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Posts tagged ‘Uttar Pradesh’

Balkanization of India – Dividing Indian Provinces

When we talk about UP – Uttar Pradesh many things come in our minds, Politan took a look into the ongoing political turmoil. This state has always remained a backbone of Indian politics and its politicians but what it faces today and always from decades was only the exploitation of its resources and its talent. Once called most shining state of Indian Union is now dragging its feet in the murky waters of corrupt politics formed by the hives of greedy and third grade politicians like mafia lords, castists, illiterate leaders who not even have a moral and ethics to speak properly for their one selves.

This state has given great leaders to the Indian society and the most number of prime ministers but it never receives its share for development. Decades of exploitation and negligence has taken toll on the prosperity of its people and their generation’s prolonged poverty and unemployment left its people no choice but to migrate to other states or just search for other options for their survival on meager incomes?

The state since British times have remained united has been facing the division on the grounds of development, community or tribes just on to satisfy either their political or communal aspirations. As far as economics is concerned of smaller provinces no doubt these stands have better chances of focused development and better approachable administration. Due to the vast expanse of state of Uttar Pradesh has resulted in acute poverty, slow development, divided politics, labor migration, and fewer opportunities for educated youth. Because of the much larger divide in the regions of Uttar Pradesh which comprises of Braj, Rohilkhand, Purvanchal, Avad, Bundelkhand has dis-similarities in terms of social and economical importance in the terms of widely changing political scenario.

With nearly 200 million inhabitants, Uttar Pradesh is not only the most populous state in India but also the most populous sub-national entity in the world. Only five countries which are: the People’s Republic of China, India itself, the USA, Indonesia and Brazil have higher populations. It is also one of the most economically and socially backward states in India.

On virtually every index of social development, whether literacy, infant mortality or unemployment, Uttar Pradesh ranks among the lowest in India; the situation is compounded by the fact that figures for females is invariably much lower than for males on every parameter. In sheer magnitude Uttar Pradesh is half the size of France, thrice that of Portugal and four times of Ireland. Seven Switzerland and ten Belgium’s could easily fit in this mammoth state. A little bigger than England, Uttar Pradesh has one out of every 36 persons in the World living here. The travel time from Ghazipur to Ghaziabad or from Churk to Chamoli within U.P. will easily exceed a cruise across the oceans. Uttar Pradesh represents the heart of India.

The state which used to be the one of the most industrialized and resource rich state has fallen short in the race of economic development in competition with other states like Maharashtra, Karnataka, Kerela, Tamila Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, and even states as small as Punjab, Goa, Haryana and Delhi which are shining tall as the glittering corners of the Indian growth story. However many good policy implementation have taken place in the past but none of those schemes or any revolution marked its impact of the entire state population just like the partial effects of Green Revolution which only benefitted the farmers and agri-business of western UP region whereas the other region especially Eastern UP and Bundelkhand lacked behind and get hardly benefitted from this super successful revolution in the field of agriculture which gave the new dimensions of prosperity and economics to the people of Punjab, Haryana and Western UP.

Though larger states have much larger sources of revenue and are more economically in dependent but in case of Uttar Pradesh the whole scenario is completely different and got affected not because of slow economic progress but due to the corrupt politics and destructive wrong policy making by the state politicians.

By declaring the state division Mayawati clearly stated that she has full political intentions for the upcoming state assembly elections which due in next year 2012 so in order to span her wings as a national party and meet the growing economical demands of people in the affected regions of the state she passed a resolution to divide into four separate states without even considering the opinions of the opposition and conducting the fair voting procedure in the state assembly instead of all this she cleverly passed the bill by the voice vote which means that the vote is awarded to the side which gets the loudest chorus of support. She has unveiled her hidden face of being a true follower of Jinnah who divided India and now the results are in front of everybody.

Votes were not cast electronically or by paper. Hence opposition’s unpreparedness to the presented draft and the voice raised by the angry opposition parties against the draft and the Mayawati’s check mate which stumble the entire political vision for the upcoming elections of all the political parties got the clean sweep passing for her triumph card played by this behemoth rising leader.

Whether or not whatever the central government decides on this sudden shift in the state politics and the related separation issue but this intentional move has now send the shock waves to all those states and their ministries which too are facing the same rising demand of the separation like the most violent and recent ongoing one of Telangana where it will be difficult for the federal government to concede to the demand as it is already facing protests over the demands for the formation of a new state of Telangana in Andhra Pradesh.

