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Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Effects and Side effects: New States in India

Creating new states has been a very debatable issue right now due to the demands for new states like Telengana and seeing the Telengana state materializing, other regions reiterate their demand for a new state. This article sees the positives and negatives of creating a new state.

Recently, the centre had consented to creating the state of Telengana from Andhra Pradesh. There has been a very mixed response to the creation of the new state. There has been riots for the cause of Telengana and there has been counter-riots for a United Andhra Pradesh as it is now. The last time India created new states, it was in 2000 when the states of Chhatisgarh, Jharkhand and Uttarakhand were formed from Madhya Pradesh, Bihar and Uttar Pradesh. Many states have been facing riots for the creation of smaller states from big states. This is because when states are big, their administration becomes tough and development does not reach the required places. Examples include the Vidarbha area from Maharashtra, Harit Pradesh, Bundelkhand from UP, Coorg from Karnataka, Gorkhaland from Assam etc.
The first problem while creating a new state is the facing of riots. There are always conflicts and extreme difference of opinions and a lot of fighting. This is a big problem Then comes the problem of creating the boundaries, making new legislature, elections, jurisdictions etc.
It is an extremely time and expertise consuming process. At the same time, you have to force the centre and state governments to provide you with autonomy. All this consumes a lot of tax money also.
After the formation of the state, the centre bears the duty to give it grants and funds. It also has the huge responsibility of promoting development in these states. It has to offer the state various subsidies, tax cuts, and other schemes in order to boost the state’s growth and bring it into ‘mainstream India’. Even after the formation of the state, there tends to be a state of unrest and insecurity within the state for which there is more diversion of resources.
The idea of new states also means dividing more and more people based on region. This affects the national integrity and unity. This factor is one of the greatest disadvantages of creating new states.
However, there are many good sides of creating new states.
New states are mainly regions which have been ignored by their respective state governments. These regions are the ones stricken by poverty and faces the brunt of many social problems. These new states could stem the problems of poverty if proper resources are allotted to them. They have enormous potential to develop. The states of Chattisgarh and Uttarakhand are living examples of total makeovers of states from poor, underdeveloped regions to highly successful, highly industrialized states. They have uplifted the conditions of the people. Even though it takes time to form and settle, un the end, it is worth it because it helps reduce poverty and also creates a lot of job opportunities. Due to the various subsidies and tax benefits, many industries and businesses are established there, bringing more and more prosperity to the state and also to the nation.
Even though, it is highly advantageous to have new states in our country where it can address the issue of poverty, it should not be created unless absolutely necessary. It should not be created unless the centre is satisfied that creating a new state is the only situation to help the poor people in that region. Because otherwise, it creates a sense of disunity and also pressurizes the centre for precious resources it already lacks.  

Dr. Vishwanath Bite

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