Irrespective of whatever the Congress says, it is a fact that the decision on Telangana is born out of a desperate attempt to retain power.
Though it is true that there is a reasonable, if not very strong, Telangana sentiment necessitating the creation of a separate State, it is equally true that the people of Rayalaseema and coastal Andhra have struggled equally hard to develop Hyderabad into a world-class city. It would be beyond one’s imagination to say how many decades later it would take for Andhra Pradesh and at what cost to build a new capital that is on a par with Hyderabad.
Regardless of what has happened or will happen, it is politicians who will reap the benefits.
Telangana has become a reality since the UPA’s midnight announcement in 2009. But grasping this nettle is not something that comes very easily to coalition governments. The fact that the demand has been there for the last 60 years shows how difficult this decision must have been, especially with the general election so close. In effect, the new Telangana state will be the same as the old Hyderabad state (under Nizam’s rule) before it merged with Andhra in 1956.
The Centre must now contend with similar demands from other regions. Bifurcation is going to be a fractious and expensive proposition.
This refers to the article “A State that must fulfil a higher purpose” (editorial page, July 31). In the Indian context, language/ethnic-based demarcation of States is a proven blunder. Even in the peaceful south, there is an underlying, ethnic chauvinism with lasting bitterness on various issues.
Continuing river water disputes between Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Kerala and Andhra Pradesh are classic examples of ethnic chauvinism working against the spirit of Indian nationhood. Political parties must now redemarcate all States using the American model to facilitate better mixing of different ethnic/language groups.
The very first article of the Constitution declares that the sovereign democratic Republic of India shall be the Union of States. As such, our country is an integral whole, and the creation of a new state could only be for political and administrative reasons. If castes and classes dominate and power politics intrudes, the very people who demanded the new state will have to pay a heavy price.
The move has already led to the clamour for new states like Gorkhaland, Koch-Rajbongshia, Vidarbha, Bundelkhand, Purvanchal, Harit Pradesh and Bodoland. Does the phrase the more the merrier hold true in this context?
N.J. Ravi Chander,
Such important decisions that have multifold ramifications are not being announced from the legislatures of Andhra Pradesh or Parliament or from the Home Ministry, but from the study room of the leader of a major political party.
The media has also made people forget the concept of India.
Rettavayal S. Krishnaswamy,
The demand for a separate Telangana started in the late 1960s on a violent note by Konda Lakshman Bapuji that was firmly put down by Indira Gandhi. That agitation resulted in the formation of the South Central Railway at Secunderabad. During my stay in Hyderabad from 2003-07, I happened to visit many districts in the three regions of the State and found the Telangana region to be backward. Though it is a political gamble by the ruling UPA before 2014, the formation of a separate Telangana is justified as it could pave the way for economic development.
P. Narayana Moorthy,
It is a great shock for the people of Andhra Pradesh that the State is being divided for purely political reasons. The leaders from the Andhra region should now focus on developing a number of cities to be on a par with Hyderabad.
We could have centres of super development, supplemented by distributed power centres (such as an Assembly, Secretariat and a high court in different districts). This would ensure a more balanced development of the entire State.
The outbursts of sentimental and emotional reactions are nonsensical as they give the impression that a structure like the Berlin wall is going to be constructed to divide a nation. The division of India into different States is just an arrangement for administrative convenience and does not have any effect over the fundamental rights of the individual. Then, what is their grievance?
It is no doubt true that this bifurcation would give rise to the demands for bifurcation of other States. The concentration of power in the hands of few people and fewer institutions is the curse of this nation. The formation of smaller States will be conducive to wider distribution of power and ultimately pave the way for greater power for local bodies especially in the fields of education, health, law and order and poverty alleviation.
So, we are soon going to be 29-State strong! At this momentous juncture, I really hope and urge all people to maintain peace and harmony. I see this as an exciting opportunity for the development of both regions. There will be a new breed of entrepreneurs, new talent, new leaders, new infrastructure, rejuvenated and reformed cities and villages and ultimately, new opportunities for all. All regions will have to work harder as results take time.
Chaitanya Prakash N.,
If backwardness is the criterion for granting a separate state, India should be broken into at least a 100 parts. Every backward region now has the right to demand statehood for itself. There may even be a United States of India. Unless the government clamps down on corruption, which is the root-cause of backwardness, these new states can only help fill the pockets of power-hungry politicians.
N. Venkata Sai Praveen,
By virtue of Article 3(1) of the Constitution, the Union government is empowered to create a new state by separating the territory of an existent state by passing a law with a simple majority. If the Bill affects the area, boundaries or name of the State, the President is required to refer the Bill to the legislature of the State so affected for expressing its views, within the time period specified by the President. However, the consent of the State is not a mandatory requirement. Thus, it is clear, that the very existence of a state depends upon the sweet will of the Union Government. It is not an act against the principle of federalism which advocates the theory of “equality of states”.