India may have at least 50 states in future if demands for new states are to be conceded as the home ministry has received representations for creation of more than 20 states.
The demands for separate states have come from across the country -- for Kukiland in Manipur to Kongu Nadu in Tamil Nadu, for Kamatapur in North Bengal to Tulu Nadu in Karnataka. However, except Uttar Pradesh, which during the Mayawati-led Bahujan Samaj Party government proposed to create four states dividing the country's most populous state, no state government had given any recommendation for carving out a new state.
But the demands continue to pour in.
"The demands for creation of separate states were received by the home ministry through representations from various organisations or individuals over the years," an official said. The demands for separate states are: In Uttar Pradesh, there have been demands for Awadh Pradesh, Poorvanchal, Bundelkhand and Pachimanchal or Harit Pradesh. There is also demand for creation of a Braj Pradesh, consisting of Agra division and Aligarh division of Uttar Pradesh and districts of Bharatpur and Gwalior from Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh.
A demand for creation of Bhojpur comprising areas of eastern UP, Bihar and Chhattisgarh has also been received by the home ministry. There has been an old demand for creation of a separate Vidarbha by curving out the Vidarbha region of Maharashtra. The most vocal demands for separate states came from Gorkhaland, by curving out Darjeeling and its adjoining areas in West Bengal.
Demands for Bodoland, comprising Bodo dominated areas in Western Assam, and a separate state of Karbi Anglong, comprising the Karbi tribals living areas under Karbi Anglong autonomous district in Assam, have also been pending with the Centre. There is a demand for Mithilanchal comprising Maithili speaking regions of Bihar and Jharkhand.
The Centre has received demand for creation of Saurashtra by curving that region out of Gujarat. The Dimasa people of Northeast have been demanding a separate state called Dimaraji or Dimaland comprising the Dimasa inhabited areas of Assam and Nagaland. There is a demand for creation of Kongu Nadu comprising parts of southwest of Tamil Nadu, southeast of Karnataka and east of Kerala.
Demand for creating a Coorg state, comprising the Coorg region of Karnataka has also come to the Centre. Representation has also received for creation of separate Kosal state comprising some districts of Odisha, parts of Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh.
There is a demand for Tulu Nadu comprising a region on the border between Karnataka and Kerala. The demand for separate Kukiland, comprising Kuki tribal inhabited areas in Manipur has also been raised.
A demand for creation of Konkan, comprising Konkani speaking part of Western India along the Arabian Sea coastline has also been raised. There has been a demand for creation of Kamtapur comprising some districts West Bengal, including Cooch Behar and Jalpaiguri.
Some people from Garo regions of Meghalaya are demanding for a new state of Garoland. Besides, there is a demand for a separate Eastern Nagaland by curving out some parts of the Northeastern state. The demand for creation of a Union Territory for Ladakh has also been pending with the home ministry.
So far, India has 28 states and seven Union Territories. Telangana will be the 29th state of the country.
Image: School children stand around a drawing of a map of India
Photograph: Amit Dave/Reuters