Friday, February 5, 2010
Does India need more states
After my long long first blog I always wondered what could be my second blog. Thought of many topics but none seemed to interesting to me. Then came Telengana. It was the talk of everyone. It created a huge storm. I wondered why forming a state created such a roar. Then the most important question came into my mind, does India need new states? What should be an ideal size of Indian States? What are the factors that are crucial in governing a state?
So I decided to write my next blog on the same topic “Does India needs more states”. I began to wonder what the benefits of new states are. Have the new states benefited. And then what are the losses of forming new smaller states. What other effects can it have? To start with I would like to see the factor against forming more states:
1. Natural Resources
When a state is broken firstly the natural resources are divided. Then even if the resources are present in the state it loses the economies of scales for the resource. This is the biggest reason stated against breaking bigger states
2. Linguist Reasons
The Indian states were formed in 1960’s they were formed on linguist lines. After that the new states were also formed on the same line. Breaking these states leaves a feeling in the people of conspiracy against the ethnic group. Such feeling should never creep in society as they are always a stepping stone for disintegration.
3. Disintegration theories
Forming new states is always viewed as the first step towards disintegration and break away of that region. It also gives voices to many other voices for formation of new states and also the formation of new countries out of India. The people who are against formation of new states always using this logic of we are Indians.
4. Dominance by Central Government
If we end up having many small states it becomes very easy for central government to bully these states. Bigger states like Rajasthan, UP, Maharashtra have the power of not being bullied by center and rather can sometimes force the center to take their word seriously. It is hence for this reason that it is many times proposed to have bigger states with small sub states inside them especially by the communists.
5. Increase in Administrative Costs
More the states are formed obviously the administrative costs increase. New capitals are required to be formed which includes huge infrastructure costs. Also whole new state departments are required to be formed which results in huge salary costs. Forming new states leads to an inefficient use of the manpower.
6. Inefficient response to crime & threats
This is according to me the biggest real danger. It is at the borders of states that most dreaded dacoits, criminals and presently the naxalites that thrive. They use the porous borders and the laws in our states prevent the agencies to cross over to other state. So the internal division is a boon. Lack of central authority and handling of such problems makes the tasks even easier.
7. Non Performance by states like Goa & North Eastern States
The performance of Goa & North Eastern States has not been good. Goa has one of the most unstable governments with 13 Chief Ministers in the last 8 years. North East also even despite of having smaller states not progressed and many problems of unemployment exists. Many of these states are in fact asking for separate countries for themselves.
Hence due to various reasons the formation of new states is opposed. However still in this country many demands of forming new smaller states still exists. There are always counter measure to the theories for bigger states. The major factors for formation of smaller states are
1. Better Administration
If we see in India the smaller states have done better economically than the bigger states. States like Haryana, Punjab, and Himachal have done excellently. In fact the poorer states in India are the biggest states of BIMARU region i.e. Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan & UP. Breaking UP, MP & Bihar has in fact worked very well for the new states of Uttaranchal, Jharkhand & Chhattisgarh. Uttaranchal has done fantastically in absolute terms where as Jharkhand & Chhattisgarh have also done much better than Bihar & UP. These examples show a strong co relation for progress linked to smaller states.
2. Team Management Theories
Managing a state is like leading a team. An efficient team is said to of size of 5 to 25 people. In equivalent terms for a state this is equal to leading either MP’s or DM’s in a state. As seen in India most of the states which have progressed over time have MP’s & DM’s in this range. The states which are bigger in terms of MP’s are the ones which are more backward. This is also true for states with team size less than 5.
People many times give me the reason that even though Kerala is smaller but still it is backward than other south Indian states. I tried to look for the definition on what is backward and what is forward and it is best defined by the Human Development Index. It is the most popular way worldwide. Hence I checked the HDI for all the 4 south Indian states and found out that Kerala had the best HDI. Even though the government may not be able to provide many factories or IT job but being smaller than other states it was able to provide education, food to its people. Whereas the bigger states like AP, still have many of its region where people die of Hunger. The point I want to make is that Even though bigger states had more driver cities like Hyderabad, Chennai or Bangalore but still Kerala being smaller provided education and other amenities and it has helped in longer term.
To my surprise the states of Goa and even NE states have much better HDI’s than BIMARU states. The only exception to this point was Maharashtra, but once I took out Mumbai, the state was also not left impressive.
