Daily Editorials Analysis for 25th January 2020

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Exploring solution of Kashmir Dispute through Trade Routes

Paper: II

For Prelims: Indus Water Treaty.

For Mains: Bilateral, Regional and Global Groupings and Agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests.

Context of News:

  • The Kashmir problem has existed for over 70 years, since the British colonial rulers left and the subcontinent was partitioned between Pakistan and India, yet the issue continues to be unresolved.
  • Looking at the current relation between both countries ,trade aspects looks a way out for both countries provided Pakistan stop its proxy war policy.

Indus Water Treaty:

  • The Indus Water Treaty (IWT) is a water-distribution treaty between India and Pakistan signed on September 19, 1960. The treaty was signed by the then Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru and Pakistan’s President Ayub Khan. It was brokered by the World Bank (International Bank for Reconstruction and Development).
  • According to treaty, all the water of eastern rivers shall be available for unrestricted use in India.
  • India should let unrestricted flow of water from western rivers to Pakistan.
  • Eastern Rivers:
  1. Sutlej
  2. Beas
  3. Ravi
  • Western Rivers:
  1. Jhelum
  2. Chenab
  3. Indus

Possible solution for Peace and Tranquility in Kashmir:

  • We need to get the engagement model right. There needs to be time-bound engagement on both sides with multiple stakeholders, including the civilian government, army, intelligence, separatist leaders and civil society. This needs to include the resettlement of Kashmiri Pandits in the valley and a cessation of Islamic fundamentalist activities and disarmament.
  • Powers and constraints placed on the armed forces need review and modification. India needs to address the humanitarian concern around Kashmir by repealing the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act in its current form, replacing it with a version that recognizes and protects human rights.
  • The consequences of stone-pelting should be made clear to the civilian population in advance so that if they indulge in this, it would be at their own risk and responsibility. It is also good to involve parents to control their underage children from inadvertently becoming casualties. This should be part of the civilian outreach and is absolutely essential to the long-term success of any peace agreement.
  • Build focused law and order arrangements. Personal and religious freedom must be protected in both parts of Kashmir. India and Pakistan need to create a joint mechanism that agrees a common minimum plan for the entire Kashmir.
  • Demilitarization is needed on both sides of Kashmir based on a phased approach once peace is firmly established, leaving sufficient armed forces to maintain law and order (including riot control) and counterterrorism on both sides.
  • Make investments and expect returns. India and Pakistan need to come out with a plan to invest in Kashmir’s industry, agriculture, services and tourism. There needs to be a budget and a new joint development body to execute these plans through both direct infrastructure investments, building institutions (such as popularizing high-yield agriculture) and lending via existing banks.
  • Focus on building other bridges. Within Kashmir, engaging with the civilian population to get their buy-in for the peace agreement and to help them alleviate grievances is absolutely essential. A sustained campaign is needed, not a one-off effort, and to work it needs to be well thought through (involving social psychologists) and well managed.

Way Forward:

  • Frameworks prepared in various joint statement has not been applied in letter and spirit. But there may be lessons to draw on from resolutions of similar conflicts, even if the Kashmir solution has to have its own particular parameters. The challenge for the region is to maximise current opportunities. In this, the international community and the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) have a role in encouraging the peace process.
  • Pakistan’s approach of funding cross-border fighters is ultimately a piecemeal and failing strategy that achieves nothing long-term other than trouble for the local Kashmiri population. It remains to be seen whether both countries have the political will, wisdom and compassion needed for an actual solution.

The long and the short of Uttar Pradesh

GS Paper II

Topic: Important aspects of governance, transparency and accountability, e-governance

Mains: Arguments for breaking U.P because of its large size

What’s the News?

The current demand for the break-up of large states like Uttar Pradesh needs to be examined seriously and dispassionately in its historical and contemporary context.

Historical background:

  • After Independence, the demand for the reorganisation of states along linguistic lines overshadowed such issues as size and economic capability.
  • The Congress party had supported the idea of linguistic reorganisation since the 1920s. However, following Partition, Jawaharlal Nehru felt that the idea could wait since he feared it would foster local nationalisms, breed parochialism and undermine national unity.
  • It was thought that the interchange of capital and labour between the richer and poorer sub-regions in large states would create greater equality over time.
  • Thus, Nehru mooted the idea of merging Bihar and Bengal and keeping Maharashtra and Gujarat together. Even as these large blocs could not be formed, big states like UP, Madhya Pradesh and AP was created on the basis of language.
  • B R Ambedkar, on the other hand, held that the doctrine of “one language, many states” would enshrine the principles of language and size: there could be four states carved out of Maharashtra, for example, all of which would speak Marathi but be of a viable size.

Change in the Situation:

  • Today, the situation has undergone a substantial change. There are increasing demands for carving out smaller states out of the large, single-language states created after Independence.
  • States have emerged as important players determining national political patterns.
    • In the era of coalition governments, regional or state parties have become partners in central governance.
    • The establishment of a market economy, too, has opened the floodgates to private capital that has led to increasing regional inequalities and, thus, contributed to the rising demands for smaller states.
    • Economic backwardness of sub-regions within large states.

