News / Asia

    Protests, Power Cuts Shut Down Indian State

    Supporters of ‘United Andhra Pradesh’ shout slogans during a protest at Karnool district in Andhra Pradesh state, India, Oct. 7, 2013.
    Supporters of ‘United Andhra Pradesh’ shout slogans during a protest at Karnool district in Andhra Pradesh state, India, Oct. 7, 2013.
    Aru Pande
    Protests and power cuts have shut down a key state in southern India.  Demonstrators are criticizing the government's move to allow the creation of a new state out of the Andhra Pradesh, whose state capital is home to several major international companies. 
     
    Andhra Pradesh remains tense as demonstrations enter their fourth day.
     
    Hours before, protesters, who do not want to see the creation of a new Telangana state, took to the streets in coastal cities, defying shoot-at-sight orders to clash with police armed with rubber bullets.
     
    Tens of thousands of electricity department workers are continuing their strike, crippling power and train service on Monday.
     
    In the Indian capital, the head of the Telegu Desam Party, former Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu has begun an indefinite fast against the ruling Congress Party and last week’s Cabinet decision to create India’s 29th state.
     
    “If you see the Congress Party, the way they have behaved for the last 70 days, the common man has lost confidence on the government.  Not only the government, even on political parties also," Naidu said. "Today there is a stand still, no confidence.”
     
    The issue is not new.  Demands for a separate state called Telangana have been going on since India’s independence in 1947, with residents of 10 of 23 of Andhra Pradesh’s districts saying they have been neglected by the state government, with jobs, infrastructure and economic prosperity mostly going to those living in the coastal region.
     
    Critics say a new Telangana state will be a disaster, with Hyderabad becoming a shared state capital for the next 10 years.  The booming city is home to several multinational companies and is quickly becoming a hub for Indian “start-up” firms.
     
    Other people simply do not want to see a divided state and wonder who will be next.  India is already home to several distinct cultures and languages and is divided for the most part, along those lines.  Three new states, Jharkhand, Uttarakhand and Chhattisgarh, were created in 2000.  And similar demands for statehood are being seen in the eastern Indian states of Assam and West Bengal.
     
    A senior fellow at the New Delhi-based Observer Research Foundation, Satish Misra, says in many cases people believe the formation of a new state is the only way to deal with a general lack of governance in their state.

    “Improve governance, that includes the removal of corruption, that includes attending to their day-to-day problems, attending to their basic demands, all these things have to be met,” Misra stated.
     
    Misra said, while supporters of Telangana have a strong case, he questions the way the government has decided to move forward with the issue.  The political analyst says a second state reorganization commission should be created with various parameters, for example, whether a new state should be created for language or for better governance.
     
    “That can only be tackled by a commission that goes deep into the problems and projects solutions," said Misra. "Not this entire “fire-fighting” approach that has been prevalent in the last 20 years or so. In my opinion, it is very dangerous.”
     
    With just months before national elections in India, opponents of Telangana say the Congress Party’s decision to divide Andhra Pradesh is tied to winning support in the polls next year.
     
    Telangana is not a done deal.  The state assembly must sign off on a resolution for a new state, which then goes to India’s parliament for approval.

    You May Like

    Chechen Suspected in Istanbul Attack, but Questions Remain

    Turkish sources say North Caucasus militants involved in bombing at Ataturk airport, but name of at least one alleged attacker raises doubts

    With Johnson Out, Can a New ‘Margaret Thatcher’ Save Britain?

    Contest to replace David Cameron as Britain’s prime minister started in earnest Thursday with top candidates outlining strategy to deal with Brexit fallout

    US Finds Progress Slow Against Human Trafficking in Africa

    Africa continues to be a major source and destination for human trafficking of all kinds -- from forced labor to sexual slavery, says State Department report

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Clinton Leads Trump, But Many Voters Don't Like Eitheri
    X
    Jim Malone
    June 29, 2016 6:16 PM
    In the U.S. presidential race, most recent polls show Democrat Hillary Clinton with a steady lead over Republican Donald Trump as both presumptive party nominees prepare for their party conventions next month. Trump’s disapproval ratings have risen in some recent surveys, but Clinton also suffers from high negative ratings, suggesting both candidates have a lot of work to do to improve their images before the November election. VOA National correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video Clinton Leads Trump, But Many Voters Don't Like Either

