The case of Telangana: A House Divided

“Mother India gets ready for her 29th child at the age of 66” reads Times of India on its front page as I pick up my daily. The Telangana issue has been streched for a while now, almost a half century, but only gaining momentum recently. Or perhaps I took notice of it just now! Skimming over the first few pages, over my morning coffee, all I found was the Telangana issue. So what if a seperate state was created? I wasn’t really sure of this political move’s pros and cons. I do not have a penchant for politics anyways, but then I took notice. Read a few articles, editorials and the end result, I am still the confused sperm I was before, only now, I have a minsicule knowledge of the subject. (In case someone broaches the subject during coffee break, I can actually say something instead of just hmms and yeaahhhs..   😉 )

I find myself half immersed in the political ken of a common man, and hence would want to share my own views on this subject, however childish they may sound to you. I neither support, nor oppose its formation, for the pros according to me, stack up equally against the cons of formation of this new state. Let us weigh up the pros first, shall we?

As the nation prepares to welcome another state into this vastly diverse demography, the economic, political and social scenarios around the country are set to change. One obvious effect of dividing the large state of Andhra Pradesh with an estimated population of 84 million people will be better governance. Managing a state of 84 million people is an arduous task in itself. Compare this with an average European country, where the average population is 18 million. The US of A is further down in the averages’ list, with an estimated 7 million people per state.

What do these statistics tell us? Ostensibly, lower the population, better the management, better lifestyle, better transparency and better accountablity. These parameters do not need numbers for US of A and European Union. Quality of life speaks for itself. Some proponents of Telangana issue argue for creation of further states, carved out from larger states like those of Maharashtra, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and others. Not only this leads to political upgradation, it also helps preserve the culture in this seemingly migratory scenario. 

The smaller the set of people that is to be governed by elected representatives, the better is their response and action. There tends to be more accountability. No doubt Andhra had managed to bring down the poverty levels down to 9% a gargantuan task when the national average hovers at 22%; there have been times when certain demands of people were overlooked for being uneconomical to the state. Creation of a new state will lower the range of governance in terms of area and people and will hence be advantageous to the previously overlooked demands of the people, in both states.

So, in a nutshell, the creation of a new state by citing the examples from US and EU, tells us that it is indeed a good move that will ring in prosperity and better governance among the people. Let us now look oer to the other half of the discourse. The cons, that is.

India can simply not be put in the same bracket as US or EU when it comes to governance and prosperity and progressive policies. Yes, we are the second fastest growing economy in the world (?) and the largest democracy, but we are zilch when it comes to implementation. Something that our western counterparts have done exceedingly well and hence prospered and matured.  Following their examples may lead to disastorous consequences.

For once, India is a nation whose leaders are not motivated for the good of its own motherland. They are only concerned with stashing their swiss accounts with stacks of money while they are in “power”. Citing United States as an exaple of economic development with so many states, is not good. We know why the Congress has finally pushed and agreed to the creation of this new state. Fear of Narendra Modi and loss of vote bank is the primary reason for its creation. So this is perhaps just another vote laundering act.

Secondly, for a debt ridden country like India, is it possible for the central government to finance the creation of new public infrastructure that comes with the creation of a state? Our current account deficit stands at 4.8% [Source: The Hindu]. It would take a huge investement on part of our central government to establish a state where more than 85% of population resides in rural areas. And what about governance? More corruption perhaps?

Another issue that crops up is, this support for creation of a new state will only boost the morales of several other protestors who demand a state of their own. The reason of their demand may apparently be in favour of “their people” but I fail to agree. The motive is purely political. Who does not want to be in power in his country? People who are in power are respected more than those with knowledge. Creation of more states would imply creation of more leaders, more corruption, for corruption is now pervasive in our country, engulfing the lower most to the higher most person in the social, political and economic hierarchy.

The creation of a new state on this base does not particularly sound a logically good idea.

That is my personal analysis, on the creation of new state in our country in India. Naive, as it may sound and appear, let me remind you, this comes from a guy who knows donkey shit about politics. Although what I do know is, for us to develop as a nation and be compared to US and EU, there has to be a radical shift in not only the ideologies of leaders, but also in ours. We are the other half of the government. A hackneyed but actually very pertinent condition.

I shall rest my case now. Experts, if any, feel free to comment and deride me! 🙂

This was a part of Daily prompts postss, http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/08/01/daily-prompt-divided/

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