Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Briefly Jharkand

Most of you probably don’t know what Jharkhand looks like let alone the places in it so let me get on with the history- geography a bit. Situated below Bihar and West of Bengal (funny eh!), Jharkhand includes the region commonly known as the Chotanagpur plateau, famous for its mineral wealth, majorly in the form of coal and iron ore deposits. Common sense tells us that agriculture is difficult to practice in the area. Northern Jharkhand though has no such worries. The area referred to as the Santhal Pargana is the food belt of the state. Pre-independence Jharkhand existed as Chotanagpur and Palamu, both independent in territory required to pay tribute to the Mughal Emperor. They held their own courts, maintained an independent army and administered their own form of justice. When the ‘Diwani’ of Bengal, Bihar and Orissa was handed to the East India Company, they comfortably assumed Chotanagpur and Palamu were liable to pay revenue to the company. A society lost its identity and a state was completely obliterated off the map. It’s all been downhill since.