they will get power and monetary benefits.

In Favor :-

  • Decentralization and bringing the govt. closer to people enhances efficiency of governance.
  • Problems like Naxalism can be tackled easily in smaller states because there will be more focus, if the area is small.
  • In large states, administration may not know the needs of local people.
  • In larger states, resource rich places may not get benefits of it’s resources because the benefits may go to some other places of the same state.
  • Administration of large states is complex.
  • Kerala & Goa are small states and have developed very well.
  • Jharkhand, Uttarakhand done better in reducing poverty & in improving agriculture growth rate after being separated from their parent states – Bihar & Uttar Pradesh respectively.
  • The smaller states can support the local panchayats better than the larger states can.
  • Cultures, languages will be preserved.
  • Initially, when the states were reorganized on linguistic basis, there was a fear that this may lead to the secessionist tendencies. Instead, it made the unity of India stronger because everyone felt safe & secure as their aspirations were met. The same is the case with the separate statehood demands. If people are happy, there will be no threat to unity of India.
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Against :-

  • More no. of states means the greater instability at the center.
  • More no. of states can lead to more inter-state water disputes, power sharing and resource sharing problems.
  • The places, which are in demand for statehood have no economic viability and hence will end up in creating more problems. Forming of new states involves a lot of expenditure on infrastructure and administration etc.
  • If the present statehood demands are accepted, more separatist demands will start from the other regions.
  • If we keep on dividing the states, it’ll be very difficult to maintain the unity of the nation.
  • Forming of new states can’t guarantee the development of the region. Rather concentrating on effective planning and efficient use of resources can solve the problems.

Facts :-

  • At the time of independence, India consists of 562 princely states and 11 British provinces.
  • Integration of Indian states is the result of the then Minister of Home & State Affairs, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel’s efforts.
  • Potti Sriramulu’s death during his fast unto death for the demand of ‘Andhra’ state ( NOT Andhra Pradesh) made Govt. to appoint States Reorganization Commission. States Reorganization took place on linguistic basis by States Reorganization Act, 1956.
  • After further sub-divisions, India now has 29 states and 7 union territories. Telangana is the latest formed state.
  • Still there are several separate statehood demands.
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Conclusion :-

It’s not the problem of smaller states or larger states, it’s the problem of lack of good governance. Administration must take proper care in ensuring equal development.

Your Turn…

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