December 14, 2009

THERE IS NO INDIA:

Why is everyone scared of small states? (T V R Shenoy, 12/14/09, Rediff)

I am neither a proponent nor an opponent of small states. What depresses me is the prospect that the Congress will make the situation worse through procrastination.

Nehru accepted Andhra on December 19, 1952; it was established on October 1, 1953. The Shah Commission was set up on April 23, 1966 to demarcate the Hindi speaking areas of Punjab; Haryana was created on November 1, 1966. Why is the Congress talking wildly of taking five years to create Telangana?

Again, what is this talk of Hyderabad being a joint capital? Take a look at the map; the city is surrounded by Telangana. The impracticality of joint capitals was understood by Rajaji over Madras (Chennai) in 1953 and by Y B Chavan over Bombay (Mumbai [ Images ]) in 1960. On the other hand, there is a history of bad feeling over Chandigarh. Why should anyone follow the worse example and ignore the better ones?

One final point: There is much moaning and groaning over the Telangana leading to the creation of more states. Why is everyone scared of small states?

Madhya Bharat (not to be confused with Madhya Pradesh), Bhopal, Patiala and East Punjab States Union (distinct from Punjab), Saurashtra, Kutch, Ajmer, Coorg, and Vindhya Pradesh were viable states up to 1956. Nehru forcibly merged them into larger states, creating much bad blood.

Andhra Pradesh is essentially an unworkable proposition today. (Even lawyers in the high court descended to fisticuffs over Telangana!) Why not summon a second States Reorganisation Commission to see which proposed states are viable? Or would the Congress prefer to wait until Telangana is replicated elsewhere in India?

Posted by Orrin Judd at December 14, 2009 7:00 AM
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