Jharkhand means a forest country. This region lies in the southern part of Bihar embracing Santhalparganas and Chhotanagpur. It comprises of 18 districts. It is a plateau about 3000 feet above sea level. The highest part of the plateau is Netarhat which has an elevation of 3600 ft. The Parasnath Hill is the highest point with an elevation of 4800 feet. The plateau is full of mountain ranges covered with dense forests. A number of rivers and rivulets flow down through the hilly terrains and valleys.
This may be divided into three parts (a) Bloody revolts of the tribals (b) Moderate socio-economic movements (c) the political movements.
(a) The bloody revolts: The period of bloody revolts of the adivasees to protect their Jharkhand land took place from 1771 to 1900 AD. The first ever revolt against the landlords and the British government was led by Tilka Manjhi, a valiant Santhal leader in Santal tribal belt in 1771. He wanted to liberate his people from the clutches of the unscrupulous landlords and restore the lands of their ancestors. The British government sent its troops and crushed the uprisings of Tilka Manjhi. Soon after in 1779, the Bhumij tribes rose in arms against the British rule in Manbhum, now in West Bengal. This was followed by the Chero tribes unrest in Palamau. They revolted against the British Rule in 1800 AD. Hardly seven years later in 1807, the Oraons in Barway murdered their big landlord of Srinagar west of Gumla. Soon the uprisings spread around Gumla. The tribal uprisings spread eastward to neighbouring Tamar areas of the Munda tribes. They too rose in revolt in 1811 and 1813. The Hos in Singhbhum were growing restless and came out in open revolt in 1820 and fought against the landlords and the British troops for two years. This is called the Larka Kol Risings 1820-1821. Then came the great Kol Risings of 1832. This was the first biggest tribal revolt that greatly upset the British administration in Jharkhand. It was caused by an attempt of the Zamindars to oust the tribal peasants from their hereditary possessions. The Santhal insurrection broke out in 1855 under the leadership of two brothers Sidhu and Kanhu. They fought bitterly against the British troops but finally they too were crashed down.
Then Birsa Munda revolt broke out in 1895 and lasted till 1900. The revolt though mainly concentrated in the Munda belt of Khunti, Tamar, Sarwada and Bandgaon, pulled its supporters from Oraon belt of Lohardaga, Sisai and even Barway. It was the longest and the greatest tribal revolt in Jharkhand. It was also the last bloody tribal revolt in Jharkhand.
(b) Moderate movements of 20th century: The 20th century Jharkhand movement may be seen as moderate movement as compared to the bloody revolts of the 19th century. Having the Chhotanagpur Tenancy Act 1908 to protect their lands, the tribal leaders now turned to socio-economic development of the people. In 1914 Jatra Oraon started what is called the Tana Movement. Later this movement joined the Satyagrah Movement of Mahatma Gandhi in 1920 and stopped giving land tax to the Government. In 1915 the Chotanagpur Unnati Samaj was started for the socio-economic development of the tribals. This organisation had also political objectives in mind. When the Simon Commission in 1928 came to Patna the Chotanagpur Unnati Samaj sent its delegation and placed its demand for a separate Jharkhand State for self-rule by the tribals. The Simon Commission however did not accede to the demand for a separate Jharkhand State. Thereafter Theble Oraon organised Kishan Sabha in 1931. In 1935 the Chotanagpur Unnati Samaj and the Kishan Sabha were merged with a view to acquire political power subsequently.
(c) Jharkhand Party: Political Movement: In 1939 Jaipal Singh was invited to come to Ranchi from Darjeeling to join Adivasi Mahasabha. He came and joined the Adivasee Mahasabha and was elected its President. After the independence of the country, the Adivasee Mahasabha was given the name of Jharkhand Party. Jaipal Singh remained the President of the Jharkhand Party from 1939 to 1960.
The Jharkhand Party grew stronger politically gradually but various Commissions examining the demands for a separate Jharkhand State rejected its demand one after another. In August 1947 the Thakkar Commission rejected it saying that it would not be to the advantage of the adivasees. In 1948 Dar Commission also examined the demand for a separate Jharkhand state but rejected it on linguistic grounds. Despite these reports of these Commissions going negative in nature, Jharkhand Party never lost sight of its ultimate target – a separate state of Jharkhand. It fought first General Election in 1952 and won 32 seats in the Bihar Assembly. In the second General Election in 1957 too Jharkhand Party won 32 seats and for two terms the party remained the leading opposition party. In 1955 the Report of the State Reorganisation Commission came out. Here too the demand for a separate Jharkhand state was rejected. In the third general election in 1962 the party could win only 23 seats in the Bihar Assembly. Personal interests of the Jharkhand leaders started playing upper hands. The party merged with the Congress Party in 1963.
In the 4th General Election held in 1967 the party had a very poor show. It could win only 8 seats. The party was soon split into several splinter groups each claiming to be the genuine Jharkhand party. These were All India Jharkhand Party of Bagun Sumroi, Jharkhand Party of N.E. Horo, Hul Jharkhand Party of Justin Richard which further got fragmented and was called Bihar Progressive Hul Jharkhand Party led by Sibu Soren. Finally in 1973 Jharkhand Mukti Morcha was formed under the leadership of Sibu Soren. In 1986 All Jharkhand Students Union (AJSU) made its appearance on the political stage. In order to keep all these political parties in good humour, the Bihar Government brought out several Committees like Jharkhand Coordination Committee (JCC), a Committee on Jharkhand matters, Jharkhand Peoples Party (JPP) led by Dr. Ram Dayal Munda. All political parties carrying with themselves the name of Jharkhand gradually dwindled except the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha led by Sibu Soren.
