The Telangana issue has been in the news for some time, and the recent byelections have just brought the focus back on the matter. While writings on Telangana are multiplying, there is considerable need for understanding the basic aspects of the problem. This needs information, as well as the point of view of the people of the region. In addition, there is also the need to fill the gap on economic, socio-cultural and historical aspects of Telangana. The two books reviewed here attempt to provide such a backdrop against which all the contemporary political commentaries could be understood to some extent.
The first book, written by Rao, is a collection of essays written over a long period of time on the question of regional disparities in India, their economic reasons and the rationale for smaller states in India in general and in case of Telangana in particular. Rao covers a vast canvas in the limited pages in an extremely impressive manner. The canvas includes Leh and Ladakh in Jammu and Kashmir to Uttarakhand to Bastar regions. The canvas is wide and rich, with description and economic analysis of how the extremely vast stretches of Indian states ignore geographic, topographic, natural resource-based particularities of sub-regions and how these could be remedied through creation of smaller states. There is a clear and lucid stream of reason flowing all through the book in support of these views. He, for example, says, “It is significant that most of the states with less developed regions, eg, UP, Bihar, MP, Rajasthan, HP and J&K, are either large in terms of area or very sparsely populated.
Full report here Financial Express