The incredible tragedy in Bihar caused by the floods in the river Kosi raises several questions. Close to 3 million people have been displaced from their homes. Over a 100 are dead, but there is no way that figure can be established as much of the flood affected areas are cut off. While several people raised the spectre of global warming, why was there no warning and protection when engineers could see that the Kosi dam in Nepal was under structural pressure before it burst and caused the devastation ? If reports are to be believed, the warning was faxed to an office in Patna where the faxes accumalated as the person in charge was on leave and no one was in office!!!! Fax ? Whatever happened to the cell phone ?
A fundamental question too : why does the rest of India treat Bihar as a lost cause ? Wherever I go there is general lament about Bihari labour creating slums, forgetting that they were there for a purpose. To build our roads, our houses. Why have people got this attitude for a state that was once the greatest centre of learning in the whole world, at the nalanda Unversities. Famous Bihari's include King Asoka, Chandra Gupt Maurya, Chanakya, Vatsayana, but also Dr rajendra Prasad, Karpoori Thakur, even our current hot favourite - Mahendra Singh Dhoni. And yet if you ask people about Bihar the first name that comes up is Laloo Prasad Yadav. Why not Buddha and Bodh Gaya ?
This is what Shekhar Kapur said in his blog about bihar Flood
There ware 10 Comments Posted
I want you to read that as well
1. Maybe we should ask the Biharis that? Having roots in the BIMARU states (Eastern UP in my case), I can say through first hand experience that a lot has to do with people and their attitudes. The rest of the country does make or break a state. The people of the state do it themselves. If Bihar is not known for Bodh Gaya any longer no one can be blamed but the Biharis.
This is obviously not related to the crisis in Bihar at the moment. The plight of the people suffering from the flood because of the neglect of the officials is extremely distressing. I hope we all can rise and do something for them through the various organisations that are collecting money for the purpose. The CM's relief fund is one of them.
2. Thank you for a timely post Shekhar on a question that is begging to be answered. I often wonder whether we consider ourselves Indians first and then Gujratis, Bengalis, Biharis etc or is it the other way round?
As for the floods and the disaster that is ongoing, as individuals I think we can all contribute in our own way and the good part is that as fellow Indians we do respond whole heartedly and generously. However, here again we feel helpless as individuals. I think many may have forgotten just how often they have done their bit in helping out with flood relief. We are in the 21st century and this is not a natural calamity such as an earth quake or Tsunami but a perpetually devastating annual feature. Water management is just a slogan, just as much as garibi hatao or any other poltical shenanigan.
Just thinking about 2.5 million people undergoing misery, deprivation and loss of their worldly belongings is mind boggling. One can't even begin to think of what these people are going through.
3. I agree with you about Bihar...King Asoka, Chandra Gupt Maurya, Chanakya, Vatsayana, even Buddha had spend lot of time. Even today highest number of IAS officers come from Bihar
The problem is media. Laloo Prasad is media savvy since a decade and its the media that made many punch lines ' jab tak rahega samosay mei aalo, tab tak something something laloo'. Bihar has a legacy but highest amount of brain drain. Youth of Bihar after 18 years leave Bihar their fathers work in fields. Every other watchman in major part of India is Bihari.
So what is the problem? Corruption?? no way its not corruption but low level of incomes that Biharis face. One has to understand that corruption is prevelent and will prevail but there are none self help groups, investments, opportunities that make the youth to autometically go out to seek their fortune outside Bihar. To make Bihar better is not a year's work it will take decade to make the first changes.
4. Who else, but the politicians are to be blamed for the perception of Bihar.Now indirectly, people are to be blamed too.Why is Bihar equated to goondagiri,where someone can stab a person for mere 100 bucks?because thats what the poltiicians made Bihar.The law & order there has been twisted beyond repair.Now,who choose those law makers (breakers)?People of bihar? If yes,did they do that out of ignorance or out of their illiteracy? if it is latter, then again the Govt. has to be blamed. Now see this vicious circle.If the law makers elected themselves as law breakers,what can one do?
