Article 371 (Need for the Development of Seemanchal)

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Seemanchal is located in north Bihar and comes under the Purnia division. It comprises four districts; Purnia, Kishanganj, Katihar, and Araria. According to the 2011 census, it has 1,08,37,617 population which is 10.41% of the population of Bihar. The religious demographics of this region are different from the rest of Bihar. The overall Muslim population of Bihar is 16.86% but in this region, the Muslim population is 45.93% while the Hindu population is 53.51%. Seemanchal is a flood prone zone. Also, it is an illiterate and impoverished region in Bihar and one of the backward regions in India.

Why Seemanchal region is backward?
There are numerous reasons of backwardness of Seemanchal.

First one is illiteracy-
Seemanchal is one of the illiterate region in Bihar as well as in India. According to the census data the average literacy rate of Seemanchal is 54% as against Bihar’s average of 64%, because in this backward region there are no central Universities, Reputed collages and big private Institutions. Lots of students of Seemanchal go to study in other states or abroad because lack of Good Institutions or universities. After the recommendation of Sachar committee a branch of Aligarh Muslim University was opened in Kishanganj but due to lake of government fund this branch is on the verge of closure. There is a budget allocation of Rs. 136.28 crores for this center but only Rs. 10 crores has been released by the minority welfare department of the central government till now, this amount is like cumin in camel’s mouth, With such a scanty amount only the work of the wall has been completed. When election starts, politicians give assurance that after winning the election we will fund to the AMU branch, but after the election they don’t do anything, the false politicians know if they Will give fund , how would they fool people in the next election?
If this branch gets funding and it is fully built, it will be a great educational gift to this backward area for the predominantly Muslim community and for all in general. It is expected to be a learning crib for around 25000 students. The local educated people, local leaders and specially Alig fraternity should raise it’s voice for Amu branch and other new central and state universities and collages. Government of India should focus on this backward region.

Second reason is Poverty-
Due to lack of industries and factories the people of Seemanchal have no employment opportunities and source of income. There are mostly landless farmers , who depend on
agriculture but agricultural work doesn’t for whole year, so these landless farmers have to go other state for money. These people don’t have enough money to eat, because of lack of
opportunities then, How can they teach their children and improve their own condition?
According to the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation, the per capita income of Bihar is the poorest of all the states in India with the per capita income is Rs 70000 but the four district of Seemanchal, Kishanganj, Purnia, Katihar and Araria, their capita income is much below the state average . The most affected is the economically weaker section comprising Muslims. The economic barometer clearly shows that the region has become weaker, The condition of basic infrastructure such as roads, electricity, supply of drinking water etc, has degenerated. In 2023 unemployment rate of Bihar is 17.55 but the unemployment rate of Seemanchal is much below the state’s unemployment rate. According to the Economist if a region or state has unemployment problem that region or state will be unable to expend softly and Developed, the people of that region engage in various Improper actions. In such mega population there need at least 5 to 10 big Industries and factories, Government should established big factories and industries in Seemanchal region for the development of the people, then Poverty and unemployment rate will decrease here.

Third reason is Flood-
Flood is one of the dangerous problems for backwardness of Seemanchal, every year in monsoon season most part of the Seemanchal region is flooded by the regional rivers. When heavy rains happen in the mountains of central and eastern Nepal the water flows into the major drainages of Mahananda, Kankai ,dok, Bakra, Parwan and Koshi rivers. As these rivers cross into India they flow into the lowlands of Seemanchal and cause a huge loss of lives and property. Flood situation for Seemanchal continues to be more grim with every passing year. In 2017 Bihar Flood affected 19 district of north Bihar, causing death of 514 people, 8.5 lakhs people have lost their homes with Araria district alone accounting 2.2 lakh homeless people, Kishanganj and Purnia combinedly account 2 lakh homeless people. The casualties in four district of Seemanchal stand 160 deaths, Araria district accounted for 95 death alone. How can Seemanchal region be Developed?
We must find a permanent solution to this dangerous problem which is getting bigger and bigger every year. Mahananda Dam project, which was initiated by late Kapoori Thakur nearly 40 years ago still finds no existence apart from being in the official documents. Another project was initiated by Nitish Kumar in 2010 called the Mahananda River basin project which aimed to fortify the embankments along with Mahananda. This project was a complete failure, recently we are hearing that this project will start soon but when? Nobody knows .we demand the consideration of Seemanchal for the Flood Zoning Act so that loss of lives and property can be alleviated.

Fourth is political reason-
All big and small parties are focused on Seemanchal region because this region has 24 MLA
seats and 4 MP seats ,so this region has a profound effect in forming the government. All
political parties want to occupy this region for rule and forming the government, Seemanchal is Muslim majority area, at the time of election all big leaders come to Seemanchal , delivering hate speech trying to create fear, target Muslim and polarize the people. Politician give money, TV ,clothes and liquor for drink to the people for votes , All parties give speech for development of Seemanchal but they don’t do anything for development of Seemanchal, the illiterate and poor people of Seemanchal don’t understand the cleverness of leaders , they cast their vote to these politician. In spite of Union and state government should full focused to this illiterate, undeveloped and impoverished region. The President should by order appoint a Commission consisting of such persons as he thinks fit to investigate the conditions of socially and educationally backward classes of Seemanchal and the difficulties under which they labor and to make recommendations as to the steps that should be taken by the Union or State to remove such difficulties and to improve their condition. A backward region like Seemanchal need Article 371 for development and progress without it, this region can’t uplift and develop. The people of
Seemanchal should raise their voice to establish factories and industries, open universities
and collages, build Dam , roads, electricity etc.


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