3. Developmental Focal Centres
If we see development in India or for the matter of fact anywhere in the world, it is always led by some urban center which acts as focal points for development in the surroundings. In Indian states most these focal points are mostly the capital of states. The focal point has a limited geographical reach. It is due to this issue that in bigger states the far flung areas are not developed and the development in limited to in and around the capital. For example if we take the example of Maharashtra, the exception point most of the development has taken around Mumbai Pune belt and the eastern parts of the states are one of the poorest regions in the country. Having a higher average does not mean that the state is doing very good.
4. Governmental Stimulus & Employment
As new states are formed there is always an infrastructural development. In a country where the state of infrastructure is very backward this is a right step towards improving it. Also more government spending creates more employment in both direct and indirect ways. This as stated by previous points leads to economical centres being formed which have a magnifying effect on the economy.
5. Limited power with CM’s
The CM’s of Indian states have limited power with they controlling just 30% of the revenues generated by the states. With such limited powers it becomes very difficult to manage the states whose sizes and population is much bigger than that of many countries of the world. It becomes a real impossible task to manage the state and hence leading to unequal & under development. It is hence due to these reasons most of the bigger states have been dragged down economically. Take for example with limited power the CM of UP has to manage a state whose population is more than all but 5 countries of the world.
6. Geographical Limitations
An ignored point but it also has significant effects. A state which may be very huge geographically will end being very difficult to manage. This factor is accounted for while allocating BDO’s in India. For very scattered regions the population under the BDO may be lesser as compared to a BDO of a densely populated region. Similarly states which are very large by area also become difficult to manage. This is clearly reflected in the case of States of MP & Rajasthan who have large areas and are primarily mismanaged to the same reason besides the large population which is much less as compared to UP or Bihar.
After going through both the points I came to a belief that new states definitely need to be formed but one most important question needs to be answered:- How many states and when should we stop? I read through all the states demands that have being going on in the country and trying to talk to people, read about them to get a fell on why these demands, can they be avoided, why are they being demanded and why are they being opposed. Before going into these various movements I believe certain general guidelines need to be followed as thumb rules while forming these states.
The basic guidelines in forming new states can be
1. Team Management
The strongest learning that I got for uniform development is effective team management. I read a lot on this matter and have come out with the mindset that best managed states in India are the one who have MP’s & DM’s between the range of 5 to 25. The list includes Delhi, Haryana, Punjab, Gujarat, HP, Kerala, Chhattisgarh, and Jharkhand, Assam (Doing better than other NE states) besides 2 exceptions of Maharashtra (48) and Orissa (21). Hence it leads to a strong feeling of reorganizing the bigger states under these lines. In longer term the smaller states can also be merged under the same guidelines. But this is not an immediate requirement.
2. National Agencies & Databases
There is an urgent requirement to create national agencies to tackle crimes and terror threats like Islamic jihad or Naxalism. In fact new states or not these central agencies are required. Instead of forming more new agencies rather many of these agencies should be combined to reduce the confusion. These national agencies will not be limited by the internal borders and handle these threats in an efficient way. If it is not formed then more the states more troubles we will have. Also a central database should be maintained to have fewer hassles for the citizens. With advent of computers this has become a very easy task. Also with centralizing and computerization we can greatly keep a tab on corruption. Computerization will bring in transparency. Centralization will reduce the corruption at the nerve’s of it i.e. the borders between states. In fact this may be the reason that the government are avoiding these issues.
3. Developmental Focal Centres
As already mentioned the development is mostly around urban centres and hence the far flung areas are left out. Having too many focal centres i.e. bigger cities is also an issue. UP have too many big cities and the political parties during their rule favour certain cities ignoring others. When other parties come they focus on other centres. The result of this, less development in all the regions.
Hence the states should be formed keeping in mind not more than 2-3 focal centres per state. Also these focal centres should be based on the specialities of the region. Having no natural resources does not mean always a disadvantage. Haryana, Gujarat, Punjab all lack in natural resources. Instead they have made agriculture as the primary economy. Along with that they have formed the secondary economies in form of manufacturing industries have been formed. The tertiary economy i.e. the service industries is slowly coming. In Haryana it is one of the best in India.
