Can bifurcating any state leads to development?

Some states in India were born out of language like Andhra Pradesh in 1953 and some on the basis of socio political reasons like Jharkhand, Chattisgarh and Uttarakhand. Article 3 of the Indian Constitution provides the provision of creating a new state. Whatsoever may be the reason but our leaders must be visionary. They should not take this call just on the basis of sentiments but aspects of development of new as well as mother state should be taken into account.

In 1947, 550 princely states and provinces were merged to form the Republic of India. In 1953 Andhra Pradesh was formed out of Madras. 6 Union Territories and 14 states were formed in 1956. In 1960 Bombay state was divided into Gujarat and Maharashtra. In 1963 Nagaland was created out of Assam. In 1966 two states viz Haryana and Himachal Pradesh were created from Punjab. 1972 saw the birth of Meghalaya, Manipur and Tripura. Sikkim was made part of Indian Union in 1975. In 1987 Goa and Arunachal Pradesh were given the status of state from Union Territory. In 2000 Uttaranchal was formed from Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand from Bihar and Chattisgarh from Madhya Pradesh.

Bifurcation of Bihar

Original Bihar was divided into two states for the development of the Adivasi (Tribals) in Jharkhand. But surprisingly condition of these tribal people has not changed much till date. Hence the main purpose of the bifurcation has not been met and above that spliting Bihar into two states Bihar and Jharkhand in 2000 has badly affected the development of the state as most of the mines and power plants are now in Jharkhand. Jamshedpur is one of the best industrial towns in India but still not that developed which it should be. In a report by the Raghuram Rajan Committee Bihar is among the least developed states of India. But why is this happening even after the bifurcation that promised development in both the states?

Bihar suffers from natural calamities drought and flood. Besides this poverty has always been an issue in the state and remained higher than the national average. Though there were ups and downs in the figures yet the difference remained there.

Bihar has slower per capita income growth as compared to other states. Because of this, the reduction in poverty is extremely slow. Furthermore poverty is directly linked to the meager agricultural productivity, no land reforms, caste inflexibility, socioeconomic structure of the society, lack of law and order, not so developed industrial sector etc.

Literacy rate in Bihar is extremely poor and one of the reasons of poverty. In addition to this female literacy rate is even lower than male.

Experts called the bifurcation of Bihar asymmetric favoring Jharkhand more than Bihar. Physical assets were distributed on the ‘on is where is’ basis. To distribute liabilities population norms were taken into account. In the split Bihar received three-fourth of liabilities and just one fourth of assets. So this bifurcation made Bihar the poorer state than ever. Most of the manufacturing units located in the Southern Bihar were naturally shifted to Jharkhand. Loss of industrial sector means loss of revenue. From 10% the contribution of industrial sector in Bihar’s total revenue came to just 1% after bifurcation.

The division actually caused the damage to the state instead of serving a purpose of development. Before division it was believed that Jharkhand would progress at a must faster pace than Bihar but has also not happened.

Bifurcation of Uttar Pradesh into Uttarakhand

In the bifurcation of three Hindi speaking states split of Uttar Pradesh was one. The state was divided into Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand for the sake of development. Creating a small state like Uttarakhand means familiarity in different departments. This leads to manifold increase in the corruption. A person sitting at lower post got powers. Uttarakhand is a hilly terrain which needed industrial plants for the development. For this forests were required to be replaced by industries. It is actually disturbing the eco system and local people.

Only the future will tell if the recent formation of Telangana is a right decision or not.

Hence simply dividing a state into two does not guarantee development. For the progress of any state its ecological, environment, presence of natural minerals etc must be taken into account. Local people are generally seen protesting for a separate state. But it should not be done on social cost. Division of Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, Haryana and Goa on the other hand resulted in the progress of the individual states. Every example should be considered before taking this vital decision.