‘Until the Telangana issue came up, linguistic States seemed to be holding on pretty well’

Eminent journalist and former BBC Bureau Chief Mark Tully said he felt the Telangana issue raised questions of what should constitute an Indian State, with particular relevance to Andhra Pradesh.

The decision on formation of a State was required to be taken after mature consideration of the overall problem of the size of States, he said, nodding his head in agreement that it would mean a 2 States Re-organisation Commission. “Many criticised the linguistic division of States, but until the Telangana issue came up, linguistic States seemed to be holding on pretty well,” he said on Friday evening.

After delivering the 4 Prof. E.G. Parameswaran Endowment Lecture on ‘The Way Forward for India’, organised by Pragna Bharathi, A.P., here on Friday, he told presspersons he did not believe that smaller States meant better governance. Good governance would come by, only with major administrative and legal reforms so that institutions function effectively, he said.

In his lecture, Mr. Tully said if democracy needed to work better in a country like India, governance was a very big problem and regretted that administration was still largely ‘colonial’, with the ethos of a colonial force - structurally, functionally and legally.

On India’s culture of tolerance, he said the rest of the world should learn from the Indian example, with people of so many religions living in harmony. “But tolerance is sometimes taken too far and an appeal for balance is what I think is necessary. India should not aim to be a big power, but should set an example of a big democracy in which people live in harmony,” he summed up.