This post has been self-published on Youth Ki Awaaz by Youth Ki Awaaz. Just like them, anyone can publish on Youth Ki Awaaz.

Are We Heading Towards A ‘United States Of India’ ?

More from Youth Ki Awaaz

By Shubhi Mathur:

India was created by consolidating hundreds of princely states. And yet again there is a pushover for creation of newer states. The 29th state of India was born on August 1, 2013 by bifurcating the state of Andhra Pradesh into Telangana and Seemandhra. This division was a result of decades of agitation by the people of Telangana demanding a separate state.


But was this division inevitable? Or is it a consequence of electoral compulsion? Lets us take a closer look at it. Bifurcation leads to smaller states and smaller states ideally imply strong governance due to administrative ease. Also smaller states are found to be more progressive, have higher literacy rates and higher growth rates. States like Kerala, Haryana, and Himachal Pradesh are good examples. But on the other hand, states like Jharkhand (carved out of Bihar) haven’t done well on the same parameters. Pro- division people argue that a country as large and diverse as India needs smaller units for governance. Creation of new states is not simply the acknowledgement of the cultural aspirations of the region but also an amalgamation of social and political factors.

The downside of creation of newer states is that instead of making borders irrelevant, it is making them more and relevant. Often, the creation of political and administrative boundaries become social and economic barriers. Issues like resource redistribution, sharing of water bodies and sharing of revenue system between the newly divided states sours the celebratory atmosphere and often becomes a bone of contention.

Recently, India witnessed agitations involving the creation of Telangana and demanding the creation of newer states of Bodoland (by dividing Assam), Gorkhaland (by dividing West Bengal) and Haritpradesh (by dividing Uttar Pradesh). But the question arises that why the clamour for creation of new states is so sudden?

Apart from providing administrative ease, smaller states result in decentralization of power. After the division, the new government has to concentrate on smaller area with lesser population. It makes the government more effective and responsible. This decentralisation of power is purely based on the Panchayati Raj system which is the basis of governance in India. Also, division results in regional similarities like sharing a common cultural history or a common language or belonging to the same caste or religion. These factors enhance the probability of living harmoniously in that region.

The state reorganisation committee listed linguistic barriers as the foremost basis for considering division of a state. This is why the state of Haryana was carved out of Punjab in 1996 owing to cultural and linguistic differences. But social, political and economic factors also hugely determined the creation of new states. Owing to trust deficit in the government of Uttar Pradesh and cultural differences between the hill tribes and backward castes, Uttaranchal was born in 2000. Similarly, Economic disparities, caste distinctiveness and uneven distribution of natural resources led to the creation of Chhattisgarh from Madhya Pradesh.

But in the case of Telangana, none of the above mentioned criterion holds true. It is purely the Telugu chauvinism at its peak. The creation of Telangana is also seen through electoral prism and the political fraternity remains skeptical about it. Many alarmist propagators conclude that this disintegration might lead to the reversal of history and bring to light the divide and rule policy of the British. UPA-II is also accused of putting the unity of the country in jeopardy by a so-thought reckless decision.

But the question arises, are the newer state agitations strengthening federalism? This is because the turbulence concerning the bifurcation may not necessarily be separatist. Whimsical parallelisms are often drawn about the states being like two couples asking about two private rooms.

But is our democratic structure strong enough to withstand this disintegration in the unity of our country? Or are we heading towards United States of America? These questions remain unanswered will stand the test of time. No doubt the creation of Telangana has opened up a Pandora’s Box. It may seem small and innocuous at the beginning but the aftermath may be perilous.

You must be to comment.
  1. Harsh Vasani

    The author states that the creation of Telangana- unlike that of Jharkand and Chattisgarh- is solely based on Telugu Chauvinism. Not only is this logically incorrect, but is also unsubstantiated. The regions of Seemandhra and Telangana speak Telugu- albeit difference in dialect- how then can the demand for a separate state be based on this conjectural claim of ‘Telugu chauvinism’?

