It had its genesis as far back as 1935. More
than 65 years later on August 2, 2000, Parliament passed the
Bihar Reorganization Bill creating the new state of Vananchal
(Jharkhand). Thousands poured out into the streets of Ranchi
to celebrate the occasion.
The state comprises eighteen districts that make up southern
Bihar, richly endowed with mineral resources. Some major industries
located in this region are established Tata companies like
TISCO and TELCO and the Indian PSU, SAIL. The region that
has only 35% of the state's population, thus far contributed
two-thirds of Bihar's revenue.
With an area of 74,677 sq km the new state is bordered by
Bihar, MP, Orissa and West Bengal to its north, west, south
and east respectively.
Jharkhand is a Sanskrit word (jhar meaning shrub), later
found in several Persian and Arabic inscriptions of the medieval
period. As early as 1900, Birsa Munda first demanded the establishment
of the Munda Raj. It was Jaipal Singh, the Oxford-educated,
hockey captain of the gold winning 1928 Olympiad who articulated
the demand for a separate state of Jharkhand. In 1935, he
founded the Adivasi party that in 1949 became the Jharkhand
party. In 1963, its alliance with the Congress support, led
to a loss of support and identity in the region, where it
had once reigned supreme.
In the 70s, several new parties emerged like the Jharkhand
Mukti Morcha. These parties frequently split but the movement
for a separate state gained widespread sympathy. The Jharkhand
Autonomous Council that came into existence in 1993 fell far
short of most expectations, as the demand for a separate state
gained momentum. As parties supporting the movement like the
BJP and the left parties (excluding the CPM) made electoral
gains in the 90s, the dream of a state finally came to fruition,
in August 2000.