MORE IS BETTER

India's make-up will soon start looking different. Backward Bihar will no longer be its second most populous state. That status will go to Maharashtra, India's most industrialised province. Uttar Pradesh, the largest state, will become further 'Mandalised' with the separation of Uttaranchal, which is 97 percent 'upper caste' in composition. And with Chhattisgarh's severance, sprawling Madhya Pradesh will cease being the country's single largest repository of tropical forests and minerals.

These are major changes, with more yet to come. Many new regions are already demanding statehood: from Kutch and Saurashtra in the west, to Bodoland and North Bengal in the east, from Bundelkhand and Harit Pradesh (western UP) in the north, through Malwa and Vidarbha in the centre, to Telengana and Coorg (Kodagu) in the south.

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