Why “Bihari” Became A “Gaali” in Delhi and Mumbai

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Kumar Ankit:

Bihar, the most underdeveloped and underprivileged state of the nation is the new tiger economy of the country. It has achieved a growth rate of about 11.03% in its GDP in the last five years under the leadership of Nitish Kumar. With this, Bihar shut the mouth of all the critics who were always commenting on the development in this part of the country. A state which was termed as the “BIMARU” state has today reached this level of growth due to proper government administration.

Now the bigger question which arises is whether this new status will bring any change to the lives of the people not only those living inside the state, but also those who live outside, popularly known as “Biharis”. As we all know the term “Bihari” is used as slang in some northern parts of India, mostly in Delhi, as a slang to address or demoralize a person, or to make him feel inferior.

It has been a long term mind-set of people that all Biharis are illiterate, corrupt, law breakers; they are the ones who have taken their jobs, their lands, their seats in colleges; they are menial workers or say present day “girmitya majdoor”. They do not know how to behave; they have no culture, no respect for others’ well being.

The biggest question that comes to my mind, very often, is that why is it so that the image of Bihar is painted darker than it actually is? May be the reason behind this is that there is no one to speak on the behalf of the community or no one to listen to what they want to say. Our politicians or the so called ‘servants of the people’ show their concern on various issues like the foreign policy of U.S and China, climate change; they protest against Mittal’s and Tata’s building industries and many more issues of so called national importance. But how many of us have ever seen them talk about an issue of regionalism that exists in our own land? The problem that is being discussed in the offices of all the ministers today is the problem of Indians being ill treated in the foreign land, but no concern is being shown to the discrimination that is taking place within the country itself. The discrimination that is making these people feel alienated in their own country?

Irrespective of the fact that what a Bihari does, from a rickshaw puller to a technocrat, these people have equal contribution in the development of most of the states. These are amongst the people who helped in making roads, houses, metros, railways etc. so that we could develop.

Biharis are not just limited to menial works, as they are placed at almost every top-notch place from politics to cricket, to the civil services. They are doctors, engineers, managers, writers, artists, businesspersons, journalists and much more.

Nevertheless, irrespective of all these, the image of a “Bihari” remains the same.

There are mainly three reasons for this –

1) The image has been tarnished by the politicians of the state. They took the state in the dark ages. They divided the state in the name of casteism and built a system based on corruption, red tapism and sycophancy. Because of this, crime rate increased and with it, Naxals groups such as Ranvir Sena and MCC. Money meant for development went into the pockets of politicians and babus. Thus creating a bad name.

2) With their constant hard work, Biharis started occupying a better position in other states. As a result, the natives thought that these people are eating their jobs and resources and started harassing them, as in case of Maharashtra, Punjab and Assam.

3) As most of the Biharis doing the menial jobs are illiterate and belong to rural parts, thus, they know very little about the life in urban centers. Their way of speaking and activity is not up to the mark and as they are poor and downtrodden, others make fun of them.

People from other states always argued that if they are talented and multi-faceted but rarely do they contribute to the development of the nation as a whole? Why are they still lagging behind? I bring to you some points on why Biharis are forced to leave their land.

1) The first reason is its geography. Every year, Bihar faces the brunt of nature. In some parts, it faces floods (as in the case of Kosi region) and on the other hand there are areas like Gaya and Jehanabad where drought is very common. So there remain not many options for the people, as they have to feed their family and also save their lives. They have to leave their land in search for employment.

2) Bihar has faced this situation due to the parochial interest of their leaders. Its leaders from the time of independence were busy playing caste cards instead of building infrastructure or an atmosphere where every hand get works and every child gets education. Funds meant for development projects were used in building infrastructure for public servants i.e. for netas and babus.

3)Bihari students migrated to other states in search of higher education. Due to lack of quality education and very few institutes offering higher education. This situation has to do with the policies of the leaders of the state who never tried to uplift the condition of education in the state. The leaders kept the people busy on issues which had nothing to do with their daily lives and development. So that they do not ask question about serious issues such as education and health. For this purpose they used every possible way such as promoting hatred in the name of caste and thus came up Naxal groups such as Ranvir Sena and MCC.

Therefore, the students had no other options other than studying hard so that they could get admissions in IITs, IIMs, JNU, DU and other well-reputed colleges. With their talent and hard work, they flooded these colleges and paved new avenues for them.

4) Bihar has no major industry and after partition from Jharkhand the situation worsened as mineral rich places such as Bokaro, Hazaribagh and Jamshedpur went to Jharkhand. The industry of Bihar for e.g. sugar mills and fertilizer plants either were shut down or were incurring losses. In this situation the common people or the technicians were not able to get enough jobs and so had to migrate.

