India in turmoil over state split.

By August 16, 2013

India (CMP/MNN) – India’s map may soon need to be redrawn…again.

India is likely to inaugurate Telangana, its 29th state, perhaps as early as next year. The final decision on a new state lies with Parliament. The state assembly must also pass a resolution approving the creation the new state. It would be carved out of the southern state of Andhra Pradesh, India’s fifth most populous state, with a population of 85 million.

However, the decision for a separate state also lit the fuse for others who want their own homeland.  Tribespeople in the state of Assam and West Bengal (Darjeeling) are getting more forceful in their demands and protests for a separate state since the beginning of August. Their protests have grown in size and ferocity. Although there’s been a lull, the protests are expected to resume on 18 August. A public curfew is currently in effect for these communities.

The move to split could be seen as a way to manage massive populations. For example, in 1991, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar and Uttar Pradesh were split into more manageable size. They’re known as Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and Uttarakhand.

The impact has been fairly severe. According to government sources, the fallout includes the resignation of 12 government ministers, and the shutdown of the buses. Many small businesses are closed as are schools and colleges are closed (teachers are involved with the strikes), too.

With schools closed and many areas in disarray, Compassion International’ s Australian office suspended program activities at four centers. Program activities have resumed in one other area, but due to the instability, some of the children have been staying away.

(Photo courtesy Compassion International, Australia)

(Photo courtesy Compassion International, Australia)

Thankfully, staff at Compassion East India say other than that, no Compassion assisted children have been affected by the protests. The team will continue to closely monitor the situation and keep us updated as more information becomes available.

Compassion exists as an advocate for children. The team comes alongside the local church to help in the transformation of lives and communities through releasing children from poverty in Jesus’ name.

Please pray for a peaceful resolution of this situation and that our Compassion-assisted families will be protected.

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