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74

They are the people who lost n the successive governments (are) who’ve won?
Congrats to everyone on Uttarakhand’s seventeenth foundation day, which falls on ninth November, 2017. In the year 2000 on this day we achieved separate entity as a state of the Indian constitution after tremendous struggles prolonging the last five decades.

Though the voice of separate Uttarakhand state was first raised by comrade PC Joshi in 1952 after independence n since then there had been slowly but gradually protest demonstrations, dharnas, congregations n jail bharo andolans it was actually in 1974 under the banner of Himalaya Bachao andolan that this demand was raised most effectively n emphatically by Rishi Ballabh Sundriyal in a massive public meeting at Boat club in New Delhi which had a significant impact on the government, giving it a momentum.

In 1978 a huge protest demonstration was organised under the leadership of the then MP from Tehri Garhwal Mr Trepen Singh Negi at Boat club n good number of activists courted arrest for defying the prohibitory orders. They were sentenced behind bars for ten days. During the eighties n nineties the Uttarakhand Kranti Dal along with the thousands of separate state protagonists again raised the demand for separate statehood n struggled fierce fully forcing the government at the centre to relent. It organised tremendous rallies, sit ins n even violent protests with jail bharo passion all over the country where Uttarakhandies were in abundance. It got momentum from Pauri when the peaceful public meeting n demonstration of UKD n their allies was lathicharged n hundreds of activists pushed behind bars.

In 1994 when hundreds n thousands of separate state protagonists including women, youths n ex servicemen were marching towards Delhi’s Lal Quila Rally in which lacs of people participated, the then chief minister of Uttar Pradesh Mulayan Singh YAdav pre strategically ordered an unprovoked firing on the peaceful protestors, many of whom were killed and the women volunteers raped by the hooligans n the brutal UP police.

This lead to a nationwide upsurge in the peoples’ protest against the then central government n Mulayam Singh who was then the chief minister of UP. The separate state movement by k had assumed gigantic and widespread proportions n the national political parties like Congress n BJP which were against the separate Uttarakhand statehood for decades, were compelled to affix this demand into their respective party manifestoes with an eye on deriving peoples support lest they would have been wiped out of Uttarakhand Politics.

The movement became so popular, effective n people oriented that thousands of people left their jobs to join it n hundred of thousands of ex servicemen, youths, students, women n even senior citizens came on streets for months together n went to jail as well. Over forty six youths, senior citizens n women sacrificed their precious lives to achieve statehood.

It was finally on 9 th November,2000 that BJP government at the centre agreed to grant statehood with the support of Congress n all the political parties except CPM n Samajwadi Party of Mulayam Singh. But what happened ultimately, those who had been opposing this demand for years together, finally ruled the state n during the last sixteen years witnessed 8 chief ministers, umpteen corruption, red tapism, promotion n patronage to land, liquor n mining mafia, migration of thirty lac people from Uttarakhand villages to cities,towns n metropolises, complete lack of quality education, health n employment facilities n avenues.

But above all this if one thing has happened favorably n it is that the pockets n bank balances of our law makers have gigantically n massively multiplied. The issue of Gairsain as a permanent capital is still unanswered n the villages of Uttarakhand are emptying day by day. Conclusively we can say that there is total exploitation of the hill’s natural resources, economy n the talents n the the politicians are enjoying the fruits of power to the hilt.

After sixteen years of Uttarakhand’s coming into existence as a separate state if any body has been at loss , its primarily the common man n those who gained in excess n multifariously are our politicians of all hue n cries. Congratulations n greetings to one n all on the sixteenth anniversary of Uttarakhand State but with a pledge that we will continue our relentless struggles to expose the corrupt n rid the state from their exploitative clutches, come what may.?
Sunil Negi, President, Uttarakhand Journalists Forum