[Report of the Karaikal Union Territory Struggle Group presented to the Home Ministry of Government of India on 17 th May of 2010 at North Block by a delegation comprising Honorary President N.Nandhivarman , General Secretary A.S.T.Ansari Babu, Vice Chairman Y.S.Nallusamy and A.A.Rahman, Public Relations Secretary]
HON’BLE HOME MINISTER Thiru.P.CHIDAMBARAM 17th MAY 2010
MINISTRY OF HOME AFFAIRS
Subject: The demand for separate UT status for Karaikal and our grievances due to neglect of our enclave by Government of Puducherry regarding.
Disparities in national development: Policy makers, political leaders, development analysts and other concerned citizens are increasingly focusing attention on the disparities in levels of development between different sections of the population in India. Such disparities have important political, social, economic and law and order implications. Many violent, anti-constitutional movements can be traced to stark economic disparities. The different successful and continuing agitations for smaller states have both a political and cultural as well as an economic dimension. The disparities are also a matter of concern as they threaten the nation’s hopes of achieving various internationally accepted Millennium Development Goals by 2015.
Our peaceful movement : Karaikal Union Territory Struggle Group started in 2005 to draw the attention of the Government of India towards the economic backwardness of our region since independence namely Karaikal, an enclave of the Union Territory of Puducherry separated by 140 kilometers and surrounded by neighboring State of Tamilnadu. All development were grabbed by the main enclave of Puducherry which elects 21 legislators to the assembly, and we made a point in last elections that since our 6 legislators failed to argue for our region effectively and to bring development irrespective of party affiliations people should vote out all the 6 M.L.A.’s. People heeded our call by defeating 4 Congress legislators of our enclave while DMK’s 2 legislators scrapped through in double digit vote difference. This was treated like referendum and the Government of the day declared that Karaikal be made into a District and started increasing allocations in budgets. Though it was declared as District, it remains a mystery whether it has the approval of the Union Home Ministry.
Our enclave had not been included in the most backward districts identified by the Government of India.
On this occasion we urge the Home Ministry to clarify the ambiguity over the district status of Karaikal. We urge the Union Home Ministry to include Karaikal in the most backward district list, in order to catch up in development with the rest of the regions/enclaves. It is unfortunate that Government of Puducherry could have urged through proper channel and procedure to make the Union Government issue notification declaring Karaikal as District. Tamilnadu each year declares few districts as backward and gets Central schemes for backward districts. In spite of Tamilnadu teaching the art of good governance, the Government of Puducherry is yet to get due approval for Karaikal and if that step had been accomplished then only we can get declared as backward district to avail Centers schemes. Our struggle is to educate people, organize protests on Gandhian lines and non-violence is our motto to win our goal of separate UT status for Karaikal.
Karaikal in this background we would like to state that on the basis of population, our enclave should get 33 percent of plan and non plan allocations and special component plan for the SC/ST’s. In short all infrastructure should reach our region wherein the 33 percent due share is given to our region. But only in education we won a concession for 18 percent regional quota in admissions in professional colleges.
A study by reliable intelligentsia reveals that though we were told 18 percent is our quota in reality we are getting only 13 percent. Our group first brought out the step motherly treatment meted to our region in a memorandum submitted to the then Lt.Governor of Puducherry His Excellency Mukut Mithi. He alone sought details of funds allocated; jobs that went to our region and all such details to study in whatever ways our region had been neglected.
We now urge Union Home Ministry to depute a high level team to find out the quantum of neglect to our region, so that Union Government will feel justified to grant us separate UT status.
Our regional Quota and the Conspiracy to deprive us:
On 19th June of 2006 Karaikal Union Territory Struggle Group and Karaikal Parents & Students Association fasted along with 1200 students demanding hike in regional quota for admissions in medical/engineering colleges, proportionate to the population of Karaikal enclave. Almost all media reported.
Then on 25th March 2007 KUTSG, Karaikal Parents & Students Association jointly took out a rally reiterating this demand.
In 2007-2008 heeding to the justifiable demand of the neglected region of Karaikal Government of Puducherry issued guidelines for the Centralized Admission Committee for reservation and special allocation for Karaikal enclave’s students based on the population of our region. Thus KUTSG won the regional quota for Karaikal students.
Subsequently in 2008-2009 again in Centralized Admission Committee details of reservation and special allocation for Karaikal’s students were reassured, with our students getting their due.
