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Indians divided over the formation of a new state

Plans to create a new state called Telangana from India's southern Andhra Pradesh state have provoked sporadic violence and fuelled demands for other new states across India.

Here, people in India discuss whether the formation of a new state is the answer to the region's problems and what repercussions it could have for the rest of the country.

IN FAVOUR OF A NEW STATE

Venkat Reddy, software engineer, Hyderabad

Venkat Reddy

I come from a small village in rural Telangana. This part of the state has been neglected for too long - we have been struggling for more than 60 years.

Of all my school friends, I am the only one who works in an office. The others didn't get an education.

My school friends still live in our village, working as farmers, fishermen or tradesmen.

Telangana should become a state. We want our own chief minister, who knows our problems and needs. Currently all the state employment goes to Andhra people. When Telangana becomes a state, we'll get more employment and more funds.

We need funds to develop education in the region - education should be our top priority. Right now there are many more schools and colleges in Andhra than in the Telangana region.

Self-rule will also bring self-respect. We don't want people from another region to rule us, we want to have our own minister, we want to rule our own land.

Kedar Reddy, Engineer, Hyderabad

The creation of Telangana state is necessary because the native people are deprived of their rightful share of jobs and other resources. The people of Telangana will benefit from direct state employment, which is currently enjoyed by the people of the Andhra region.

Telangana has lots of fertile land, which can become productive by the region utilising its rightful share of the river waters, which are currently being misused by the Andhra region.

The creation of new states should be seen as a step towards diversity. The division of the state will have no ill effect on the economy or the integrity of the country as a whole. It will create a healthy and democratic way of self-rule.

Vijay Mohan, MBA graduate, Hyderabad

I come from a remote area of Telangana, some 250km (155 miles) away from the state capital. I can definitely say that the creation of a separate state could benefit everyone in Andhra Pradesh.

It will be great for infrastructure development, which has been neglected in Telangana over the last 50 years. All we need is friendly relations with all regions.

There are many problems faced by people living in the rural part of Telangana: poor roads, no drinking water, inadequate hospital facilities. The reason for this is that the funds necessary for development in Telangana have been diverted to other regions.

The creation of a new state will be good as the funds allocated for development will be used for development.

Venkat Ananth, student, Mumbai

Venkat Ananth

States were created in the 1950s on the basis of languages spoken in different areas.

But five decades on, the language division has outlived its purpose. These states are seeking separation from the parent state on the ground of constant neglect.

There are other examples where people's aspirations haven't been fulfilled. That's the case with the Vidharba region of the Maharashtra state, which has been neglected by many successive governments.

I believe that smaller states have better administration and they are more focused. If the people of Telangana aren't quite happy with the way they've been treated, their aspirations need to be taken into consideration.

AGAINST A NEW STATE

Rajanikanth Bolla, IT consultant, Hyderabad

Rajanikanth Bolla

Life is horrible for an ordinary person in Telangana. I have friends and family living in villages whom I visit very often. Many of them are farmers. I see them depend on the local government to provide their basic needs.

The government is to be blamed to some extent. No development programmes and no irrigation projects were carried out until recently.

Farmers had to depend on rain and underground water as there has been no canalisation. No wonder Telangana has the highest number of farmers committing suicide.

I believe in unity, not in division based on lack of development.

Dividing a state on the basis of development is pointless. It will be more beneficial to the power-hungry politicians than to the people.

Radha Krishna Reddy, government employee, Chennai

Radha Krishna Reddy

I come from a village in the Telangana region. During my school days there was no electricity and no road to reach my village. The situation is much better now.

The creation of a separate state will halt the growth of the Telangana region. Many farmers from the Andhra region, which has more fertile land, have come to Telangana giving local farmers the opportunity to learn from them.

Similarly, many businessmen from the Andhra region have established their businesses in Telangana. If Telangana is separated there will be an end to this type of activity.

This will fulfil the political ambitions of a few people, but it will harm the interests of common people.

What benefits have we seen from the formation of new states, like Chhattisgarh, Uttarakhand and Jharkhand? Let politicians learn the lessons from previous experiences.

Paramvir Singh, IT worker, Gujarat

Dividing a state into two different states along poverty lines is not going to bring the expected development. The present and the future governments should make an effort to improve the situation within the current status quo.

Map

Carving out a new state will adversely affect both parts. Andhra Pradesh will lose Hyderabad which is the present capital and one of the biggest IT hubs in India. This will lead to an imbalance in the economy as the old state will have to start from scratch.

If a new state is actually created then this could have a tsunami effect in India. Many separatist regional parties who have been lying low will try to use the opportunity to gain political mileage.

India could end up resembling the India of the pre-1947 era when it was made up of 568 states. This has to be stopped now.

Sreenath, Engineer, Hyderabad

My personal feeling is that it's better to stay united than divided. When they decided to unite all areas speaking Telugu back in the 1950s, there was a 20-year gap in terms of development and mentality between Telangana and the coastal areas.

Not only will there not be a change for the better, things might actually get worse.

If Telangana was formed as a separate state back then, it would be even more backward than it is now.

With Hyderabad as a capital, there has been lots of development in the area and lots of investment from people all over the state. It will be difficult to divide the state now and such a move might result in the displacement of many people.

Not only will there not be a change for the better, things might actually get worse. People from coastal areas will turn their backs on the Telangana people. Food prices will go up, lots of money will be spent to change name plates and update records.

Hyderabad growth will come to a halt. The only thing that a creation of a new state will achieve is the satisfaction of those advocating it.



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