Telangana should be formed immediately డిసెంబర్ 8, 2009Posted by Telangana Utsav in 1969, agitation, BJP, Congress, Economy, Identity, Media, Mulki, Osmania, politics, PRP, TDP, Telangana, TRS, universities.
Don’t Sit On It
Times of India, 9 December 2009, 12:00am IST
The Telangana region in Andhra Pradesh is on the boil. Protests and strikes seeking a separate Telangana state have brought the region to a halt. At least 17 people are claimed to have committed suicide in support of the demand. The state assembly has been stalled by MLAs from the Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS). Their chief K Chandrasekhara Rao is on a hunger strike. It is time for the Centre and the state government to take a close look at the statehood demand and not wait for the situation to go out of control.
Almost all political parties support the case for Telangana. Even parties like the Telugu Desam that had opposed a division of Andhra Pradesh are on board now. The Congress claims that it is not opposed to a Telangana state. Yet the government has refused to take the necessary administrative measure to bring the issue to a closure. The previous UPA government, under pressure from TRS, appointed a committee under Pranab Mukherjee to study the demand. Nothing came out of the committee. After the TDP adopted a resolution in support of the state demand ahead of the assembly election, the Congress also spoke in favour of the Telangana state. But after winning the election, the Congress government has refused to take decisive action on the issue. Is the Congress trying to buy time and wait for the agitation to fizzle out? Such a strategy is risky and could backfire on the government and the party.
This newspaper has been supportive of smaller states whenever the demand has had a logical basis. Large states like Uttar Pradesh are too unwieldy as administrative units and deserve to be split into smaller units. Economic viability and geographical and cultural unity ought to be the determining factors in the constitution of new states. The first states’ reorganisation commission chose linguistic communities as the basis for reconstituting the Indian state. The linguistic communities are now unravelling with economic factors coming to the forefront. Some of the large states, Andhra Pradesh included, have witnessed uneven development. The underdeveloped regions, expectedly, are unhappy. The latter’s concerns are mostly genuine and need to be addressed.
The Centre must set up a new states’ reorganisation commission to address separatist demands wherever they exist as well as to reconstitute large states like UP into manageable administrative units. If a political consensus already exists on the demand, as seems to be the case on Telangana, steps should be taken immediately to form the new state.