Creation of a new Jharkhand State
In a historic move both the houses of Parliament passed the Bihar Reorganisation Bill – 2000 during the first week of August and the President gave his assent to it a few days later. With this the stage is all set for the formal beginning of the governance of the new Jharkhand state from the 15th of November 2000. This witnesses the fulfilment of the long cherished dream of the people of Chhotanagpur and Santhalparganas for a separate state of Jharkhand. The new state will comprise of 18 districts in Santalparganas and Chotanagpur. These districts are: Ranchi, Gumla, Lohardaga, Singhbhum East, Singhbhum West, Palamau, Garhwa, Hazaribagh, Chatra, Koderma, Bokaro, Dhanbad, Giridih, Deoghar, Godda, Dumka, Pakur and Sahibganj. There will be 81 assembly seats, 14 Lok Sabha seats and 6 Raj Sabha seats in the new state. Partywise break up in the new assembly is given below:
Total Strength : 81
(1) BJP : 32
(2) Samta + JD(U) : 8
(3) Congress : 11
(4) JMM(S) : 12
(5) RJD : 9
(6) Others : 9
As per the census of 1991, the total population of Bihar is 8,63,74,465. Out of this the total population of a new state will be about 3 crore. So the population ratio between the truncated state and the new state will be 65:35. The tribal population in the Jharkhand State will be about 54 lakh representing 27.8 per cent of the total population of the new state. The total area of the new state is 79,714 sq.km.
Tribals in the State
There are 30 tribes and sub tribes in the Jharkhand region. The major tribes being Santhals, Oraons, Mundas, Kharias, Hos, Cheros, Kherwars, Korwas, Bihores etc. Major dialects in the State are Santhali, Kurukh, Mundari, Kharia, Ho, Sadri, Chotanagpuri etc.
Enormous Natural Resources
Jharkhand is endowed abundantly with mineral resources like iron ore, coal, mica, uranium, bouxite copper, chromite, limestone, gold, aluminium, china clay, silica, dolomite etc. The Jharkhand state accounts for 37.5 per cent of India’s coal reserves, 40 per cent of copper, 22 per cent of iron ore, 90 per cent of mica and huge deposits of other minerals.
With the creation of Jharkhand the truncated Bihar will suffer an estimated revenue loss of Rs. 1500 crore annually as the major contributor to the State Exchequer, mines, minerals and a large chunk of commercial taxes will go to the newly formed state. Currently about 63 per cent of Bihar’s total revenue comes from south and central Bihar. Against an estimated annual revenue collection of Rs. 4200 crore, the truncated Bihar will be able to collect only Rs. 1984 crore, however the Jharkhand state will begin business with a net revenue source of Rs. 2215 crore. The per capita revenue collection of the remaining Bihar will be far less than that of Jharkhand, as 65 per cent of the population of the undivided Bihar will remain with the residual state. All the 18 districts of the 55 districts that go to Jharkhand are sparsely populated because of their hilly terrains.
Bihar has been dependent on the mineral rich and industrially better developed region in the south for its sustenance.
The only silver lining for the residual state will be the enhanced share in central taxes which is decided on the basis of population ratio.
It is estimated that out of total Rs. 5200 crore received as a share of central taxes the residual state would get Rs. 3640 crore while Jharkhand state will have to remain content with Rs. 1560 crore. Thus the total revenue of the truncated Bihar would be Rs. 5625 crore while that of Jharkhand would be Rs. 3775 crore.
Since the major industries like Tisco, Telco, HEC, Bokaro Steel, Usha Martin, Bihar Alloys and other factories are located in the Jharkhand State, it will reap rich dividends from the commercial taxes and mines.
As far as the distribution of assets and liabilities are concerned, the residual Bihar will have to bear 70 per cent of the liabilities. The undivided state has an estimated debt of Rs. 14,825 crore. Since liabilities are to be shared on the basis of population, the truncated Bihar will have to bear a major chunk of this debt apart from other liabilities.
As all the viable power generating units at Patratu, Subernrekha and Tenughat are situated in Jharkhand, the truncated Bihar will lose Rs. 500 crore through power tariff.
The division of cadre for Jharkhand state is 129 IAS, 87 IPS and 121 IFS officials out of the total cadre strength of 393 IAS, 250 IPS and 173 IFS officers.
The state reorganisation bill – 2000 proposes that the High Court at Patna shall become the High Court of Bihar, while Jharkhand will have a separate High Court at Ranchi.
The Capital of Jharkhand will be Ranchi. It has Raj Bhawan and bungalows for ministers and the Chief Minister. The sprawling township of the Heavy Engineering Corporation, a large part of which is unoccupied, has been earmarked for setting up the Assembly house and a Central office complex.
Earlier, Ranchi was also the summer capital of Bihar. It has an airport with night-landing facilities and a daily commercial flight link to New Delhi.
Big and Heavy industries and companies
Some big and heavy industries and companies are given below:
Damodar River Projects
Universities in Jharkhand