By Biranchi Narayan Acharya

Edited by Liz Maria Kuriakose, Associate Editor, The Indian Economist

Once again Uttar Pradesh is in the news for all wrong and appalling reasons. The Badaun rape and murder case is one of the most horrific crimes among the seven rape cases reported in last six days and has brought disgrace to the country.

According to a top rank police official from UP, there are in average 10 rapes occurring everyday, 90% of which remains unreported or unnoticed. It’s not only rape, in fact UP is really a state now where crime has no limit. It’s literally a state where law and order has practically collapsed. The government is out of bounds. Administration is under the control of mafias of political parties. Forget about the general public, even media doesn’t have access to many cases unless it is audacious enough and comes out daringly.

Undoubtedly, this is a failure of the SP government. Either Akhilesh Singh Yadav is inefficient or he has no control over the administration. Because of non-governance, the lawlessness prevails in the state in addition to the slow process of development.

Blaming the Akhilesh Yadav Goveernment for its inefficiency is easy. But my question is, if there had been an efficient Chief Minister to govern UP, would the condition of UP been better than the present scenario? I don’t think so! The preceding Mayawati government could neither control the crimes nor was able to induce any development. In fact, no government since independence has ever been able to develop Uttar Pradesh & reduce crime rates (includes crimes not reported or registered).

Thus, it doesn’t depend on whether the CM is efficient or not, although the image of the party in power reflects how the system is destroyed and in which direction the destruction occurs. For example, SP in power means more damage to law and order! If BSP is in power, then more would be the corruption. But conditions on each front are sure to deteriorate.

The real reason lies in its size. Because of Uttarkhand’s creation, 5 LS seats have been lost but 80 LS seats belong to the state! Its population is nearly 20 crore (as per the Census of 2011) and the population density is 820 per sq km. That means, it has nearly one third of the entire European population. Some 16 European countries have the same population collectively as that of Uttar Pradesh! Its population is more than the population of the Gulf countries! It’s even more than all of SAARC countries excluding India!

How can a state government rule such a massive population? It has 75 big districts under 18 divisions! Every district has an average population of around 26 lacs! How can a district magistrate or an SP control such a massive population?

Clearly the size matters here. Mayawati, in her tenure as the Chief Minister realized this constraint. Howsoever people may speak against her, everyone would agree on her intent to have full control on administration. Despite her intent and diligent effort, she realized that the state with such a size is really ungovernable and unmanageable!

That’s why she had proposed during her tenure itself to divide UP in to 4 states! Not to forget that Mayawati is a highly ambitious person who wants to be the PM of the country. Yet she was ready in her tenure to be CM of one-fourth of UP as one can’t be CM of multiple states. SP has opposed this idea then but must be realizing how hard it to govern effectively such huge state!

It’s not only in UP, let’s look at other states such as Bihar (40 LS seats), West Bengal (42 LS seats) & Maharashtra (48 LS seats). All have high crime rates! Except Maharashtra, all the other states are underdeveloped. Maharashtra appears to be a developed state but it’s due to Mumbai & its adjoining areas like Pune, Nasik etc. The conditions of other places are very miserable with respect to development, law & order!

Governance is always a key to improve law & order along with boosting development. But if size makes a state ungovernable, nobody can help it! It has to be noted that the United States of America has around 1/4th population of India (around 32 crore) but has 50 states while India with 4 times the population that of America has only 29 states! Thus at present it’s highly desirable to reduce the size of the states. A state should have 10 to 15 LS seats. This way it can be governed by the state government and India would hardly have just over 55 states! This is no way illogical if we refer to the global scenario.

However it shouldn’t be forgotten that India is a diverse country. So the formations of state are dependent on various factors such as language, region & many such issues! The present states have many anomalies! Thus a state reorganization commission must be formed immediately and should take a view to re-organize the states with smaller size giving value to language, regional aspiration & geographic conditions!

A civil engineering professional but also is keen observer of current affairs, politics, socio-economical issues, spiritual & cultural issues. Contributed lot of articles in various web-based on line magazines & well appreciated also. In free time, transforms in to activist mode in educating & awaking people on the meaning of democracy, citizen duty to society, nation & Constitution. Love to debate in any issue with open mind.

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Posted by The Indian Economist | For the Curious Mind