Friday, October 24, 2008

Bihar and Biharis…

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.


Kislay said...

I was absolutely delighted to read this post . For once , I have experienced quite a few things you have . Like the one about not looking like a Bihari . And the one where it is made to sound like a whole other country . I guess you should read my post about being a Bihari .

The freight equalization policy is one of the other things most don't know about . Great post .

Srikant Harihar said...

probably some lines on the rule of the law, police criminal nexus being rampant, progress gone for a toss in wake of electoral vote banks, mass illiteracy etc could have been added to make it more complete. Successive Govts have not done much to better the brand name, nor have they tried to get industries into the state. To some extent, the image or a vision associated with Bihar also needs to undergo a radical change for it to gain the respectability and stature of its past.

Utopianthots said...

true that Srikant. Wish more people could be this rational

Srikant Harihar said...

and sorry... forgot to mention.... you do look like a Bihari... if Biharis are supposed to be like anyone else ......

kochuthresiamma p .j said...

a very enlightening post.
reg the recent spate of violence in maha'tra - this time it is the biharis. Sena began targeting South Indians. then Muslims Now it's biharis. dont worry, they'll find some else soon to to keep the sons of the soil policy smouldering, for political ends.

'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.'
why blame the Centre alone. why have successive state govts failed?
Freignt Equalization policy? - can u tell us some more of this-shall look up wiki but coming from ground zero would complete the picture.

Utopianthots said...

Havent absolved the State Governments at all-but the Central Government being the Big Daddy should have tried to regulate.

Will try and put a write up on Frieght Equilization policy.