Friday, 5 June 2009

On Bihar and Train burnings

Recently some trains were burnt in Bihar over a decision by railways to stop the train halts created during Lalu’s time and Bihar is back is news. The first thought is to blame the people for the ruckus and mindless destruction ... but then i find it amusing that a Govt which is just starting with the ministers taken oath just few days back would take a decision to revert back all the halts (around 350 of them) in such a hurry .. Even if we assume that Lalu abused the system to create so many halts thus slowing the trains, but logically he created them to go back to people and tell them that 'see i have created them for you’ means a section of people must be happy with those stops. So it wasn't unhelpful or can not be said with full certainty that those stops were not needed. To me the question should be for what type or for which trains those halts are needed and can there be different set of trains like intercity provided rather than just stopping all the halts?

There were train burnings in Bihar even when MNS was making its own laws in Mumbai. The Govt at centre as well as in Maha were not really doing anything to curb MNS. All of us who have stayed in Mumbai would really know that it could have been a much better city without so many of migrants and that too from lower strata, who do all the low end jobs but bring no investments. They mostly thrive on the existing infra of the city without adding, but than is killing and bashing up people really a solution. Isn't that something similar is happening now in Australia, and we all are crying (I think again the Govt is not doing anything, but this time its only the Central, Maha govt can take it easy as this time they are not required to do anything).

I believe the chain is just starting for Bihar. It had a good run of last few years, with large number of ministers from state and a CM with good intention running the state.

Politically there was a belief that JD(U) could be a good ally for Cong if the need arises so Cong was soft on it, with generally remaining friendly to the needs of Bihar, except for cases like package for Koshi or NHDP which is still stuck for Bihar and the re-drawing of tender and contract rules were really bad for Bihar (and for UP as well).

I believe that there was softness in Media (especially English) towards Bihar as the ridicule seemed to be absent and there seemed to be a plan to portray Nitish in a different light. Remember the screaming questions in hosted debates which were repeatedly asked to JD(U) representatives and others as well. 'Nitish is a winner and won't he like to be with the winner' or debate around 'secular credentials of Nitish'.

I think it would be shunned away now and somehow the ridicule would be back. You would find passing references by 'beautiful people' like 'Bihar will never change' and other places would be compared with Bihar after every killing or training burning incident... 'are we looking at Biharikaran of ... '

PS: Few years back at a skiing centre in Alps there was an Indian guy who claimed to be staying in Belgium for last 10 years and had almost every colour painted on his hair remarked ‘ohh so you are a Bhaiya’ when I told him that I come from Bihar. That left me and my friends who all happened to be from south of India grinning at the thought that everyone seemed to know what Bihar has become famous for, even in Belgium people seemed to know..:-)

3 comments:

  1. I recall that huge Nitish build up in the English media...how secular he was and how uncomfortable he actually was in the NDA. Even in the opinion polls, the projections being shown were not for the NDA but for Nitish and JD(U. ow things ahve changed.

    Laloo should be mighty happy that his "work" in Bihar has made waves so far, even if not in the manner that will please Biharis.

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