DEHRADUN: According to a report prepared by the Bureau of Police Research & Development, an agency under the ministry of home affairs which does an academic analysis of different aspects of crime and policing, Uttarakhand might well lay claim to being the protest capital of India.
The report says that the hill state witnessed 21,966 agitations in 2016, which was the highest number of protests held in the country last year.
Tamil Nadu, another front-ranker in agitations, witnessed over 17,043 protests while Punjab recorded 11,876 and national capital Delhi 7,904 agitations, according to the report. In 2015, Tamil Nadu had recorded 20,450 agitations and was at the top spot in the country in this respect followed by Punjab (13,089) and Uttarakhand (10,477).
A total of 1,15,837 agitations took place across the country last year, the report says. It also segregates the protests into different types — communal, student-related, labor, government employees, political parties and others.
Interestingly, a large number of agitations have been led by government employees in most of the top-ranking states. While Uttarakhand recorded 5,838 protests by government personnel, the number of such agitations in Punjab was 5,751 and 3,225 in Tamil Nadu.
Protests by political parties also formed a large chunk of the agitations. Tamil Nadu led in this category with 5,996 protests. Gujarat was placed second with 3,372 agitations by political parties last year while Madhya Pradesh recorded 2990 such cases.
In student protests, Telangana recorded the maximum agitations (1,440) followed by Uttarakhand (1,384), Rajasthan (1,316) and Assam (1,128).
Elaborating on the reasons why Uttarakhand sees a large number of agitations, Subhash Sharma, a Dehradun-based political analyst, said, “Uttarakhand had been carved out of UP 17 years ago with a lot of hope that the new state will help address the problems faced by people, especially those living in the hills. However, almost two decades later, many pressing issues like education, health and employment continue to be in a dismal state. The anger and frustration expressed by people often erupt in the form of protests.”
Udit Ghildiyal, another social commentator, added, “The numbers seem big, but let us not have an alarmist view regarding the agitations in Uttarakhand. In any case, agitations are a legitimate tool for everyone in a democratic setup. Instead, the realization that so many people are agitating should lead to accelerated efforts by the state government to address on priority the issues that are causing these protests.”
News Credit: Times of India | India Times