GST is also a demand of the time. A central taxation should be present and there should be no taxes between internal borders. This would ensure that any resources in not regional but national. Under the present taxation regime having more states may mean losing the global edge!!!! Hence it’s not only an internal issue but our global standing depends on it.
5. Linguistically Homogeneous
This fact should not be ignored. Even though most of the states in India follow this rule but still the further new states should not ignore this important consideration. A heterogeneous state would mean that frictions between two groups. However the homogenous should imply to the natives and not the migrants otherwise the new states can never be formed.
6. Uniform Settlement Laws and Civil Codes
An important issue of concern when a new state is formed is whether the people who have made that state their home will enjoy the same rights as natives of that land. Will they be allowed to keep their property, jobs and so on. India is sovereign country and we should be allowed to settle in any part of country that we desire. Hence there should be uniform set of Settlement and Civil Laws.
7. Geographical Considerations
Forming new states should not be very extensive in area or very coarse. Rather it should be balanced. Fortunately most of the demands in India fall under such criteria except for a few cases in North East like Gorkhaland or Bodoland.
There are various movements for separate states going on. In my viewpoint at least 9 new states and may be on present conditions one UT (Gorkhaland, although I am opposed to it due to various reasons stated below) should be formed. First the proposed map as per me for India is given below. I would like to talk about all these 10 new units one by one.
It’s the hottest demand in the nation. It comprises of around 41% of the state population and 10 out of 23 Districts of AP. Also it will have 17 Lok Sabha seats out of 42 for combined AP. There is a very popular demand for creating a separate state.
• 9 out 10 Districts are backward as per Central Government.
• There have been various documents showing the discriminatory spending by successive AP governments in the coastal areas and neglecting Telengana.
• Historically Telengana was a part of the kingdom of Nizam. AP was under British India. Hence for over 200 years the official language in Telengana was Urdu, while for AP was English. This was prevalent even after Independence until the merger. After the merger the British Code was continued and Urdu was given no bearing. This fact had put brakes for the people of Telengana and given advantage to people of Andhra.
• At time of Merger Telengana was the more developed part and over time it has swapped.
• Allegations that many irrigation schemes for Telengana (Project Tungabhadra, Rajolibanda diversion) were stopped over the years and development of new projects (Nagarjuna, Srisailam) primarily aimed towards benefit of Andhra.
• These feeling are supported by various other facts like despite being over 40% of population this region never gave a CM.
• Besides all these reasons AP has not been a performing state in India
As already mention the state of AP like all the bigger states has been a non performer. Except for region of Hyderabad and one or two more urban centres, rest of AP is suffering due to size.. Hence it is high time to divide this state into two. People say that Telugu people will be divided. Instead now there will be 2 Telugu states. They will have 2 instead of 1 representative at national level to put in their voice.
The new state can have various opportunities to develop. The most important comes from developing Hydro Electric Power. Not only can it suffice the state rather it can export to the neighbouring states. Though agriculture is never known to be strength of the region, but it lacks due to shortage of water. Alongside the Hydro-Electric Projects they can be coupled with irrigation projects. The irrigation projects may be a little more capital intensive but with good irrigation, Agriculture can be greatly improved. Also the sustainable tank irrigation in the Area which has been ignored can also be brought back into focus. This would also ensure the development of one of the poorest areas of India. With a separate state, these projects can be taken as an immediate focus. People give the reason that this can happen in the present state of AP and for these reasons a separate state should not be formed. I would say if it was to happen it would have at least started in the last 60 years. The region of Telengana is also rich in natural resources. All these development can be coupled with the present resources from Hyderabad and the Services Sector in the city. This can easily make the state self reliant.
However we see that people of AP are equally opposed to the same. I tried to understand the reason for it. From all what I could manage to read, talk to people, I have come to the conclusion that there are 2 major reasons that the state is opposed by people of Andhra. Both of them are associated with the Capital of proposed state, Hyderabad. First reason is that Hyderabad will be lost to Telengana. Due to this reason people worry about the investments they have made in the city. Politicians of Andhra also have this as a major worry as Hyderabad had become a Real Estate heaven. They stand to lose out as they will not be in power in that state. Secondly people of Rest of AP are worried about the status of Jobs and the restrictions on outsider that may be put.