These developments have been responsible for a shift away from issues of language and culture – which had shaped the earlier process of reorganisation – to those of better governance and greater participation, administrative convenience, economic viability and similarity in the developmental needs of sub-regions.

Arguments for breaking U.P: Due to its large size

  • Communal mobilisation:P with 80 Lok Sabha seats, Uttar Pradesh has always been a key state for parties aspiring to form the central government. Parties in India have been disturbing social harmony by mobilising along the lines of social cleavages, exacerbating existing divisions, causing distrust, conflict and violence.

During the late 1980s, communal mobilisation centring on the Ayodhya dispute, which created a single, massive Hindu vote bank across UP, underlay the meteoric rise of the BJP from just eight seats and 7.58% votes in 1989 in the Lok Sabha to 51 seats and 32.82% votes in 1991.

  • Internal neglect: Over the last 30 years or more, Purvanchal (east U.P.), Bundelkhand, Awadh (central U.P.) and Paschim Pradesh (west U.P.), have been fighting for resources and separation from U.P.’s power centres.
  • Low quality of life: Due to lawlessness, dacoity, communalism, caste killings, gender-based brutality, feudal-agrarian exploitation, unemployment and underemployment, a good part of its poor leads a sub-human life as migrant labour in urban India and outside.
  • Crime rate:P. topped the “Crime in India Report” with 10% of India’s total crime and three lakh registered First Information Reports (FIRs).
  • Regional inequality: Unevenness modernisation exacerbates Hindu-Muslim and caste conflict in an already uneven society.
  • Political power is seized by caste and religious embers: U.P. is the mothership for the conservative and hard-line versions of both Hinduism and Islam in India. Religion regulates life as the State is corrupt, callous and cruel, organised.
  • P. scored the worst among all the States of India in the UN Human Development Index Report 2017, Household Social Consumption, and School Education Quality Index.

Advantages of creating smaller states:

  • Quicker to respond: Key decisions related to local issues will be taken closer home. Ex: Neither Delhi nor Hyderabad nor Mumbai could think of solutions for food shortage & farmer suicides in Chattisgarh, AP, Vidarbha, etc. The closer-to-home the government stays, the easier will be managing regional issues.
  • Governmental and bureaucratic affairs can be managed well with focused attention when the population and the administrative area are of manageable proportions.
  • Improved attention especially towards neglected areas, better focus on developing backward regions, a new legislative assembly and monetary support from the union prove to be advantageous to new/smaller states.
  • Better representation for minorities – in terms of caste, religion, tribe, etc.
  • Better administration and access to better development for hitherto ignored areas and people there.

Disadvantages of creating smaller states:

  • A small state is likely to face limitations in terms of the natural (physical) and human resources available to it.
  • The creation of small States would lead to an appreciable increase in the inter-State water, power and boundary disputes.
  • The attainment of Statehood could also lead to emergence of intra-regional rivalries among the sub-regions as has happened in Himachal Pradesh, religious communities as in Punjab and castes/tribes as in Haryana and Manipur.
  • There can be the risk of centralisation of powers and the administration of such States would tend to be highly personalised and politicised.
  • It will lack the kind of agro-climatic diversity required for economic and developmental activities. It would also be restricted in its capability to raise resources internally.
  • The small States could also lead to the hegemony of the dominant community/caste/tribe over their power structures.
  • Small states may not be very prompt in responding was amply clear in the recent unfortunate floods of Uttaranchal. However, some of the worst terrorist attacks have taken place in ‘large’ Naxalism – affected ‘small’, ‘large’, ‘old’, ‘new’ states equally. Hence, this argument is perhaps is not convincing.

Creation of smaller states only transfers power from the old state capital to new state capital without empowering already existing institutions like Gram Panchayat, District Collector, etc. development cannot be diffused to the backward areas of the states.


  • Evidence shows that both large and small states have fared well and that poor performance is not necessarily linked to size.
  • In fact, today, technology can help make governing larger territories easier and bring even far-flung areas closer.
  • Much more than the size of a state, it is the quality of governance and administration, the diverse talent available within the state’s population, and the leadership’s drive and vision that determine whether a particular state performs better than the others.
  • Smart transport system, ICT must be heavily relied upon for better public service delivery, where people have a direct say in their development. This will address the problems of displacement and discontent among people and lead to balanced regional development.
  • The mere formation of a smaller State is no guarantee for better lives for those social groups for whom these States have been created. If the administration in a large state suffers from inefficiencies, it is no guarantee that it will become competent by merely creating a smaller state.

Hence a rational assessment of the factors behind the demand, the success of earlier such division must become the basis of scientifically arriving at a formula (based on Population size, geographical homogeneity, strategic nature of the location etc), which will decide the future demands for smaller states.

Mains question:

‘’The current demand for the break-up of large states like Uttar Pradesh needs to be examined seriously and dispassionately in its historical and contemporary context.’’ In the light of this statement analyse the demand for creation of smaller states.

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