On 3rd April of 2009 speaking in the assembly DMK legislator S.P.Sivakumar while demanding the scrapping of entrance examinations welcomed the regional quota granted to the students. But he does a volt face in 12th April of 2010 and opposes regional quota is another story.
On 12th April 2010 AIADMK legislator A.Anbazhagan, DMK legislators from Puducherry enclave S.P.Sivakumar and R.Siva along with PMK’s Anantharaman sought scrapping of the regional quota given to Karaikal students. But the DMK legislator and Former Speaker/Minister VMC.Sivakumar told the house that what the MLA’s of his party had told is their personal opinion, not party opinion, and he is for Karaikal students continue to get the regional quota.
KUTSG issued statement condemning the illogical demand made by individual members to snatch the existing quota, won after great struggle. On 22nd April 2004, with due police permission KUTSG organized a Peaceful Protest in Gandhian lines to condemn the MLA’s.
On 23rd April 2010 as media reports the protest, AIADMK legislator A.Anbazhagan raises the issue of MLA’s speech in assembly being criticized outside Assembly and instantly Hon’ble Speaker of Puducherry Assembly issues directions in open floor of the assembly to take appropriate steps against KUTSG that organized the protest.
KUTSG reiterated that it is within its democratic right to criticize the demand for scrapping an existing quota, and this snowballed into an unnecessary controversy. All 5 legislators of Karaikal enclave irrespective of political affiliations came out in open to support the continuance of existing quota. The Opposition leader of DMK who in assembly wanted to scrap, changed his cap, and thundered that he will fight against scrapping of the quota.
In this background since the Speaker’s order had raised the People’s Freedom of Speech versus MLA’s Freedom of Speech, KUTSG wrote on 30th April 2010 to the Loksabha Speaker, Vice- President, and to all the Speakers of various assemblies. Admitting the MLA’s have immunity, the right of expression given to people could not be suppressed, the memorandum urged the Speakers to discuss and frame guidelines for future in the next All India Speaker’s Conference.
THIS ONE INCIDENT SHOWS HOW INTOLERANT THE MAIN ENCLAVE IS TOWARDS KARAIKAL.50 Years KARAIKAL FACED NEGLECT. STUDENTS GOT A RELIEF in 2007 and THE POLITICIANS OF MAIN ENCLAVE COULD NOT ASSIMILATE OUR STUDENTS GETTING DUE SHARE. It is altogether another story that though we were promised 18 percent, actually only 13 percent was obtained by our students.
Hence we urge the Union Home Ministry to recommend to the Union Cabinet to consider granting UT status to Karaikal.
Let us look back at the historical accident that brought various enclaves with no contiguous areas into a Union Territory.
A short note of Past History:
Puducherry (or Pondicherry) was a part of the Pallava kingdom of Kanchipuram in the fourth century AD. During the next few centuries Pondicherry was continued to be under the control of several dynasties of the south. In the tenth century A.D. the Cholas of Thanjavur ruled the region for over 300 years but later on it was replaced by the Pandya Kingdom. Till 1638, Pondicherry came under various rulers like the Muslim rulers of the North; the Vijayanagar Empire and then the Sultan of Bijapur came to rule over Gingee. The 17th century marked the beginning of colonial era in India. The French East India Company set up its trading centre at Puducherry in 1673. This outpost eventually became the chief French settlement in India. Dutch and British trading companies also wanted trade with India. Wars raged between these European countries and spilled over into the Indian subcontinent. The Dutch captured Pondicherry in 1693 but returned it to France by the Treaty of Ryswick in 1699.
The French acquired Mahe in the 1720s, Yanam in 1731, and Karaikal in 1738. During the Anglo-French wars (1742-1763), Pondicherry changed hands frequently. On January 16, 1761, the British captured Puducherry from the French, but the Treaty of Paris (1763) returned the city to the French. It was taken again by the British in 1793 amid the Wars of the French Revolution, but once again returned to France in 1814. When the British gained control of the whole of India in the late 1850s, they allowed the French to retain their settlements in the country. Pondicherry, Mahe, Yanam, Karaikal and Chandernagar remained a part of French India until 1954.
But after India gained her independence in 1947, an agreement between France and India in 1948 agreed to an election in France’s Indian possessions to choose their political future. On 1st November 1954, Pondicherry was transferred to India. A treaty of Cessation (together with Karaikal, Mahe and Yanam) was signed on May 28, 1956. It became a Union Territory to be administered by the President of India in 1962 under the 14th Amendment of the Indian Constitution.