As we all know that nobody wants to migrate from their native place because you have got many memories and you have your own people there. Therefore it is not a matter of happiness for anyone to leave their place and migrate. It is not a matter of choice for the poor but they are forced to do so. This is applicable for the Biharis as well. Comments of Sheila Dikshit “that these people are law breakers” and of Raj Thackeray that “ek bihari sau bimari” resembles the anti Bihari sentiments going on in the country, these comments hurt the locals, as being people of the same country they are discriminated. These things needs to be stopped immediately otherwise this things can lead to bigger repercussions.

At the end, I would like to say that Bihar, once the land of civilization, must maintain its 11 % growth rate for decades to come, to regain the lost glory. For doing so, Bihar needs to build infrastructure so that it can sustain its population by giving the brainiest people jobs on their own land. Industry should be opened; colleges on the role model of Nalanda University should be opened soon. Seeds have been planted for a better tomorrow but still a lot needs to be done so that we can work in our own farms rather than in Punjab or Maharashtra.

The writer is the Contributing Editor at Youth Ki Awaaz

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34 comments

  1. I would say as far as my experience is concerned i will really avoid bihari people in my social acquaintances, they are a collection of some wiered characteristics liek people from planet woooo!!. They must be called gypsies of south asia.

  2. raghavendra mishra

    Dekho bhai….sahi baat to ye hai ki bihar anya developed rajyon se kam se kam 25 saal peeche hai . Iska pramukh kaaran jo main samajhta hoon wo castisism ya political manipulation nahin hai. Aisa to har state mein hai. Cast based politics gujarat,maharashtra,karnataka,TN etc states mein nahin hai kya ? Mere khayal se hamen ye maan lena chahiye .ki hum pichade hain . Aap mujhe ye batao ki recent 50 years .ke bihar .ki history mein kitne bihari national ya international hero huye hain . I mean to say ki bihari nationalism ki bhavna kitne logon mein hai ?nahin hai kyonki koi sahi national hero nahin hai Jo ek example set kar sake.
    Sports,media , architecture , technology ,bollywood mein apna example set karne wala bahut kam hai. Hum kab tak maurya , nalanda ,IIT ,IAS ke naam pe boast karte rahenge yaar . Wo ek golden past tha . Humen ptesent mein jeena hai.
    SELF RESPECT NAHIN KHONA MERE DOSTON ….JAHAN BHI RAHO ,JIS PROFESSION MEIN RAHO EXAMPLE SET KARO…..MAHILAON KI IZZAT AISI KARO KI DOOSRE STATE WALE BIHARION KO AADARSH MANE. Iinfrastructure sab baad mein.
    Thank you

  3. amol

    my friend . i wanna tell you one thing…i have been to delhi a few times and what i have noticed is a simple fact…the migrants from up and bihar(mostly)…and i am not talking about the iit or aieee aspirants nor the people from services sector……but the rest are completely pervert and they have no respect for the dignity of a woman….they look woman with their neck turned 180 as if they have never seen a woman in their life…and this is awkward and depressing from a girls point of view ..they pass vulgar comments and etc…nd my friend nnthing can be isolated . this is the mentality of the majority of the ppl in these states…i know there are perverts everywhere…but the nos in these states are alarming ….the society is backward and it needs a change rather than blaming the law and order situation.
    ps i have no hate for biharis…

    • very true……they lack respect to women…my parents r from bihar ..i ve been living in mumbai since birth……nd its true people from there do lack respect…

  4. RAVI BIHARI

    BIHAR is a heaven . but some people who did not saw the cultural of bihar that person call ‘BIHARI’ People of delhi and maharastha. Kabhi Smay mile to bihar jakar dekho Delhi, maharastra aur bihar me kitana difference hai.

  5. sukaina

    very educative, and awaking the youth indeed. It’s actually very sad our youth is completely unaware of facts and post comments and derogatory language…
    I would just like to say a very good start. indeed the AWAAZ we need! :)

  6. I have lived in Delhi. I believe English media of India is totally Anti-Bihar. When West Media criticizes India, these Indian Media says “You guys define India without even coming to India.” In the similar fashion, I would say, “You Delhi/Mumbai guys define Bihar without even coming to India.” First go and have a conversation with an Educated person from Bihar. You will understand.

  7. narayan kumar

    i am proud to i am a bihari

  8. Abhilash

    Statements of politicians like Raj Thakrey , Digwijjay singh do not make any sense but i was really shocked to know that a lady like Sheila Dikshit can give such n irresponsible nd immature comment. Errors do occur even in highest degree of precion, simmilarly there r few people who bring shame to their community and their country n they r in every state, religion, caste nd community. Regionalism weakens a country n we all shud realize that. If we wont respect our own countrymen how can we xpect from outsiders.

