Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Smaller states?

Maharashtra (population 11.24 crore) is roughly the size of  japan (population 12.6 crore) with  47 prefunctures ( equivalent to states). France is one and half times size of maharashtra (population 1.6 crores) and has 21 regions or states. UK (population 6.3 crores) is 66% of maharashtra in size and has 4 countries, 28 states or counties. The European Union, with as many states as India currently (29), has an average per-country population of 1.8 crore. The 50-state USA has an average state population of just 65 lakh people. Indian states have an average population of 4.2 crores. Hence there is a need for rationalizing and creating more and smaller states.

There is a concern that creating more states will increase bureaucracy and administrative costs. That cannot be a reason for not giving more democracy. Efficiently managing costs and governance is another subject and should be taken up.  Most western countries has many more government staff per population than India. The major difference is that most of the government officials are at village or urban local body levels. In India most govt employees are centralized. So, unfortunately we have less government at grass root level and lots and lots at district HQ, State and National HQ.

By making smaller states, there is an element of decentralization of power, outreach and bringing power closer to the people. In the recent past, we have seen Madhya Pradesh, Bihar and Uttar Pradesh benefiting due to bifurcation of its state. The newly formed states as well as the old states have benefited  The same is likely to happen in Andhra Pradesh. The growth rates of smaller states in the last five years too have looked encouraging. Haryana, Kerala and Himachal Pradesh have done well. The growth rate of a bifurcated Bihar has been an impressive 11 per cent over the last five years. Uttarakhand has also posted impressive figures compared to its erstwhile Uttar Pradesh
.
Historically all BIMARU states are large states. Most naxalite activities are in large states.

Nor does the logic of smaller states end with their mere creation. We don’t just need smaller states, but more empowered states. Smaller states without greater economic and constitutional empowerment can amount to nothing. Unless funds, functions and functionaries are empowered, the size of the state is irrelevant. India needs to become a country with Empowered States rather than an aggregation of states without powers.
Smaller states will mean that major decisions will be taken while understanding the issues and requirements. Mumbai should not decide what is good for Vidarbha. Solutions to Vidarbha lie closer in Nagpur. 

The southern end of Maharashtra to the eastern end is over 1150 kms long. Neither the problems of distant Gadchiroli, Chandrapur nor Washim reaches Mantralaya, nor does the decision reach far off Vidarbha. Vidharbha is one of the worst administered parts of Maharashtra with highest rate of farmer suicides and is one of the most extreme naxalite prone area (a sure shot indicator of bad governance).

Administering and governing large and diverse states is extremely complex and inefficient. Indian states are simply too big both in terms of size and population to be well managed.


Larger number of states will strengthen the federal structure as more and more voices are heard demanding larger say in running the affairs of the state. 
Finally, creating higher number of states is not the same as a secessionist tendency. It will respond to the aspirations of the people, and not alienate them. 

24 comments:

vijay malhotra said...

कहा ये सब देसों से भारत के राज नेताओ की तुलना करते हो। यहा के नेता को खुर्शी
का मोह है।
प्रजा का नहीं।

SV Subramanian said...

The examples you have given of Japan and other countries is incorrect. We have districts as equivalent to these states/counties in these countries.None of them have a Chief Minister and a Council of Ministers like we will have in smaller States. Further, the more advanced part of the state will become an independent state leaving the poorer cousins as another state. This will mean that the Tax collected by the Centre will be apportioned to the poorer state. And there in lies the Problem. With a strong Centre, if any state is not supporting the ruling dispension, that state will be at the wrong end of the Stick. we are already seeing this in the case of Bengal supporting Pranab Mukherjee after extracting an equivalent Pound of Flesh. Nitish Kumar's support is engineered by higher plan allocation post the split in NDA. There are examples galore where by the Ruling Party at the Centre can ignore or support any state for policttical considerations. What happens to Federalism? Do we say good bye to state centre equation? If you want to g in for smaller states, then make them part of a Zonal Council ( May be 5 or 6 ) with one Governor and Common High Court, We can even consider a MINI Rajya Sabha in these Zones who will be in a position to collectively Bargain with the centre to protect the Regional Interests. There need be no need for upper house in these mini states at all.
We already have disputes on water Sharing and this will get exacebrated with smaller states trying to deny water to other riparian states down stream.The problems will only be compounded by demands for states on sectarian considerations of caste and religion. One you open a Pandora's Box, you will never be able to live in peace.

mayank gandhi said...

This is extreme thinking. In the last decade new states have been formed with good results.

SV Subramanian said...

