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Sunday, July 10, 2011

INDIA: Smaller states great, but Congress will not act By Prabhu Chawla!

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Prabhu Chawla Last Updated : 09 Jul 2011 11:08:40 PM IST.

Not taking a decision is also a decision. Both Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Congress Chief Sonia Gandhi seem to have taken a leaf out of former prime minister P V Narasimha Rao’s book.
Manmohan is Rao’s precious gift to the Congress party and the nation, and the prime minister has mastered his mentor’s art of governance. Rao was famous for either delaying decisions or referring contentious issues to committees and commissions. Sonia may like to forget or ignore the Rao chapter in Congress history but the prime minister is taking full advantage of his former teacher’s legacy. One rule amended is: When in doubt, pout. Manmohan doesn’t believe in action, only belated reaction. From acting against A Raja to mishandling the Lokpal Bill, the premier has been forced by an invisible hand to take the call. He has successfully crossed many hurdles but not without getting his reputation muddied. While his Government grapples with rising inflation, a ferocious civil society and a furious judiciary, Manmohan and Sonia are again politically paralysed—this time by the Telangana crisis. Even as a large number of Andhra Congress leaders defy the High Command’s might, the duo is unwilling to bite the bullet, though willing to be hit by it.
For the economist in Manmohan, a smaller state makes economic sense. For the politician in Sonia, it is another opportunity to create yet another fiefdom. The  Telangana agitation’s intensity makes it clear that it won’t subside in a hurry. It has multi-party support, and is spearheaded by students and opinion-makers. While political compulsions may be driving the sustained T-campaign, the arguments put forward make sense. Ever since Andhra Pradesh was formally created in 1956, the people of Telangana have been protesting against the forced merger. Even the first States Reorganisation Commission (SRC) headed by Justice Fazal Ali was opposed to idea of merging Telangana with Andhra Pradesh on economic grounds. In its report, the SRC very categorically stated: “After taking all these factors into consideration, we have come to the conclusions that it will be in the interests of Andhra as well as Telangana, if for the present, the Telangana area is to constitute into a separate state, which may be known as the Hyderabad State with provision for its unification with Andhra after the general elections likely to be held in or about 1961 if by a two-thirds majority the legislature of the residency Hyderabad State expresses itself in favour of such unification.”

01) Long back during early 1950s there was a funny concept of reorganising all state on language basis thus took birth The States Reorganisation Act of 1956.  With that some new states were formed clubbing all same language speaking people under different states like in case of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Maharastra, Gujarat.

02) However, during the same period all Hindi speaking ares of North were not clubbed into one big state, thus paving the way for Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Rajastan & Madhya Pradesh.

03) Then again, on realising the strong aspirations of regions some new states were again carved like Uttaranchal, Jharkhand, Chattisgarh from UP, Bihar and Madhya Pradesh, respectively.

04)  Now, aspirations of some regions of States like Andhra Pradesh, West Bengal, Maharastra, etc. are being denied for no cohesive reason; however, every political party in India and in the region, concerned, have been taking electoral advantage, term after term, keeping the hopes alive and dashing them after elections causing frustration among the regional aspirants.

05) I, honestly, desire that there there shouldn't be discard and disharmony between any people; if the separation is essential, let there be a peaceful settlement, without leaving any long-term bitterness among the people concerned.

06) Let not political parties play electoral games with the people of different regions with separation aspirations and take a positive decision to create newer states as per the people aspirations.


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