As seen, the reason for worry of common man is nothing to be concerned about. Nothing of that nature happened when new states of Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh and Uttaranchal were formed. Their capital, of all the 3 states has many people of the erstwhile state. They are a part of the system and in fact are enjoying the rapid development of the states. In fact due to the selfish motive of politicians and their interests in Hyderabad, complete misinformation is being spread. Some proposals like Chandigarh model for Hyderabad have also being proposed. These are not feasible as Hyderabad is deep inside Telengana. And we should create more focal centres inside AP to spread development at more places. Hence it is a perfect case for new state to be formed.
After Telengana this is one of the most prominent demands for a separate state. It would comprise of around a 5th of the population of Maharashtra, 11 out of 35 Districts and 10 out of 48 Lok Sabha Seats. Despite being rich in resources this is one of the backward regions of India even though it is part of one of the richest state of India. This is due to the fact that the focus of development of Maharashtra has been the Mumbai Pune belt. Cities like Nasik, Kohlapur etc have also progressed due the fact they lied in the catchment area of this focal centre.
The capital of this state would be the city of Nagpur. Nagpur was once the capital of Erstwhile British Nagpur Province and then of another British Province of “Central Province & Berar” the prelude of the state now known as MP. Then against the recommendation of SRC the region of Vidarbha was not made a separate state rather made up as the part of new state of Maharashtra. Over the years the development levels in the region have lacked behind rest of Maharashtra, despite this region being rich in minerals, being power surplus which allegedly is transported to Maharashtra. Also there has been little development in the primary source i.e. Agriculture. The various Hydro-Electric projects have developed but are not coupled with irrigation schemes. This has led to a feeling that they have been developed primarily for Mumbai Pune belt. Also over the time there have been huge increases in irrigated areas of Maharashtra while position or Vidarbha did not change. Also over time this region has been under debts while Govt of Maharashtra is using the resources of the state to bring other regions out of debt. This has also been a major source of discontent for the people.
A separate state would give a stimulus to Nagpur as a centre for Development which would spread to the adjoining areas. The state is already rich in Minerals, is Power Surplus region and with development of irrigation system the present Agricultural system can be further developed. Agriculture has been the bigger point of neglect and this region also belongs to the Suicide belt of India along with Telengana. Hence a separate state with Stimulus towards irrigations, minerals, power can make this region into a new green revolution state, a new power house for development showing lots of promise.
3. Harit Pradesh
Harit Pradesh is a state that is desired to be created out of the State of UP. The name Harit is associated with the Greenery and Agriculture prevalent in the region. The other name for this region is Braj Pradesh or Kisan Pradesh. It comprises of 26 out of the 70 Districts of UP with major Cities like Meerut, Saharanpur, Moradabad, Ghaziabad, Noida, Agra, Mathura, Aligarh, Etawah lying in the region. The most obvious candidate for capital can be the city of Meerut. Agra, Noida Ghaziabad can also be one of the candidates. It would comprise of roughly 36% of state population, contributing 29 out of the 80 Seats of Lok Sabha.
As known to all UP is one of the BIMARU states or backward states of India. Despite having largest no of seats in Lok Sabha and contributing the maximum no of prime ministers, being one of the most backward states is a striking point. The people of Harit Pradesh demand for a separate state based on the reason that there exist lots of cultural differences from people of central & eastern UP. The people of this state are Jats or Gujjars where most of the state has been dominated by the Yadav community. Also despite contributing heavily to the development through Agriculture & some industries still the region has not seen results compared to neighbouring states like Haryana where culturally similar people live. Also they believe the sheer size of UP makes it unmanageable hence it’s high time for it to be divided. Supporting to that, I saw a quote by famous BBC reporter Sir Mark Tully- “I travelled from Haryana to UP, and immediately without any signs or signals, based on quality of roads & farms I could make out that we were in UP. To my surprise I was coming from a Jat land and going into another. From here I understood how differences even within Internal Borders can be there just due to the fact how they are managed”. This quote even further strengthens my resolve and supports the whole blog I am writing.
Harit Pradesh would have rich agricultural lands, specially a very fertile region of Terai. Besides that the state has got Industry based out in belts of Meerut, Ghaziabad, Agra & Aligarh. Also Noida is one of the favourite service industry base of India. There is no doubt that the state would do good and with the better focus places like Meerut-Ghaziabad- Noida would be centres of development extending the catchment area much beyond the present under developed area for the same. The area needs to develop an irrigation system like present in Haryana & Punjab, which UP could not provide even after 60 years of Independence. The state would have great tourist potential with cities like Agra, Mathura all falling within the state. Need not be said that the state can be easily self reliable.
