A lot of water has flown under the bridge and this compels me to write this. Lets start at the very beginning, I am a Bihari and a very proud one at that. Often, I have been told that “ Oh! You don’t look like a Bihari” wonder what we look maybe ET I don’t know. But have often taken that in my stride. Bihar and Biharis have been at the receiving end of racist crimes and ridicule for a very long time now, all this on the basis of 30 or 40 years of exposure that people have had to it. They almost make it sound like it’s another Country. The recent spate of violence and killing of one of the students has compelled me to try and educate people about Bihar, because ignorance is not always bliss.
1. Bihar is the 12th largest state in terms of geographical size in India and one of the oldest inhabitated areas in the world with 3000 years of history
2. Around 6mn people visit Bihar each year for tourism
3. Mahabodhi one of the UNESCO world heritage site is a situated in Bihar
4. It is the key religious places for Sikhs, Jains, Buddhists and Hindus
5. Erstwhile Bihar gave birth to one of India’s first empire i.e.Maurya followed by the Gupta .This was called the Golden Age of India
6. King Ashoka, Vikramaditya, Chankya were all from Bihar
7. Two of the oldest and largest universities Nalanda and Vikramshila are a part of Bihar
8. From Bihar arose Buddhism
9. Mahatma Gandhi bridge which connects Patna to Muzzafarpur is one of the longest bridges in the world.
10. Vardaman Mahavira was also born in Vaishali
11. One of the most famous Hindi scholars Ram Dhari Singh Dinkar is also from Bihar
12. Music is not far behind in Bihar Bhart Ratna Ustad Bismillah Khan, the Malliks are also from Bihar
13. Patna University which was established in 1917 is the 7th oldest university in India
14. The longest road in India the Grand Trunk road was built in Bihar
15. It was in Bihar that Mahatama Gandhi launched the Civil Disobedience movement the famous Champaran Satyagrah
16. The first president of India Dr.Rajendra Prasad was from Bihar
These are just some of the things that I could list down, am sure there would be much more. Then why is it that we are famously infamous, why is it that we are only know for Laloo Yadav? Why is that a place which has such a rich and cultural heritage and was prosperous for so long is now forcing people to seek other areas of employment? Why is it that even though there is very little focus on education and exposure and almost zero facilities available that students from Bihar have a large representation in IIT’s, IIM’s, AIIM’s and other civil services ? Am guessing that the place would have been conducive to some extent to have been a haven for Arts, Culture, Politics, Education and living. So what went wrong? Bihar lags behind in Economic development today because of the apathy of the Central Government and certain policies which resulted in its downfall such as the Freignt Equalization policy. There is no spokesperson for the State in the Assembly!
While one of the states was deteriorating and was going through its worst phase the rest of the country turned its face away since it was not connected to them. How does it matter it does not affect us? But if Biharis seek opportunity some place else, beat the hell out of them. Its worse than apartheid. For the first time I am ashamed of being an Indian and yes Maharatrians would be treated in the same way as Biharis in the US and UK cause you are Indians taking away jobs from them. Think about this the next time you try and beat up a Bihari.