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THE NEED FOR A SECOND national CAPITAL

THE NEED FOR A SECOND national CAPITAL
Highlights

Second National Capital of India, Hyderabd Dr BR Ambedkar. Second National Capital of India Hyderabad

Dr BR Ambedkar’s thoughts, speeches and writings dealing with every aspect of society, politics, economics and the country have influenced generations of people. Even today, his views find an echo and an answer to seemingly intractable problems. As a decision had been taken to bifurcate Andhra Pradesh, agitations and debates have been raging about the Congress move with main focus being on Hyderabad.

The city has become a bone of contention between Seemandhra and Telangana leaders and people. While the former wants it as the joint capital or Union Territory accessible to all the three regions, the latter insists Hyderabad is an integral part of the yet-to-be-formed Telangana state and should be its capital.

Another suggestion being floated is to declare Hyderabad as the second capital of India. At a round table conference held in New Delhi on Tuesday, Seemandhra leaders, cutting across party lines, asserted that Hyderabad should be declared as the nation’s second capital. They had even invoked the Father of the Indian Constitution Dr BR Ambedkar to buttress their argument.

What did Dr Ambedkar say about Hyderabad as the second capital is interesting to know. The reference can be found in the book “DR Babasaheb Ambedkar Writings and Speeches Volume 1.” Here are his views on the necessity of a second capital and to remove tensions between the North and the South.
Can India afford to have one Capital? That India has now one capital does not close the question. If the Capital of India is not satisfactorily located, now is the time for considering the question. Since the departure of the British, India has only one capital and that is Delhi. Before the British, India has always had two capitals. During the Moghal period, India had Delhi as one Capital and Shrinagar in Kashmir as another Capital. When the British came they too had two capitals, one was Calcutta and another was Simla. Even when they left Calcutta for Delhi, they retained Simla as their summer Capital.
The two capitals maintained by the Moghuls and by the British were the results of climatic conditions. Neither the British nor the Moghuls were able to live in Delhi or in Calcutta continuously for 12 months. The summer months in Delhi were unbearable to the Moghuls. They made Shrinagar their second capital for summer months. The summer months in Calcutta were equally unbearable to the British. They, therefore, established a second capital.
To these climatic conditions must now be added three other conditions. There was no popular Government when the Moghuls ruled or when the British ruled. Now we have popular Government and the convenience of the people is an important factor. Delhi is most inconvenient to the people of the South. They suffer the most from cold as well as distance. Even the Northern people suffer in the summer months. They do not complain because they are nearer home and they are nearer the seat of power.
Second is the feeling of the Southern people and the third is the consideration of defence. The feeling of the Southern people is that the Capital of their country is far away from them and that they are being ruled by people of Northern India. The third consideration is of course more important. It is that Delhi is a vulnerable place. It is within bombing distance of the neighbouring countries.
Although India is trying to live in peace with its neighbours it cannot be assumed that India will not have to face war sometime or other and if war comes, the Government of India will have to leave Delhi and find another place for its location. Which is the place to which the Government of India can migrate? A place that one can think of is Calcutta. But Calcutta is also within bombing distance from Tibet. Although India and China today are friends, how long the friendship would last no one can definitely say. The possibility of conflict between India and China remains. In that event Calcutta would be useless.
The next town that could be considered as a refuge for the Central Government is Bombay. But Bombay is a port and our Indian Navy is too poor to protect the Central Government if it came down to Bombay. Is there a fourth place one could think of? I find Hyderabad to be such a place. Hyderabad, Secunderabad and Bolarum should be constituted into a Chief Commissioner’s Province and made a second capital of India. Hyderabad fulfills all the requirements of a capital for India. Hyderabad is equidistant to all States. Anyone who looks at the table of distances given here (right) will realize it:
From the defence point of view it would give safety to the Central Government. It is equidistant from all parts of India. It would give satisfaction to the South Indian people that their Government is sometimes with them. The Government may remain in Delhi during winter months and during other months it can stay in Hyderabad. Hyderabad has all the amenities which Delhi has and it is a far better City than Delhi. It has all the grandeur which Delhi has. . . The only thing that is wanting is a Parliament House which the Government of India can easily build. It is a place in which Parliament can sit all the year round and work, which it cannot do in Delhi. I do not see what objection there can be in making Hyderabad a second capital of India. It should be done right now while we are reorganizing the States.
Hyderabad, Secunderabad and Bolarum should be constituted into a second capital of India. Fortunately, it can be very easily done with satisfaction to the whole of South India, to Maharashtra and to the Andhras.
This is another remedy for easing the tension between the North and the South.
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