Till a while in the past, a billboard exterior Patna Airport asserted, ‘ek Bihari, sab par bhari’. Nonetheless, Biharis are additionally a maligned lot! Any person simply known as Bihari ‘bhaiyas’ to be avoided Punjab. A couple of months again, a hardworking MP from Bihar needed to swallow ‘Bihari goonda’ sobriquet from a London-educated fellow parliamentarian. Biharis face such insults often since Bihar figures on the backside of all growth reviews. As an example, a NITI Aayog’s latest report recognized Bihar’s 50 p.c inhabitants as being ‘multidimensionally poor’. Nonetheless, Bihar and Biharis get abused as a result of Bihar’s personal elites reside in previous and let it down.
Many Bihari elites have a false superiority complicated, rooted in Kautilyan legacy who was an ideal participant of thoughts video games. Bihar was additionally the heartland of politics and freedom motion throughout British days. Nonetheless, the Kautilyan legacy and heartland vanity amongst the up to date native elite is extra of an anachronism since Bihar has lengthy metamorphosed as India’s under-developed yard. Whereas there are many developmental alternatives obtainable in a democratic and prospering India, Bihar has nothing to really feel happy with when it comes to the agricultural, industrial, cultural or academic discipline. Concurrently, poor Biharis who migrate to different states perpetuate on the lowermost stage, struggling pangs of humiliation on a recurring foundation. Both they get crushed up in some nook of Mumbai or need to have a good time Chhath within the froth-covered water of Yamuna in Delhi since they can’t afford to reside with financial dignity of their dwelling state. ‘Bihari’ is overtly used as a slang in lots of elements of the nation for heaping insults upon auto drivers, thela-walas, and day by day wage staff. Now, they’ve additionally been used as ‘political instruments’ for polarising votes in Punjab elections.
The hole between the ‘self-perception’ of Bihar elites and ‘actuality bites’ for common Biharis exterior the state is because of the failure of the previous on numerous counts. First, whereas Bihar was amongst probably the most developed state in fifties, its gradual lack of standing has not but shaken up the mental elites within the state. They don’t introspect the dearth of progress in nearly each facet of agricultural, industrial and academic life. The political discourse stays fractured on account of deep-rooted caste affect and is of course veered in direction of caste-based points. There may be hardly any craving amongst Bihar elites to debate the NITI Aayog’s report or different reviews pooh-pooing Bihar in poor gentle and sometimes these reviews are consigned to archival dustbins. There was little introspection concerning the latest student-led violence and torching of railway bogies in Bihar. On the finish of the day, such incidents occur partly due to ‘expectational frustration’ among the many youth because of the absence of job alternatives inside the state!
Second, Bihar elites comply with an unique and conservative tradition and refuse to study from others. For instance, the political elites in different states are simply accessible and emotionally connected to grass root points. In an surroundings the place there’s a shortage of sources, these elites vigorously mobilise and compete for bigger share in federal useful resource allocation. Alternatively, Bihar elites usually shrink back in burning the midnight lamp and be a part of the bandwagon! They don’t join at formal and casual ranges like their counterparts in different states. There are many concepts for Bihar’s growth however they by no means change into half and parcel of growth discourse within the caste-ridden state. Maybe that speaks to why main industrial and business developments by no means attain the state.
Third, a good portion of Bihar elites search refuse elsewhere fairly than returning to the house state. College students and bureaucratic class or for that matter different prosperous individuals choose to calm down in different elements of the nation since there is no such thing as a pull think about backward Bihar. A part of the explanation could possibly be lack of city alternatives together with employment. Most likely, the perfect instance could be New Delhi’s Jawaharlal Nehru College the place round one-fourth of scholars are at all times from Bihar who come there since there are hardly any tutorial institutes of a repute again dwelling. And but, not even one-tenth of those college students return to Bihar! Many well-to-do Biharis don’t discover sufficient alternatives to boost their energy and pleasure within the agrarian economic system and give up to the appeal offensive of greener pastures elsewhere. And after we communicate of city consolation, there may be not a single metropolis in Bihar that may even remotely match the municipal comforts and aesthetic great thing about Chandigarh, Pune, Bengaluru and so on.
This then is the state of affairs the place the poor Bihari is left to fend for himself. He at greatest, is fed solely by false consciousness and empty sloganeering by the elite brethren. For all such Biharis, due to this fact, there is no such thing as a different different to outward migration even when it means leaving no matter little landholdings they’ve of their native locations. Sadly, it has not shaken up the elitists mindset from their slumbers. It hurts fairly badly! Reviews after reviews exhibiting Bihar on the lowermost ebb of efficiency matrices carry dwelling one bitter reality: its elites have failed Bihar collectively whereas hiding behind a veil of ignorance and profiteering individually. Very often, such reviews get ridiculed and politicised unnecessarily with out studying important classes from them. In such indifferent atmospherics, even the perfect public coverage initiatives face difficulties in supply and influence. Concurrently, no quantity of financial assist, together with elevated central help and particular bundle, would have a significant influence.
Bihar’s growth will stay an enigma and a public coverage problem for the reason that elites pursue a tradition of caste and politics than growth. Except the elites pursue a collective imaginative and prescient for Bihar and deal with its materials well-being, the remainder of India would proceed to mock on the ‘Bihar fatigue’ whereas poor Biharis would reside ghetto lives in several metropolitan institutions within the nation. It’s time for Bihar elites to cease being advert nauseam about previous glory and get going about Bihar’s financial growth and dignity.
Views expressed above are the writer’s personal.
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