Following the renaming of West Bengal, one is witnessing scenes which are a throwback to the early days of url (web site name) registration. Every politician is concerned about the name of his state.
My work takes me to the developing part of the world these days. And the last couple of days has been in Vietnam. This is my first visit to the country, and I am absolutely bowled over by the people, hospitality and dynamism of the country.
I was in Singapore recently for a longish stay. I would like to share certain things which I admire in that country and which has relevance for Bihar today.
कुछ दिन पहले एक खबर आई की सरकार एक अन्थेम बनाना चाहती है, बिहार के लिए. http://indiatoday.intoday.in/site/Story/126937/bihar-will-get-an-anthem-of-its-own.html. इस पर कुछ लोगों ने एक सवाल उठाया, कि क्या ये उचित है. मेरे ख्याल इसमें ऐसा कुछ भी नहीं है जिसे विवादस्पद कहा जाये.
It is a queasy feeling to see the Indian English press to go on talk about caste while reporting on Bihar. It is really shameful. There was a time when the top journalists believed their job is not just to report but gently nudge the society towards progressive thinking. Here, the electorate of Bihar has shown the way out of caste and other regressive divisions, but our journalists still can't think beyond caste.
Election results of the marathon six phase polling are out. And what a result it is. While one talks of a two thirds majority as a landslide, this is more than four-fifth majority, 206 / 243 * 100 or exactly 84.77%.
Mr Vinod Dua,
I take strong exception to your facebook comment about Bihar. Your exact words: "why the present state of Bihar be funded by the Indian taxpayer...." is extreme in provocation. My angst comes first from being Indian as your statement hits at my very Indianness, and we have always thought ourselves as Indian first. However, for once I would ignore that and write like a Bihari. Who knows you may be belonging to the category who take patriotism as the last of resort of scoundrels and insult my nationalism further.
Just a few months back, whenever the term Bihar Model was used, it was in a negative sense. Journalists would use Bihar as a template to exemplify different aspects of despicable behavior. Our great Ashish Bose, a population studies PhD, even coined an epithet Bimaru to lampoon us. Even High court judges would use this to illustrate misdemeanor of different types. In this context, it is heartening to hear of the Bihar model in a positive context.
When news came of Bihar being the second fastest growing state in India, there was all round skepticism, even derision in some quarters. I remember the TV debate in which a geriatric retired member of the Indian Planning Commission tried to deride the suave N. K. Singh by hinting that as the basic data is supplied by the state government, there is reason to doubt it.
A couple of days back, there was a stampede at New Delhi railway station. Two people lost their lives and scores were injured. Alas, those who died were poor and worse, they are Biharis – expendable, stateless in their own country, a people without a voice. And why did they have to loose their lives: not because they were trying anything adventurous, but attempting something as mundane as going home for a vacation.
It is quite amusing to see Indian English newspapers analyze the recent high economic growth of Bihar. http://www.livemint.com/2010/01/03221624/Signs-of-renewal-in-Bihar.html. This change has been coming for more than four years now, but can a jaundiced eye see any better?
The home minister of Goa, a politician by the name of Ravi Naik and belonging to a national party – The Indian National Congress, recently made some rather unprovoked and disparaging remarks about Biharis while intervening in a debate on beggars in Goa.