5. Shekharji, there is barely any news about the tragedy in Bihar outside of India. Why, there seems to be not much mileage to this disaster even within India. It is evident that the media is glaringly indifferent to the problems plaguing people in the hinterlands of the country, but is sparingly accommodating with news regarding crime, violence, sex, politics, movies, and of course cricket. The veil of modernism that shrouds our country is nothing more than a fig leaf, and incidents such as these clearly expose the efficiency of our administrative and political systems. The only thing that seems to be holding the country together in such situations is perhaps the forceful resilience of our people - whether it is floods, shortage of water, militancy or a bomb blast, we seem to want to accept things the way they are and move-on, until the next such one. So much for frivolously used mottoes such as "India Shining".
6. Sir, I read thy blog but as far I race out my horses I get that it's all because of failures in the law/rules. What happens in Bihar is just out of law. And the pity is that inspite of so many rules it happens, Y? Sir, I have written a Novel,"A Night With God: My Overnight Renaissance" and posted that atwww.anightwithgod.blogspot.com Sir, plz do read it and give thy valuable comments and make a way for the Novel as may be You will come to know that why I have blogged it, no support, only rejection....but all that by chance make me the Author of First Online Novel of my State, Uttarakhand.
7. Today it's Bihar , tomorrow it could be Tamil Nadu. Global warming is slowly but surely making its footprint loud and clear and yet what do we do about it. Perhaps make the right noises, remember to switch of the lights and fans more often and perhaps walk to the nearest kirana store instead of driving down. But when tragedies like this happen in Bihar it is doubly pitiable because of the state in which it is. It's no use pointing fingers at Biharis or at the Government or at anyone. This is a tragedy that has stricken our fellow humans and we have to deal with it the way we deal with all the other tragedies that are taking place in our country. I believe that there are people who are perhaps trying their best and i just hope some good will come out of this tragedy.
8. Sir,I understand we cannot exclude the foreign affairs ministry in this. How are our current relations with NEPAL? Haven't they weakened in past few years? Growing threat of terrorism from this area? We all know about the intra border nexus and illegal trade activities happening between Bihar and Nepal borders!!I believe this is the prime Law and Order condition due to which as you mentioned FAX and other forms of communication have failed.They have planned this failure.Is it regional politics, National Politics or Inter border trade Politics?
Vinod Agarwal - No idea !!
9. It is truly miraculous to watch the great Pataliputra, known for the oldest universities and the wisest scholars, crumble to today's Patna, known for buffoons like Lalu.
Elect Narendra Modi..he'll replicate the model of Gujarat in these states that have been destroyed by the Lalus and Paswans.There is currently no other honest, far-sighted and efficient politician as Modi in India. He is exactly what India needs to bring in that radical infrastructural leap. Please look through the veil of communalism that has been painted over him by the corrupt UPA desperately hanging on to power.
10. Hello Mr.Shekar,Primarily i should ask you ,why didnt Shekar ever talked about Bihar?even you blog was just as vague as the question I posed.Because something happens so considerable that it blocks your head ,then we throw some light into it.if its Floods in Bihar, Bombs in Jaipur,but the epitome is that we always worry about the routine seasonal floods in Mumbai , Kolkotta and worry about clogged drainage and bomb blasts that often take place in Hyderabad and Mumbai and kolkotta .Why Media is content centric to places where such things happens often ,but they dont enquire or dug out whats happening in otherthan those floods.Civil and NGO always play an active part in hearing their voices and show the raised hands of the problems to Governments and Leaders ,for whom Media hands off as they are busy on what Heroines are doing with their Boyfriends or which sexsymbol is making rupture.Shame less people .Bihar never had Floods in past few decades ,then how could you say that its someones failure?Shekar at least you should have raised your voice about Kosi .But you know about Kosi only after floods.Like Everybody.Do you know when was the dam built or what was it built of.Dont just sit there and write and scribble something to offend.I think its your regular practise .Have you voiced the situation of peoples mindset when Dhoni's house was stoned by Fans and People of the locality when Dhoni was remarked to have shown poor performance.This is also mostly talked in sports circuit,saying this is Bihar ,a place perfect opposite to Budhdhisam and bhodi satva.You dont mention such things .
There are many more Bridges in Bihar which are still staying still on damaged and wrecked and demolishing structure longed for decades ,Shekar please take care of them ,If you are so concerned like of Kosi,I will be the first one to tap on your shoulder and say 'good fellow'.i have the list if you want ,about the bridges ,Dams and Annicuts which are so weak that they can break for a light rain in Bihar,that should be renovated or Repaired.They are left out by officials because there were never floods at those places.Will you voice the Government ?Remember:dont question what you cant do.And That would be stupidity.