In reminiscence of the weird character in the movie 2012, called Charlie (who ran his own radio station broadcasting news and conspiracy theories related to the apocalypse), I too am having goosebumps witnessing history being made in the state of Bihar. I am glad to be in Patna as the state readies itself to give Nitish his second term by a whopping 3/4th majority. Congratulations NDA! Lalu and his goons have fallen flat on their faces as the people of Bihar have made an unanimous choice for a better future. Much has been already said about Nitish Kumar and his team and I don’t intend to repeat. He is the darling of media and a thing to talk about in the single-malt circles. He is being looked upon as a visionary and someone with a clean image. But beyond this euphoria there is a world of unfinished tasks. I am a humble citizen of this state and as a duty, I am making my expectations public so that Nitish and his team becomes aware of what we, the people of this state, expect from him in days to come.
- The state needs its respect back. ASAP – I am a _twin_state_child – my father (who is no more) hailed from Allahabad (UP) whereas my mom is from Nalanda (Bihar). I have been raised in multiple cities of both these states before my mother finally decided to set up base in Patna 18 years ago. Ever since, I am a Bihari. A Bihari at heart, soul, mind and deeds. For the kind of human being I am, I take immense pride in everything I do and everything I stand for. And here comes a candid confession – being a Bihari all these years was difficult; very difficult. Not just because some sick Raj Thackrey might come bashing anytime but also because Lalu continued to plunder the state of its glory. The likes of Dinkar are not discussed within or outside this state anymore. Why? Wasn’t this state supposed to produce literary and thought leaders? Remember JP? Where have we gone wrong? We need to celebrate what we stand for – be it the Madhubani paintings or the world famous Lalu Sattu! We need a Incredible Bihar campaign right away!
- Education reforms. We need plenty – Lalu always knew that the moment people of his state got educated they would be demystified of his fake charm and charisma. So he did whatever he could to worsen the education system across the state. Non-payment to teachers, closure of schools and a senseless (rather populist) measure of opening Charwaha Vidyalaya’s across the state – Lalu knew how to be in the business of politics. We have seen an intent to change this grim situation. Hiring of over a lac teachers in his last term was indeed a good start by Nitish. But there is a lot to come. The state needs to exercise some control over mushrooming private schools and coaching centers (Patna can give Kota a run for its money when it comes to coaching for the prestigious IIT-JEE). IIT Patna is the last choice for candidates clearing JEE – rightly so because the college doesn’t have a campus yet. Shouldn’t this take over in the list of priorities for our education minister. We need better discipline and faculty in our colleges. Let’s bring back the glory of belonging to Science College or Patna College.
- Policing needs a facelift – Amidst all claims of an improved law and order situation in the state, the harsh reality is that Bihar falls way too short of being called a safe state. There is no dearth of people who take pride in telling stories of how they manipulated the system for personal gains. And every such story has one character in common – the Police. Someone needs to police our Police force. Transparency and accountability needs to be established. Going to a police station is considered as an act of crime. Police stations cannot be the evening snack destination for goons, not at all. This needs to change. Can we make our police a bit humane? Please …
- Transport woes – Too many roads, too many flyovers but commuting still sucks. Though I have not been able to crack the deadly formula behind mixing of Kerosene oil with Petrol for use as a fuel by the city rickshaw drivers, yet I know one thing for sure that these rowdy drivers are risking thousands of lives everyday for petty gains. Rickshaws continue to be primary mode of transport in Patna and the state administration cannot turn a blind eye to this problem. City buses need a major facelift. Look at all the hubs – Patna Junction, Gandhi Maidan, Bailey Road, Boring Road … there is mess all over. Better traffic sense needs to be inculcated in people – if it happens by imposing a hefty fine, so be it. I was really thrilled to see a newspaper article on launch of air buses in the city. Hope it sees light of the day.
- Roti, Kapda aur Internet (read IT) – I am damn sure that the first two are on your list Mr. Chief Minister. I somehow get a feeling that there is no intent around the third one. We all know of wonders the IT sector has done for Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Gujarat. It has immense capabilities to generate employment. Other than jobs, it also brings efficiency and transparency in the system. Something that is need of the hour in our state politics and administration. Internet needs to become an enabler for people so that the mad rush at reservation counters, banks and utility bill payment counters can be reduced. I know that there are bigger issues to deal with, but there has to be a beginning somewhere and I think its time we opened up to technology.
Disclaimer: The views expressed above are mine and in no way express the views of any section/sub-section of the society. There are several other problems (and serious ones too) that the rest of Bihar (other than capital city of Patna) faces. I encourage readers to post those as comments for the benefit of entire community.
For every fundamental right there is a duty to perform. I am aware of mine and will continue to serve the state in whichever manner possible.
Thanks for reading. Coming soon with another boring post.