Do smaller states ensure better governance?

Posted on April 23, 2010 in Politics

Chandramohan Garg:

Creation of small states on the basis of administration may be considered necessary for the sake of faster growth, smooth administration and quicker execution of the policies framed by the government and also the best monitoring of the plan and policy executed at the ground level. But what is the guarantee that small states will function properly and there will be all round development in the states in question? There are still many states like Goa, Arunachal Pradesh, Sikkim, Mizoram, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh etc. where no sign of development or growth is visible because the entire energy is lost in the changing of the government. State government is too small to be stable. There are many tiny political parties and groups which have got no actual party manifesto or plan to do work. There is more dirty politics and tug of war for power (and the money they earn through power) among politicians of various colour and group.

Democracy is meant for people, but, the Government in these smaller states is for political party leaders, by the leaders and of the leaders. So far as the smooth functioning and monitoring of policies and real development is concerned, we have for this purpose already in place a reliable set up called District administration. To monitor three or four districts there is an office of commissioner and then there is a state administration. Similar structures are already built up by our constitution makers and forefathers for the police department and also for judiciary to ensure quality functioning.

But if the head of the states fail to do their duty, fail to monitor the progress of every district and indulge in cheap party politics to serve their vested interest, there is no question of development taking place. If members in the cabinet is too small, a person like Madhu Koda can manage the cabinet as per their whims and fancies, play with government fund and become owners of property worth Rs4000/ crores in two years of regime. And when ultimately such rulers fail to please the general mass and start facing the movement of common men in revolt they have a tendency to blame the center. If politics of caste and community, policy of reservation, policy of temples and masjid fails, the ruling political party in the state is habituated to blaming the government posted at the center.

UP government headed by Mayawati is now advocating for breaking of UP states just to deviate the minds of common men from her failures and to trap the Congress Party in a different trap. She has forgotten that the Congress party has already submitted a proposal in the state assembly for carving out two smaller states out of UP. BJP has been advocating policy of smaller states based on not local ambitions but on local issues and comforts. There should not arise any demand for small state if each district works honestly for the development and execute the policy framed by state and central government on their respective subjects enlisted in the constitution. Unfortunately district administration is not allowed to function properly, seriously and honestly by dirty politicians of our country in general and of smaller states in particular. Politicians in general have more faith in cheap agenda to earn cheap popularity.

They have an inclination towards making money and accumulating wealth for their future generation and have a common tendency to become rich people in short periods of time. This is why it can be rightly said that it is immaterial whether states are small or large. As long as people are corrupt one cannot dream of development .We have in the recent past created small states like Jharkhand out of Bihar and seen and experienced the pathetic position of Jharkhand in the hands of Koda and all his predecessors. We have seen how UP and Bihar governments in their states have created many new districts apparently for real development and strict monitoring but really for deviating the minds of local people from real issues of non-development and for sharing of ill-earned money. As such, the solution of all problems lies in the quality of the people and not the size of the state or district. After all India is one and should remain united and everyone is duty bound to maintain the federal structure of the country. It will be dishonesty on the part of any politician who plays with the sentiments and indulge in cheap politics on such sensitive issues as in Telenga. If however there is consensus on the formation of small states it should be well discussed, planned and structured jointly by all dominant political groups.

There should be one national policy defining the area and population fit for efficient state. Lastly the government should take its own initiative from time to time say in ten years to make new states based on language or any national issue of development. It is not good that the responsible authorities sleep on such demand for decades and when the movement becomes violent and uncontrollable they succumb to pressure and agree to even improper, unacceptable and unjustified demand. Such hasty decisions may ultimately result in the rising of many more similar demands and ultimately prove to be fatal and endanger the unity and integrity of the country.