  9. boy from patna

    i m a student of ip university delhi and i m from patna bihar. i just want to say only one thing on this issue that “very soon a time will come that any delhides will be ruined very badly in our country”

    • Bdurvej

      Shut up u filthy piece of shit

  10. Pingback: [HAPPY NEW YEAR] Best Of 2010 On YouthKiAwaaz.com (Honour Killing, Domestic Violence, Pranav Mistry and more) | Youth Ki Awaaz: Mouthpiece for the Youth

  11. anil

    It is said that one should not call a blind ‘blind’, because he thinks it as derogatory remark. The remarks ‘Bihari’ would be considered a gaali only if the person receiving it consider it to be. I have always felt pride in calling myself as behari, just because I know myself & bihar. I qualified into IITJEE in 1997, preparing for it from Ranchi. Out of total 3000 seats, I guess more 150 came from Ranchi. If you count the contribution from major cities of Bihar, it would be around 15-20% of the available seats. This is really remarkable.
    I now work in top PSU, no. of Bihari officers in my company is much more than Marathi or from other state (i work in Mumbai. These data itelf says a lot.

  12. Hey Ankit a brilliant article on the state of Bihar and it reminds of how i was called names by school friends just because i was a bihari and as you very correctly pointed out the the reasons for Bihari’s leaving Bihar are because of poor infrastructure facilities. Having said that, Bihar is on the verge of a great change and if this problem of casteism in politics of Bihar is removed then i am sure that in the yrs to come Bihar will become a state which will become the old “land of the golden egg”. But i have to say this that i am happy with the current chief minister who is trying his best to improve the situation in Bihar and we should support him in whatever way we can. I think we as the youth of the country also have to take the initiative of letting others know that we are as good as any other state in this country.

  13. Pingback: We the People, the State Bihar, and the Irony behind its Misery | Youth Ki Awaaz: Mouthpiece for the Youth

  14. santosh

    I am highly concerned that someone has expressed his genuine feeling on “Bihrri” being treated as Gaali. Friend, in the course of developement we Biharis left at the margin and hence we had to come out of Bihar .The position would be improved when we biharis in delhi are ready to help one another.

  15. akash

    hi,
    one i will like to know

    r the following people treated as gali for india

    Religion: Sita mata (Hinduism), Mahavira (Jainism), Gautam Buddha (Buddhism), Bhaktivedanta Narayana Goswami, Guru Gobind Singh ji (Sikhism), Shams-ul-haq Azeemabadi (Islamic scholar)

    Poets/witters: Ramdhari Singh Dinkar, Vidyapati, Ram Sharan (R. S.) Sharma, Nagarjuna (Vaidya Nath Mishra)

    Freedom Fighters/Politicians: Dr Rajendra Prasad, Jayaprakash Narayan, Jagjivan Ram, Karpoori Thakur, Swami Sahajanand Saraswati, Yogendra Shukla, Anugrah Narayan Sinha, Baikuntha Shukla, Veer Kunwar Singh

    Sports: Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Saba Karim, kirti azad

    Movie Directors: Prakash Jha, Manjul Sinha, Karan Anshuman

    Actors: Shatrughan Sinha, Shekhar Suman, Manoj Bajpai, Helen, Pratibha Sinha

    who is going to treat biharis as gali
    1.the person who do not have self respect for their country
    2.they are narrow mindless
    3.they are not matured at all

    • Msdhoom034

      with all due respect i accept the above facts you have mentioned.but i want to show you some different phase of it. if biharis  are treated as gali in maharastra and delhi but not in other state. as i am from kolkata,i have lots of bihari freinds here.kolkata is really welcoming for them.but few of them are really annoying. infact some of them abuse bengali girls as they are modern and have no culture.is that someone suppose to say.now how these people should be treated? biharis are not gaali infact they are loyal but few of the rotten peices corrupted the whole community.

  16. Abhinav

    if a school going small kid uses the word bihari that simply indicates that there is input from the parents side.i would like to say only one thing that MITTI KABHI BHI KUCH BHI BURA NAHI SIKHATI .most of the people in metros have never visited bihar but its in their habit to comment and criticize.

  17. Sreeja Raman

    It is good to highlight such points in public with an apparent positive mind behind. Your former CM could do nothing to your railways (especially Gaya) even after becoming the Cb Minister of Railways. So u youth try hard to protest the ‘gali’ callers by redefining your States’ name.

    Read an article about Bihar in Scrollindia.com

  18. Rakesh Chandra

    Hi,

    Its been almost 16 years I am in Delhi now and listening the word “Bihari” from different people in northen part of India.

