Saturday, October 20, 2007

"Bihar 2007" - The REAL News!

Came across this topic, "Mob Violence in Bihar", in the discussion board of 4IW.com where I am a member... http://discussion.4indianwoman.com/user/Discussion.aspx?id=53421. Being a Bihari and residing in Patna currently, I couldn't remain mum on it! :D However, what I wanted to say about it didn't fit in the "2000-character-restriction" on the forum posts. So I decided to speak on their blog portal instead. My entry just got posted there (it is a moderated blog portal)... but then I realized my personal blog readers here will probably not get to read the post on that site. So I am copying the entire post here as well...

One of the members on the forum mentioned that "no good news ever comes out of that state; the news only keeps getting worse." Well that's 'coz for the past 15 years, nothing good was being done in Bihar to report about, and now when things have started changing for the better, it looks like apparently the media has been "paid" [or more likely "threatened"] to keep all the good news "hushed up" from the rest of the country, so as to give the new government a bad image!

But I live here, in Patna... been here since early 2000... and I have seen with my own eyes the rapid development in the city since NK took over the reins. I have been wanting to write about it for several months now, but was just too lazy I guess. Well, as they say... "Better late than never"! So here I am finally!

In the LPY era, my dad wouldn't dare drive with us 2 sisters (even in a car) later than 9.30-10.00 at night. So you can seriously forget about men taking their wives/sisters/daughters on *2-wheelers* after dark! And these days... you'll see ice-cream vendors out on the streets till 12 midnight! I never once saw a female ride a scooty out in the main traffic till LPY was around! Now, these girls are everywhere... claiming their right to the roads of the city!

Back in those LPY days, there hardly used to be any private vehicles on the roads! We used to take just about 7 minutes to reach my uncle's place by car. And now, there are so many cars on the roads that at times we have to wait for THREE green signals in a row, before we are finally able to pass through one of the busiest crossings in the city! Needless to say, that 7-minute-smooth-sailing is just a long lost dream now! (At times I wonder if things weren't really better in the LPY era!)

In just a little over a year, more than a dozen departmental stores and shopping malls have come up. You know… those centrally air-conditioned multi-storeyed complexes like the Vishal Mega Mart! And many more are still under construction! Seems like there is one being built at every main market! There must be at least 50 of them! There is even a multiplex coming up... like the PVR cinemas in Delhi!

The underground drainage systems have been cleared at several places of the city and the roads have been patched up... that is, where there were any roads at all! But in most of the areas of the city, the roads had totally given away to a never-ending series of pot-holes in the 15 years before NK took stock of things! So it's taking a little more time than NK originally estimated and promised the people.

And the rains aren't helping either. The amount of rainfall we have had here this year has broken all records for the past 100 years! Needless to say, the government is totally unequipped to manage such an unprecedented situation! I mean what could the Maharashtra government do when Mumbai was flooded? The news channels keep reiterating about lack of government aid in flooded areas of the state! But they all fail to mention that such a situation has never ever happened here before! Infact, I dread to think of the plight of the people if such heavy rainfall had happened during LPY's rule!

But I totally agree with this statement, "The main problem with Bihar is the typical Bihari attitude. The moment you enter Bihar you are struck by the feeling of apathy, and laziness that is all pervasive. People don't want to change." This is what is wrong here. It's not the government anymore... as the news channels keep pointing out! It's the mindset of the people here. They have become so used to inactivity and lethargy-ness and hopelessness that they just aren't able to appreciate anybody's efforts towards bringing about a change in the state!

Despite all these setbacks, Bihar is still headed towards reclaiming its past glory. Recently, one of my acquaintances came for a visit here from Mumbai. He had left Patna for good several years ago, along with many other well-to-do business families whose right to democracy had been threatened by the then-prevailing-authorities here! He said he couldn't believe his eyes when he landed here! The place looked so completely different!

And not just the capital city! He even took a tour to the neighboring rural and sub-urban places and said those places were actually connected by ROADS finally! Proper roads! And the connecting highway between Varanasi and Patna is finally as smooth as “Hema Malini’s cheeks (Ha! Ha! Wink! Wink!)… so that it takes just 5.5 hours to commute between the 2 places now, as against the almost 12 hours it took us back in 2000 when my family shifted here from Kanpur!

Strange really… the news channels haven’t found out any of this!

(Continued below sponsored content)


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6 comments:

Kaddu said...

Wanted to add sth...

Was discussing abt Bihar's development with a couple of staff working for my uncle here... they gave some further first-hand NEWS!

Apparently these guys had no roads in their villages n had to walk down to their house from the main highway, abt 2 kms, whenever they went home! But now, they hv roads leading right upto their own house!

There was no school at all in the villages. But now thr is a proper school building thts been constructed under the NK rule! And not just school, they say many new facilities have been provided since the government changed.

Infact, these guys say that the development in the villages has been at a much faster n more visible rate than here in the towns!

amrit said...

Wonderful post Kadambari. You made me nostalgic about Patna! :(

Saudamini said...

heheh..I thought you only spoke "bihari" but you are now a true biharin...heheheheh

Anonymous said...

Oh wow!! U reminded me of Hema Malini's cheeks. Let me go google them up and then get back at u !!

- Mahesh

Anonymous said...

Interesting post kads. Nice to know Bihar is growing. Good !!

- Mahesh

Anonymous said...

Hey,

I know who you are.... I tried mailing you and tried calling you up on your Delhi email address. But you never replied back... How are you? Are you in touch with any1 from Spectramind???

Why dont you send me an e-mail? The email address is my fullname@yahoo.com
You have used my full name in your blog...
Take care

Sw...

I was in Spectramind with you... Was living in Alaknanda. Reply to my email address. Tell me whats been up with you as well as your number. Ill call you up.

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