Back to square one
Sir — It is not only unfortunate but also shameful that the Bharatiya Janata Party has decided to support the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha’s claim to form government in Jharkhand (“Soren stakes claim”, Dec 27). With this move, the BJP has belied its own claim of being a party with a difference. Rather, it has revealed itself to be much like any other political party ready to sacrifice ideals for the sake of power. While the Congress’s sole agenda is to keep the BJP out of power, the BJP’s intention seems no different — namely, to remove its rival from the top spot.
It was the same BJP that had once cried foul when Shibu Soren, the JMM chief, was a Union minister in Manmohan Singh’s cabinet, accusing Soren of corruption. As for the JMM, it seems to be only concerned with Soren taking over as the chief minister. Indeed, the alliance among the JMM, the BJP and the All Jharkhand Student’s Union smacks of opportunism. It is bound to crumble soon, given the ideological differences among these three entities.
No political party got a clear mandate in the recent assembly elections in Jharkhand. Perhaps this indicates that the people of the state have lost faith in politics. Given the situation on the ground, it would have been prudent for the BJP to play the role of a constructive Opposition, since it, too, had failed to secure the people’s support to form government in the state.
S. Balakrishnan, Jamshedpur
Sir — It is dispiriting that the results of the Jharkhand assembly elections threw up a fractured verdict. Although this can be seen as a strong message from the electorate to the political parties, the hung assembly in itself is a blot in the history of the state. Since its inception, Jharkhand has been reeling under uncertainty and poor governance. Even though the people’s mandate is a chastening moment for all the protagonists in the state, the voters have missed an excellent opportunity to punish the inefficient politicians who are responsible for the disappointing development of the state, which, incidentally, is rich in natural resources.
Bichu Muttathara, Pune
A nation in fragments
Sir — It would set a dangerous precedent if the Centre eventually decides to carve out a separate state of Telangana from Andhra Pradesh (“Telangana camp sets deadline”, Dec 26). Such a move would make it difficult to reject demands for new states of Bundelkhand, Harit Pradesh or Gorkhaland. In a not-too-distant future, every district in the country may ask to be converted into a state.
The process of division started in 1947, when the Indian National Congress agreed to the partition of India and Pakistan. The state of Bombay was broken into Maharashtra and Gujarat in 1960, when, as now, the Congress was in power in New Delhi. The Congress seems to be unfit to rule India. If it continues to be in power, it might lead to the gradual disintegration of India into hundreds of states. A similar situation existed before India was occupied by the British, when numerous rajas and maharajas ruled independently. Taking advantage of the absence of a unified structure of governance, the British defeated these rulers and established their own empire. The Congress does not deserve to be in power at the Centre if it cannot prevent the nation from being broken into fragments.
Ranajit Kumar Baksi, Calcutta
Sir — The demand for a separate state of Telangana, or any other, is not in the interest of the nation. An increase in the number of states will also make the problems of running them greater. Unity is better than division, just as joint families are better than nuclear ones. In bigger states, a diverse population learns to live in harmony. As the inhabitants become more accommodating, the state can also grows economically. So there should be a minimum number of states in India.
During Partition, it was with great difficulty that the states were created, thanks to the efforts of Sardar Patel. There is no one left now of his calibre to resolve the present unrest for the good of the nation.
Mahesh Kumar, New Delhi
Sir — The government at the Centre seem to be succumbing to political pressure to divide a state into two. This certainly does not augur well. The division of Andhra Pradesh would entail unnecessary expenditure from the state exchequer. The development of all parts of a state can be achieved if the rulers are committed to their duty. Underdevelopment cannot be considered a valid reason for creating a new state. If the Centre responds to the call for Telangana, then it may unleash demands for new states from all over the country. There is already a lot of dispute among different states on various matters. For instance, control of the Mullaperiyar dam is a bone of contention between Tamil Nadu and Kerala for many years. Such a tussle would not had arisen if the two were parts of a single state.
Local leaders usually come up with clever ploys to further their political interests. Leaders at the Centre, on the contrary, should act wisely.
K.A. Solaman,Alappuzha, Kerala
Sir — Although the Centre’s decision to consider in principle the demand for a separate Telangana is abrupt, it deserves a cautious welcome insofar as it sets out to meet the aspirations of a region left behind by development. Big states with huge population, are difficult to govern anyway and encourage caste politics, while smaller states are stabler and easy to administer.
The Congress-led United Progressive Alliance government will have to adopt a cautious approach. A number of Congress members of legislative assembly as well as legislators from the Opposition have protested against any move to bifurcate Andhra Pradesh. In 1972, the Jai Andhra movement had ruined the Telangana agitation. A similar rebellion may spoil the chances of a distinct Telangana this time as well.
No less contentious is the status of Hyderabad. Those who are lobbying for Telangana cannot conceive of statehood without this capital city. Neither can the backers of Visalandhra or a united Andhra. It would be best if the Chandigarh model of a union territory is adopted, so that Hyderabad, like Chandigarh, could be the capital of two states. If statehood is achieved, there is real hope that Telangana, where economic backwardness has bred Naxalism, would benefit from it the way Haryana did when it was separated from Punjab.
Dilbag Rai, Chandigarh