All Talk and No Action Friday, December 11, 2009

Enough has been said about Telangana and what effect it could have on Vidarbha, Avadh and other such regions.

I for one, am all for smaller states.

Provided - the reasoning is correct.

No regionalism, casteism, fasts or student protests should form the basis of bifurcation of a state.

Obviously, this is easier said than done in India, a country riddled with excessive emotionalism and jingoism.

But do imagine Maharashtra, UP, MP, Bengal, Tamil Nadu - all being broken down to sizeable proportions.

Yes, it will increase the cost of functioning. New Capitals, Ministries, Mayors, Municipal Corporations, et al.

But if this helps in efficient administration, more dependable public delivery systems and (hopefully) a better management of funds, then why not?

The states could lose out on bargaining power with the Centre or the threat of terrorism could kill the purpose like in case of Chhatisgarh.

Still, this is a chance we will have to take.

Also about national integration - The US has 50 states. Yet, I do not think there ever arises the question of national integration or patriotism.

What Telangana and Andhra will do individually, only time will tell.

But smaller states, I believe, should be the way to go.

While I wrote this, reports about Gorkhaland Movement gaining momentum and Trifurcation of Uttar Pradesh poured in. Again, if the motive is right, this is the way to go !


Anonymous said...

I don't think thats the solution. This has created a serious mess, Mayavati's the best. She wants 3 states, all to herself to run. 3 times more power. 3 times more vote banks. 3 times more statues of her.Splitting Bihar into Bihar/Jharkhand only doubled the corruption. You had Lalu then. Now Lalu and Madhu Koda both loot their states.How do smaller states help India? They create mores stresses and strains on our unity, increase more jobs for politicians and bureaucrats.

Dhawal Shah said...

Noble thought, although not practical at the very least

Passer-by said...

I disagree!

If smaller states help in efficient administration then why are villages for?? And if this trend continues then one day there will be as many states in India as number of villages!

So, (I think) clearly this is NOT a solution.

Mahesh Kalaal said...

Rational points....

Out of the 28 states and 7 UTs currently in India , 70% are smaller than Telangana. Telangana’s population is nearly 4 crore. There are 25 states that are smaller than Telangana in population.
–> Telangaana movement is not with the tag “small state , better governance”….but it is born out of the the exploitation and injustice, since 1956.
–>The uniqueness about Andhra pradesh is that it was formed by the combination of two states (Hyderabad and Andhra). Andhra was formed in 1953. Hyderabad was an independent state from 1948 to 1956. AP was formed on the promises of 1956 Gentleman’s agreement and certain safeguards/privileges for Telangaana .
We are asking our existed state back.
–> Not even single agreement/recommendations/tribunal judgements/court orders were never implemented since 1956

Separate state ensures us the default constitutional safeguards and rights to access our resources which have been denied since 50 years

May be we need a constitutional amendment to clarify the criteria and definition of small state and big state as well as the maximum number of states in india? (like one state for 2 crore population?)

To have full details over Telangana please read Wisdomism: Telangaana @

Mahesh Kalaal said...

Please Please please .............

To know the naked reality and horrible injustice, exploitation and discrimination in the country you live......

Watch this sensible video @

Wisdomism: Telangaana

india unbound said...

The most developed states of India like Gujarat, Punjab, Goa, HP, Kerala are all small states.

Population of UP is around 18 crores. If it would have been a separate country, it would be the sixth most populous country in the world after China, India, US, Indonesia and Brazil!! So demand for further division of UP is totally justified as it would help in better administration. One need not criticize the demand just because a corrupt politician is raising it. The demand is very old and has merits.

And all big states should be divided as it would only strenthen and improve India in the long run.

All Talk and No Action said...

@Anon - Thank you for stopping by. About Corruption - I don't think size of a state has anything to do with it. In MAH, we have had Vilasrao and Narayan Rane. Corruption, I am afraid to say, has seeped in our blood.

@Dhawal - Please back your comment with reasons.

@Passer By - Ideally, there should be no villages in India. We have villages only because we are a rural economy. As I mentioned, if the "intention" is right and is backed by strong implementation, then smaller states will benefit India.

@Mahesh - Exactly my point. The reason for Telangana is wrong. It is based on language and casteism. Not good points to form states on. But if this can finally lead to better representation in the Parliament, then why not?
About Progress, do read TOI's Crest edition for this week. Smaller states perform better when it comes to Per Capita Income and progress.

