The Unlucky Fate of Punjab

The division of states often results in a lot of heartache and turmoil, as seen during the bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh and the demand for Hyderabad. It’s easy to forget the similar situations that other states have faced in the past.

One such state is Punjab, which can be considered one of the most unlucky states in India. It not only lost its most important city, Lahore (equivalent to what Mumbai is to Maharashtra, or Bangalore to Karnataka, or Chennai to Tamil Nadu), but also had to see other major cities like Ambala, Kurukshetra, and Shimla being taken away by Haryana and Himachal Pradesh due to linguistic bifurcation. While some may argue that Chandigarh was given as compensation, it is still a Union Territory and cannot replace the irreparable loss that Punjab faced. Comparing Chandigarh to Ahmedabad and Gandhinagar, it is clear that the former can never replace the importance of the latter.

Punjab is also a border state, surrounded by a hostile neighbor, which severely limits the scope for trade and industrial investments. Unlike Andhra Pradesh, which has coasts and is developing Vizag as its capital, Punjab is in a difficult situation. The tag of a “border state” is likely to stick with Punjab, making it even harder for the state to attract investments and develop economically.

The division of states may have its benefits, but it can also cause significant harm to certain regions. It’s important for policymakers to consider the long-term consequences of such decisions, and to ensure that the interests of all stakeholders are taken into account


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