Like Jharkhand which has had 12 CMs in 10 years? The lack of governance does not go hand in hand with the size of the State. A Mature CM can work wonders even with a large state and a Corrupt CM can run the State to ground as easily.

Balaajee VR said...

Mayank,. I agree with you. You are correct.

SV Subramanian said...

In a fractured election with hung Parliament, such Horse Trading will become endemic. Local Satraps heading small regional parties will call the shots. The Days of 2 or 3 Major party Democracy will come to an end.

Suman kumar said...

Why population is the major/only factor considered for advocating of building new smaller states? on that criteria, few cities of UP or Bihar can be reconstituted as new states.
Question : Which of the newly formed states are performing better than its mother states? None. In Contrast it has gone worse now. Eg. Jharkhand, Uttarakhand..
Logic of empowering the state doesn't hold any value. Who is empowering Bihar, Gujrat and few other states which are performing better?
Opportunist like Mayawati, Lalu Yadav, KCR are supporting these movements for smaller states only for their political gain.
Disclaimer: I am not against smaller states but definitely don't like to support the demand of smaller states by politicians(Including you and your party) for any political gain.

सुरेश बलोदी said...

आप सब विद्द्वानों की बात से येही समझ आया की इस अलग राज्य वाली दुधारी तलवार को मयान में ही रहने दिया जाना चाहिये...क्योंकि इस की एक तरफ़ तो वो लोग हैं जो नये राज्य बनाने के लिए कई हदें पार कर चुके हैं और दूसरी तरफ़ वो हैं जो इस तलवार से कटने के लिए ही बने हैं यानी की आम आदमी (अभी तो ये ही हालत हैं) और इस दुधारी तलवार की मोठ है हमारे देशप्रेमी नेताओं के हाथों में...शायद ही कोई इस बात से इंकार कर पाए की ये नये राज्य की मांगे और दंगे इन्ही नेताओं के इशारे पर होते हैं और ये ही इन्हे पोषित करते हैं| नतीजा कुछ भी हो फायेदा इन नेताओं और इनके प्रिये लोगों का ही होगा, मौजूदा हालात में| मयंक जी की सभी बाते ठीक हैं...पर उन देशों में नेताओं में ईमानदारी है, इस लिए विकास है...फार्मुला अच्छा है..पर लागू तब हो जब आम आदमी पार्टी की देश में सरकार हो...अभी नहीं :)

Ek samanya Manus said...

With all due respect Mayank, I dont agree with you!! Since, you represent AAP Maharashtra, I presume that your views in this blog indicates that you are for demand of seprate vidarbha..I have below points to explain my view..
1) Maharashtra is different than other states such as Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh etc. in culture, values, history and traditions. A Maharashtrian common man has a firm belief in his heart that this state is formed due to herculean efforts of great shivaji and his soldiers and post independence due to strong struggle of people of Maharashtra from 1947 to 1960 as Nehru was reluctant in forming a seprate state for marathi people!! A thought of dividing it wont come even in his wildest dreams and if someone(politicians etc.) proposes it, i gurantee you, that party/group will be doomed in Maharashtra!!
2)If Maharashtra would have been evenly developed from east to west and from north to south, do you think this question of division would have been raised by anybody or even by people of vidarbha? This question is raised by very politicians who made people of vidarbha victim of corruption, bad governance, crime, anarchy etc. Vidarbha is behind due to corruption and nothing else! So, if something can be done in straight way of good governance, why follow zigzag way of creating a seprate state??
3)Since you are at the helm of affairs of Maharashtra on behalf of AAP, you may be knowing that since formation of Maharashtra, 6 to 7 chief ministers were from Vidarbha but still they did not do anything for their region, why? only because of lack of political will!! Does this mean you straight away go for a seprate state? No. solution is to encourage more developement in that area and make sure funds are used without corruption.
4)Most of the political parties encouraging formation of seprate states because if they dont get chance to come into power in one state, they will still have chance to come into power in its child state where they can hide once lokpal will come into existence. Dont you find it funny that these very politicians were responsible for the problems and backwardness of these regions and now they themselves only vouching for seprate states due to lack of developement there!! who stopped them from developing these regions??
5)When politicians want something, one can be damn sure that its not without their self interest and it rarely has anything to do with goodwill of common people!! Since, AAP is different than other parties, we should take decision on these sensitive matters only after voting involving all the stakeholders. Since, this issue is close to people of Maharashtra, a referendom and then voting should be done in entire Maharashtra and whatever people think right, should be done!
6)I read that before taking this stand of seprate vidarbha, opinion of volunteers from vidarbha was taken into consideration...but why only volunteers? why not referrendom or voting in entire Maharashtra?? Volunteers opinion cant be the opinion of entire Maharashtrian people...We are a new party and we should be very careful and understand the people's sentiments from a specific state..We really want AAP to come in power in 2014 so i dont want people to hate AAP due to its decision making process!!
7)People of Maharashtra are always for "Akhand Maharashtra" and let it be that way.Instead of dividing states, you can take a stand that some areas are behind due to corruption by politicians from that region eg. vidarbha. As far as Maharashtra is considered, peoples emotions are attached with this issue, so AAP should be careful otherwise it will be disatrous for our party! Since you are at the helm of affairs in Maharastra for AAP, I sincerely think that you will take this suggestion of common man from Maharashtra into consideration and then come to final conclusion..Jay Mahashtrara!!
Uday,
Pune