@India Unbound - We agree.

Passer-by said...

@All Talk and No Action

Ideally all the fingures of our hand should be of equal size? But evry fingure have a specific function..

And about smaller states..

Why to divide ONLY states? Divide whole country into smaller countries for better administration.. :P

Shweta Shetty said...

Hey nice blog! Good to see another devotee blogging. :)
Follow me!

All Talk and No Action said...

@Passer By - Your examples are funny, really, yet they do not help the debate.

Like any corporate divides a country into several zones and smaller areas for better management, India would benefit from smaller states. Why is this difficult to see?

A smaller region means more achievable targets for ministers. Better co-ordination between various regions, faster delivery of goods during natural disasters, etc.

If time permits, do read this -

The above link might help you to see the point in smaller states.

If still un-impressed, please enlighten us all about what it is that you have achieved in an India with bigger states? Maybe it will help us see your point.

@Shweta - Thanks for stopping by.

Passer-By said...


I agree that dividing states into smaller parts will help in better administration, easy transport and faster delivery of goods during disasters.

But, creating a complete new state is now an easy requires lot of manpower, money and time as rules and regulations for that state should be created. So, creating a state you are unnecessarily wasting above recourses which if invested in some other development work will benefit all!

Second point is, separating a particular part from state will increase burden on common man as he have to pay taxes for transportation between newly created states. Also, one of the effect of this can be price rise. Dividing states will help in faster delivery of goods during disasters is just a nonsense as disasters does not happen everyday and as distance between disaster-ed place and helping station will also remain same even after dividing states (better use this money in creating disaster support station).

I can list at least 100 more points..but listing them here will not change situation in this country.

Government is defined as government of the people, by the people, and for the people. And if people are not happy by doing something then why to do it.. Everyone will be affected from common man to high class people and worst thing is the losses wont be recovered.

[Note: This is my personal opinion and not anyone else's. I tried to explain it in a best I can. No offense is intended]

All Talk and No Action said...

@Passer By - Thank you for sharing your thoughts :)

First, the expenditure part is absolutely correct. Again, its a one time cost with long term benefits.

Second, with time we (most positively) will have standardised taxation in the country and lower transportation costs. Obviously you do think so, no? Also, disaster is just an example. A place like Darjeeling has to look to Kolkata every time it needs any support/finance. If states are divided, a faster decision making process can be expected.

About people not wanting smaller states, do you have any data suporting this? I really hope we have a national debate on this issue so that people rack their brains and think logically.

Also, your main point of money getting wasted, so that is happening anyway. Where do you not see money getting wasted in India?
We are bad at implementation, hence all the wastage.

Again, thank you for sharing your thoughts. I am glad we could share our views through such a platform.

Vinay Lekharaju said...

Small states= better management?

Don't see much logic in this at all. Small in no way means free from other networks- be it a state/country/corporate. What keeps economies moving and performing better is strong leadership, unparalleled commitment and performance. One cannot sideline other issues which will creep up because of creation of such states. Any decision like this will have certain ramifications and what makes better sense prevail is to understand if these ramifications are for the better or for the worse.

Politics: You can never keep out politics from most critical decisions like this. Fragmented parties are one of the reasons for lack of social and moral credibility in India. Regional parties do good (not generalizing this!) but also want greater bargaining power in the center? Why? Do corporation run like this?

Development: I agree that such issues crop up when a certain section feels neglected and wants better resources/facilities/growth. But today we ought to move out from social fabrics and think about the picture! Education, what makes you tick?, how do I compete with the world? etc etc. Food, education and housing- I can and will create opportunities- is what is important.

Economics: Ok I split the state, done! where will I get money from to now justify development propaganda. Do I again start bargaining with neighboring states for rights again? The river should flow from my state, no outsiders allowed in my state, no immigration allowed, etc etc...isn't that sick?

Anyone who speaks of honor and pride of being an Indian should get that underlined word- INDIAN. States, UT's, villages, towns, cities are all important to preserve our culture, but trivializing the rationale behind it by making more states is quite foolish for me (its my very individual opinion!).

What makes a leader a leader is what decision he takes based on reality, justness and practicality not emotions and may-be/if/buts.

Vinay Lekharaju said...

