<$BlogRSDURL$>
My tweets

    Site Feed - Site Feed

    My other writings
    Cricket 24 x 7
    Jaagruthi
    Yahoo! 360
    Mayajaal
    My Bloglines
    My 43 things
    My LinkedIn
    My Facebook Profile On Orkut

    Mail me
    About me
    FlickrFlickr Feed

    Yahoo! Search



    Baakiyon ke blog
    Badri's Tamil thoughts
    Ganesh's Happily Haphazard
    Nitin's Acorn
    Prabhu's Pethals
    Raghu the reluctant Delhiite
    Samanth's blahg
    Sankhya the busy idler
    Srini the movie critic

    Creative Commons License
    Rabble Rousing Random Ramblings by S Jagadish is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 Unported License.

    December 10, 2009
     

    Does a Telangana state make sense?

    Telengana Rashtra Samiti chief Kalvakuntla Chandrashekar Rao is currently on a 'fast unto death' over the demand to grant statehood to Telengana. The 'fight' for a separate Telangana state is around 40 years old now.

    KC Rao's stand over Telangana is not new either, and 3 years ago, he staged a resignation drama.

    In general, I am in favour of smaller states, but with a few conditions.

    1. The new area must have a culture that is distinguishable from the region that it is 'seceding' from.
    2. The carved out area must have a population sufficient enough to warrant a legislature with at least 100-120 seats.
    3. The ratio between the population and the number of direct representatives (MLAs) must not be less than 2 lakhs. i.e. 1 MLA for every 2 lakh people in the 'new state'.
    4. No blackmail and no violence under the garb of "people's sentiments" etc.
    The reasoning behind #1 is understandable. #2 and #3 perhaps need some more explanation and context. The smaller the legislature, the greater the impact of a handful of MLAs switching sides. For evidence, see the charade that happens in Goa, Jharkhand, Meghalaya, etc. every year or so where CMs are upstaged or get to the post with no real political backing, MLAs switch recklessly bringing down governments, etc.

    One of the main arguments quoted by those in favour of creating a new state is the fact that 'fruits of development' haven't even reached their areas. The rest of the state enjoys the benefits while they are poor, unemployed, landless and humiliated. With huge states, and a pathetic governance & administration system, it is but natural that some people and areas benefit at the cost of others. But if the newly created state was too small, then it loses out on the benefits that economy of scale provides. Overall cultivable land, land available for industries, resources such as electricity & water etc. may not be sufficient & efficient enough given the smaller scale. In addition, higher administrative overheads (government staff, for example) could drag down efficiency even further.

    Overall, most state capitals in India are located almost near the borders. See this political map. Srinagar, Jammu, Shimla, Dehradun, Gangtok, Itanagar, Dispur, Kohima, Agartala, Kolkata, Bhubaneshwar, Mumbai, Panaji, Bangalore, Chennai and Thiruvananthapuram. Sometimes it is a function of the central parts of the state being uninhabitable. Sometimes it is due to historical and legacy reasons. But the fact does remain that the centre of administration in most states is far away (geographically and metaphorically) from the bulk of the people.

    I compared the populations and number of MLAs for a few Indian states (high population, medium-sized population and low population) and the results indicate that a population per MLA ratio of around 2 lakhs to 3 lakhs is an acceptable number. States with values below 2 lakhs tend to be really tiny, and have less than 100 MLAs thereby increasing the risk of unstable governments. All the data is sourced from Wikipedia articles.

    State
    Population (000s)
    MLAs
    Ratio (000s)
    Uttar Pradesh
    190891
    403
    473
    Maharashtra
    96752
    277
    336
    Bihar
    82998
    243
    341
    West Bengal
    80221
    295
    272
    Andhra Pradesh
    76210
    294
    259
    Tamil Nadu
    66396
    234
    284
    Orissa
    36706
    147
    250
    Kerala
    31948
    141
    226
    Jharkhand
    26900
    81
    332
    Assam
    26655
    126
    212
    Punjab
    24289
    117
    206
    Haryana
    21082
    90
    234
    Chhattisgarh
    20800
    90
    231
    Uttarakhand
    8500
    70
    121
    Meghalaya
    2306
    60
    38
    Goa
    1400
    40
    35
    Arunachal Pradesh
    1091
    60
    18
    Mizoram
    888
    40
    22
    Sikkim
    540
    32
    17

    Notice that the north-east states (except Assam) prominently have very small ratios, and ridiculously small legislative assemblies. Yet, given they are all culturally so different from each other, it would not make any sense to consider them as one big unit.

    Now lets consider the Telangana demand. It is claimed that the population of a new Telangana state would be around 30 million (3 crores). So it would come into the 'mid-sized state' category, similar to Kerala, Orissa, etc. In itself, that means it won't be a tiny dot on the map. But there's also a need to have a functioning legislature and a stable government. Will that be possible, especially given how K Chandrashekar Rao, even when in power, launches agitations at the drop of a hat, especially if it seems like his popularity is waning?

    If Telangana (land of the Telugus) was created as an outcome of a fast, it would perhaps be an ironical (or apt, perhaps?) situation for Andhra Pradesh and an apt tribute to Potti Sreeramulu, whose death (in Dec 1952) after a fast resulted in AP being created out of the Madras Presidency in 1953.

    What next? Syed Ali Geelani going on a fast demanding Kashmir as a separate state? What about Vidarbha? Who will volunteer for that fast? Random farmers or P Sainath?

    Labels: , , , , , ,



    Some of the sites linked in my rants may require registration/subscription. Links within my ramblings open in a new window.
    Some of the links may now be broken/not take you to the expected report since the original content providers may have archived/removed the contents.
    All opinions expressed are mine alone. My employers (past, present or future) are in no way connected to the opinions expressed here.
    All pictures, photographs used are copyrights of the original owners. I do not intend to infringe on any copyright.
    Pictures and photographs are used here to merely accentuate and enhance the content value to the readers.


    Previous Posts
    Thumbi vaa to Gumm summ gumm

    How the collective wisdom of our leaders gets exhi...

    An austerity suggestion for the Indian government

    Amazing phishing attempt for PayPal

    Delhi-∞

    China's national newspaper took a while, didn't it...

    Can North Korea withdraw from the United Nations?

    Too early to cheer for 'queer'?

    Why call it queer?

    Farce and symbolism

    This page is powered by Blogger.