Bundelkhand is a state that is being demanded out of Areas of State of UP & MP. The state gets its name from the native’s knows as Bundela’s. The proposed state comprises of 7 out of 80 Districts of UP & 6 out of 45 districts of MP. The major city & capital of the state would be Jhansi. The state would have a population of more than 1.5 Crore constituting about 5% of UP & 12% of MP’s population. The state would have 7 Lok Sabha seats 4 (out of 80) coming from UP & 3 (out of 29) coming from MP.
There are various reasons for demand of this state
• The states of UP & MP are both part of the BIMARU states of India, being most backward area. The area of Bundelkhand is a backward border area of these backward states. The demanders of the state allege that due to sheer sizes both UP & MP have become unmanageable.
• The area especially Jhansi was a progressive one. Rani of Jhansi was a major resistance power during revolt of 1857. However after 1857 over the years the area became backward. The reason stated is being the border area of United Provinces & Central Province during British period then as border of UP & MP.
• The area is rich in minerals and rare material. In fact the only Diamond Mines the famous Panna Mines are a part of this region. Despite all these facts the people never seen any benefits in form of Development or Jobs
• The area is full of various rivers which flow through the area like Sind, but agriculture is still based on ancient methods. There has been no development of irrigation system primarily because it required a joint plan between MP & UP which has never happened.
• The people are culturally similar on both sides of border speaking a similar dialect.
• The formation of state would have the state enjoy the benefit of having a favourable drainage system of rivers. The area where most projects can be made lie in MP is not of primary interest to MP as it would only serve the MP Bundelkhand along with UP Bundelkhand. The investment would not serve other areas of MP hence the project would take hundred years to break even for present state of MP.
• The state borders in the area also criss-crosses between the two states. This is a major hindrance in various projects for e.g. the roads keeps changing the states. Due to this fact both the government keep ignoring them as a result the local people suffer.
• Also due to above point there are several border crossing etc which are hot bed area for corruption, crimes etc.
Hence all these point lead to the demand. Although the demand for state has been raised over the years many times at many levels but it has not yet got the popular levels primarily due to backwardness of the region and people been ignorant.
The state of Baghelkhand would be primarily formed out of the state of MP along with a district of UP. Like Bundelkhand the state also got its name from the natives who are known as Baghel’s. Around the start of 1800’s the Baghel’s formed a kingdom in the region. They were a princely state associated with the crown, and after the Independence joined the state of Vindhya Pradesh. From the relative times of peace the state has descended towards backwardness. The state consists of 5 (out of 45) districts of MP and 1(out of 70) districts of UP. Baghelkhand would have 5 Lok Sabha Seats 4 from MP (out of 29) and a single seat from UP (out of 80). The capital of the state would be Rewa.
The reasons for formation of Baghelkhand are quite similar to that of Bundelkhand. The state is rich in resources, hydro potential but has not being doing well. With the recent demand for Telengana raised the issue of Baghelkhand has also arisen alongside that of Harit Pradesh, Bundelkhand & Purvanchal. Also the area of Baghelkhand has a distinct separate dialect from the rest of the region.
There are no major cities on the state. Hence the development of the state capital would provide a big stimulus whose benefit the state can have. Under the present system the major cities of MP and UP are quite far off. No government would come with a proposal to develop a focal center in the area when there are many other issues that need to be addressed. Tourism in the Area can also be a good potential that needs to be developed.
Purvanchal comprises of the eastern part of UP. It would comprise of 16 of the 70 Districts of UP. It would contain roughly ¼ of the population of UP containing 20 Lok Sabha Seats. The Capital of the state would be Varanasi.
There has been frequent demand for separation from UP due to various similar reasons like that of Harit Pradesh and so on. Mayawati was the latest one to raise the demand. The people of Purvanchal speak the Bhojpuri Language which is different from the language spoken by people of rest of UP. The state is known to have very fertile lands much better than rest of UP but still most of the people live below the poverty line. Irrigation system is lacking in the area despite lying in the Gangetic plain with many river flowing through it. It is one of the most densely populated areas in India. The development in various urban centres including Varanasi has been dismal. There has been virtually no Industry in the region even the Agro Industries despite the region being a major Agricultural area.