    In the begining when I came to delhi the word Bihari was like a hell to me, but as the time started passing on and I was getting busy in my own work now I hardly feel that this word has a general meaning for all who do not take their work seriously.

    This is a general saying that empty mind is a devils home and I mean it. Since most of the people have enough time to think non productive work/things they start doing other things which sometimes are very bad in result.

  19. mukul

    nycly written……..wus lyk to tell u just 1 thng that ……in order to change image of biharis…ppl have to come up and prove that the wrld is wrong

  20. dats very well said. biharis r really what dat is described in dis article. n dis article gives a clear vision about the mantality n thinking of the people…

    i love dis article..

  21. kumar ankit

    Mr Gautam I am not at all aggressive and believe you me , i feel proud being a Bihari and the recent developments in our state has also made me feel proud. I was talking about some prejudices prevailing in our modern societies.

  22. GAUTAM SHARMA

    ITS A VERY GOOD QUESTION ASK BY MR. ANKIT. ACTUALLY IN GENERAL IN DELHI OR OTHER STATE “BIHARI” IS THE WORD WHICH REPRESENT A PICTURE OF A POOR, FRAUD, BELOW STANDERED PEOPLE WHO BELONGS TO A VERY POOR UNDERDEVELOPED STATE. BUT SUCH TYPE OF MAINTLELITY IS MAINTAIN BY A VERY SMALL NO. OF PEOPLE OF THESE STATE. BECAUSE THEY ACTUALLY IN THERE LIFE DIDNT INETERECT WITH ANY HIGH CLASS BIHARI. THEY ALWAYS SEEN IN BUS SOME POOR PEOPLE COMES FROM BIHAR FOR SOME JOB, “BADHUA MAJDOORI”. BUT INFACT IN MOST OF THE BIG BUSINESS HOUSES AND COMPANIES, A LARGE NUMBER OF PEOPLE WHO BASICALLY BELONGS TO BIHAR CAN BE SEEN.SO MY FRIEND ANKIT DONT BE AGGRESSIVE AND SENTIMENTAL.INNOCENCE AND SIMPLICITY IS THE REAL IDENTITY OF A “BIHARI”. WE PROUD TO BE A “BIHARI”.WE ARE ON THE WAY TO MAKE A HISTORY, AFTER BECOMING ONE OF THE HIGHLY DEVELOPED STATE OF INDIA AND EVERY BIHARI GET A REAL RESPECT . WE WILL DEDICATTE ALL OUR EFFORTS TO OUR BIHAR AS WELL AS UOR COUNTRY.

  23. abhishek anand

    a very well knit report on d social aspect of being a bhari wiz i must say can critically change d mindset of cynics who r so very sceptical towards d very name “bihari” …i wud recommend it to all as it gives d reader some truth to ponder over..an introspection of which will help us come to a better understanding of d commonplace bihar and ‘omnipresent’ ppl frm d state…in d end laurels to d author for surfacing d truth of d long misinterpreted subject.

  24. monika

    good info… y do bihar ppl tak it as a ”gaali” take it as a word of indentification f dr community , thr state. ppl use it as a ”gaali” cz bihar ppl also take it d same way… its all abt hw u take things… n if u r askin ppl to chng thr mind set abt biharis thn first bring out d chng frm wdin thmselves cz they r d ones who cn mk d differnc..

  25. raj

    the future is definitely going to be be ours , and the points which were given by kumar was on the mark and this is the situation till now , if we talk about education or industry.work has been done by nitish kumar but still miles to go……….

  26. utkarsh singh

    Bihar is definitely going to be the next no 1 state in India ,if the current development trends remain same it will acheive this in near future .jai bharat , jai bihar.

  27. Bhaskar

    it is sad to know that this things exist in our country.Leaders should prevent this from happening instead of doing.

  28. Oh, that’s sad :-(

    Sometimes I think that the image of different communities gets tarnished more because of the way the media and politicians portray them than for how the people of the community really are.

  29. Well, Haresh, in Delhi it is quite common. I have friends who have faced prejudice.

  30. I am not sure if ‘Bihari’ is really considered to be a ‘gaali’.

    • Krishna

      Hey whats the issue in called “Bihari”. Bihar is a name of one of states from India not from Pakistan and people from Bihar is called “Biharis” how it can be gali.If you think like this most of the settlers in Delhi are refugees from Pakistan(lots of Punjabis, Hindus, Jats) after India got divided whom govt. has allotted land and gave compensation to build houses and settle 60 years back, as it is capital they got better income and standard of living who is thinking now in charge of Delhi .Its every ones capital and all Biharis have the rights to work and settle any where not even delhi. If any one have problem please change in constitution or remove the name of Dr. Rajendra Prasad from history who was the First president of India not any Bal Thakrey or Shila Dikshit.

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