The creation of as many as three new states Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and Uttaranchal around the same time was a big surprise of the year 2000. What was the rationale? What was the justification for their creation as independent states? Even if the idea was to create smaller states by carving out certain neglected regions of some of the unmanageable bigger states, there were many claimants, other than these three. By ignoring the longstanding demand for a separate Vidarbha, for instance, why was Chhattisgarh bestowed with statehood for which there was hardly any demand per se? The half-century old history of independent India is replete with such demands. Later, when federal arrangements grew from two-tier to multi-tier phase, it was believed that decentralisation could be a better route to take power to the doorsteps of the people. Was then the whole exercise aimed at addressing certain maladies of representative democracy? Or was it considered the safest political move to accommodate political aspirations of the leading constituent of the then ruling NDA? Or was it perceived as a necessity to meet an ever growing demand for minerals in a highly globalised market? All these and related questions have been examined in a multi-disciplinary frame in this volume by scholars, administrators and activists alike, both Indian and French. Through this edited volume, the readers would also come face to face with the final outcome of the decision to create Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand, a decade after the addition of these two states to the Indian Union.
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