VIDARBBHA – THE SEPARATE  STATE

By Vaibhavi Dhotre

India is a democratic nation, where government is for the people, by the people and of the people.

Unlike China people in India have fundamental right to participate in administrative practices of government. People can frame their opinion for and against as it may please them, for any political, social, cultural issue.

Besides, India for better administration has adopted a federal form of government. Wherein each state is affiliated with a state government. To talk about state a famous controversy comes in play, where the UPA government set forth a demand for a separate state of Telangana by “one language – one state” formula. This being granted, the demand for a separate Vidarbha state has started gaining heat. Marathi speaking eight districts of former Central province ( Now Madhya Pradesh) known as Vidarbha became part of Maharashtra  state  under “one language-one state” formula in new linguistic reorganization of states in November 1956. Now Vidarbha region has 11 districts namely, Amravati, Akola, Bhandara, Buldana, Chandrapur, Gadchiroli, Gondia, Nagpur, Wardha, Washim and Yavatmal.

From the British era Vidarbha was a great provider of cotton, in order to transfer it to Kolkata the Britishers constructed a railway from Bengal to Nagpur. The first Empress mill was established in Nagpur by Tata company. Six huge cloth manufacturing units and more than 100 ginning pressing units were established there.

The Nagpur region is famous for growing oranges and cotton. Vidarbha holds two-thirds of Maharashtra’s mineral resources and three-quarters of its forest resources, and is a net producer of power.

Vidarbha is also flourished with natural resources and tourists attractions. Besides it produces electricity with many thermal power plants. The degradation of Vidarbha began after it was clubbed into Maharshtra. Since then it has suffered economically with increase in suicides by farmers and unemployment.

Unemployment, farmer’s suicide and increase in Naxalites issues are the major issues Vidarbha is trying to face. It suffers economic backlog of Rs 2, 00,000 crores.

Vidarbha has been neglected hitherto. Before clubbing Vidarbha into Maharashtra, a Nagpur pact was signed in 1935 assuring equitable development of all the regions of the proposed Marathi state. Its most prominent clause was “one session of Maharashtra state assembly in Nagpur city every year, with minimum 6 week duration to discuss issues exclusively related to Vidarbha.” However Nagpur pact was a failure. The staunch Vidarbha leaders like M S Aney and Brijlal Biyani though tried hard to form a separate state their efforts ended in smoke. To curb the imbalances Maharashtra g

Government appointed a committee a fact finding team of planning commission, which in its concluding report admitted neglect to Vidarbha and lack of commitment in implementing any schemes under irrigation in Vidarbha.

A separate state can only assure development of this region. A separate Vidarbha state will be surplus in electricity.Besides making Nagpur a capital the seat of decision making will be easily accessible for common people. It will also assure responsible work by ministers. It will also benefit Maharashtra as entire revenue of Mumbai will be concentrated in Maharashtra, current expenditure on Naxal affected Chandrapur and Gadchiroli will be net saving in expenditure to Maharashtra.

Besides long distance administrative supervision will not be required.  More importantly the vox populi demands justice to Vidarbha. To make justice and for the benefit of Maharashtra separation of Vidarbha wont amount to division of regions but more of decentralization about giving people of this neglected region power to govern themselves. For this is the essence of democracy.

In order to secure a respectable position in Vidarbha and to gain more votes the Modi Sarkar will soon have to undertake proceedings in this direction.

For creation of separate Vidarbha is not the matter of one day.  To overcome the delay faced by people of Vidarbha fair justice should be done by taking quick decisions.

(Vaibhavi Dhotre is a student at ILS Law College, Pune.)