Q : Sikhs are demanding a separate state because they have some grievances. What wrong is therein granting their demand?
A : Who does not have grievances? But are we to give a separate state every time some one has grievance? If you yield in one place you have to yield all round. Will the Government meet the 'grievances' of Dravida Kazhagam also by yielding to its demand for secession? We must put our foot down against all fissiparous tendencies whenever or wherever they may crop up. There is no other way to a strong, united and happy Bharat.
Q : You have suggested that the Hyderabad State should be divided and distributed among the three neighboring states on the linguistic basis. Previously you had advocated a Unitary State. What has brought about this change in your attitude?
A : There is no question of a change. I still hold that there should be one state for the whole of the country. But in the meanwhile, if there is to be a federal structure and if the Government and people want that there should be a particular basis for this reorganization of States, then logic demands that the same principle should be applied to all parts of the country.
(With Pressmen at Bangalore, February 1973)
Q : What is your reaction to the present Andhra turmoil for the separation of Andhra and Telengana?
A : About twenty years back it was thought that language was a great cementing force, but now that theory is imploded. People with the same language want to go apart. That trend has been there among the Marathi speaking people already. The present upsurge in Andhra is also of the same nature. The belief that a linguistic entity would be a homogeneous one is now belied.
Q : What do you suggest as the way out?
A : Declare a unitary type of government by suitably amending the Constitution. The country may be arranged into various zones from the point of view of administrative convenience. The zones may be a few or many, that does not matter.
Q : But as things stand, the unitary type appears to be a far cry. What is the next best?
A : If the present federal structure has to continue, then it is essential that a definite policy based on certain well defined principles must be initiated and that must be stuck to.
If there are smaller units, with language as only one of the basic factors and not as the sole deciding criterion, then that should be welcome. States with more than one language in each, or more than one state with the same language, may be formed keeping in view the overall national interests. Smaller units need not always be harmful.
Q : Is not your suggestion for the division of Andhra into two or three states in contradiction with your earlier remark that there should be a unitary government for the whole country?
A : I have given the precondition that if you insist upon having a federal structure, then only smaller states are preferable.
Q : But will there not be more expenditure because of more legislatures, more Governors etc.?
A : Some expenditure is bound to increase. If we opt for the federal structure we have to submit to that particular difficulty; otherwise, as I have said, if they have sufficient courage, let them amend the Constitution and say that this federal system goes lock, stock and barrel and one Unitary Government for the whole country remains.
Q : When you say India should be one Unitary State, can you think of any situation in the past when India had been ruled by one Government? Will these things happen?
A : Well, that which has not happened in the past should not be ruled out as unlikely to happen in the future.