    In the U.S. presidential race, most recent polls show Democrat Hillary Clinton with a steady lead over Republican Donald Trump as both presumptive party nominees prepare for their party conventions next month. Trump’s disapproval ratings have risen in some recent surveys, but Clinton also suffers from high negative ratings, suggesting both candidates have a lot of work to do to improve their images before the November election. VOA National correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video Slow Rebuilding Amid Boko Haram Destruction in Nigeria’s Northeast

    Military operations have chased Boko Haram out of towns and cities in Nigeria’s northeast since early last year. But it is only recently that people have begun returning to their homes in Adamawa state, near the border with Cameroon, to try to rebuild their lives. For VOA, Chris Stein traveled to the area and has this report.
    Video

    Video New US Ambassador to Somalia Faces Heavy Challenges

    The new U.S. envoy to Somalia, who was sworn into office Monday, will be the first American ambassador to that nation in 25 years. He will take up his post as Somalia faces a number of crucial issues, including insecurity, an upcoming election, and the potential closure of the Dadaab refugee camp in Kenya. VOA’s Jill Craig asked Somalis living in Kenya’s capital city Nairobi how they feel about the U.S. finally installing a new ambassador.
    Video

    Video At National Zoo, Captivating Animal Sculptures Illustrate Tragedy of Ocean Pollution

    The National Zoo in Washington, D.C., is home to about 1,800 animals, representing 300 species. But throughout the summer, visitors can also see other kinds of creatures there. They are larger-than-life animal sculptures that speak volumes about a global issue — the massive plastic pollution in our oceans. VOA's June Soh takes us to the zoo's special exhibit, called Washed Ashore: Art to Save the Sea.
    Video

    Video Baghdad Bikers Defy War with a Roar

    Baghdad is a city of contradictions. War is a constant. Explosions and kidnappings are part of daily life. But the Iraqi capital remains a thriving city, even if a little beat up. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on how some in Baghdad are defying the stereotype of a nation at war by pursuing a lifestyle known for its iconic symbols of rebellion: motorbikes, leather jackets and roaring engines.
    Video

    Video Melting Pot of Immigrants Working to Restore US Capitol Dome

    The American Iron Works company is one of the firms working to renovate the iconic U.S. Capitol Dome. The company employs immigrants of many different cultural and national backgrounds. VOA’s Arman Tarjimanyan has more.
    Video

    Video Testing Bamboo as Building Material

    For thousands of years various species of bamboo - one of the world's most versatile plants - have been used for diverse purposes ranging from food and medicine to textiles and construction. But its use on a large scale is hampered because it's not manufactured to specific standards but grown in the ground. A University of Pittsburgh professor is on track to changing that. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Orphanage in Iraqi City Houses Kids Who Lost their Parents to Attacks by IS

    An orphanage in Iraqi Kurdistan has become home to scores of Yazidi children who lost their parents after Islamic State militants took over Sinjar in Iraq’s Nineveh Province in 2014. Iraqi Kurdish forces backed by the U.S. airstrikes have since recaptured Sinjar but the need for the care provided by the orphanage continues. VOA’s Kawa Omar filed this report narrated by Rob Raffaele.
    Video

    Video Re-Opening Old Wounds in a Bullet-Riddled Cultural Landmark

    A cultural landmark before Lebanon’s civil war transformed it into a nest of snipers, Beirut’s ‘Yellow House’ is once again set to play a crucial role in the city.  Built in a neo-Ottoman style in the 1920s, in September it is set to be re-opened as a ‘memory museum’ - its bullet-riddled walls and bunkered positions overlooking the city’s notorious ‘Green Line’ maintained for posterity. John Owens reports from Beirut.
    Video

    Video Brexit Resounds in US Presidential Contest

    Britain’s decision to leave the European Union is resounding in America’s presidential race. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, Republican presumptive nominee Donald Trump sees Britain’s move as an affirmation of his campaign’s core messages, while Democrat Hillary Clinton sees the episode as further evidence that Trump is unfit to be president.
    Video

    Video NASA Juno Spacecraft, Nearing Jupiter, to Shed Light on Gas Giant

    After a five-year journey, the spacecraft Juno is nearing its destination, the giant planet Jupiter, where it will enter orbit and start sending data back July 4th. As Mike O'Sullivan reports from Pasadena, California, the craft will pierce the veil of Jupiter's dense cloud cover to reveal its mysteries.
    Video

    Video Orlando Shooting Changes Debate on Gun Control

    It’s been nearly two weeks since the largest mass shooting ever in the United States. Despite public calls for tighter gun control laws, Congress is at an impasse. Democratic lawmakers resorted to a 1960s civil rights tactic to portray their frustration. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti explains how the Orlando, Florida shooting is changing the debate.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora