An interesting opinion by popular Quora Author Balaji Viswanathan is now doing the rounds. An ex-Microsoft employee turned entrepreneur – he has also consistently been a Top Quora author right from 2013 to 2016.
This is what he exactly wrote about why Paradip should be developed as India’s capital.
No great Indian emperor has ever had Delhi as his capital. Not Chandragupta Maurya. Not Ashoka or Samudragupta. Not Kanishka, Akbar, Sivaji, Raja Raja, Pulikesi and the great names of Indian history. As the Mahabharata legend goes, the Pandavas built Indraprasta only because they were kicked out of empire’s capital of Hastinapur. As soon as they won the war, they were back to their capital at Hastinapur. This was the case for most of its occupants.
Among the few regional kings who really had Delhi as their capital, they were constantly looking for a move once they realized the city’s limitations. Delhi was a revolving door of new settlements built only to be abandoned or destroyed in a generation. Sometimes these moves – such as the Tughlaq’s unlucky move into Daulatabad didn’t pan out due to bad water resources & forcible movements. You can see this in the numerous transitions and abandonments the city has faced.
Even Aurangzeb who had his nominal capital there mostly operated from the Deccan. Delhi was selected in 1911 as India’s new capital not with a growth motive, but to primarily kill the nationalism movement that was taking over India’s then capital of Kolkata.Taking a cue from history, I have always dreamed of Paradip as an ideal capital.
Here are the Top 9 reasons for considering Paradip if there’s a re-location of India’s capital:
- Draw a line from all the corners of India and they will meet near Paradip. It can be geographically and culturally a center of India.
- Unlike other central cities [Delhi, Nagpur, Hyderabad], this is a major port – one of the largest in India. All major powers have their capitals next to a major port. If the large natural resources of the surrounding regions with governmental push, it could be a world class trading hub.
- It is on the Mahanadi river that can supply lots of water as well as access to inland waterways. In contrast, Delhi, Nagpur, Hyderabad are all fairly dry regions with water-security problems. As the future will be of water security, we need the capital to be secure.
- It is quite far from China and Pakistan – make it fairly secure from missiles and bombers. The Bay of Bengal is heavily dominated by the Indian navy with no powers in the vicinity. Lots of external security.
- There are no major terrorist groups operating anywhere around the region. Lots of internal security.
- It is on an underdeveloped eastern India that badly needs growth. A capital there could energize the region including Odisha, Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand.
- Unlike Nagpur or Hyderabad, there is a lesser risk of ethnic/cultural clashes. A capital surrounded by a large ethnic group could bring a major power tussle.
- The Kalinga region has a long and fabulous history and fairly open to outsiders.
- It is not in the north; it is not in the south. It is not in the west; it is really not counted in the east. It is a somewhat culturally neutral region that all Indians can feel an ownership to.
[The original answer appeared on Quora and you can read it here]