24 January, 2021

A Haphazard Barter

The proposed Vananchal departs from the Jharkand movement's historical nature. With a Sanskritised name, it has been divorced from the JMM. And by limiting it to Bihar, its reach has been truncated.

A Haphazard Barter

IN the National Agenda for Governance, the BJP has announced that it will proceed with the formation of three new states—Uttaranchal, Vananchal and Chattisgarh. The decision has already aroused a storm of protest. Non-BJP parties, particularly the JMM, in the Bihar assembly rejected the idea of an independent Vananchal, which is slated to be carved out of the state. On the other hand, the Congress and JD members in the Orissa assembly protested vociferously against what they perceived as the division of their state. This makes sense when we remember that the original demand for a state of Jharkand by the JMM includes three districts of Orissa—Mayurbhanj, Sundergarh and Keonjhar. Leader of the Opposition Ramkrushna Patnaik assured members that Vananchal would be confined only to Bihar.

Therein lies the problem. The Jharkand movement has a long, protracted history. Essentially it has sought to bring together the tribal areas in Bihar, Orissa, Madhya Pradesh and West Bengal to forge a state that can develop the culture, language and...



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