Smaller states for better governance

The editorial “Small is governable: Maya comes out with a constructive idea” (Jan 17) is most timely. Really, the Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister’s advocacy for splitting UP into three states — Purvanchal, Bundelkhand and Harit Pradesh — is logically constructive. One fails to understand why did a political leader of Govind Vallabh Pant’s stature offer resistance to the division of UP for its better governance?

K.M. Pannikar’s opinion, aptly quoted in the editorial, is still relevant. All the states and regions need to be developed in all respects in a balanced manner. Regional disparities give rise to discontentment, violence and a sense of separation.

The editorial has rightly mentioned about the socio-economic achievements made by Haryana and Himachal Pradesh after their creation. The basic point is: quality governance can only be achieved in a small and compact state.

Demands for the creation of new states in Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra cannot be ignored for a longer time. In the interest of the nation, the Centre should immediately set up the second States Reorganisation Commission. Any hesitation on its part will send dubious signals to the nation.




True, smaller states have proved to be better administered and more developed in comparison to the bigger states. But it is not the whole truth. States like Chhattisgarh and Uttarakhand have not proceeded with the pace of development as much as Haryana and Himachal taking the time factor into consideration. Punjab, which has become smaller in size after 1966, has shrunk in the area of development including per capita income. The governance and development, in fact, depend upon many other factors including leadership and passion quotient of the people.

Moreover, more regional parties have emerged on the scene with the birth of smaller states, perhaps, hindering the true functioning of democracy. Too many smaller states may eat into the vitals of the federal polity. Democracy can flourish, many thinkers opine, with a two-party system rather than in a multiparty regime. After all, various parties have to join hands in the event of a hung legislature at the Centre and in the states.

Dr S. KUMAR, Panchkula


More states will not result in good governance. This will only help politicians in the form of more legislatures, more seats, more ministerial berths and more positions of power and pelf.

If more divisions are needed to improve the quality of administration, we should create more administrative units and not more states. Too many states will further pollute the political scene and exacerbate political corruption in the country. Mushrooming of regional parties in various states and various alliances are not healthy for the democracy.



For equitable economic growth and administrative efficiency, the demand for smaller states is justified. Ms Mayawati has rightly opined that UP, a huge land mass, is too unwieldy and has remained backward on social and economic fronts. It should be split into three states. Same is the case with Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra. The demand for separate Telangana state and Vidarbha state are perfectly justified.

Mr Pannikar, a member of the States Reorganisation Commission, was very right when he said that the division of UP was very vital for the successful working of the Indian federation so that all units are fairly and evenly balanced.

The examples of Haryana and Himachal Pradesh are often quoted in defence of smaller states. Not only the language but geo-economic considerations should be taken into consideration while carving out new states.

In Himachal Pradesh, from Paonta Valley to Pangi or from Nurpur to the hills of Nohra Dhar, perhaps, geo-physical features are more binding forces than the spoken language.

Dr L.K. MANUJA, Nahan (HP)

Corruption in healthcare

It is shameful that a World Bank probe has found massive corruption — to the tune of 90 per cent — in all the major heath care projects in the country funded by it. This is the second time that the agency has pointed out irregularities in the implementation of projects.

This is treachery of the highest order and it defeats the generous intent of the global fraternity and deprives the disadvantaged sections of all the support and help that they can get. This should be treated as a conspiracy against the country and its people. It is just another example of what ails our healthcare system, which visibly extends much beyond the lack of resources. There seems to be a breakdown of authority at various levels and the system is in complete disarray. Wavering loyalties are impeding any attempts at solving the problems. The Centre and the states should accept the realities and revamp the system altogether.

Dr HIMANSHU GARG, Melbourne (Australia)



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