Sunday, March 16, 2008

Attack On Bihar

After recent attacks on biharis, uttarpradesh and north indians by goodns of Raj Thakrey there has been a sense of discomfort across India. Some of us are very upset and some want to revenge while most have offered to display Gandhigir. In this context our take is that we need not be aggressive but yes we must defend our brothers/sisters by all means. I would say that we should be "assertive". We should not be hesitant to celebrate our festivals like "chath" at all. At the same time we should make all efforts to mix up / assimilate local culture and festivals as well. Guess most progressive people and we Biharis do as well,

As far as, Raj Thakrey and goons are concerned, they are best ignored and "defended against". This whole series of incidents against biharis is giving rise to emergence of bihari subnationalism. Which is much needed. However do not expect most of the well educated and well placed Biharis to speak-up or stand-up and be counted.

Most of them will just prefer to watch silently over TV or read newspapers and analyse for few weeks and then move on to their routine life. Some of the political kind will try to get some mileage out of it (this side or that side but their end goal is to benefit) . Those whose bread and butter is affected or those whose life and honor is being threatened will either react in self-defence or migrate to safer places. However some, especially the young students will see this as a wake-up call and they will react by their heart. We need to make sure that the reaction is on right track. We don't resort to the level of "goondas" on road. We must prepare to defend and support our people and at the same time, wake-up to the reality that there is no place like home. We must try to give our best to our current place (Maharashtra or Delhi or US) but at the same time should also retain our connections with the homeland and continue to give back to our parent society(bihar, jharkhand or india).

For almost 2 months i have been hopping from city to city (Patna, Munger, Rajgir, Nalanda, Tilaiya, Hazaribagh, Ranchi, Jamshedpur, Mumbai, Pune, Bangalore, Gurgaon, Delhi). If the socio-economic-political trends as observed by a non-expert are to go by then we are already on the path of socio-economic renaissiance. The dark days are over. Bihar is going through a churn and transformation that will really shake up the world. In the few weeks that I was in Patna, there were some or other othe trade-expo, seminar, socio-economic event going on. Patna's calendar was very busy and so was rest of bihar. National/International level sports events and positive events going on.

We truly are living in very very interesting times and the outlook is very positive. These attacks on Biharis are sad but hopefully yet another incident reflecting the "awakening" of bihari subnationalism. As long as we were willing to build the roads, work as maids and servants or IT/Management Coolies then the local "netas" were okay with us. However as soon as we started displaying some solidarity and display of our cultural heritage then the world has problems. Very soon the IT and Management "coolies" amongst us will also start showing their Bihari Identity without any disrespect for the local identity, the world will start respecting us. The display of strength of IMA (Indian Medical Association) was one good example. Many more such "skirmishes" will take place but in the end, we will emerge stronger.

Bihar is the most promising market for talent, mobile, pharma, tourism, agribusiness, innovation and many other industries. Smart money of Sunil Mittal, Ambani, Tata, Mahindra and others are already benefiting from the "market". Bihar-jharkhand is world's fastest growing mobile market, but soon they will start jumping in many other sectors as well

To sum it up,
a) Let us remain assertive and not be aggressive. Losers like Thakrey will lose steam soon.
b) Let us see the big picture and remain focussed on rebuilding Bihar2.0 and giving our best to India and world
c) Bihar is an opportunity for the smart brains to see and insecure societies/people to feel threatened
d) Let us remain connected to our roots
e) In whichever society we go we need to have strong local networks so that we remain safe.

Written by Ajit Chouhan

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