The zig zag and unreliable attitude of the current government on the pivotal issue of Gairsain capital despite being in power at the centre and Uttarakhand carrying more than absolute majority is something not expected from the BJP on whom the people of Uttarakhand have shown and exhibited so much of faith and confidence by according it a historic majority for the first time in the history of the seventeen and a half year of seeking separate statehood.
The issue of Gairsain capital is a passionate demand raised for the first time by the eminent revolutionery veer CHANDRA SINGH GARHWALI who revolted against the British and himself belonged to Dudhatoli, Gairsain, Garhwal, Uttarakhand to be later on followed by the regional political outfit of Uttarakhand, the Uttarakhand Kranti Dal. Even Baba Uttarakhandi Mohan Singh sacrificed his precious life for this pivotal demand that represents the sentiments and passions of millions and millions of UKites in and outside Uttarakhand.
The issue of Gairsain as the new capital of Uttarakhand is significant primarily from the point of view of the philosophy of the decentralized socio – political, economic, industrial, agricultural, cultural, horticultural and health related development of Uttarakhand which has been the basic brain child of the father of the nation Mahatma Gandhi and political stalwart late H. N. Bahuguna who always favored development of the last village of the country and Uttarakhand. What’s happening today is : by sidelining the pre election promise of GAIRSAIN as the integral and only capital of Uttarakhand which is equi distance from Kuman and Garhwal, the politicians, contractors, mining mafias, builders, landlords and the corrupt bureaucrats ate ruling the roost. In case Gairsain become the actual capital of Uttarakhand the profits of these interested people would come down drastivally in all sectors and will habe to move into the distant interiors devoid of all facilities, comforts and luxuries.
Hence those at the political and administrative helm seem to be negligibly bothered to implement this long pending demand despite the unambiguous fact that the BJP is powered at the centreas well in the state and as such has no dearth of funds as well to develop the new infrastructure of the would be state capital.
It is learnt that at the stretch a capital of 10000 crores would be required for the new state capital. In the meanwhile, the Vidhan Sabha bhawan of the new capital and its administrative secretariat is already ready which started its work in the year 2012 during the tenure of the then Uttarakhand chief minister Vijay Bahuguna who took the initiative on the popular peoples’ demand and to politically counter the onslaught of his then political detractor, the former CM Harish Rawat. What seems to be shocking and astonishing is the fact that the successive governments of both the Congress and BJP have been putting this pivotal demand on the back burner as ninety percent of the lawmakers, former CMs’, ministers and bureaucrats including the land, mining and building mafias have managed their palatial bungalows and properties in Dehradun and are not, least or negligibly interested to acede the peoples’ demand for GAIRSAIN as the permanent capital. So many committees like Kaushik committee on Gairsain were intentionally extended by every CM so as to arbitrarily pull on the matter to finally reach a dead end.
But the recent public furore, demonstrations, protests and hunger strikes in support of this demand seem to have reached a final saturation point compelling the BJP governments at the centre and the state to do something concrete and credible to declare GAIRSAIN as its permanent capital. To be very honest, the bJP has a golden opportunity to register its name in the annals of Uttarakhand’s political history as the party responsible for giving GAIRSAIN. Of it does do it will not only re establish itself in Uttarakhand next time but will also make a permanent mark in history as a political party to be trusted upon, failing which no power on earth can stop it from losing the Himalayan state from the grass roots.
Now the choice is theirs? Do they want to come back or become a history as a loser. I am sure it’ll choose the first option.
SUNIL NEGI, PRESIDENT, UTTARAKHAND JOURNALISTS FORUM