Friday, February 13, 2015

Random Musings : Why Statehood for Delhi ?

A very informative and wisely analysed write up by retired Wg Cdr (Dr) USM Bish of Indian Air Force, which should put people in authority, wise enough to decide about awarding complete statehood for Delhi, as demanded by the CM designate Shri Arvind Kejriwal.

by Wg Cdr (Dr) USM Bish_.__
Q1. How many democratic countries have the National Capital under a State ?

Very few. Is the capital of USA (Washington DC) under any state ? It was created in the mid 18th Century with land taken from Philadelphia and Maryland, but since then run directly by the US Congress. In UK, "London District" is NOT under any of the surrounding counties. UK/ England is too small a geography to have viable states.

Q2. Then why does Delhi need to be a State ?

Delhi and Puducherry are the only union territories of India, which have been given partial statehood according to the Seventh Schedule of the Constitution in which Delhi is defined as National Capital Territory of India. Though the first CM of Delhi came to the chair in 1952, the post was abolished in 1956 by Nehru. From Nov 1956 till Nov 1993 there were no CM at all since the Office was abolished. Things moved normally, and nobody knew the difference. There were no issues running it as a UT directly by Home Ministry.

The reason for dissolution of the CM of Delhi post in 1956 was as follows:

a) Complaints from various States, led by Bengal and Madras that Delhi was a parasitic state, living off direct taxes paid by the rest of the country. The immediate precursor was the EPDP Colony allocation. The central govt allotted pieces of land to East Pakistan Displaced Persons in the area now known as Kalkaji. The "local" people objected to this "immigration". It was pointed out since Delhi was an UT, and as of then run totally by Union funds paid by all states, no claims to "immigrant" status of any Indian citizen should be entertained.

b) Most capitals around the world are governed directly by the central Govt of the country, like Washington DC, Greater London and Paris Metropolis.

c) Being the seat of Govt, local population are getting more favours in lower Central Govt jobs, and is being unfair to the rest of the Country. There is capital infusion into the local economics, created by high numbers of Govt jobs, which other states are denied of.

d) In the eight year period 1947-1955 Delhi's population increased more than twice, and creating conflicts between "indigenous" and "immigrant" population, this included Punjabis (both Hindus and Sikhs) from West Pakistan. Mind you, prior to 1913, the territory of Delhi was under Punjab. Delhi has never been the Capital of India since the Delhi Sultanate. The Moghuls ruled from Agra, and the Brits from Calcutta till 1913. People are not even aware that it was only in 1994 that the NDMC got out of the Punjab Municipal Act, 1911 !

Its legislative assembly was re-established in 1993, after the Constitution (Sixty-ninth Amendment) Act, 1991 came into force, followed by the Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi Act, 1991 the Sixty-ninth Amendment to the Constitution of India, declared the Union Territory of Delhi to be formally known as National Capital Territory of Delhi.

What is the situation today ?

Almost the same as what it was in 1956 when the post of CM of Delhi was abolished. This is a semi-state that lives up for most part, on the money of Indian union, contributed by all states, including some of the poorest states like Odisha, Bihar and the seven sisters of the NE. Being the capital region, the roads, trains, airports and pretty much every form of infrastructure is built mostly using the Union of India's money, unlike Mumbai, Bengaluru, Chennai etc. who have to build mostly using their local tax money.

The attitude towards people from outside Delhi has worsened. There are racial attacks (none politically motivated). A term like "foreigner" used in the BJP-manifesto for NE people, is NOT a slip-of-the tongue. It is a question of mindset. Other political parties, pointed it out promptly, and including of the press found a substitute word - "immigrant". Ask yourself,
are they in any way a migrant ? All these States have actually paid for the development of Delhi, paid in the form of Central Taxes, paid at individual levels. They had a right to be there - as legal citizens in their own tax paid territory.

Giving statehood to Delhi would result in proportional disfavour to other states, as far as share of central taxes is concerned. It would further worsen the "us-and-them" gap of Delhi and non-Delhites. Who was a Delhite by origin taking 1913 as the end of the cut off year ? The population of Delhi was only 2,32,837 people then !

The demand of Delhi to be made an independent state can only be considered if Central funds allocation to Delhi is stopped. Delhi is otherwise a financially starved half- state. Its fund outlay for this FY was only about Rs 36,000+ crores, based on its income from revenues. The rest has been paid by tax-payer's money belonging to the rest of the country. The 2010 CWG games itself costed INR 115 billion (US$1.8 billion), a figure which excluded non-sports-related infrastructure developmental expenses. Has the Delhi tax-payer paid for this?

Yes, the AAP wants control of agencies like Police, NDMC etc. That can be granted, but NOT linked with Statehood. Control of service agencies and complete state hood are not interlinked. It is unfair for the rest of the country to be taxed for providing subsidised water, electricity and other subsidies for people of the National Capital to meet the needs of electoral
manifesto. The situation of "immigrants" is not getting better.


  1. Informative article. Thank you!
    Perhaps AAP is demanding statehood to Delhi because the elected govt of the NCR is deprived from exercising control on the police and the other such service departments. This would not have been an issue had these agencies cooperated with the elected govt instead of playing politics themselves. Due to conflicting political interference the Delhi police personnel have adapted themselves to the predominant VIP culture, ignoring and insulting the common people. Corruption is the highest in Delhi. All these have to change because the people of India do not want their national capital to continue as the crime and corruption capital of India! It is time that this perception is reversed by deliberate good governance of the region!

  2. Respected All Veteran Armed Officer
    With due respect I want to draw kind attention of all of you towards the biggest disparity with Officer Cadets of Armed forces of India who becomes disabled during. The biggest irony is if a Recruit during the training is disabled and invalidated he is awarded with disability pension plus Ex Servicemen status, broadbanding , as well as ECHS , even the disabled recruit is disabled less than 20% also.On the other hand a 100% disabled is denied everything including medical facility. 100% Disabled Cadet like Subham Gupta an Ex Cadet of NDA who is bed ridden is denied everything. Sir, if top brass Armed Officer will not support for the cause of disabled Cadets much cannot be expected from any civilian Officers of MoD. I request to the veteran Officer community to kindly help me and guide me how these issues related to Cadets could be resolved .If any Of you sir feels to help me in this fight kindly inform me on ID someshwar.trivedi@gmail.com, or msg on my number 9570611888