How many states are there in India?
This was a very standard question in the General Knowledge examinations at my school till the fifth class. And no matter which class it was asked in, the answer remained the same – 25. That is, until recently. I kinda lost track of the number of states after that. Not just me, if you ask the number of state question to anyone today, the answer is never a certainty. It starts with 25 and then one state is added at a time, after a considerable itching in the grey cells. The moment a guy says 26, another guy, like an eBay auction, immediately adds one more to make it 27. This carries on till about 30, at which point we either develop a consensus on the most favorite number or dump the question with a “Who cares anyway”.
But then you suddenly see the oh-so-patriotic ads on television about the 60 years of independence where celebrity after celebrity declare in their American accents their love and pride for their country. Some say they love the country, they are proud to be a part of its great culture and heritage. They are proud to represent the country on the world platform.
If I were asked about what the 60 years of independence meant to me, I am sure I can match the hyperboles of any of these celebrities but I would rather ask the citizens if they can at least name all the states of their country with their capitals. So if, like me, you have also been engrossed in your daily life so much that “the states” reminds you more of the U.S. of A., please go ahead and read the list of states, capitals and their chief ministers below. Can you do that rather than faking your love for the country by saying you would give your life for it when you know dialogues of the fanaticism genre only suit Sunny Deol and even he is not so convincing these days.
So, let’s get back to school! And by the way, there are 28 states in India and 7 Union Territories, two of which also have partial statehood powers (Delhi and Pondicherry). Pity on me that I had to go to Wikipedia.com to find that out – so I’m no saint either but hey, I’m trying! Will you?
|Andhra Pradesh||Hyderabad||Y. S. Rajasekhara Reddy|
|Arunachal Pradesh||Itanagar||Dorjee Khandu|
|Assam||Dispur||Tarun Kumar Gogoi|
|Haryana||Chandigarh||Bhupinder Singh Hooda|
|Himachal Pradesh||Simla||Virbhadra Singh|
|Jammu and Kashmir||Jammu/Srinagar||Ghulam Nabi Azad|
|Karnataka||Bangalore||H. D. Kumaraswamy|
|Madhya Pradesh||Bhopal||Shivraj Singh Chauhan|
|Manipur||Imphal||Okram Ibobi Singh|
|Punjab||Chandigarh||Parkash Singh Badal|
|Rajasthan||Jaipur||Vasundhara Raje Scindia|
|Sikkim||Gangtok||Pawan Kumar Chamling|
|Tamil Nadu||Chennai||M. Karunanidhi|
|Uttarakhand||Dehradun||B. C. Khanduri|
|West Bengal||Kolkata||Buddhadeb Bhattacharya|
†Delhi and Pondicherry have been included here since they do have partial state powers and have chief ministers of their own.