New India State Telangana May Fuel Other Statehood Movements ; the Central Government in India Announced Wednesday It Would Move to Create a New State, Telangana, within the State Andhra Pradesh. Telangana Is Likely to Serve as a Precedent for Other Statehood Movements

Article excerpt

Protesters set fire to vehicles and burned effigies of senior

politicians across the southern state of Andhra Pradesh Friday over

plans to create a new state, Telangana, within the state - a move

analysts warn will be seen as a precedent for other statehood

movements around the country.

The central government announced Wednesday that it would push to

carve Telangana, currently one of India's most impoverished

regions, out of Andhra Pradesh, one of India's biggest states and

home to the city of Hyderabad, where the Indian headquarters of firms

including Microsoft and Google are located.

The issue has long roused passions. Wednesday's announcement

followed a five-decade campaign for Telangana, which was last

violently active in 1969, when over 400 people were killed in riots.

Lately, the movement had died down, but in recent weeks, it gained

momentum with the well-publicized fast of an activist, K

Chandrasekhar Rao, and violent protests in Hyderabad - which

quickly turned to triumphant celebrations Wednesday.

Telangana may serve as a precedent to other statehood movements: The

most active of these include demands for a new Gorkhaland state in

northwest Bengal; Vidarbha in Maharashra; and Bodoland in Assam.

"Whatever the arguments for and against the legitimacy of the

Telangana cause, it's clear that by ceding to it, the Centre has

stirred up a hornet's nest," said the Financial Express newspaper

in an editorial Thursday.

State separatists have more than Telangana to encourage them,

however. Although linguistic differences were originally used to

carve out India's large states, other claims, such as economic

disparities, have prompted the creation of newer states in recent

years. …