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

Anti-Terror Drills Highlight China’s Push Into Central Asia

China, Russia, several central Asian countries wrap up massive anti terrorism military drills in Inner Mongolia More

Erdogan’s First Step: Secure More Power in New Role in Turkey

Erdogan was sworn in as Turkey's first popularly elected president on Thursday; he picked former foreign minister Ahmet Davutoglu as PM More

Pakistan Army Fails to Break Political Deadlock

PM Sharif claims he didn't ask army to defuse crisis; military rejects claim More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Ukraine Battles Pro-Russia Rebel Assaulti
X
Daniel Schearf
August 29, 2014 9:30 PM
After NATO concluded an emergency meeting to discuss the crisis in eastern Ukraine, the country is struggling to contain heavy fighting near the strategic port of Mariupol, on the Azov Sea. Separatist rebels are trying to capture the city, allegedly with Russian military help, and Ukraine's defense forces are digging in. VOA's Daniel Schearf spoke with analysts about what lies ahead for Ukraine.
Video

Video Ukraine Battles Pro-Russia Rebel Assault

After NATO concluded an emergency meeting to discuss the crisis in eastern Ukraine, the country is struggling to contain heavy fighting near the strategic port of Mariupol, on the Azov Sea. Separatist rebels are trying to capture the city, allegedly with Russian military help, and Ukraine's defense forces are digging in. VOA's Daniel Schearf spoke with analysts about what lies ahead for Ukraine.
Video

Video Growing Business Offers Paint with a Twist of Wine

Two New Orleans area women started a small business seven years ago with one thing in mind: to help their neighbors relieve the stress of coping with a hurricane's aftermath. Today their business, which pairs painting and a little bit of wine, has become one of the fastest growing franchises across the U.S. VOA’s June Soh met the entrepreneurs at their newest franchise location in the Washington suburbs.
Video

Video Ebola Vaccine Trials To Begin Next Week

The National Institutes of Health says it is launching early stage trials of a vaccine to prevent the Ebola virus, which has infected or killed thousands of people across West Africa. The World Health Organization says Ebola could infect more than 20,000 people across the region by the time the outbreak is over. The epidemic has health experts and governments scrambling to prevent more people from becoming infected. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Asian Bacteria Threatens Florida Orange Trees

Florida's citrus fruit industry is facing a serious threat from a bacteria carried by the Asian insect called psyllid. The widespread infestation again highlights the danger of transferring non-native species to American soil. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Aging Will Reduce Economic Growth Worldwide in Coming Decades

The world is getting older, fast. And as more people retire each year, fewer working-age people will be there to replace them. Bond rating agency Moody’s says that will lead to a decline in household savings; reducing global investments - which in turn, will lead to slower economic growth around the world. But experts say it’s not too late to mitigate the economic impact of the world’s aging populations. Mil Arcega has more.
Video

Video Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?

U.S. President Barack Obama has ruled out sending ground troops to Iraq to fight militants of the so-called Islamic State, or ISIS, despite officials in Washington describing the extremist group as the biggest threat the United States has faced in years. Henry Ridgwell reports from London on the growing uncertainty over whether the West’s response to ISIS will be enough to defeat the terrorist threat.
Video

Video Coalition to Fight Islamic State Could Reward Assad

The United States along with European and Mideast allies are considering a broader assault against Islamic State fighters who have spread from Syria into Iraq and risk further destabilizing an already troubled region. But as VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports, confronting those militants could end up helping the embattled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Video

Video Made in America Socks Get Toehold in Online Fashion Market

Three young entrepreneurs are hoping to revolutionize the high-end sock industry by introducing all-American creations of their own. And they’re doing most of it the old-fashioned way. VOA’s Julie Taboh recently caught up with them to learn what goes into making their one-of-a-kind socks.
Video

Video Americans, Ex-Pats Send Relief Supplies to West Africa

Health organizations from around the world are sending supplies and specialists to the West African countries that are dealing with the worst Ebola outbreak in history. On a smaller scale, ordinary Americans and African expatriates living in the United States are doing the same. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
Video

Video America's Most Popular Artworks Displayed in Public Places

Public places in cities across America were turned into open-air art galleries in August. Pictures of the nation’s most popular artworks were displayed on billboards, bus shelters, subway platforms and more. The idea behind “Art Everywhere,” a collaborative campaign by five major museums is to allow more people to enjoy art and learn about the country’s culture and history. Faiza Elmasry has more.
Video

Video Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implant

A Chinese boy suffering from a debilitating bone disease has become the first patient with a part of his spine created in a three-dimensional printer. Doctors say he will soon regain normal mobility. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video India’s Leprosy Battle Stymied by Continuing Stigma

Medical advancements in the treatment of leprosy have greatly diminished its impact around the world, largely eliminating the disease from most countries. India made great strides in combating leprosy, but still accounts for a majority of the world’s new cases each year, and the number of newly infected Indians is rising - more than 130,000 recorded last year. Doctors there say the problem has more to do with society than science. Shaikh Azizur Rahman reports from Kolkata.

AppleAndroid