Maithili speaking people want own state
A signature campaign has been started in Bihar to demand the creation of a separate state of Mithila for the people who speak Maithili.patna Updated: Jun 30, 2007 20:16 IST
A signature campaign has been started in Bihar to demand the creation of a separate state of Mithila for the people who speak Maithili.
"We will collect signatures of 10 million people in support of the demand for creation of a separate state of Mithila and submit it to the President of India", said Tarakant Jha, convenor of the campaign for the separate state of Mithila.
The campaign began on Friday in Madhubani district, regarded as the cultural hub of the Mithila region.
It is a move to mobilise support and build a strong lobby to put pressure on the government for a separate state, Jha said.
The 10 million signatures will be collected by January 14, 2008, according to Jha, who is a Bharatiya Janata Party legislator.
The proposed state would consist of over a dozen districts spread over north Bihar, a flood prone area. Maithili is spoken in the Mithila region.
"The population of the Mithila region is 40 million and it elects 22 members of Parliament and 126 legislators to the Bihar assembly. It is unfortunate that despite having such a huge area and population, a separate state is yet to be created," Jha said.
He claimed the population of Jharkhand, Chhattishgarh and Uttaranchal were less than that of the Mithila region.
"History suggests that Mithila was a separate state in ancient times. It was evident from the fact that Janak was a king of Mithila," he said. Janak was the father of Sita in the epic Ramayana.
In 2000, Jharkhand was carved out of Bihar. Since then, the Maithili and Bhojpuri speaking people of the state have been demanding separate states for their communities.
Last year, hundreds of Bhojpuri-speaking people gathered at Sasaram to demand creation of a separate state for those who spoke Bhojpuri.