I am a kid grown in 90s of Bihar, infamous bloody anarchic years, chose to stay out of Bihar for most of my adult life in various parts of country literally running away, but couldn’t find answer to what I am running away? Is it identity? Is it reality? Is it fear? Why did I expect reactions before I speak and reveal my identity? Dear nation you gave shelter to a wandering soul but for years you managed to create an illusion around a seeker, illusion of civilized, mannered, good speaking and being successful. Whose fault is it? I feel you didn’t at all recognize and appreciate contribution of Biharis in nation building and I am not at all talking about Bihari labors, rickshaw pullers, taxi drivers, servants, gate keepers and civil servants, all you talk of regularly. I want you to look beyond that.
Remember what you were in 90s! Unstable coalition governments at center and markets open to the world, politicians of Bihar somehow became essential for formation and stability of governments. You took this opportunity to build IT hubs, silicon valleys, en-cashed green revolution and expanded benefits of industrialization, while Biharis were killing each other, schools literally shut down, doctors kidnapped, industrialists fled, youth forced to move out of state and Bihar regressed. You didn’t act against it considering national responsibility but chose to remain indifferent and enjoy support of those politicians. But Biharis didn’t turn against you. Bleeding, bruised and devastated they celebrated your success. Think if you had chosen to act upon and Biharis demanded a share of the progress. Would you have been able to run successive governments and attract investments? I wonder if you were able to become an IT giant. Alas! If you have acted as a nation.
Dear nation! You owe prosperity to Bihar.
Think little more. You enjoy soft power in the world against much powerful nations and dare to stand against since you share culture and history with South Asia, South East Asia, Europe and Africa. Did you think where this history is rooted into? Do you remember Chandragupta Maurya who extended your boundaries up-to Indian subcontinent? Ashoka, who sent his children to South East Asia to spread messages of Buddha which laid centuries of relation? Bonded labors sent to Africa to work in fields, settled there and occupied key positions over years? Alexander and Hun-Shang? You enjoy this goodwill as a nation and your educated citizens get high paying jobs there. Imagine if these historical events didn’t happen and you didn’t have advantage of good image, how vulnerable have you been in the current world order? Lawmakers kept those threads intact and you prospered as a nation but what Biharis got from it? They didn’t bother asking for? They enjoyed your success and felt proud.
Dear nation! You owe respect to Bihar.
Now think of those rickshaw pullers, auto and taxi drivers, maids, servants and watchmen. People work in offices day and night and vendors outside those offices serve food and maids and servants make their homes so they spend additional hours in office, drivers drive them home day and night so they are operational round the clock and watchmen ensure security when they are away home so they have leisure time in malls, theaters and restaurants. Imagine the day when Biharis are literate enough to refuse these so called low standard jobs and everyone have to do it on their own, I wonder how you would be able to promise your labor force to the world.
Dear nation! You owe mobility to Bihar.
You owe more than you do.