Western Uttar Pradesh
Western Uttar Pradesh, sometimes simply referred to as West U.P., is a region in India that comprises the western districts of Uttar Pradesh state, including the areas of Rohilkhand and Braj. The region has some demographic, economic and cultural patterns that are distinct from other parts of Uttar Pradesh, and more closely resemble those of Haryana and Rajasthan states. Western Uttar Pradesh has experienced rapid economic growth, in a fashion similar to Haryana and Punjab, due to the successes of the Green Revolution. A major part of western Uttar Pradesh is a part of National Capital Region of India.
The population of Western Uttar Pradesh is composed of a varied set of communities and tribes, including Ahirs, Brahmins, Dalits, Gujjars, Jats, Jatavs, Kurmis, Rajputs, Rohilla Pashtuns, Chamars and Tyagis. According to Hindustan Times, Jats make up around 17% of the population of western Uttar Pradesh. These various castes are concentrated in this region and "comprise nearly 40 per cent of the population in Meerut, Muzaffarnagar, Saharanpur, and Bijnor districts" of Western Uttar Pradesh.
As per 2001 Census, the total population of Western Uttar Pradesh is 55717132, out of which 72.69% is Hindu and 25.89% is Muslim. Although Hindus are in a large majority, the percentage of Muslims in Western Uttar Pradesh (~26%) is higher than in Uttar Pradesh as a whole (where it is 17%). Out of 77 assembly seats in this region, Muslim candidates won 26 seats in the 2012 assembly elections."Several communities are bi-religious, with both Hindu and Muslim components, e.g. the Tyagis who have a Muslim Tyagi subcommunity although they are largely Hindu.
Religious riots in Western Uttar Pradesh
Western Uttar Pradesh has a history of religious riots happening frequently. Many Hindu and Muslim riots happened in Meerut and Muzaffarnagar. Beginning on 27 August 2013, clashes between the Hindu and Muslim communities of the Muzaffarnagar district have claimed 43 lives and injured 93.
A girl from the Hindu Jat community was stalked by a Muslim youth in Kawal village. In retaliation, a Muslim youth named Shahnawaz Qureshi was killed by two brothers of the girl, Sachin Singh and Gaurav Singh. The two brothers were lynched by a Muslim mob when they were trying to escape. The police arrested eleven members of the girl's family for the killing of the Muslim youth. According to some of the villagers, no action was taken by the police against the killers of the Hindu brothers.
Another major riot in Meerut took place on 22 May 1987, during the Hindu-Muslim riots in Meerut city in Uttar Pradesh state, India, when 19 personnel of the Provincial Armed Constabulary (PAC) allegedly rounded up 42 Muslim youth from the Hashimpura mohalla (locality) of the city, took them in truck to the outskirts, near Murad Nagar, in Ghaziabad district, where they were shot and their bodies were dumped in water canals. A few days later dead bodies were found floating in the canals. In May 2000, 16 of the 19 accused surrendered, and were later released on bail, while 3 were already dead. The trial of the case was transferred by the Supreme Court of India in 2002 from Ghaziabad to a Sessions Court at the Tis Hazari complex in Delhi, where it is the oldest pending case.
A Riot broke out in Kanth Village of Moradabad on 27 June 2014, over installation of loud speakers at a religious place, which was objected by another community. The tension prevailed for over a week accompanied by frequent clashes. Another riot occurred between the Sikh and Muslim communities in Saharanpur over a land dispute, killing three and injuring many people. As much as 13 companies of the Rapid Action Force, the PAC and CRPF were conveyed by the government to take control of the situation after imposing Curfew in riot-hit areas of Saharanpur.
Western Uttar Pradesh shares borders with the states of Uttarakhand, Haryana, Delhi, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh, as well as a brief international border with Nepal in Pilibhit district. Major cities and towns include Bareilly, Agra, Mathura, Noida, Greater Noida, Moradabad, Amroha, Ghaziabad, Meerut, Hapur, Saharanpur, Aligarh, Muzaffarnagar, Rampur, Shahjahanpur, Etah, Firozabad, Mainpuri, Shamli and Etawah.
Western Uttar Pradesh's soil and relief has marked differences from that of the eastern part of the state. The soil tends to be lighter-textured loam, with some occurrences of sandy soil. Some loess soil is continuously deposited by winds blowing eastwards from Rajasthan's Thar Desert.
Western Uttar Pradesh receives rain through the Indian Monsoon and the Western Disturbances. The Monsoon carries moisture northwards from the Indian Ocean, occurs in late summer and is important to the Kharif or autumn harvest. Western Disturbances, on the other hand, are an extratropical weather phenomenon that carry moisture eastwards from the Mediterranean Sea, the Caspian Sea and the Atlantic Ocean. They primarily occur during the winter season and are critically important for the main staple of the region, wheat, which is part of the Rabi or spring harvest.
