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Is the purpose really to govern better or to increase the number of red beacon cars?

Are we heading towards better management or more scope for corruption? If management of smaller regions is considered to be easy then isnt it difficult to ensure coherence, cooperation and integration of a larger number? Do I need to introduce my topic or have I already made my stand clear? India our motherland is being torn apart more and more to satisfy the vested interests of the politicians. The decision of Telengana has opened up Pandora's box and we see a plethora of demands for smaller states in different parts of the country. I believe smaller states are not a panacea for Indias myriad problems. Political Mathematics should not be the purpose behind the creation of small states. I wonder how our politicians at the Centre have failed to realise that creation of more states can further weaken the coalition government. Will it not be more difficult for the central government to convince all the regional parties before taking any major economic or political decision. The states already struggle to resolve issues on sharing of natural resources. How we will manage with more of these entities, I wonder. A small state will be likely to face limitations in terms of the natural (physical) and human resources available to it. Moreover, it will lack the kind of agro-climatic diversity required for economic and developmental activities. It would also be restricted in its capability to raise resources internally. All these factors would only make it more dependent on the Centre for financial transfers and centrally-sponsored schemes. Rajesh Chakrabarti, professor of finance at the Hyderabad-based Indian School of Business (ISB), raised a very valid point. "State break-up requires considerable costs for the new governance set-up, including infrastructure investment in the new capital for the smaller state. This would be a huge loss to the exchequer. And with the current situation of our country with the ever-increasing Current Account Deficit, the revenue deficit can we afford to loose more capital? Experience shows that it takes about a decade for a new state and its government and administrative institutions to become stable; for various issues of division of assets, funds and of the state civil service(s) to get fully resolved; and for links to the new state capital to stabilise. The cost of this transition is not low and the states performance may suffer during this interim period. If the administration in a large state suffers from inefficiencies, what is the guarantee that it will become competent by merely creating a smaller state? The states of the north-eastern region and also those which were carved about a decade ago bear testimony to it. Small size of the state cannot guarantee solution to all problems Much more than the size of a state, I believe that it is the quality of governance and administration, the diverse talent available within the states population, and the leaderships drive and vision that determine whether a particular state performs better than the others. Moreover, today, technology can help make governing larger territories easier and bring even far-flung areas closer. Our districts have umpteen number of central and state cadre officers, NGO's, law and order machinery and all the politicians at the Panchayat, Block and District level. There is no dearth of people, what is missing is execution and lack of accountability. Size of the state, only multiplies the districts and the machinery. Devolution of powers to the grass root level and an accountable bureaucracy is what we need for governance. What we need is decentralisation of power of state govt. This will help in ceasing the demand for new states and we will be able to micro-manage the districts within out states. If the 73rd and 74th Amendments are implemented in letter and spirit the demands for new states will come down or even disappear. A drastic reform in governance mechanism and change in the mind-set of those at the helm of affairs is the need of the hour as it can bring development to all.

Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru described India as a country with "unity in diversity.'" Let's keep a balance between this 'unity' and ' diversity' and not allow the latter to dominate over the former. Otherwise a new-age Robert Clive would come knocking at our doors.

