sambalpur intellectuals divided on the issue
STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE

Sambalpur, 11 August
Even as several outfits have launched a full-fledged campaign seeking separate Koshal state following the Telangana development, the intellectuals and academics of Sambalpur remain divided on the touchy issue.
A seminar organised by Press Club of Sambalpur witnessed divergent views with some speakers favouring formation of smaller states, while many others opposing the idea. The seminar was titled ~ Small State and Path of Development.
Well-known economist Prof Dr Dillip Kumar Panda, who was formerly with Gangadhar Meher College, argued that there is no relationship between the size of a state and good governance.
“If it can provide good governance, a bigger state can fulfil the expectations of the people. On the other hand, several smaller states have miserably failed to deliver. The states of the north-eastern region and also those which were carved about a decade ago bear testimony to it,” he said.
“Small size of the state cannot guarantee solution to all problems,” he added.
Dr Panda said that corruption and casteism remain the prime hindrances on the path of development of a state. 
“A drastic reform in governance mechanism and change in the mind-set of those at the helm of affairs is the need of the hour as it can bring development to all,” he said. 
He pointed out that the primary duty of the government is to maintain law and order, and then to concentrate on development and nation building.
“In a democratic nation, the government needs to be more sensitive towards the problems of its citizens. When it fails to do so, the very purposes gets defeated irrespective of the size of the state,” he noted. Dr Panda maintained that it is not always prudent to blame the government for every ill plaguing the people. 
Another speaker Mr Bhagabata Prasad Nanda, however, sought to differ from the views expressed by Dr Panda, while pointing out that smaller states are rather better means for development of the people.
A staunch supporter of the separate statehood movement, Mr Nanda pointed out that several regions continue to languish in negligence and only formation of smaller states can ensure their development.  “Have not many localities developed after the bigger districts were divided and smaller districts were formed? The same logic is applied to the case of states,” he said.
Leaders of different political parties including the Congress, BJP and CPI
put forth their views on
the matter.
The president of the Press Club, Mr Prafulla Kumar Dash, chaired the occasion. It was attended by the club secretary Mr Rajaram Padhee and former president of Sambalpur bar association, Dr Pramod Rath and others.