Western Uttar Pradesh includes 26 districts in six divisions:
- Meerut division
- Saharanpur division
- Moradabad division
- Bareilly division
- Agra division
- Aligarh division
Districts : Meerut, Bulandshahr, Gautam Buddha Nagar, Ghaziabad, Hapur, Baghpat, Saharanpur, Muzaffarnagar, Shamli, Moradabad, Bijnor, Rampur, Amroha, Sambhal, Bareilly, Badaun, Pilibhit, Shahjahanpur, Agra, Firozabad, Mainpuri, Mathura, Aligarh, Etah, Hathras, Kasganj, Baghpat
Demands for statehood
In Uttar Pradesh, "the cultural divide between the east and the west is considerable, with the purabiyas (easterners) often being clubbed with Biharis." Also, while the green revolution resulted in a rapidly rising standard of living in Western Uttar Pradesh, Eastern Uttar Pradesh (like Bihar) did not benefit to the same extent. These cultural and economic disparities are believed to have fueled the demand for separate statehood in Western Uttar Pradesh. A separate entity would likely become a prosperous smaller state similar to Haryana and Punjab, under greater political control of local ethnic groups.
Some politicians and parties have demanded that Western Uttar Pradesh be granted statehood under the name Harit Pradesh. Braj Pradesh and Pashchim Pradesh are alternative names that have been proposed, because the region incorporates the historic region of Braj and is the western (pashchim in Hindi) part of Uttar Pradesh respectively.
Upper Ganges Canal Expressway
The Upper Ganges Canal Expressway is a eight-lane access-controlled expressway proposed for the right bank of the upper Ganges Canal, from Sanauta Bridge (Bulandshahr district) to near Purkazi (Muzaffarnagar district) on the Uttar Pradesh-Uttarakhand border.
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... Village organization and district administration in western Uttar Pradesh is generally much more like the neighboring states of Rajasthan and Haryana than like eastern Uttar Pradesh. Eastern Uttar Pradesh is more like Bihar than western Uttar Pradesh ... Of all these regions, western Uttar Pradesh is generally regarded as having the best administration, the most productive agriculture, and the best managed canals ...
- Alfred De Souza, Urban growth and urban planning: political context and people's priorities, Indian Social Institute, 1983,
... The difference in the urban settlement pattern between western and eastern Uttar Pradesh is so pronounced that one could almost feel that the two regions were located in two different countries with completely different economic systems ...
- Mohamad Riad El Ghonemy, "The Dynamics of Rural Poverty", Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, 1986. ... Haryana and West Uttar Pradesh recorded spectacular production increases ...
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... the Jats, Ahirs, Yadavs and Kurmis. These castes comprise nearly 40 per cent of the population in Meerut, Muzaffarnagar, Saharanpur, and Bijnor districts. Rajputs and Tyagis, also cultivate their own land.
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... Jats represented only 1.6 percent of the state population in 1931, but were concentrated in western Uttar Pradesh ...
- "Minister's demand for Muslim Pradesh condemned", Times of India, 2006-07-19, retrieved 2009-07-24,
... demand is neither feasible nor proper,"said Manzoor Ahmad, former vice-chancellor of Dr B R Ambedkar University, Agra ... Muslim population which is not more than 25% in Western UP. ...
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... the Muslim presence in western U.P. is said to be about 34 per cent ...[dead link]
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... confined primarily to the Rohilkhand and Meerut divisions of Uttar Pradesh. Pathans are generally considered to have come either from Afghanistan or from the Pashto-speaking tribes of the North-West ...
- Bagaulia, Encyclopaedia Of Human Geography (Set Of 3 Vols.), Anmol Publications PVT. LTD., 2005, ISBN 9788126124442,
... Sikhs also settled down in the Terai region of Uttar Pradesh, transforming this once malaria-infested wetland into a granary of northern India ...
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The violence erupted after a girl belonging to the dominant Jat community was subjected to street harassment by some young students in Kawal village. The incident led to clashes between Jats and Muslims in the village in which three people died.
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... These differences are caused by the depositional work of rivers, local climates, natural vegetation cover and the soil. Even the difference between the plains of western Uttar Pradesh and eastern Uttar Pradesh is quite well marked ...
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... Loess is the finest particle of sand carried by winds from desert (Thar desert) to the neighbouring areas of Haryana, Punjab, western Uttar Pradesh and western Madhya Pradesh. Here a thin layer of loess particles ...
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- Jagpal Singh (August 4, 2001), "Politics of Harit Pradesh: The Case of Western UP as a Separate State", Economic and Political Weekly,
... It is spearheaded by the politicians, especially a section of jats, belonging to western UP. Ajit Singh has been playing a pivotal role in it ...
- Sajal Basu (2005), Regionalism, ethnicity, and left politics, Rawat Publications, ISBN 8170339308,
... perhaps only to strengthen his own demand of a separate Harit Pradesh comprising 23 districts from western UP ...A consequent demand for the separation of the more prosperous western districts of UP which have been the bastion of the green revolution, and have variously been named as Pashchim Pradesh or more recently as Harit Pradesh by Ajit Singh ...
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... public organizations making demands for administrative autonomy for the Braj speaking people and even the setting up of a separate state "Braj Pradesh' ...