Nevertheless if the draft related to Division of State of Uttar Pradesh would get a green light by then the benefits which the people who are lacking behind in the India’s growth story will have a chance to stand and have a say of their own in the national arena. There will be increase in the job opportunities at all levels, economic development in all those regions where till now except the word of development nothing has come to their reality, poverty in these regions can be eradicated and administration can focused more deeply on the root causes of the under development and can work closely with all the communities while becoming more accessible to the local public and making them represented by the native communities / tribes.

Nevertheless recent and earlier examples of state partitions like of Bihar (Bihar – Jharkhand – Orissa), Madhya Pradesh (MP – Chhattisgarh), Assam division into various North Eastern States. Only two separation cases stand apart the one of Punjab and Haryana, Gujarat from Maharashtra & one of the Uttarakhand.  Others say new states remain works in progress – among them Uttarkhand and Chattisgarh, despite the latter’s current woes and a strong Maoist presence. It has taken some four decades for Haryana and Himachal Pradesh to turn into successful states.

Clearly, there are other identities in India which are not founded in language – caste or more importantly, a shared cultural identity, are some of them. Some states in the north-east were carved out to assuage tribal anxieties at being swamped by more resourceful and advantaged outsiders.

You have to visit the Telangana region to see how different it is from the rest of the state although people share the same language. Also, many say if you have nine “Hindi-speaking” states, why can’t you have two “Telugu speaking ones”?

Others say new states don’t serve any purpose. They end up benefiting entrenched local elites and the middle class, and leave the poor in the lurch. They point to Jharkhand which was carved out of southern Bihar in 2000 – nine years on, many of its people have turned to Maoists, and its politicians are embroiled in some of India’s worst corruption.

A number of north-eastern states carved out of Assam are accused of becoming fiefs of local elites or kleptocracies. The issues of lack of development and growing corruption are untouched. Creating financially unstable states, critics say, can lead to even more problems.

Shorter divisions are more prosperous and are more sustainable in the long term with focused governance and direct policy implementation. However the growing divide in the Indian Union where the two worlds of Bharat and India exists side by side pose challenges and obstacles to the rising Indian domain and the future politicians. Will all this lead to the Balkanization of India, as some fear?

Shortage of girls – wife sharing

The day that I have been expecting has arrived. After writing about female infanticide and its negative effects such declining in the female population, I read in the news today that young brides has to share bed with her husband’s other brothers who has failed to find wife’s.

If the girl resists, she faces physical violence and some has been burned. These cases are rarely reported to the Police officials as women aren’t allowed to go outside.

Decades of aborting female babies have led to a shortage of women and the worst place to suffer is Baghpat in Uttar Pradesh in Northern India. Other problems are the rising incidents of rape and human trafficking. In rural Bhagpat, women have to veil themselves in the presence of men, forced to stay in the house and be a house wife and child bearer. This view of the female gender has lead to discrimination and made the women worthless.

According to India’s 2011 census, there are only 858 women to every 1,000 men in Baghpat district, compared to the national sex ratio of 940. A May study in the British Medical Journal Lancet wrote that 12 million Indian girls were aborted over the last 3 decades.

Child sex ratios in Baghpat are even more skewed and on the decline with 837 girls in 2011 compared to 850 in 2001 – a trend mirrored across districts in northern Indian states such as Haryana, Punjab and Rajasthan and Gujarat in the west.

‘In every village, there are at least five or six bachelors who can’t find a wife. In some, there are up to three or four unmarried men in one family. Haryana has suffered tremendously and many men struggles to find a bride.

Some families buy brides from other states and others who cannot afford it shares the one daughter in law they have. In traditional dominated regions, sons are seen as asset and breadwinners who will take care of the family and continue the name. Daughters on another hand are regarded as burden because of the dowry tradition and the fact that once they get married, they leave the home.

Personally, in my opinion this act is as wrong as it can get. A marriage is between the husband and wife. When the wife has to share the bed with her brother in laws, that shows that this tradition of female abortion has done its damage. The girls are forced to sleep with her husband’s brothers and this is considered as rape. A corrupt act like this is not allowed by the government but everybody keeps this as a secret in rural areas and since the girls isn’t allowed to go outside, they don’t have the chance to report this.

