The demand to divide Uttar Pradesh into separate states has been raised off and on for the last two decades. But the bitter truth remains that such a demand has never received popular support. There has been no movement in any part of the state; only in Bundelkhand one has witnessed infrequent dharna’s, demonstrations and a few meetings on the issue.
To be honest, the division of Uttar Pradesh is not a peoples’ issue at all. Guided by the whim of politicians the issue of division of Uttar Pradesh is periodically raised merely to serve their selfish political goals.
The latest attempt in this regard has been made by the BSP supremo Mayawati .It is an open secret that during the last four and a half years her government has miserably failed on every front. This move is an attempt on her part to divert popular attention from her failures.
Looking back we see that attempts have been made to divide the people in the name of religion, then on caste and now a fresh effort to segregate them on geographical lines in order to help the capitalist forces remain in command.
The argument that smaller states accelerates the process of development appears strange. Development depends on the political will of the ruling class and the equitable distribution and utilization of resources across regions. Merely carving out smaller states is definitely not enough.
To create the very basic infrastructure in the newly created states and to run it efficiently requires huge and recurring investment in infrastructure. As corruption is most rampant in the creation of infrastructure, a sizable amount of this money would be siphoned off in that direction.
In any case such huge resources being diverted to set up the fresh infrastructure in these new states would impact the availability of resources for the overall development of the states.
If the newly created state is backward and not able to raise sufficient resources then the chances of it further falling back remains high. It remains dependent on the central government’s largess. If the central government and state government are not from the same party the political tussle between them would be at the cost of development of the newly created state.
It is also completely misleading to claim that industrialization would pick up pace with the creation of smaller states. Under the neo liberal polices governments are selling off the existing industries in the public sector. Under such conditions the government is no where near promoting the setting up of new industries in the government sector.
As regards the private sector, entrepreneurs invest as per their priorities and not as according to the requirements of the state. To attract investments governments forcibly acquire land from farmers and hand it over at throw away prices to industrialists to set up industries. After acquiring such land at dirt cheap prices at times industries never come up or even if they do, industries often closes down due to various reasons. The land is sold off as real estate at huge profits. In the deal the farmer is left high and dry.
The rampant crony capitalism witnessed in the recently created states of Uttrakhand, Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh needs no recounting. The unscrupulous nexus between politicians – capitalists and middlemen has led to the open loot of the state’s precious resources – both natural and man made.
Such capitalists find it easier to ‘manage’ the governments of these smaller states. Controlling the numerically small vidhan sabhas on the strength of their money power is relatively easier just as pushing through legislations which go in their favour.
In such a manner the mineral resources, land and forest resources of these smaller states have become vulnerable to the whims and fancies of such crony capitalism.
Correspondingly the strength of the people’s movement to raise their voice against such a collective sell off diminishes after divisions. For such crony capitalist forces convenient division of states serves the purpose of further decimating the voice of the struggling people fighting for justice and their rights over resources.
Uttar Pradesh now a state of close to 20 crore people , plays a politically significant role in the country’s polity. Every citizen of Uttar Pradesh is proud of this fact. Many symbols of Hindu-Muslim’s composite culture are visible all over the state.
A resident of West Uttar Pradesh considers it an honor to visit places of religious significance like Varanasi, Sarnath, Prayag, and Gorakhpur. Similarly, any one from East Uttar Pradesh always wishes to visit the Taj Mahal, Mathura and Jhansi.
The proposed Bundelkhand, Purvanchal and Awadh Pradesh are relatively backward compared to the prosperous Pashchim Pradesh. The revenue generated from the better off region helps the development of the remaining parts. This is the natural equity within the state. Disturbing this arrangement would make the new states completely vulnerable and dependent on the generosity of the central government.
Why should the people of Uttar Pradesh pay for the idiosyncrasy and political ambitions of a certain politician or political party? Why should the people suffer from the additional burden of a division? The people should pledge not to accept such a division at any cost.
- Dr Girish, Secretary. CPI Uttar Pradesh