Ramachandra Guha makes a good case for smaller states (“Living together, separately,” Jan. 30). But there are some gaps in the background he has provided to the demand for Andhra Pradesh. One cannot ignore the context. The demand for separation gained momentum when Prakasam Pantulu, whom the Andhras considered as tall a leader as Rajaji, was sidelined. The Left had always been in favour of linguistic states and it was a strong force in the Andhra region. Telugu speaking people also felt they were being discriminated against in government employment by a clannish Tamil political class. This added fuel to the demand for a separate state.

The case for smaller states rests not just on cultural or ecological factors. The economic factor is now more important.

Neelakant Patri, New Delhi

Nehru divided India linguistically as there was a demand for linguistic states. Today, the demand for separate states is based on regional aspirations; tomorrow it may be some other factor. We should have reorganised India into neutral sectors. This would have never given an opportunity for regional politics to mushroom.

Vijay Nair, Bangalore

Movements for smaller states have erupted more because of unresponsive and inefficient administration, and narrow minded politicians. More of small states will lead to more pockets of dysfunctionality. Does the U.S. not have States such as Texas and California which are far better administered?

Anand Mohan, Hyderabad

The people of coastal Andhra are not responsible for the situation in Telangana. Nor are they averse to the formation of a Telangana state. Rather, they are hopeful that the formation of a new state will boost the property value there and compensate the region for the lack of other facilities. However, there is another side to the issue. Every home in coastal Andhra has someone in Hyderabad which has invested in the city. All people of the State have believed that Hyderabad is their capital city. To tell them all to go build their capital as “Hyderabad is ours” is not fair.

MukkamalaVijaya Rao, Gannavaram

TRS leaders are not agreeable to even a Union Territory status for Hyderabad because the basis for the separate state demand is this golden goose. If development disparities are to determine statehood, the most deserving region would be Rayalaseema. It is more backward than Telangana. With no clean source of drinking water and irrigation facilities, people of Rayalaseema struggle to sustain their lives but they have never demanded a separate state. Every State, irrespective of its progress, has a backward region.

N. Sai Balaji, Hyderabad

Instead of living together with mistrust and a sense of alienation, it is better to live separately with amity. Speaking of backwardness, the Rayalaseema region in Andhra Pradesh is the most neglected. Promises made during the integration of Telugu people have been broken. It has not got its share in river waters, jobs and industrial development. But Rayalaseema can afford to be a separate state with its rich mineral wealth, forests, etc. The Centre should divide Andhra Pradesh into three States.

N.S.S. Sarma, Kurnool

Potti Sriramulu went on a fast for not a separate Andhra state but for Madras to be part of Andhra. AP was a merger of two existing States. The merger was conditional, with the specific provision that it should be ratified by two-thirds of elected MLAs from Telangana after five years — that is 1961.

Today, A.P. is split vertically on all aspects. De-merger is in the interest of all Telugu people, which should happen before it is too late.

Biksham Gujja, Gland

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Living together, separatelyJanuary 30, 2013

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