With the announcement of the state election in three phases, Bihar is poised to have a new Vidhan Sabha (the Lower House of the provincial Legislature). According to the Election Commission of India -- the single federal authority in-charge of nation-wide elections (unlike the USA) -- the first day of the poll, 28 Oct 2020, will cover 16 districts (71 constituencies). The second round of the election will be conducted on 3 Nov 2020 covering 17 districts (94 constituencies) and the final poll on 7 Nov 2020 will wrap up the remaining 78 constituencies in 15 districts.

On 20 August 2020, in the ‘Readers Write’ section of this newspaper, Shahrukh Khan, a writer from Araria, Bihar, raised very interesting but pressing questions on religion. The very fact that he’s concerned about the Bihari society and the ill impact of ‘organized religion’ on it makes him a worthy son of Bihar and we must admire his efforts at inviting everyone for a discussion around the topic of faith, religion and politics.

I’m pleased to note that this is going to be my 100th write up in the column designated for me on the PatnaDaily news portal. This milestone was achieved in the course of almost six years for which I sincerely compliment Shri Sunil Sinha, the founder-editor, whom I haven’t met in person up until now, and his dedicated team working in the challenging conditions of the city of Patna, Bihar (India).

Take yourself back into the 6th Century and imagine the greatest of the Byzantine Emperors, Justinian I (482-565) building an imposing church, Hagia Sophia (meaning “Holy Wisdom” in Greek), in Constantinople, the heart of Orthodox Christianity. Completed in 537, the majesty and grandeur of Hagia Sophia was comparable to the Jewish temple in Jerusalem or to St Peter’s Basilica in Rome.

What started as a local outbreak of pneumonia-like fever early this year in Wuhan, China, culminating into international pandemic (unstopped so far), the Black Lives Matter protest estimated to be the biggest in the US history, the Indo-Chinese skirmish in the Himalayas and the pro-democratic freedom movement in Hong Kong are some of the events that will be seared into the memory of generations to come.