A lot of people are expressing reservation about the formation of a new state of Telangana in southern India. A negative feeling about 'dividing the motherland' doing the rounds. It is quite difficult to understand the reason behind this pressimism.
India's first premier Jawaharlal Nehru had also once felt that conceding the demand for a Andhra state had "disturbed the hornet's nest" and the consequences would be disastrous. Sixty years since the concession was made, India hasn't fallen apart but rather its democracy has deepened all these years and this deepening is likely to witness formation of more states in the future perhaps with the lone exception of the northeast and areas near to it owing to historical reasons.
Dividing states does not mean that the solidarity will be hampered. We can not expect apparently homogenous political units as symbols of national unity for India is too heterogenous and divided to be brought under a single identity.
The Mughals and the British had served as two major unifying factors to this country and after independence, the Congress had served as the best-possible successor to the British. But as the Congress system began to decline owing to over-centralist tendencies, the regional aspirations began to assert themselves.
Andhra Pradesh, like many other states in India, was also gradually alienated from New Delhi and regional parties like the TDP emerged. Till later, the departure of YSR Reddy from the scene created a trust deficit between New Delhi and the local political bases, leading to a fresh backlash in the form of the YSR Congress.
The formation of Telangana marked a sharp contradiction of the Congress's policy of the early 1980s when things were imposed from New Delhi. The softer and accommodative approach of New Delhi this time might have been propelled by electoral compulsions, yet its implementation has shown that no matter what leaders think and how they plan to rule, the objective reality of the nation always forces themselves to adjust or leave themselves at a greater peril.