GOA PRECEDENT: KARAIKAL SEEKS SAME PRINCIPLE
The economic neglect of our region and total insensitivity to our problems by the leaders of the main enclave, made Karaikal Union Territory Struggle Group write to all in the Cabinet and to the most prominent and vociferous members of both houses of Parliament, as well as all Leaders of Parties in Parliament, seeking their support for getting UT status for Karaikal, when Puducherry main enclave is elevated to statehood. Here we cited the precedent of Goa Statehood, while other enclaves of Goa obtained UT status. This precedent Karaikal Union Territory Struggle Group wants to be applied and Karaikal be made into separate UT. With liberal Central assistance, main enclave of Puducherry had neglected Karaikal, and if it becomes State with resource crunch hitting its coffers, it won’t even care to any demands from our region. Hence we urge for separating us and making us a UT. Even after getting UT status, the prolonged economic neglect of Goa is past, still keeps Dadra & Nagar Haveli among the most backward regions of this country. Karaikal too will take at least a decade to repair the damage done and to breathe freely to march towards development. [Our memorandum to Union Council of Ministers dated…… comes as Annexure 1 to this memorandum.
BAD GOVERNANCE LEADS TO BACKWARDNESS
A comprehensive estimation of district-level deprivation made recently by Bibek Debroy of the Rajiv Gandhi Institute for Contemporary Studies, New Delhi, and Laveesh Bhandari of Indicus Analytics in District-level Deprivation in the New Millennium (Konark Publishers, New Delhi; 2003), came up with other significant findings: One often touted cause for backwardness is bad governance. All the various lists of most backward districts include notoriously ill-governed regions. However, one cannot pinpoint poor governance or lack of political will as the overriding cause of extreme backwardness.
Since Karaikal was not officially declared as District, data clubbed with developed Puducherry will not reveal our backwardness.
Other Initiatives: A study
To end economic backwardness, Government of Orissa created Western Orissa Development Council, and reports in media suggest it failed to yield desired development. If that being the case imagining that by making Karaikal into a District all its ills will be addressed is just a mirage chase
Western Orissa Development Council
Ten Western Orissa districts lag behind their counterparts of coastal districts in core sectors with meager percentage till date. Looking at the degree of development/ backwardness of 10 Western Orissa districts, it can be said that out of 87 blocks only 5 blocks are developed, 25 are developing, another 25 are backward and 32 blocks are very backward, whereas in coastal districts 70 blocks are developed, 50 blocks are very backward out of total 227 blocks. WODC was formed to upgrade the levels of development with a view to removing regional imbalances, upgrade the relative levels of development in different sectors in each Districts having regard to the levels of development for the State as a whole, prepare long-term and short-term plans and programmes for removal of developmental imbalances and formulate plans and programme accordingly.
Koshal Discussion and Development Forum reports that the Government of Orissa had completely failed in Western Orissa Development Council (WODC) experiment as reported in Oriya daily Samaj by Amiya Bhusan Tripathi on May 11 of 2010 SO THE ONLY WAY WHERE KARAIKAL CAN IMPROVE IS TO BECOME AN UT, other options like districts or development councils have failed.
UN to assist India’s backward districts
The Planning Commission and the United Nations (UN) have signed a Joint Programme on Convergence to help India’s backward districts achieve the Millennium Development Goals by better utilization. Backward Districts Initiative – Rashtriya Sam Vikas Yojana – The Scheme and Guidelines for Preparation of District Plans etc exist but our region cannot avail.
TO AVAIL THESE SCHEMES GOVERNMENT OF PUDUCHERRY HAD PUT ROAD BLOCKS WITHOUT LEGITIMIZING KARAIKAL DISTRICT AS BACKWARD, HENCE WE DEMAND UT STATUS FOR KARAIKAL.
The General Secretary of KUTSG Mr.A.S.T.Ansari Babu had obtained information’s under RTI. Those are just pieces of information. It does not give comprehensive picture on our regions economic backwardness. As per his version the Non-Plan allocation for 2001-2002 stood at 356.65 crore. Out of which Karaikal got only 47.54 crore, whereas Mahe got 9.22 crores and Yenam got Rs 9.97 crore. In the year 2002-2003 in total of 416.10 crores, Karaikal got 67.95 crores, whereas Mahe got 14.00 crores and Yenam got 14.41 crores. For the year 2003-2004 in the allocation of Rs 468.63 crores, Karaikal got 69.04 crores, whereas Mahe got 12.86 crores and Yenam gets 16.30 crores. For the year 2004-2005 in the amount of 615 crores, Karaikal gets 83 crores, Mahe gets 15.32 crores and Yenam gets 23.98 crores.