Due to the formation of the state first of would bring development to some urban centres especially Varanasi, which despite being such an ancient city is lacking behind other cities in the region. Secondly irrigation development, which would be very capital intensive for the area would really help bring a green revolution in the state. Alongside irrigation the government would have to work on mechanization of Agriculture which still is being done by primitive methods. Thirdly Agro based Industries also has a great scope in the region specially the sugar mills. Presently most of the sugarcane is bought by middlemen and taken to central UP and sold in the mills there. Development of sugar mills in the area would mean employment and revenue’s to the government. Fourthly Tourism especially religious tourism will also be another revenue generator. The ancient city of Varanasi is a very important Hindi Religious Centre. Finally there is a perception that UP due to its size has not been governed well. With decentralization of power due to a separate state it would become more manageable with better focussed developmental policies.
Mahakoshal has been a state that has been demanded in Southern MP. The state would be bound by Bundelkhand region in North, Baghelkhand in North East, Chhattisgarh to the East, Vidarbha Region to the south and MP to the west. It constitutes of 10 out 45 districts of MP with Jabalpur as the capital of the state. Constituting about a 1/5th of the population of MP, it will have 6 MP’s of Lok Sabha.
Despite this region being very rich in minerals, having fertile lands, forests with lots of rivers, still agriculture remains backward and very few Industries are present in the region. Again the reasons stated for a separate state are similar to all the other movements in MP.
With the formation of separate state, the biggest potential for this area is Tourism. It has got many historic temples, forest, rivers and other beautiful natural places. The hill station of MP Pacnhgani lies in this region, which is the only developed tourist place despite the huge potential. Secondly Agriculture is also another potential to be developed. The challenge would be to use the huge potential rivers for irrigation and increase the net area. Thirdly a huge Hydro Electric Potential also exists. Drive like privatization can really be helpful to tap this potential on the lines of state like HP. Fourthly there exist some industries in the region of Jabalpur. Focus can be brought in and this Industrial net can be expanded due to natural resources being present in the area. Finally the natural resources in the area need to explored to its potential and developed for the development of the state.
8. Maru Pradesh
The term Maru Pradesh means Desert state. Maru Pradesh is constituted of the western border districts of Rajasthan with Bikaner as the capital. It would constitute of 9 out of 32 districts of Rajasthan, with about 30% of state population and 7 out of 25 Lok Sabha Seats.
Rajasthan is also a part of the BIMARU states, with Maru Pradesh being a backward area. Rajasthan likes in BIMARU not because of a bigger population or team management theory with larger no of MP’s but rather due to the sheer geographical spread of the state. It is the biggest state in India by area. It is one the least densely populated states of India with huge distances. Hence due to this case all the developmental centres with lie towards the North Eastern side of the state towards Jaipur, Ajmer etc or towards the Southern Side near cities like Udaipur. The area of Maru Pradesh is completely out of scope of these developing zones due to great distances resulting in underdeveloped agriculture, no Industries and lesser tourism than the eastern Rajasthan.
Although after the formation as a separate state, the region would have to face many challenges. The biggest challenge would be water. Although the Indira Gandhi Canal from river Satluj irrigates a large area in the region of Ganganagar and Bikaner, the rest of the state would heavily depend on other regions. Secondly being in the border parts Industrial development would still remain a challenge. Despites these difficulties the benefits would surely be more. Firstly the state will have the benefit of having a chance to establish some focal points. Secondly Tourism also would remain a major attraction with many popular tourist destinations like Jaiselmer, Bikaner, Barmer, Churu, Sikar lying in the region. These regions can be further developed especially by making some basic facilities like Airport available in the region. This would bring in Hard Cash in form of tourist money and also a Infrastructural Development in the region. Thirdly the districts of Bikaner, Ganganagar, Hanumangarh have got a irrigation system. Also with the advent of Genetic Engineering many drought resistant crops are available. As separate state would give the focus to the government to promote these varieties and hence develop agriculture for crops like bajra, Jowar and so on. Fourthly the region is very rich in various minerals like Bauxite, Mica, and Silicon. These mining industries can be developed due to the focussed approach. Fifthly the region can develop alternate sources like Solar and Wind Energy. Many projects have started for the same and this area shows lot of potential as region is full of both form of energies. Finally the region has recently strike black gold i.e. petroleum in the region. This is a real promise to the area. Hence it can be seen that the region can be a sustainable state. It is a requirement to give development to people affected by geography.
