Dear Lalooji – the De facto King of Bihar,
Congratulations on your victory in Madhepura. And also for the almost guaranteed win in the upcoming countermanded election of Chhapra in advance, which is now only of academic interest. You are really great with no one to challenge your political ability and foresight in at least in Bihar. But Bihar remains poor. I am sure you must not be very happy about the state of affairs there.
I was watching your reactions to the TV anchor who wanted to have your comments on EC’s decision countermanding the election of Chhapra held on 26.4.2004. You looked terribly irritated and upset. It is not good for you and for your health You still owe certain debt to Bihar. You must pay it back before you move out of Bihar. I am one of the well wishers of Bihar. I do also appreciate greatly, the way you have gone up from nowhere to the throne of Chandra Gupta Maurya and Ashoka. You have become a role model for anyone aspiring to be politician, and a case study for the students of political management for years to come.
Now with Rabriji as chief minister in Bihar and Soniaji as PM of India (probably), you can devote yourself to the cause of Bihar and make a permanent mark for yourself in history. Please have a changed mission and style now, as Ashoka did after the battle of Kalinga. It will be good for you as well as for Bihar. Forget Delhi, concentrate on Bihar. You indeed have great leadership quality that will help you in getting all these plans implemented without any trouble through your people, who almost worship you. Please concentrate for just two years on the growth and development of Bihar. All Biharis outside Bihar feel ashamed after hearing and reading all types of stories about Bihar’s backwardness, its poverty, its flourishing kidnapping industry, day light murders, law and order situations (all because of unemployment), extremely poor condition of roads, and lack of any modern industry or facilities of education and healthcare.
Please allow this humble servant of this great nation and a son of Bihar himself to offer a few suggestions:
- Please base your programmes with local resources. Once you make a beginning there will be many to help.
- Please get a dairy built in every block as a co-operative venture with collection centres at maximum number of villages. In essence, Bring a white revolution in Bihar. With your rural background it is possible to involve the right people. The programme will give extra earning to each and every family. Dr. Kurien of Gujarat fame is still alive. You might want to meet with him and seek his help. Your celebrity status (for good or bad reasons) will attract anyone. He can certainly depute some dedicated manager /technocrat for the project and to get it successfully implemented.
- Please motivate the farmers to switch over to the cultivation of vegetables and maybe even fruits. Arrange transportation and cold-storage facilities, marketing or even export. It will be most suited with gradually reducing land holding in villages. It will bring prosperity to the farmers and keep them engaged for more time in a year. Also go for plantation of commercial trees in every village in a big way.
- Please encourage your men to invest their energy in a big way in animal husbandry – good breed of cows, buffalos, goats and sheep. It is one of the many areas areas which has been neglected for some time now leading to the unfortunate reduction in the population of cattle. Also, encourage the establishment of big hatchery and piggery. Again, it will give employment to the villagers, will sustain the leather industry and provide proteinaceous food to the non-vegetarian population. Encourage the village heads to renovate the existing water tanks in every village. That can serve to store rain water for irrigation and can be farmed out for fishery.
- Please use the funds at your disposal for building good quality roads thereby helping every villages to be interconnected in more ways than has ever been possible. I need not enumerate the many advantages such a development would bring. Suffice it to say that It will bring buyers of village produce to the villages. Entrust the maintenance and responsibility of the condition of these roads to the village heads; otherwise they will be the first to damage them.
- Encourage panchayats to have a weekly bazaar in every 2-3 village clusters that will provide market for under privileged class for their produce.
- Develop local art and artisans such as, Madhubani printing and Bhagalpur silk. There is a tremendous untapped potential here in my opinion.
- Improve the places of tourist importance – Sasaram, Gaya, Bodha Gaya, Vaishali to name a few. It is fairly obvious that if tourism is properly developed and managed, it can provide a lot of employment as well prosperity to the region.
- Encourage entrepreneurs to establish good schools of Management and Technology and other institutes for higher studies in Bihar, as other states have done.
- Get a public toilet built in every village. It is a must today. Establish facilities to manufacture organic manure and encourage its use.
Oh, and a few more things…
- Let the people of Bihar stop identifying them by caste. If Hindutava is breaking the nation, the caste-based politics is poisoning the social fabric of Bihar. Only you can do it and provide the required leadership. Let us work towards changing the mindset of people who live in Bihar so that instead of starting their discussion with a stranger with a question like – ‘Kaun ashrein haein’ (Which caste you belong to?), they start by asking their first name. Let’s follow some youngsters who are dropping their surnames.
- And lastly, please propagate the benefit of smaller family of maximum two, preferably one. Be the first in BIMARU states to do that and achieve a figure of Kerala and Tamilnadu. I know it will be difficult for you. But one of your daughters can take up this task on your behalf.
I can add many things in this list. But you are very intelligent and innovative to come out with many more ideas to solve the problem of unemployment, particularly in villages. Please change the face of Bihar in next two years. Many will rush to assist you in this task, once you initiate with the zeal of the Mahatma to root out the biggest curse of life for any family – poverty.
I sincerely hope that you will see the wisdom in embarking upon some of things that I attempted to lay out in this letter. I wish you the very best and may God be with you.
~ A humble son of Bihar