Ek samanya Manus said...

Now, here is my analysis of your blog,
1)You are saying that since Maharashtra has bigger area and more population compared to some of the most developed countries, we should divide Maharashtra into smaller states! I would have agreed if we are talking about some western country but here we are talking about Indian state Maharashtra. In india, language, culture, traditions change after every 200Kms! You cant think technically in such issues..besides, in 1947, formation of states was done on the basis of language(Bhashawaar praantrachana), it has worked really well and problems which are there are due to bad governance,bad politics and bad politicians ..nothign else!
2)If smaller states gaurantee effective governance and corruption free system, Why Chhattisgarh, jharkhand are in Pathetic situations?? All sorts of problems are there including Naxlism, corruption, violance, crime etc. Why Uttarakhand Govt failed to handle the flood situation properly??? The root cause is corruption, bad governance aend you suggest seprate state??
3)If smaller states get developed more then why jharkhand, uttarakhand and chattisgarh have not developed more than their original states? Because root cause is corruption and bad governance!
4)I disagree that most naxlite activities are in larger states. Naxlism is more in smaller states such as chattisgarh, jharkhand etc. and if you create more states these naxlites gets chance to shift through borders and task of state police becomes more tough.
5)You have said that. "Smaller states will mean that major decisions will be taken while understanding the issues and requirements. Mumbai should not decide what is good for Vidarbha. Solutions to Vidarbha lie closer in Nagpur." I agree with this and as far as i know this doesnt require formation of seprate state altogether!! This can be done even with having complete Maharashtra.
6)Best way to decide on such sensitive issues is referrendom/voting amongst the stakeholders and if AAP is for participatory democracy, I am for AAP!

SV Subramanian said...

Two things to add to my previous comments. Punjab was formed more on the basis of Religion rather than Language thanks to Master Tara Singh and his Akali Brothers. Second, why should the Capital of the State be in some large Metro City far away from Majority of Population. For New York State, New York City is not the Capital. so also for California, the Capital is not LA or S'Frisco. Here you have Hyderabad in the northernmost tip of United Andhta and Mumbai, on the West coast of Maharashtra, all hundreds of Miles away.

Tushar Hindocha said...

I am afraid brother; I do not agree that bigger states should be divided in smaller states for better governance and for addressing local issues. This trend is happening because of systems-failure plus selfish and shallow thinking of vested interests. In this era of Info-Technology governance/admin. and addressing local issues are much easier than what it was at the time of independence. European countries have come together as EU,making use of IT and they are moving ahead very fast.Gandhiji had brought entire India under one umbrella and addressed many local issues like Farmers’ local issue at Champaran,untouchability in various parts of the country etc.even when there were no computers or internet ,because he had no selfish interest and really had genuine will to do good for aam aadmi.Had our leaders/politiciaans given power to Graam-Sabhaa local issues could have been addressed and if leaders had political will to do good for aam aadmi they could have given good governance, but selfish interest of political parties are dividing our country which will, very likely, create problems, in future, like Kaveri-Water issue,Marathi-Bihari-conflict.etc.
Those who are entrusted with governance of districts etc.,take (mis)advantage of systems-failure and fill their pockets neglecting aspirations of aam-aadmi which result in demand for separate small state within a state so Aam Aadmi Party,I think, should, highlight such flaws of systems and emphasize on system change(vyavastha parivartan) rather than giving in to vote bank politics of other parties who give lame excuses of ‘difficulty of governance/administration’ and mislead people to cover-up their selfish corrupt motives.
If every person, as envisaged by Gandhiji, takes part in policy and decision making by way of Graam-Sabhaa, local issues will be addressed more effectively and question of difficulty of governance will not arise at all because aam aadmi will participate in law making.
I think what we want is united India and not divided Indians.
Politicians of today are least bothered about well-being of common-man. They will do maximum harm to them if they can, with the help of mafia, fill their coffers by doing ,say, illegal mining etc.at the cost of local people of that area,which gives rise to issues like separate state. So please rethink and reconsider about your stand on issues like Telangana.
Thank you.

