Division of bigger states into smaller states - a brief analysis

This article presents a brief analysis on the topic of the division of bigger states into smaller state and provides answers to these questions like- why such demands? Fears of fulfilling these demands? what are positive and negative impacts of these demands and how this issue can be dealt with.

Why there is need of formation of new states?

People often demand that the place where they live should be given a status of an administrative unit like a municipality, District or state which have some rights. But why people demand such things why there is any need of being an administrative unit?

It's because being an administrative unit a place or locality gets power to take decisions for the good of people living in that particular locality. A smaller area under a particular administration gains more than a larger area. Thus whenever there is a lack of development and basic amenities in a particular area it always leads to the demand for formation of an entirely new entity to be formed from existing area.

In India, in the present-day scenario, there are many such states where there is the demand of bifurcating the already existing states and make a new state for the development of the new state to be formed. Earlier also there were such demands which lead to the formation of the states like Chattisgarh (1st November 2001), Uttrakhand (9 November 2001) and Jharkhand (15 November) and most recent one is the 29th state Telangana( 2 June 2014). But it is also a truth that after formation of these states, these areas have seen betterment, development, and growth as compared to their earlier conditions. For eg- since their formation states of Uttarakhand, Jharkhand, Chattisgarh has seen a dramatic increase in their per capita income and growth.

What leads to such demands?

Often it is about identity, language and variation of heritage and culture between two types of communities residing in the same areas which lead few people to think that they are lagging behind the other community residing in the same state which is either in majority or in power and also feel being discriminated and cheated as all the people in the power belongs to the other majority community who shows no concern for them. And in many cases, it is true also that power is gained by only one faction of society and other remains behind.

This happened in case of Uttrakhand when Hilly people demanded the need of a new state so that they could get more political participation and hence power to develop hilly areas as per requirement of its natives as well as the leaders will be such that they better understand the demographics of the place which they are administering.

The division in Chattisgarh rooted in caste distinctiveness, with upper peasant Brahmins and Kurmis leading the movement for a separate state. Rich in mineral wealth and an important rice-producer, Chhattisgarh has resented its disproportionate contribution in revenues to any return it has received from the state. Although Chattisgarh has very large tribal population but in this case it was the distribution of the resources which leads to the demand of separate state not the culture or ethnicity.

But with Jharkhand it was again the issue of identity and cultural deference of the tribal and scheduled caste people of Jharkhand and other communities of Bihar which lead to demand of the formation of new states so that the resources they have can be better utilized in their development.

Fear of government in the formation of new states

Once there is a bill passed for the formation of new states, it always causes some other voices to rise in other states also for such demands which make the government fear of such demands. Such demands have cost so many lives in the past in massive protests, police firings, immolation e.t.c.

  • Recent Demands : There have been persistent demands for the creation of separate states of Vidharba in eastern Maharashtra, Bodoland, and Gorkhaland in the North East, etc. There was even a proposal and demand of dividing Uttar Pradesh into four smaller states – Purvanchal, Bundelkhand, Awadh Pradesh and Pashchim Pradesh

Positive effects of Division of states-

  1. Taking a small area to be administered i.e, state after division will be more targeted for growth will have more people concerned about less population than earlier and thus providing better administration i.e, for less number of people more better education facilities, job opportunities and more polices
  2. Enhance capital of the area by better utilizing its natural and human resources and development of localities into tourist spots and thus boosting up the economy
  3. Proper utilization of central funds i.e, funds to be distributed in better ways by reaching to those specific people whom they are meant for
  4. Both the states which are bifurcated will gain in per capita income by having separate opportunities for their citizens by utilizing what they have in their locality
  5. Formation of new states will lead to the formation of railroad connectivity in them and thus reach far corners of these places and help its citizens to grow economically

Negative effects of Division of states-

  1. In a country like which speaks about its culture of "unity in diversity" at every forum of the world even the idea of division hurts this sentiment of Unity
  2. As the newly formed state would require better infrastructure for its proper functioning which further requires investment for which a state government seeks central government this will result in putting a burden on the coffers of the Indian government
  3. Till the time these newly formed states become self-sufficient which will take many years, they will be dependent on central government for financial help which will put additional pressure on the economy of the country

What is the solution to This problem of Division?

  • Solution to this problem is to let people of different cultural and ethnicity have an autonomy within an already formed state and not imposing any other culture over them for eg. In case of demand of Gorkhaland, it got more vociferous after the government decided to impose Bangla language as compulsory language in schools ( which was later taken back)
  • Understanding the culture of other peoples living in the same states and giving them more opportunities for political participation
  • Despite being single states demographics of a state could vary place to place considering these demographics for eg- before the formation of Uttrakhand. Uttar Pradesh was divided into plane and hilly areas which have entirely different requirement at certain places and when these requirements were not considered people agitated
  • Promoting the idea of Unity in diversity more prominently from a very basic level of schools and further in colleges and higher educational institutions


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