India's Next State

 
 

An interesting piece of news out today about India’s plans to carve out a new state from Andhra Pradesh and create a new one called Telangana. The move for the underdeveloped region follows 50 years of sometimes violent demands for a separate state.

Governing a nation as enormous and diverse as India is no enviable task — it has a population of more than a billion people, speaking at least one of the country’s 18 official languages. And its borders are under pressure from insurgencies and neighbours — there’s a violent Maoist insurgency in the central state of Chhattisgarh, numerous groups involved in insurgencies in the northeast and disputes with China and Pakistan over its borders. It will be interesting, first, to see whether the move galvanises these other groups.

Talk a few months ago that a Chinese strategist had called for the government to seek the breakup of India — talk fed by ongoing border tensions between the two in Arunachal Pradesh — was overblown (the so-called strategist turned out to be a blogger). But still, it will be interesting to see how the central government responds, and what it can do to ensure all states are pulled along by India’s rapidly growing economy.

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