For quite some time I have not written about Bihar. Basically, there has been nothing that could excite me to write. But a news item in Times of India made me convinced that the present government in Bihar has hardly any aggressive plans to change the State. It has a bunch of intellectually poor minister and totally sycophants as secretaries. Bihar has a glorious past with an established culture. In any book of history of India, Bihar comes first because of Chandra Gupta, Chanakya, and Ashok, who established one of the most prosperous empires of the sub-continent, perhaps the world in those days. However, today one of its minister and secretary has nothing in their agenda but to promote rat meat and establish that rat meat is healthy. It appears the government wishes to compete with Lalu in everything that he does or did. I remember his promoting ‘litti and chokha’ became a news in those days.
News such as one given above, pains me. It tells the poor standard of the people who are in the charge of building the destiny of an unfortunate state whose people are so good and hardworking, and whose potentials are immense. According to some experts in agriculture, Bihar is the sleeping giant with water in plenty (Over 1,000 tonnes of water is required to produce one tonne of grain.), and its fertile land.
As usual I try to find some solace through the story of some good work that is being done by some individuals in Bihar. One such story appeared in Outlook Business recently about Satyajit Kumar Singh and how he won over hesitant farmers, and intrusive traders to make ‘makhana’ farming a means of honest and sustainable livelihoods. Singh offered around Rs 100 a kg directly to the farmers as against Rs 50-60 a kg offered by unscrupulous traders, and recently he hiked the prices to Rs 140 a kg. I got really impressed with his business model. His firm ‘Shakti Sudha’s turnover is nudging Rs 50 crore. Singh hopes to expand to 126 blocks, reach 40,000 farmers and touch a turnover of Rs 100 crore by 2012.’
Should I not, here in US, be happy with this news rather than brooding about the ministers who keep on giving big figures and does nothing in field, and most of the administration doing overtime in sycophancy business? However, I feel pity about them and angry too when I find the position of Bihar in recently published hunger Index at the bottom among the Indian states. Isn’t my anger justified?