With the decline of the Mughal Empire, India broke into fragments. Many ex-governors of the Mughal subahs declared independence and by the middle of the 18th century there were a diverse set of rajas and nawabs who held sway over 600 principalities across the subcontinent. It was in this India that Robert Clive came from nowhere and defeated the forces of Nawab Sirajudaulah at the historic battle of Plassey in June 1757. This established British raj in the country that was to last 190 long years. Noteworthy is the fact that Clive was able to emerge victorious with the help of a section of the Nawab's army who, not bound by feelings of nationality, did not find it an act of treachery to let their nawab down. This was repeated 100 years later in 1857 when the English were able to stave off the challenge to their rule from Indian forces by using other sections of Indian forces. Again these Indian forces who supported the English thought nothing of betraying their countrymen because the feeling of nationality that we have today was not existent then.There were Marathas, Sikhs, Muslims, Rajputs, Biharis and Jats but no Indians. In fact one of the unintended benefits of the Raj was the integration of India which ultimately gave rise to an Indianness that was responsible for catalysing our freedom struggle. It is this Indianness that we have fostered and nurtured in independent India. Now it is this Indianness, that gives a unity of purpose to this great nation which is being sought to be destroyed by the demand for small states. The home ministry has made it public now that the demand for creation of 10 new states is lying before the government. The demand is from diverse regions ranging from Saurashtra in Gujarat to Telangana in Andhra Pradesh and from Vidarbha in Maharashtra to Harit Pradesh in UP. Not that the home ministry is in any hurry to create these new states, but can you imagine what would happen if 10 new states are added to the list of 30 already existing? Well, demand for 10 more states will come to the fore. You don't believe me ? Allow your mind to go back a few years. There used to be Uttar Pradesh the largest state in India. Then Uttaranchal was carved out of it. Now there is a demand to create Harit Pradesh out of Uttar Pradesh. Jharkhand was carved out of Bihar, the same time as Uttaranchal. Now there is a demand for Mithilanchal, a new state to be created out of Bihar. This is a never ending spiral. Once Saurashtra is carved out of Gujarat, the Kutchis will demand their own (there is already such a move by the erstwhile maharana of Kutch). In Andhra Pradesh, the talk of Telangana has caused disquiet in Rayalaseema region which wants its own state. Muslims in Hyderabad region want their own Urdu state. At the end of it India may land up with 100 states which, though not as bad as 600 principalities, will again give rise to fissiparous tendencies and weaken the unity of India seriously and make it very very vulnerable. That this is not a mere apprehension will become startlingly clear when we look at the anarchy prevailing in countries that border India - whether it is Pakistan, Nepal or Bangladesh. While making a case against breaking up states, I do realize that the demand of many who want small states is genuine. The feeling of being discriminated is high in these areas because development has by passed these regions even 62 years after Independence. In some places these demands are also born out of the desire to preserve a unique culture. A good example of development bypassing it is Telangana which lies in the otherwise prosperous state of Andhra Pradesh. And the best example of a desire to keep its culture intact is Coorg, where a demand for a separate state has been made although it is just one single district in Karnataka. Again at some places, the desire for a separate state has been fuelled by the desire to break the hegemony of the higher castes in politics. Again Telangana is a good example where the desire for a separate state is a manifestation of the OBC desire to play a dominant role in politics. But my point is that breaking up a state to fuel faster development or to give OBCs a more prominent role is akin to touching your mouth by bringing your hand around the face. There are, of course, emotional considerations like culture, language, religion and a sense of economic and regional deprivation. But more importantly, politicians envision additional posts of power as chief ministers or ministers, leaders of the opposition, Assembly speakers and so on. Similarly, government servants think of becoming chief secretaries or secretaries, DGs of police, chief-engineers, directors and so on. A common notion is that a larger share of central funds would flow into a new state compared to when it is a region in a larger state. Most also believe that a new capital city would provide better living conditions. Arguments are set forth that a smaller state with less number of districts would diminish the span of control of state-level functionaries. And that reduced distances between the state capital and peripheral areas would improve the quality of governance and administrative responsiveness and accountability. However, this can easily be achieved with strong regional administrative units in larger states. Further, increasing the number of states in the country would expand the span of control of the central ministries dealing with states and of party high commands dealing with state party units. Some may argue that it is with this very purpose of developing infrastructure that demands for the creation of smaller states are encouraged. Moreover, we cannot fix a states optimum size on a whim. It calls for a thorough evaluation of physical features like land quality and topography, agro-climatic conditions, socio-cultural factors, natural and human resource availability, density of population, means of communication, existing administrative culture and effectiveness of its district and regional administrative units and so on.