I belong to Patna and my age is 74 and am living in Delhi for the past about 4 years. I am not a political man.
I have seen changes in the city and have witnessed the changing of very simple life (socially, economically, culturally, religiously) into much complicated life at present. I have seen several chief ministers come and go in Bihar but never felt the hard times as it was during the predecessor of the present chief minister Mr. Nitish Kumar.
I could feel the sigh of relief in the people of Bihar after the coming of Mr. Nitish Kumar. Everyone in general was happy and were having firm belief that Nitish Kumar will bring multifold developments in Bihar. Nitish Kumar, being a very positive and well educated thinker, did bring changes and things improved a lot. Everyone was aware that he will need time to ironing out the odds of the state so that peace and harmony prevail. His efforts were slow visibly but I knew that the "slow but steady would win the race".
Last time in December '07 when I visited Patna after several months, I saw that apparently, as the eyes see and observe, the developments, it seemed, were negligible. I was disheartened. I met people and gathered their opinion. I observed they were of the opinion that "nothing is being done" by the present government for the development of Bihar. They said that "roads are still in worst condition, garbage and filth can be seen everywhere, kidnapping continues, bribery and other corruptions continue in administration, Chiraiyantand overbridge is almost at a standstill, electricity (power) position has not improved. They all said that two years' time passed away but still there are many things which have not shown any remarkable improvement etc. etc.".
I could personally observe that there are improvements as compared to the pre-Nitish era but on a slow progress. I quite appreciate Mr. Nitish is doing well and he should be given more time as he has to depend on several factors. But, I must request Mr. Nitish to accelerate positive developments and improvements and make our Bihar one of the best locations on the world map. Good wide roads, attractive marine drive along the Ganges, parking lots, upgradation of educational and cultural institutions. (I remember the musical programmes during Durga Pujas in the past in which eminent classical singers and dancers used to participate from all over the country. Patna was famous seat for that and people enjoyed the festival whole night by hearing and seeing the cultural programmes.)
I must tell Mr. Nitish that he should be bold and over enthusiast in bringing about all-round development in Bihar so that its image is enhanced. For this he might have to take drastic steps like demolishing buildings to widen the road; demolishing of unauthorised buildings irrespective of the status of the owners; improving agriculture and the status of the poor farmers and the agriculturists in general and likewise. We had heard about a Master Plan in 50s/60s but I do not know what happened to it. He should review that if it exists and make changes as per the present needs for immediate implementation.
People of Bihar are with you, Mr. Nitish Kumar and we all hope you can do it.
Sir I totally agree with your article. It's something which is written by a son of soil for sake of his motherland. It's true that the govt. needs time but things are going so slow that they would need another 20 years for all around development. I agree that some tasks like power projects will take time to improve but what about roads, isn't two years enough to improve roads of state capital, forget about other parts of state? There is no organised public transport system in the capital. They say that they are taking cue from Tata, Indore etc. These are our needs and we should know how to deal with these issues quickly. There are also a lot of criminals in the ruling party who are constantly disrupting the road construction works for extortion. So there is a need to focus on these issues and take the state on the path of rapid development such that Biharis like us who are residing away from home can say proudly that we are Bihari and Jai Bihar!! - Meraj Ahmad - Jan. 20, 2008
Most of what Mr. Narain has told might hold true but the question is: How people are cooperating in the process of development? Why people are not equally participating in the development revolution? Aren't the people equally to be blamed for the present sorry state of Bihar? Does only caste-based voting or politics and bringing a political party to the power end the responsibilities of the people? In this regard I must quote Gandhiji's views, "Be the change you want to see in the world." - Arvind Kumar - Jan. 21, 2008
Sir, since you are not staying here you cannot judge the improvement and all the work that is going on here. You cannot ask a few people and give in your comments for the entire state. It is the people in the rural as well as urban areas who can view the work that is going on. One has to get the feedback from everywhere to judge as whole. I agree with you that this government is working hard. One can see the improvement in government departments who are going to go the e-governance way from April 1st only. We should also not forget that the bureaucracy is still the same here in Bihar and it will take time for the new ideas and the implementation methods to be used. I am still proud to be from this state and will always be proud be say that I am a "Bihari". - Utkarsh Tathagath - Jan. 21, 2008