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Mithila also refers to a city in Ancient India, the capital of the Videha Kingdom, located in modern-day Nepal. The name Mithila is also commonly used to refer to the Videha Kingdom itself, as well as to the modern-day territories that fall within the ancient boundaries of Videha. The city of Mithila has been identified as Janakpur in the Dhanusa district of Nepal.
The main economic activities of this region are agriculture, animal husbandry and fishery. Major crops include rice, wheat, pulses, moong, urad, arhar, bamboo, mustard, jute, maize, mango, lichi and bananas. Costly agro-products such as chili, coriander, turmeric, ginger and tobacco are also grown in the region. Makhan (water chestnut), Euryle ferox and litchi are almost unique to Mithila; other crops include medicinal and flowering plants.
Darbhanga is a primary medical center for Mithila and has sugar factories, a paper mill and a bicycle factory. It has a large railway station.
During the regime of Harasimha Deva, the last king of the dynasty, Tughlaq Shah invaded Mithila in 1323 and gained control over the territory. Tughlaq Shah handed over the management of Mithila to Pt. Kameshwar Thakur. Thus, the sovereign power of Mithila, became part of Delhi Sultenat, but continued to enjoy complete autonomy.
Vidyapati (1352–1448), was a Maithili poet and Sanskrit scholar in the region. He was born in Village Bisfi of Madhubani. Folklore says that he was such a great devotee of Lord Shiva that the lord was really pleased with him. And once He (Shiva) decided to come to live in his house as a servant, Ugna. At several places in the region, Lord Shiva is still worshipped by this name. It is said that the lord in form of servant had imposed a condition on Vidyapati that he could not disclose identity of Lord Shiva to anyone or else He would go away. One day, When Vidyapati's wife was angry at her servant and started to beat Ugna, Vidyapati could not tolerate it and asked his wife to stop and disclosed identity of Ugna. Lord Shiva disappeared and was never seen again.
Maharaja Kameswar Singh was the last jamindar King of Mithila. The insurgency at Delhi in 1857, caused a grave concern to the English inhabitants, in Mithila. A revolutionary fervor began to permeate in the entire region.
In 1908, 18-year old young Bengali revolutionary, Khudi Ram Bose, was hanged at Muzaffarpur for throwing a bomb at the carriage of Pringle Kennedy, who was actually mistaken for Kingsford, the District Judge of Muzaffarpur. After the independence of India in 1947, a memorial to this young revolutionary patriot was constructed at Muzaffrapur.
Rivers and floods
Mithila has seven major rivers, Mahananda, Gandak, Kosi, Bagmati, Kamala, Balan, and the Budhi Gandak. They flow from the Himalaya mountains in the north to the Ganges river in the south. These rivers regularly flood, depositing silt onto the farmlands and sometimes causing death or hardship. In the 1950s the Government of Bihar built high barriers on both banks, but these caused the rivers to silt up, which made them more prone to flooding.
On 18 August 2008 the Kosi embankment burst at Kusha in Nepal, near the border with India. The Kosi river inundated areas of Mithila that hadn't experienced floods in many decades. 250 people died and 3 million people were forced from their homes. More than 300,000 houses were destroyed and at least 340,000 hectares (840,000 acres) of crops were damaged. Villagers in Mithila ate raw rice and flour mixed with polluted water. Hunger and disease were widespread. The Supaul district was the worst-hit; surging waters swamped 1,000 square kilometres (247,000 acres) of farmlands, destroying crops.
- Bharatiya Janata Party
Several Bharatiya Janata Party leaders have supported the cause of a separate state of Mithila.
- BJP MP Kirti Azad from Darbhanga has organised dharnas and protests in support of Mithila.
- Senior BJP leader, Tarakant Jhaand, present chairman of Bihar Legislative Council, has organised public rallies supporting Mithila.
- Janata Dal (United)
Janata Dal (United) was the only party which supported the demand for statehood of Mithila during the 14th State assembly elections.
- In November 2011, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar also extended his support for the statehood of Mithila.
- Shravan Chaudhary, JDU state president, has openly supported the demand.
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