I commented on an on going debate on Prateek’s blog. I thought it should serve a good purpose of further elevating the cause of the separate Vidarbha statehood movement.
Smaller territories are better managed. So I’d accept the argument of dividing the states into further smaller groups. But there has to be a logic. There are some politicos wanting to make a separate state just like that. Such power hungry opportunistic people should definitely be stopped.
Taking the cause of Vidarbha ahead, Nagpur, if you see, was never a part of Maharashtra. It belonged to a territory called Central Province during the time of British Raj. When Indian republican states were formed, Vidarbha initially belonged to Madhya Pradesh. However after the ‘Samyukta Maharashtra’ movement, it got embedded with Maharashtra.
Vidarbha also has a link to mythology. Rukmani, Lord Krishna’s first wife was said to be the princess of Vidarbha. In recent past (300 years), Nagpur region of Vidarbha came under the Bhonsales, who were an off shoot of Peshvas and Raja Shivaji. Hindi was the official language of the dynasty then.
We have a rich history and excellent geography being misused.
Vidarbha holds two-thirds of Maharashtra’s mineral resources, three quarters of its forest resources and is a net producer of power. Throughout its history Vidarbha has remained much calmer during the communal troubles than the rest of India. But it is plagued very much by poverty and malnutrition. It is less economically prosperous compared to the rest of Maharashtra, primarily because of the politicians from Mumbai and around. Though rich in minerals, coal, forests and mountains, we were always underdeveloped because of the continuous dominance of the political leaderships from the other parts of the state.
Tell you more, Nagpur has been voted as the second greenest and cleanest city in India, behind only to Bangalore. It has consistently featured in the 10 best cities to live in India.
The literacy rate in the major cities in Vidarbha (8 of them) is higher than the whole of Maharashtra put together. And we are still underdeveloped.
Need I say more?