  2. Aditi Thakker

    Unfortunately your statement that the creation of Telangana is merely based on Telugu Chauvinism is highly misinformed. Present day Andhra Pradesh, or as it was till Telangana was created, was nothing but a forced amalgamation of some sort between two very very distinct societies that never managed to even marginally integrate. Nehru and Patel did not like the idea of having too many states, but they were forced to create Andhra out of Tamil Nadu, when Telugu speakers demanded their own state. Then, the Nizam’s Hyderabad was just made part of the Andhra since everyone spoke Telugu. The two regions have a common language, but Telangana minus Hyderabad lacks infrastructure, literacy and even basic facilities for its population. The dialect of Telugu spoken is different too. Telangana became a dumping ground for industries in Andhra, an environmental hazard. You could read the SriKrishna Committees report on the Situation in Andhra Pradesh, published in Dec 2010. It will tell you about the factors beyond Telugu that warrant the creation of Telangana. It may have been a reckless decision on UPA’s part, but for the people of Telangana it was long overdue.

    With this one language one state policy, someone has yet to explain why we have 9 Hindi speaking states and not one. No, Hindi is not our National Language, it is only an Official Language.

    Also, Jharkhand is only 13 years old compared to the other states you have mentioned. Give it some time. It has come out of goonda raj, a lot of work needs to be done! Lets also acknowledge thats Jharkhand has a higher percentage of literate people than its parent state, Bihar.

  3. arp

    Wile you have pointed out the slow progress of jharkhand, lets not totally forget about chattisgarh. The state has seen huge amount of progress since it’s partition from madhya pradesh.

More from Youth Ki Awaaz

Similar Posts

By Krishna Singh

By Aulina Pandey


Wondering what to write about?

Here are some topics to get you started

Share your details to download the report.

We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

Share your details to download the report.

We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

An ambassador and trained facilitator under Eco Femme (a social enterprise working towards menstrual health in south India), Sanjina is also an active member of the MHM Collective- India and Menstrual Health Alliance- India. She has conducted Menstrual Health sessions in multiple government schools adopted by Rotary District 3240 as part of their WinS project in rural Bengal. She has also delivered training of trainers on SRHR, gender, sexuality and Menstruation for Tomorrow’s Foundation, Vikramshila Education Resource Society, Nirdhan trust and Micro Finance, Tollygunj Women In Need, Paint It Red in Kolkata.

Now as an MH Fellow with YKA, she’s expanding her impressive scope of work further by launching a campaign to facilitate the process of ensuring better menstrual health and SRH services for women residing in correctional homes in West Bengal. The campaign will entail an independent study to take stalk of the present conditions of MHM in correctional homes across the state and use its findings to build public support and political will to take the necessary action.

Saurabh has been associated with YKA as a user and has consistently been writing on the issue MHM and its intersectionality with other issues in the society. Now as an MHM Fellow with YKA, he’s launched the Right to Period campaign, which aims to ensure proper execution of MHM guidelines in Delhi’s schools.

The long-term aim of the campaign is to develop an open culture where menstruation is not treated as a taboo. The campaign also seeks to hold the schools accountable for their responsibilities as an important component in the implementation of MHM policies by making adequate sanitation infrastructure and knowledge of MHM available in school premises.

Read more about his campaign.

Harshita is a psychologist and works to support people with mental health issues, particularly adolescents who are survivors of violence. Associated with the Azadi Foundation in UP, Harshita became an MHM Fellow with YKA, with the aim of promoting better menstrual health.

Her campaign #MeriMarzi aims to promote menstrual health and wellness, hygiene and facilities for female sex workers in UP. She says, “Knowledge about natural body processes is a very basic human right. And for individuals whose occupation is providing sexual services, it becomes even more important.”

Meri Marzi aims to ensure sensitised, non-discriminatory health workers for the needs of female sex workers in the Suraksha Clinics under the UPSACS (Uttar Pradesh State AIDS Control Society) program by creating more dialogues and garnering public support for the cause of sex workers’ menstrual rights. The campaign will also ensure interventions with sex workers to clear misconceptions around overall hygiene management to ensure that results flow both ways.

Read more about her campaign.

MH Fellow Sabna comes with significant experience working with a range of development issues. A co-founder of Project Sakhi Saheli, which aims to combat period poverty and break menstrual taboos, Sabna has, in the past, worked on the issue of menstruation in urban slums of Delhi with women and adolescent girls. She and her team also released MenstraBook, with menstrastories and organised Menstra Tlk in the Delhi School of Social Work to create more conversations on menstruation.