Koshal is the mineral rich eastern part of Orissa. It would constitute 1/3rd of the 30 districts of Orissa roughly containing 1/4th of the population. It would constitute 5 out of 21 Lok Sabha seats of Orissa. The capital of the state would be Sambalpur
The state of Orissa despite being in the management zone still is one of the poorest states in India. The development of the state has been very staggered. The coastal regions have seen a fair amount of development, but the western mountainous region of Koshal has really lacked behind. The people of Koshal have a high percentage of tribal’s in it. Besides this the area is on a higher level, a hinterland full of forests & for people sitting in the capital in coastal region, is a distant land. Hence all the development has been focussed towards the coastal area. It is due to this fact that there is no major urban center in the state of Koshal. Hence like the case of Rajasthan, size has played a part in Orissa being backward. Besides this people of Koshal speak a different language than that of the coastal area. All these factors have contributed for a demand of a separate state.
The separate state of Koshal would be very rich in natural resources. If properly utilized, it will lead to industrialization. Secondly the area has a huge hydroelectric potential. Thirdly the area has got a fertile land and development of irrigation system would bring greater benefit. In this regards even after separation the state of Koshal & Orissa can go for joint projects. Under the present condition such project focus towards the coastal region. As 2 separate entities, the interests of Koshal will not be compromised and both states still can enjoy great benefits. Fourthly the area can have tourist potential with many Forest & National parks present in the state. Finally the development of a new urban center as capital would give the much required stimulus.
After Telengana this has also been a very violent demand for a separate state. Gorkhaland would be a small state or Union Territory that would be formed out of the state of West Bengal in the Northern most part. It would constitute of Darjeeling district with some parts of Jalpaiguri. It would just make up less than 3.5 % of state population with 2 out of 42 Lok Sabha seats. The major factor for a demand of a separate state is the different ethnicity of people of Gorkhaland who are Gorkha’s in a Bengali State. Besides this Gorkhaland is a Hilly Area primarily in the state which is present in Deltaic plains. These two factors really differentiate the people who feel the rulers of the state are not able to relate with them.
However as my personal opinion this region would be too small to be formed as a state. It should rather be constituted as a Union Territory. Also this region could border as many as four countries lying in the famous chicken neck area of India. Hence it is absolutely essential for this area to be under the firm grip of Delhi to fend of security threats and also the smuggling present in the area. There is also a danger of people of Gorkhaland demanding to get themselves merged with Nepal which is also ethnically of the same race. A state mechanism would not be strong enough to meet such critical challenge, and central control becomes essential.
As a state this region would be too small and would go on the same lines of under development as north eastern states. This could lead to discontent and a risk of insurgency, which could demand a merger with Nepal. As a UT besides the above region, the region will have access to Central Funds, besides developing the tourist potential and incomes from the tea plantations. To have local say we can design this UT on lines of Delhi or Pondicherry with a elected cabinet & a CM (Rather it should be Dy CM). Thus in the long term this region would benefit by not being a part of WB, but also not as a separate state but as a UT.
By forming all these state can definitely lead to better development. There should be one more critical factor. The states should be formed on recommendation by expert committee and not based on recommendation of politicians. If as a first step these states do well, there is a second list which should then be formed as a second step so that we see more progress in the country. The second list would constitute of
1. Mithila (From Bihar)
2. Bodoland ( As a UT from Assam)
3. Gondwana ( From parts of Mahakoshal, Vidarbha, Telengana, Chhattisgarh & Orissa)
4. Northern Karnatka
5. Marathwada (From Maharashtra)
6. Greater Cooch Behar (From West Bengal)
7. Coorg (As a UT from Karnataka)
8. Tulu Nadu (As a UT from Kerala & Karnataka)
9. Southern Tamil Nadu
10. Leh (As a UT from J&K)
These states & UT’s are also recommended due to the fact that either the states are too big or the regions are ethnically different and feel alienated. I hope that the revolution for change which has started brings about some changes and a new SRC is formed and forms the very much required states for the benefit of the people and more focus of government towards development.