Bihar- what is there to write?

After revealing all my dreams of a developed Bihar for so many years now, I feel lost and morose. With the tenure of Nitish slipping fast, I try to solace me with a question to me. Why did I think that he would be different? Now I realize my mistake. He couldn’t be, as he doesn’t have a single person in the ministry with an all India image. How can we expect someone to perform a good job if he doesn’t know what his job demands?

I don’t say Nitish didn’t try or is not honest to his work. But his successes are hardly significant for a state, which has remained at the bottom of the states in the country. He has, perhaps, hardly touched the peripheries of the problems pending due to decades of misrules in Bihar. I wish he could move fast on land reforms.

Bihar recently got an accolade of appreciation from no less a person than Sonia Gandhi for its success in installing user-friendly RTI model. Nitish jumped in sky with it. However, his own DM could put one man into prison for asking some embarrassing information, and another information seeker was asked to pay Rs 6 lakh for documentation cost.

Bihar has got few institutes of excellence such an extension of BIT, Chanakya Law University, Chadragupta Institute of Management, IIT and Institute of Fashion Design all in Patna. Perhaps very soon Nalanda University will start operating. All these institutes will certainly change the image of Bihar. However, it will not help the students of Bihar very much. Where are the professional colleges, ITIs and polytechnics that are required in hundreds to take care of the population of the students in Bihar? Look at Andhra Pradesh that I knew as laggard during our IIT’s days. It has now 685 engineering colleges. Why can’t the state look into the reasons that don’t attract any investor to come in Bihar, when other states even Orissa are getting hundreds of private engineering colleges? Can one imagine total drainage of the state’s money going to other states where most of the boys and girls are going for their engineering and other professional education? Why are these institutes mushrooming in other states but not in Bihar?

The whole country is buzzing with activities in SEZs and manufacturing clusters, in construction for hospitality sector, retail and tourism. However, the technocrat CM and his party head outright rejected the concept that has been universally accepted by all states. Are they the only socialists or the messiah of the farming community of Bihar? Sugar industry and food processing could turnaround the economy of some region. However, new entrepreneurs are still shy of coming in Bihar. Perhaps, because of a system called ‘rangdari’ or poor work culture of the people.

Railways projects at Chhapra and Madhepura, if executed properly, could propel Bihar as a significant player in manufacturing sector because of the vendors that it may breed. But it is getting delayed because of the who-takes-credit tussle of Lalu and Nitish. And who knows after the next election, if Lalu remains to pursue the project?

NREG Scheme could have helped Bihar significantly but for the corruption. Bihar wanted to make the workings of the scheme more transparent by e-enabling it. However, it has got stuck with certain confusion. While the Bharat Nirman is electrifying all the rural habitants in the country, Bihar’s performance is dismal because of the bitter fights between the ministers in Delhi and that in Patna.

What does news such as ‘Bihar clears investment proposals worth Rs 71,289 crore‘ say, when nothing is visible on the ground?

I wish the people of Bihar find a way out through praying the Gods, but as judiciary proclaims even Gods can’t bring about the desired change.

Why are the people so helpless?

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