Jul 31, 2013

India's ruling coalition government agreed to create a 29th state – Telangana – after decades of protests on the matter.

While Telangana may take a few months to be officially created once approval makes it through the Indian parliament, no major political party is opposing it, highlighting the popularity of its demand.

The southern state of Andhra Pradesh will be divided in order to create the new state. Ten of Andhra Pradesh’s 23 districts will be devoted to Telangana (which means "land of the Telugu-speaking"), with Hyderabad, one of India's leading IT hubs and the current capital of Andhra Pradesh, slated to be a shared capital for the next 10 years. During those years Hyderabad stands to benefit, despite some initial hurdles, say proponents.

"Hyderabad will benefit by being capital of Telangana and getting rid of the mafia of coastal Andhra, which has illegally occupied land in Hyderabad and affected investment here," says Biksham Gujja, a scientist who has been an active pro-Telangana ideologue. "This is good for Hyderabad and good for India," Dr. Gujja adds, "as India is too large and needs smaller states for better governance."

With roughly 40 million people, Telangana "would be the world's 33rd largest country by population," he notes.