A well-wisher (and sometimes honest critic of Aam Aadmi Party,because I really want AAP to succeed well in right direction)
Tushar Hindocha,

Girish Mailar said...

I disagree with you mayank ji. Already we have problems of river water sharing in the south. MNS is asking for jobs reserved only for maharashtrians. Solution is not in smaller states. In that case smaller countries should have better management. How many smaller countries are well managed. Swaraj is the only solution for all the problems. Every mohalla sabha should get decision power. Then you don't have to worry about size of the state. Please leave this issue here itself. It will boomerang in election. For God's sake don't create a negative image of AAP, all parties are waiting for a strong headline to push AAP to the gutter. They will say AAP wants to divide every state. This will create many riots. People will hate AAP for this. Until we form the Central govt we should leave this topic. It can be taken after that. It's not necessary now. Mayank ji don't ignore my comments here. Please give some time alone to think about what I said. This one topic is going to spoil all the efforts we have done till now.

kishanlal gupta said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tushar Hindocha said...

....Had it been not possiblle to govern/admin from distant place,all Multi National Companies would have pulled down their shutters by now.
It is the policy and will to do good matters and not distance because strong ang genuine will covers all distances,more so in this era of Info-Technology....

Tushar Hindocha said...

Caution : Some big party will lure new state head/power into some dubious deal and then pull a gun ,known as caged- parrot ,on them to make them its puppet.
a few seconds ago · Like

kishanlal gupta said...

मेरे विचार से सभी राज्यों सरकारों को भंग करके वो केंद्र से सीधा नगरपालिकाओ को जोड़ देना चाहिए ...जैसे १०० किलोमीटर का चेत्रफल या १० लाख की आबादी से ज्यादा को एक नयी नगरपालिका बना कर सीधा केंद्र से जुडाव हो राज्यों सरकार का खर्च और फेसले लेने में रूकावट कम होगी

Anonymous said...

Dear Mr.Mayank,
This article is quite foolish and has all the trademarks of sitting in your home and then concoting Theories & Policies using logic and readily believable common sense and overly simplistic.

1)Let me remind you that Delhi is a small state and what problems are you fighting for in Delhi??

2)There are so many smaller states like in North East India and are they any better than bigger states?

3)Here are a couple of articles that discusses policies on scientific basis rather than speculating policies based on Logic and Common sense i.e a drawing room intellectual.Sorry for these strong words but you are propogating dangerous myths based on common sense rather than facts.

The following are articles by Louise Tillin, a lecturer at India Institute,King's College India who is bang on and authoritative on the subject.

1)
http://caravanmagazine.in/perspectives/between-lines



2)
http://casi.sas.upenn.edu/system/files/Statehood+EPW+-+Tillin.pdf

Her book is here:
http://www.hurstpublishers.com/book/remapping-india/

Similar AAP statement on Telangana has been overwhelmingly rejected on the Facebook page of AAP on July 3st.Please go and see those comments from your own readers.

Next time please dont speak from behind.Thank you.Sorry for the strong words but you cant make such dangerous mistakes on such an important vicious Political tool in India especially as you carry an important postition as AAP National Executive.I have also sent you an email.

-p

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Krishna Mishra said...

जनाब हिंदी में लिखिए ज्यादा से ज्यादा लोग लाभान्वित होंगे.गूगल इनपुट टूल्स डाउनलोड करके आप ऐसा बड़ी आसानी से कर सकते हैं.

Krishna Mishra said...

जनाब हिंदी में लिखिए ज्यादा से ज्यादा लोग लाभान्वित होंगे.गूगल इनपुट टूल्स डाउनलोड करके आप ऐसा बड़ी आसानी से कर सकते हैं.

Krishna Mishra said...

जनाब हिंदी में लिखिए ज्यादा से ज्यादा लोग लाभान्वित होंगे.गूगल इनपुट टूल्स डाउनलोड करके आप ऐसा बड़ी आसानी से कर सकते हैं.

Krishna Mishra said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Krishna Mishra said...

मयंक सर, यदि आप इजाज़त दें तो मैं आपके ब्लॉग का हिंदी अनुवाद करना चाहूँगा. मेरा नंबर 9454326907 है.