The only solution is to break these deep rooted ancient traditions and the only way this can happen is to educate the girls, provide them healthcare and other opportunities so that they know their rights and can be independent. Another thing that I have been thinking about lately is that usually when an item is rare, its value increases. No wife means no child.

https://hatefsvoice.wordpress.com/2011/08/14/harmful-practices-to-the-female-body-part-4-female-infanticide/

https://hatefsvoice.wordpress.com/2011/07/15/haryana-india-the-womens-curse/

 

Benaras (Varanasi) – The Oldest City in the World

Varanasi (Kashi) or simply Benaras has been the ultimate pilgrimage spot for Hindus & Buddhism for ages. Varanasi is the oldest living city in the world. These few lines by Mark Twain say it all:

“Benaras is older than history, older than tradition, older even than legend and looks twice as old as all of them put together”.

A vibrant city full of life with incredible colors & traditions beaded like multi-cultured pearls. Though badly maintained & filthy as it looks like but shows a true path of moksha. Hindus believe that one who is graced to die on the land of Varanasi would attain salvation and freedom from the cycle of birth and re-birth. Abode of Lord Shiva and Parvati, the origins of Varanasi are yet unknown.The city is also famous for the its Aghori Sadhus known for their cannibalism habits. Ganges in Varanasi is believed to have the power to wash away the sins of mortals. Varanasi is the cultural capital of India and the melting pot of Indian civilization. Varanasi or Benaras has a well-developed transport network and is well connected to all the major Indian cities and states by air, road and rail. Ganges is said to have its origins in the tresses of Lord Shiva and in Varanasi, it expands to the mighty river that we know of. The city is a center of learning and civilization for over 3000 years.

With Sarnath embedded in its roots, the place where Buddha preached his first sermon after enlightenment, where Ashoka – Great King of Mauryan Empire of India had made his capital known as Lion Capital where the first national emblem pillar was put in place by him. Varanasi has been a symbol of Hindu renaissance. Knowledge, philosophy, culture, devotion to Gods, Indian arts and crafts have all flourished here for centuries. Also a pilgrimage place for Jains, Varanasi is believed to be the birthplace of Parsvanath, the twenty-third Tirthankar. Vaishnavism and Shaivism have co-existed in Varanasi harmoniously. With a number of temples, Mrs. Annie Besant chose Varanasi as the home for her ‘Theosophical Society’ and Pandit Madan Mohan Malviya, to institute ‘Benares Hindu University, the biggest Hindu University in the world. Ayurveda is said to be originated at Varanasi. Maharshi Patanjali, the preceptor of Ayurveda and Yoga, was also affiliated with this city. Varanasi is also famous for its trade and commerce, especially for the finest silks and gold and silver brocades, since the early days.

In 1781 Benaras had also witnessed a major rebellion known as Benaras Rebellion of 1781 – 1782 when In 1781, in response to the need for revenue to fight the war in Madras against Hyder Ali, Warren Hastings, the Governor-General of India, had pressed Chait Singh (d.1810), ruler of Benaras, to make additional revenue payments in 1778 and 1779 of five lakhs as a sort of war tax.

Art & Culture History: Varanasi has also been a great center of learning for ages. Varanasi is associated with promotion of spiritualism, mysticism, Sanskrit, yoga and Hindi language and honored authors such as the famous novelist Prem Chand and Tulsi Das. Being the cultural capital of India, Varanasi has provided the right platform for all cultural activities to flourish. Many exponents of dance and music have come from Varanasi. Ravi Shankar, renowned Sitar maestro and Ustad Bismillah Khan, (the famous Shehnai player) forms the soul of city’s culture. The art and culture of Varanasi is unique. It is the rich cultural tradition of Varanasi that makes it the cultural capital of India. A combination of archaeology, mythology, geography, art and history makes Varanasi a great center of Indian culture. Though Varanasi is associated mainly with Hinduism and Buddhism but one can find glimpse of many religious beliefs, types of worship and religious institutions at Varanasi. For centuries, Varanasi has produced master craftsmen and earned name and fame for its beautiful Sarees, handicrafts, textiles, toys, ornaments, metal work, clay and woodwork and other crafts such as handmade carpets from a nearby town Bhadoi. At Varanasi one gets to explore the city of affluence, intellectuals, oral traditions, castes and customs, personalities, professions and communal harmony. All these combine together to give a distinct look to the city of moksha, Varanasi.

City Facts: Languages Spoken: Hindi, Sanskrit,Urdu, Bhojpuri and English, STD Code: 0542, Population: About 1.4 million. During summers, weather can be as hot as 45° C and humid too as Varanasi lies at the Tropic of cancer. Torrential rains and high humidity accompanies the monsoons that usually come in late June or early July for about two months. In winters it is pleasant and temperature dips down to about 7°C.  October to April is the best time to visit Benaras.

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