I have also seen a few comments above that smaller states are better governed, better run and have better development rates. Can be true, but how is that a reason for splitting up the state? Consider everything as an analogy to corporations- are big companies like the Microsofts, TATAs not as efficient like the 2 tier ones?

Its not rocket science to understand that small means less, less means easy, so easy to co-ordinate, network, set milestones. True! But its an assumption that the management (politians) are like CEOs. Had that been the case the stakeholders (general public) would have had the right to drop down the CEO immediately not with a 5 year hiatus.

Take porters 5 forces to start with, will entering a new market be easy? In this case all are negative- then why?

But again- its nice to see people debate!

Passer-By said...

@All Talk and No Action

Also, your main point of money getting wasted, so that is happening anyway. Where do you not see money getting wasted in India?

So, are we finding new ways to waste money? ;)

My focus of wasting money was not only on government but on common people also. For eg. suppose there are 4 people living in one big home. Now, if they split into group of two the expenses will increase..right? And here by dividing state we will be permenantly increasing expenses of everyone.

I don't have any data about people don't want smaller states (infact, I doubt if government also have any data like this for dividing states...) But, people who agree with above example certailny will not be in favour of dividing state.
(actually it's a common sense..why to increase our expenses if everyone is concerned about cutting down those).

Passer-By said...

btw...Are you into journalism?

This question is irrelevent to this post. But, I feet that while reading your blog..

india unbound said...

I don't have any data about people don't want smaller states (infact, I doubt if government also have any data like this for dividing states...)

Actually it should not really matter whether people want smaller states or not. Public opinion can be swayed very easily. What matters is hard evidence against or for smaller states. One of India's eminent economist has written a very good article on this.

@ Vinay Lekharaju

We need not get into analogies with corporate world as we have past cases which prove that smaller states are more beneficial.

Analogies would have made sense had there been no precedent. In this case we have.

All Talk and No Action said...

Why No in smaller states?

@Vinay - When a city like Mumbai can be divided into various areas and have representatives for different regions, why can't a state be divided?
Do you think Mumbai would have been better off with just one Mayor?
Also, if the Mayor were based in one area, mostly, his attention would have been taken up by areas closer to him.
Far flung areas would have lost out.
Similarly, small villages lose out when it comes to development, availing state funds, etc.

Why do you think Cororations have east/west/north and south zones? Why again are those zones broken down into micro zones and regions?
So that local managers are more responsible and again, have more leeway to make decisions. They need not look upto
the CEO/MD for every little thing.

The whole point of the issue is, for better education, housing, etc. it is necassary that a state be of manageable size and proportion. So, again, smaller size.

Initial costs would be high, no doubt. But they will override all the benefits that will accrue from smaller states. Better economic sense, faster growth,
faster responses from the ministers, etc.

Last, there is no relation between being a "true" Indian and not wanting smaller states. Why do we equate a demand for smaller states with being non patriotic?
As mentioned, if the rationale is development, it is a good step.

@Passer-By - That money wastage part was rhetorical in nature. You may ignore that :)
Why are we so stuck up on expenses? Please read Swami's article in Today's TOI (Indiaunbound has asted the link above). Very good pointers showing how Chhatisgarh, Jharkhand & Uttarkhand have grown
fabulously after gaining independant status.

Nope, I am not a journalist. Why do you ask?

Passer-By said...

Nice article that was..

But, it was focusing on divided states..infact, every state in India made some progress in last 5 years..although it may not be in industrial area but in tourism, agriculture etc...

Passer-By said...

@ All Talk and No Action

Actually, as most of the blogpost from your blogposts focus on, I thought you might be in journalism.. :)

All Talk and No Action said...

@Passer-by - Finally, I have to add, that only time will tell us about the rights/wrongs in our chosen path :) Till then I hope this subject attracts lots of public debate.

Do go through past posts. You will find lots of stuff apart from news as well.

Thanks for stopping by.

raj said...

efficient bureaucrats; sincere,insightful and visionary leader(government); pragmatic and wise lawmakers are key to sustainable development of any state or region no matter whether it is large or small in perspective of geographical area or population

area-wise small state are more manageable has some merit but it is not the rule. don't forget the northeastern states

All Talk and No Action said...

@Raj - Nobody here is saying that Leadership is an unimportant variable. Smaller Size might just help the leader.
N/E states are a different ball game altogether. Maybe another post on that.
Thanks for stopping by.