50 years since its birth, Haryana continues to struggle to come out of Punjab's shadow
The small state of Haryana as started its golden jubilee celebrations. Despite having made significant strides in development over the last 50 years of its existence, the state still continues to live under the shadow of Punjab from which it was carved.
Though it has set records of sorts for itself, in being among the states with top per capita income, yet it continues to fare poorly on certain social indicators like crimes against women and high rate of female foeticide.
Experts are of the opinion that Haryana's growth story has been skewed and the state has squandered the opportunity of being among the most sought after industrial destinations of the country.
Haryana's industrial development had taken off with the establishment of Maruti Udyog Limited in Gurgaon. Despite the controversial beginnings of this project, that was known as Congress politician Sanjay Gandhi's dream project, it came to define industrial growth in the state.
More industrial units followed in Manesar and Faridabad besides other small ancillary units coming up in Rohtak and Sonepat.
But over the last few years, industrial unrest has taken its toll with Maruti deciding to move to Gujarat. The large-scale violence that marked the Jat reservation stir earlier this year too left its scar on Haryana's industrial saga.
The question being asked is that - despite the present government claiming to be attracting investment, who would come and put in money in the interiors of the state.
Gurgaon and Faridabad will continue to be the preferred destinations but the investment envisaged for places like Jind, Rohtak, and Sirsa will take a long time to materialise and that too is possible only if there is peace in the days to come.
It is being pointed out that Haryana has failed to capitalise in on industry fleeing the neighbouring state of Punjab. Because of an unfriendly tax regime, high power costs, red tapism and tax holidays in hill states of Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand along with deteriorating law and order, Punjab's industry has moved out, but it has not moved to Haryana.
Despite its problems, places like Ludhiana and Mandi Gobindgarh retain their place on the industrial map of India.
Not enough expansion
Secondly, despite having made a head start in the Information Technology (IT) industry in Gurgaon, Haryana has failed to expand its IT base to other districts.
Gurgaon remains an IT-island like Hyderabad, Bangalore and Pune. But still its basic infrastructure is still not in place - as it was for all to witness during the last monsoons.