Centre urged to formulate new statehood policy based on changing cultural, linguistic grounds

Darjeeling: National Federation of New States (NFNS), an umbrella body of various groups across the country fighting for separate states, has said that the Centre should formulate a new policy for creation of new states.

Protesters have been demanding splitting West Bengal, to form statehood for Gorkhaland. PTI

Protesters have been demanding splitting West Bengal, to form statehood for Gorkhaland. PTI

"The demand for a separate state is nothing new. But as the system of autonomy has failed, I think the time has come for the central government to formulate a new policy for creation of new states," Munish Tamang, leader of Bharatiya Gorkha Parisangh, and NFNS secretary said.

The Bharatiya Gorkha Parisangh is a part of an all-India coordination committee in the hills that was formed to fight for Gorkhaland.

Echoing Tamang's views, NFNS president Shrihari Aney claimed, "The special provisions for protecting the regional interests have failed. When the regional interests cannot be protected constitutionally, then separate state is the only answer," he said.

Aney is also the president of Vidarbha Rajya Aghadi (VIRAA), an organisation fighting for a separate Vidarbha state.

The demand for creation of a national policy for creation of new states was supported by Raja Bundela, president of Bundelkhand Mukti Morcha. "We will submit our memorandum to the prime minister, home minister and organise pan-India rallies. After 70 years of independence, we think time has come for the Centre to rethink its policies for creation of new states on the basis of culture, language and heritage," Bundela, also the working president of NFNS, said.

Bundela, however, maintained that violence is not the solution to get statehood and said that NFNS would organise agitational programmes across the country to press for the demand for separate states.

Promod Boro of the All Bodo Students' Union of Assam, which has been fighting for a separate Bodoland, said that the time has come for all groups to come together to put up a united fight. "When your culture, your heritage is under threat, when efforts are being made to rub off your language, then all of us have to stand united and fight together," Boro said.

Updated Date: Jun 23, 2017 16:52 PM

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