Reorganisation of states

June 21, 2008

Recent gorkhaland demands have sparked off a new debate about reorganisation of states. An interesting debate was published in the ET also. Mr. Peter Desouza gave an interesting opinion that enumerates the following reasons: –

  1. Five fold growth in electorate since independence.
  2. Democracy of communities
  3. Increased recognition of leaders at community level
  4. The fourth is the development deficit – politics weighs pros and cons, and if a communities gain is another communities loss the losers are bound to react and that will cause new protests and demands.[link]

The possibility of demand for telangana has been known for almost since formation of Andhra.

The States Reorganization Commission (SRC) was not in favour of merging the Telangana region with the then Andhra state. Para 382 of States Reorganization Commission Report (SRC) said “..opinion in Andhra is overwhelmingly in favour of the larger unit, public opinion in Telangana has still to crystallize itself”. The concerns of Telanganas were manifold. The region had a less developed economy than Andhra, but a larger revenue base (mostly because it taxed rather than prohibited alcoholic beverages), which Telanganas feared might be diverted for use in Andhra. They also feared that planned dam projects on the Krishna and Godavari rivers would not benefit Telangana proportionately even though Telanganas controlled the headwaters of the rivers. Telanganas feared too that the people of Andhra would have the advantage in jobs, particularly in government and education. Para 386 of States Reorganization Commission Report (SRC) said “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 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 favor of such unification.”

The central government decided to ignore the SRC recommendations and established unified Andhra Pradesh on November 1, 1956. However, a “Gentlemen’s agreement” provided reassurances to the Telangana people.[link]

Please read that link on the gentlemen’s agreement, and the states reorganisation commission report on andhra and decide if all that was necessary at all. The state reorganisation committee discusses how to break and join the kanadda majority areas with karnataka and how to do the same for telugu majority areas. The lingual identities were not belonging in many cases to their respective states, this was grafted. Many districts hence remain under dispute. Absolutely illogical fashion of executing the formation of states!

I for one think that there are two main goals of a nation to maintain stability, one is to keep a national interest before any other, and to therefore have a strong national identity and patriotism. Other is to strengthen local economies, so that interdependence is not a constraint for co-operation. All non-local resources should be within the purview of the centre. Lingual identity reinforces a european model of nationalism which would fail miserably in our nation where there are many many different toungues. We already see the MNS issue, and the KaRaVe issue, and though some of both their concerns are indeed genuine, they both place their regional interest over the national interest.

Interestingly there is a rejoinder to Mr. Peter’s arguments by a certain Nilotpal Basu, from the CPI(M) central secretariat. Mr. Nilotpal, keeping in line with the glorious tradition of his party, has blamed everything from RSS to US imperialism for the gorkhaland and other state demands. He stops short of making a point when he starts with a correct premise.

However, the post-Independence period has not been free from tensions. The inherent nature of capitalist development has resulted in regional imbalances. Lack of development has been a basis for demanding new states, often undermining the principle of linguistic states. On the other hand, ethnic and linguistic considerations, which ignore the question of viability, have been pushed to the fore. Care has to be taken to evolve mechanisms like autonomous councils for some communities — with adequate constitutional safeguard for their respective identities and greater role in deciding their own future.[link]

Now it is inherent nature of capitalistic development which is the cause for the Gorkhaland demand in West bengal, which has neither had a capitalist government and nor has it seen any resemblence of development happen for the last 31 years. His own argument is out to hit him! And he is right about regional imbalances, and that can be overcome by strengthening the local economies by giving regional autonomy not by forming autonomous councils and more such complicated government sitting benches.

It is extremely worrisome that Mr. Nilotpal’s only argument is that since RSS demands it, we shall protest it. This bigotry stems from an absolute absence of strong ideology. Even RSS does not hesitate to praise Indira for somethings that they feel were good and in the nations interest. The hollowness of ideology in the communist parties is a sign of dark times ahead for my state of Bengal.


One Response to “Reorganisation of states”

  1. […] Reorganisation of states This bigotry stems from an absolute absence of strong ideology. Even RSS does not hesitate to praise Indira for somethings that they feel were… […]

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