Telangana: New Proposed Indian State Would Be Size Of 33rd Biggest Country In World

Telangana is poised to become the 29th Indian state, one so large it would equivalent to the 33rd largest country in the world.

To create the state Indian lawmakers are planning to portion off the southern state of Andhra Pradesh, taking 10 of its 23 districts. For the next 10 years, Telangana would share a capital city of Hyderabad.

“Hyderabad will benefit by being capital of Telangana and getting rid of the mafia of coastal Andhra, which has illegally occupied land in Hyderabad and affected investment here,” said Biksham Gujja, a scientist and supporter of creating Telangana as a state. “This is good for Hyderabad and good for India,” Dr. Gujja adds, “as India is too large and needs smaller states for better governance.”

Not all in India are in favor of the creation of Telangana. Coastal regions of Andhra and Rayalaseema are opposed to splitting up the state and concerned about the future of Hyderabad, which has become an IT base with a number of foreign companies including Facebook and Google.

The future of Hyderabad will likely be contentious.

“Telangana — and the remainder of Andhra Pradesh — may also face the further challenge of sharing Hyderabad as a state capital,” wrote Dr. Louise Tillin, author of Remapping India: New States and Their Political Origins, in an article for the BBC. “Hyderabad, which will remain a centre of economic activity, is physically located within the Telangana state but may itself be separately administered as a Union Territory.”

In all there would be 40 million people living in the state, which has long been the subject of controversy. There have been calls to create a separate state for close to 60 years, after the proposed Telangana region merged with Andhra to create the current state of Andhra Pradesh.

There has also been unrest within Andhra Pradesh, with residents of the proposed Telangana state claiming they are treated unequally when it comes to distribution of water and state funding.

On Wednesday Indian officials announced the state’s creation, which was met with celebration throughout the region.

“It’s a moment of joy for us, an important milestone in the history of this region. But we’d like to wait and watch and see what shape it takes,” said Kodand Ram of the Telangana Joint Action Committee activist organization.