The Telangana agitation and its aftermath has hogged the limelight now.
Though this agitation has been going on for several decades now, rearing its head up often, this is the time after 1969 that it has come to the full focus of the nation’s political system.
Yes. I believe in smaller states. I believe in bottom-up development approach rather than top-down development. I believe in pulling up from the bottom rather than pushing up from the top. But I also believe in creating enough opportunities and environment for people to pull themselves up.
Think about it. The biggest hassle about today’s political and administrative environment is wastage of money. Indian Government collects huge amount of money as taxes from all Indians. In every thing that we use including water, all citizens of India, irrespective of their being rich or poor pay taxes to government.
Even the poorest of the guy who sips tea three times a day and lives on one-time rice porridge pays taxes to government in the form of taxes on tea, milk and rice that he buys.
And the huge money collected from crores of hapless citizens does not find its way back to develop their infrastructure, living conditions and environment. The taxes that we pay travels too far a distance away from us, that in the return path, it gets eaten by handful of politicians, businessmen and bureaucrats.
It travels too far away from us as the ‘Governments’ are located too far away from us. If there is a local government in place, which has access to good amount of funds that the people of the region pay, then there would be definitely better utilization of funds.
So it makes perfect sense to have miniature states and multiple state governments. But then as the Governments become small the viability and security of states also diminish.
Today in my middle-class view, as I look around in my little deep-well, the most under-developed region is the lane on which my house resides. Even my street is better. But the lane off the street in which few houses including mine is so grossly under-developed, that I think making it a separate state is the only solution for it to be developed.
You know this lane has been like this for a decade now. So is making it a separate state an answer for it..?
Yes in a way. Our lane will get positions of power and access to funds, which are part of the taxes that we pay and we can maintain our environment much better.
So how small is small ?
In my view, India, as a country, has come of age. We need to get over the linguistic divisions of State that we made for ourselves in the 50’s. It is no longer applicable. We don’t need to be afraid of movements that ask for smaller states, as ‘Split India Movements’, as the movements of separate states were viewed in the 50′s.
Today we need to divide ourselves in a manner that benefits the people and helps the real development of the people. It has to be based on the administrative capabilities, people distribution, revenues, resources and geographies. And more important smaller states should not affect administrative capabilities or diminish the power of state in maintaining law and order, which is very vital for society.
But from that angle, Telangana in itself may be in question. On what basis is Telengana more viable state than United Andhra..? The revenues from the region seem to be very low in comparison with other regions of Andhra.. The resources of the region are very little. How will it be really viable..? Will it not become poorer and become a haven for naxal movements..?
What are the development plans that those who propagate Telangana have for their region..? What are those plans that have been blocked at various levels of Government that Telangana protagonists would revive/speeden up..? What benefits are going to be got by people of Telangana, apart from new posts of ministerships and bureaucracy, which is more an expenditure..?
I am not sure if there has been debates around this. So what are the people fighting for on both sides..?
I am afraid that current Telangana agitation is driven by political forces that would like to get more political posts and/or more political space for themselves. And it is being opposed by politico-business forces on the United Andhra side, in particular the real-estate forces that have invested hugely in Hyderabad city.
Both these forces are self-centered anti-people forces that have been looting Andhra Pradesh for a long time and keeping alive the fuedal structure of Andhra Pradesh in various forms. The agitations on both sides themselves have acquired a form of Split India Movements, being driven with emotions and greed and no logical reasoning. The agitations look like as if they are a separatist and anti-national movements.
The Government of India has been blundering on these issues always. Successive Governments have been very reactionary in these issues, with no foresight and thinking. The need of the hour is to build people opinion against anti-national agitations and build a platform for people’s opinion on re-organization of states into smaller ones based on security and sustainability that favors overall development. May be a fresh committee should look into organization of states in India with respect to financials, revenue capabilities, administrative capabilities, development of people, literacy levels etc and come up with a larger solution of smaller, viable and secure states.
But first curb the agitations on both sides that are becoming anti-national and self-centered.