2017 stands as a decisive year for Indians and notably for Biharis. The reason is not just one but many to count in the list. First, the year embarked with the celebration of 350th birth anniversary of Guru Gobind Singh on 5th of January. Guru Gobind Singh Ji Maharaj was the last of the ten Sikh gurus. He was a spiritual saint, philosopher and poet. He is known to have challenged the social differences, injustice and brutal establishments. His preaching for a caste-less, anti-ritualistic and universal religion was startlingly offbeat of his time. The reason why there is need to reminisce at him is because the time demands him. In a situation of vigilantism growing across nation in the name of belief and one ideology, a context has re-emerged to rethink about his courage to fight against injustice.
Second, 21st of January saw the formation of world’s largest human chain against alcoholism and liquor. It is no doubt that the state government deserves appreciation for their constant effort in bringing down the consumption of liquors to zero level. The ban across the state has stirred an environment of secret black market for it, but the state watch on the usage of alcohol in open market has reduced the chances of addiction among the budding generation. It is true that Biharis are indeed hard-working but an alcohol addiction can impede the core of Biharis growth. The poor sections are affected the most from the official ban whose only means to satisfy its hunger was through cheap stocks of liquors. But, believe me the state government hasn’t closed one door without unlocking the other. The industry of Neera has begun to give employment to those who were hit hard by the ban.
Third, 10th of April led to the beginning of celebrations to mark the centenary of Mahatma Gandhi’s Champaran sataygraha. All of us have read the cause and effect of Champaran Satyagraha in the struggle of Indian Independence movement as either a school student or as a voracious reader. But expect a few renowned academician its relevance has gathered only a few reader. On the occasion of a centenary event, the state is marked with a number of movies on Gandhi, lectures around him, plays on him and many other items stands in queue in long list of celebration part. It is is a trivial question why to remember bygone events when the present is no more the same? What we all need to remember is not the event but the context of the event, the message behind such satayagraha, the fight against oppressor’s injustice whether he is of foreign rule or form within home.
And fourth, the very first modern university of Bihar concludes a century. The university has lost its taste among the the students and thus enforcing meritorious students in search of higher education to move outside the state. The university has become ineffective not only in terms of quality but also quantity education, And by quantity I mean, the infrastructure and other basic amenities of education. The centenary event gave the university once again a chance to reconsider itself for a better tomorrow and I hope it does. The event was marked by inauguration free wi-fi across university, hoping to bring back its quality to the time where it was. It is my definite urge to save a decaying university form the chaos of politics, so that our Bihari’s can make a match when it comes in field of research domain.
These series of events truly makes 2017, a year to discuss among Biharis and unwrap past lessons & its mistakes. Let these events make every citizen of Bihar to reconsider its past and their contribution in making India. Let them realize how much more they can contribute now and where they lack today. It is not just a year of self-introspection but a year to reconcile its broken chains of energy. Let the year ahead be a constant reminder to each of us that yes we can bring a change and break the shackles in the name of caste and religion which is often mixed with Bihar politics in the name of vote-bank.