With YKA MHM Fellow Vineet, Sabna launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society. As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Read more about her campaign. 

A student from Delhi School of Social work, Vineet is a part of Project Sakhi Saheli, an initiative by the students of Delhi school of Social Work to create awareness on Menstrual Health and combat Period Poverty. Along with MHM Action Fellow Sabna, Vineet launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society.

As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Find out more about the campaign here.

A native of Bhagalpur district – Bihar, Shalini Jha believes in equal rights for all genders and wants to work for a gender-equal and just society. In the past she’s had a year-long association as a community leader with Haiyya: Organise for Action’s Health Over Stigma campaign. She’s pursuing a Master’s in Literature with Ambedkar University, Delhi and as an MHM Fellow with YKA, recently launched ‘Project अल्हड़ (Alharh)’.

She says, “Bihar is ranked the lowest in India’s SDG Index 2019 for India. Hygienic and comfortable menstruation is a basic human right and sustainable development cannot be ensured if menstruators are deprived of their basic rights.” Project अल्हड़ (Alharh) aims to create a robust sensitised community in Bhagalpur to collectively spread awareness, break the taboo, debunk myths and initiate fearless conversations around menstruation. The campaign aims to reach at least 6000 adolescent girls from government and private schools in Baghalpur district in 2020.

Read more about the campaign here.

A psychologist and co-founder of a mental health NGO called Customize Cognition, Ritika forayed into the space of menstrual health and hygiene, sexual and reproductive healthcare and rights and gender equality as an MHM Fellow with YKA. She says, “The experience of working on MHM/SRHR and gender equality has been an enriching and eye-opening experience. I have learned what’s beneath the surface of the issue, be it awareness, lack of resources or disregard for trans men, who also menstruate.”

The Transmen-ses campaign aims to tackle the issue of silence and disregard for trans men’s menstruation needs, by mobilising gender sensitive health professionals and gender neutral restrooms in Lucknow.

Read more about the campaign here.

A Computer Science engineer by education, Nitisha started her career in the corporate sector, before realising she wanted to work in the development and social justice space. Since then, she has worked with Teach For India and Care India and is from the founding batch of Indian School of Development Management (ISDM), a one of its kind organisation creating leaders for the development sector through its experiential learning post graduate program.

As a Youth Ki Awaaz Menstrual Health Fellow, Nitisha has started Let’s Talk Period, a campaign to mobilise young people to switch to sustainable period products. She says, “80 lakh women in Delhi use non-biodegradable sanitary products, generate 3000 tonnes of menstrual waste, that takes 500-800 years to decompose; which in turn contributes to the health issues of all menstruators, increased burden of waste management on the city and harmful living environment for all citizens.

Let’s Talk Period aims to change this by

Find out more about her campaign here.

Share your details to download the report.

We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

A Gender Rights Activist working with the tribal and marginalized communities in india, Srilekha is a PhD scholar working on understanding body and sexuality among tribal girls, to fill the gaps in research around indigenous women and their stories. Srilekha has worked extensively at the grassroots level with community based organisations, through several advocacy initiatives around Gender, Mental Health, Menstrual Hygiene and Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) for the indigenous in Jharkhand, over the last 6 years.

Srilekha has also contributed to sustainable livelihood projects and legal aid programs for survivors of sex trafficking. She has been conducting research based programs on maternal health, mental health, gender based violence, sex and sexuality. Her interest lies in conducting workshops for young people on life skills, feminism, gender and sexuality, trauma, resilience and interpersonal relationships.

A Guwahati-based college student pursuing her Masters in Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Bidisha started the #BleedwithDignity campaign on the technology platform, demanding that the Government of Assam install
biodegradable sanitary pad vending machines in all government schools across the state. Her petition on has already gathered support from over 90000 people and continues to grow.

Bidisha was selected in’s flagship program ‘She Creates Change’ having run successful online advocacy
campaigns, which were widely recognised. Through the #BleedwithDignity campaign; she organised and celebrated World Menstrual Hygiene Day, 2019 in Guwahati, Assam by hosting a wall mural by collaborating with local organisations. The initiative was widely covered by national and local media, and the mural was later inaugurated by the event’s chief guest Commissioner of Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) Debeswar Malakar, IAS.

Sign up for the Youth Ki Awaaz Prime Ministerial Brief below