Saturday, January 22, 2011

My message to William Dalrymple

Dear Mr. Dalrymple,

First of all I would like to introduce myself. I am a born Bihari (Indian). Today I got very offended after reading your interview in WSJ wherein you quoted " that few would’ve turned up had the festival taken place in Patna". As a Bihari and also a resident of Patna, I would like to ask you on what basis you are spreading such a negative image of Patna?

Bihar & Patna is already suffering from a negative image due to biased Indian media and on the top of that such statement from a Historian and writer of your repute does no good to this image but having an incremental impact on the bad perception.

Few year back ( in 2007) also you had given similar statement in Financial Times London regarding Bihar wherein you has given a statement which was about an election in Bihar at a time when there was no election in Bihar. It was extremely negative right from the word go, associating certain reprehensible practices which are culturally far more likely to happen in other states than Bihar.

Some of our fellows Biharis had communicated their apprehensions to you at that time also and you had assured that you will not try to propagate a negative and biased opinion about Bihar any further.

But alas, you did it again this time, and that too without any solid reason. Did you try ever to organise any such thing in PATNA in Bihar? then on what basis such an opinion?

Let me invite you to come to Bihar to get a first hand feel of Bihar/Bihari and our hospitality, culture and warmth. I guarantee that you will be surprised and bowled over.

We are planning to Organize several big festival ( Mahotsava as it is called in HINDI) for example Rajgir Mahotsava, Gaya Mahotsava, Dasrath Manjhi Love Mahotsava, Nalanda Mahotsava, Vikramshila Mahotsava, Patliputra Mahotsava and many more).

The reason for sending this message are not only to communicate to you that we as Biharis are hurt by your irresponsibly statement in international media but also to invite you to have a first hand experience of Bihar so that you can form a more objective and correct opinion about Bihar.

Would also like to invite you to our Facebook Bihar Page and our Volunteer NGO effort for betterment of Bihar. Please see the link below:


I also read your clarification that you Love Bihar and hence this invitation to the cause of Bihar. Hope you will reply back or help Bihar rather than only curse and criticize.


Santosh Pandey

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