For 2005-2006 after our group’s emergence in scene the total is 925 crore, Karaikal is said to have got 144.42 crore, Mahe gets 26.45 crore and Yenam bags 41.19 crore. For 2006-2007 in the total 1043.45 crore, Karaikal gets 153.60 crore, Mahe gets 30.89 crore, and Yenam gets 42.85 crore. In budget estimate for 2007-2008 the figure is 1455.00 crore and Karaikal is supposed to have got 268.54 crore but in actual it got only 177.07 crore. Mahe gets 27.72 crore, and Yenam gets 80.99 crore. So goes on statistics, as telephonically told by our sources, which will mail you all the replies under RTI in short time. These only indicate the urgency and need for the Union Home Ministry to depute a high level team to probe what we got and where it went and why an enclave faces neglect for half a century, forcing it to raise the voice for separate UT status.
KARAIKAL NEGLECTED IN GOVERNMENT JOB AVENUES:
As per the information collected by our team, in between 2001 -2005 when 650 posts of Secondary Grade Teachers were filled up, Karaikal’s share was just 16.
For the posts of LDC, out of 181 vacancies, Karaikal got only 16, whereas the ONE constituency Thattanchavady of Former Chief Minister N.Rangasamy bagged 46 seats.
When 54 Sub Inspectors posts were filled up Karaikal got only 2 seats. Out of 600 policemen chosen, Karaikal got only 20. Out of 182 vacancies in Electricity Board, Karaikal was given only 19.
In 20th November 2005 when 46 Village Administrative Officers were selected Karaikal got only 2 posts. When 30 Deputy Tahsildars were chosen Karaikal got only 1.
Out of 664, NMR’s Yenam got 150 whereas Karaikal got 75 only, Mahe getting 25, rest going to Puducherry. On 13th June 2006 when 74 daily rated persons were chosen Karaikal and Mahe got 6 each, 0 for Yenam, all other to Puducherry.
In December 4th 2006 when 111 Men constables were selected Puducherry got 94, Karaikal only 5. Mahe 7 and Yenam 5.
In 22nd March 2007 when 64 women police were selected Puducherry got 53, whereas Karaikal got 7 only and Mahe 4 and 0 to Yenam.
18th June 2007 in Education Department 28 Drawing Masters were chosen, Karaikal got 0, Mahe 2, Yenam 1 and Puducherry 25.
When PT masters were selected Karaikal got 7, Mahe 1, Yenam 3 and Puducherry 36.
In 2009 when 56 Junior Inspector of Cooperative Societies have to be chosen, Puducherry got 45, Karaikal 9 and Yenam2.
These are part of the story. If Union Home Ministry seeks white paper on regional disparities shown in providing jobs, it will give clearer picture. Also what so far had been hinted is enough to justify our demand for separate UT status to Karaikal.
SECURITY RISKS INVITES HOME MINISTRY’s INTERVENTION.
The Private Port in Karaikal and mushrooming of captive private Ports almost every 15 kilometer one in the neighboring coast of Nagapattinam where coal based power plants are coming up, necessitates more than normal vigilance. The Marine Police Station that exists in Karaikal is eyewash. We urge all the intelligence agencies converge in Karaikal and station a permanent vigil cell to contain criminalization and its extension towards terrorism .
N.Nandhivarman Hon.President :Karaikal Union Territory Struggle Group
Hon. President N.Nandhivarman Chairman .K.Subramanian Vice-Chairman V.S.Nallusamy, General Secretary A.S.T.Ansari Babu Treasurer : S.Radhakrishnan ,Deputy Secretaries : R.Sundarraj, O.S.Uduman, C.Raja , Public Relations Officer: A.A.Rahman, Propaganda Secretary.K.Krishnakumar ,Youth Wing Secretary N.P.Kumanan, Deputy secretaries R.Ayyamperumal, A.Raja Mohammed, T.Dharpareswaran ,Agricultural Wing Secretary M.Sheikh Mohammed. Joint Secretary M.Singaravelu, Minority Wing Secretary S.George, Joint Secretary A.Ahamed Maraicar, Organizers: Karaikal North: S.M.Faried, Karaikal South M.I.Samsudeen, Kottucherry: Subha.Sureshrajan Nedungadu: M.Singaravelu, T.R.Pattinam; Karai Jinna, Neravy: T.K.S.M.Kanagasundaram