Tuesday, October 21, 2008

A Bihari thanks Raj Thackeray

As a Bihari, I want to thank Raj Thackeray and team to have attacked Bihari students gone to take exams in Mumbai. They chased Bihari students away as stray dogs are chased by watchmen. They beat them up as donkeys are beaten up when they refuse to move. I loved it. I loved it as a Bihari.

No no, neither am I a demented soul nor am I attempting any Gandhigiri. But as a hopeless optimist, I see a silver line in the clouds.

As a Bihari, who studied in Bihar from kindergarten to my bachelor’s degree, I had tried several times to leave Bihar and go for higher studies or employment outside my home state. I ultimately succeeded in 2001 when I came to Delhi to study journalism. I never went back to Bihar since then.

So these attacks are inspiring me to go back to my home state and do something for ‘my own people’? Not yet, I have to get rid of my insensitivity a little more to do that. So I am thanking Raj because I believe it will inspire more sensitive Biharis to go back to Bihar and do something? Not really.

I thank Raj Thackeray as a Bihari who was/is sick of caste based feelings that ran/runs deep among Bihari students in particular and society in general.

(my feelings are based on what I felt and experienced when I was in Bihar i.e. more than seven years back, I’d be most surprised and happy to know that situation has changed, but I doubt, as I do keep visiting Bihar a few times in a year)

When I moved to a high school in Patna, I suddenly found out that my identity went beyond what kind of shoes I wore, what lunchbox I brought, or how many marks I scored in exams. I belonged to a particular caste as well. But fortunately, my identity was not completely hinging upon that aspect.

When I moved to college (in Bihar, higher secondary is taught in colleges by state education board), the caste aspect of identity grew stronger, one of the important factor being writing your ‘category’ when applying for admissions in top colleges (from Bihari standard), but mostly due to the psyche of Bihari society; I was growing up, caste feelings had to catch up.

All through the college days (both the higher secondary and bachelor’s degree), I encountered caste consciousness on a regular basis, on numerous occasions.

Students tended to have friends from the same caste as their own (not so rampant or crass trend as it may appear from my words, but still it was a trend). In hostels, I heard students were divided along caste lines on many occasions. And in some cases, students even chose private tutors from their own caste to prepare for engineering, medical, or IAS examinations (only three career options known to a common Bihari student at that time).

Of course, one can see that all the career options meant going outside the state as there were not many good engineering or medical colleges in Bihar (Jharkhand included then). So the benevolent MNS and Shiv Sena ideologues are not wrong in saying that Bihari leaders should be punished because they have created a mess in Bihar which leaves no option for Biharis but to go outside their state to look for jobs and studies. If they really believe so, I don’t know why there are punishing the victims in such a case, let them chase away or beat up the Bihari leaders, no one would complain.

Anyway, coming back to my college days, tea stall (nukkad) gossips by students were about politics and which leader/political party is good for the state. Most of the students would take a stance simply because they belonged to a particular caste. They also discussed about cricket, girls, smoking, wine, and studies. I don’t know if caste was a factor in those discussions as well.

Caste was (is?) a harsh reality among student community. After all they were also part of the society, the Bihari society, which was (is?) notorious for giving their beti (daughter) and peti (ballot box or vote) to people of their own caste. It seemed that the student community, who form the future of any society, had refused to come out of this caste rut and bring about any positive change.

This student community, which had got no facilities in the home state, seemed least bothered about it. They knew there were better institutes and jobs outside Bihar, but they never seemed to worry why Bihar didn’t have them. Instead, they ‘prepared’ themselves for the competition to get into those institutes and to get those jobs outside Bihar. They had every right to do so as they all thought it was their own country and any person was free to move to any other part of the country.

Preparing for ‘competitive’ exams was a ‘status’ factor. A typical Bihari student would take admission in some college in Bihar, which has no facility and system, and prepare for these competitive exams. These exams ranged from prestigious engineering, medical or IAS exams to bank-clerks, lower administrative jobs, and railways recruitment exams.

All these competitive exams would eventually take them out of the state. Most of the Bihari students even chose centers of these exams outside Bihar, even if they had an option of taking exam in Bihar itself. That’s a mystery; either it was wanderlust or a cynicism about the home state.

I also witnessed that while applying for those mushrooming engineering colleges in Maharashtra (wonder why MNS is not attacking those Bihari engineering students, or have Bihari students upgraded themselves?), there were students who would rank choice of their colleges for admission after consulting students from their own caste, perhaps to create a ground for making a coterie of their own castemen even outside Bihar.

When going out of state to take exams, students of the same caste even tended to book railway tickets together, given they were not so much in number to muster courage to travel ticketless (yes, railways have been their favorite mode of transport, much before Lalu Yadav became the minister).

I guess, and I hope and pray that I’m wrong, things have not changed much since then. The same set of events might have taken place in lives of most of those students who boarded trains and reached Mumbai on 19th October.

And as soon as they reached Mumbai, some of them were attacked and chased away. They were treated with utmost disgust, as if they were animals. Those who survived were beaten up in the examination halls, again as if they were unwanted scums. I am sure it was a dreadful, disgusting, and demoralizing experience for each of those Bihari students and Bihari society.

And I hope that the Bihari society has realized that when those students were beaten up, nobody asked them if they were Yavav, Bhumihar, Kurmi, Brahmin, or Paswan by caste.

Thank you Raj Thackeray for creating parity in the Bihari society, which our leaders could never bring about.

Thank you Raj Thackeray for making Biharis feel like one people.

May God bless you. Get well soon.

20 comments:

  1. when you write something that is truly heartfelt .... it shows ....

    i personally believe that raj thackeray is a troll who should be thrown out of the country .... but you know what, even i'll pray that your bihar would see the pain behind the satire in this post of yours! very well written my friend

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  2. wow...!
    thats quite a good way to write... the way the write-up is structured is quite amazing. Simple English, but very penetrating...!

    Well, to say about Bihar - the people there - I can only argue you that please try to polish the image of the state.. I have lots of friend from Bihar and thats what I use to tell them... We all know you people are very hard working (no. of IIT-AIIMS students is a proof)... but as you said in the article, we all put our hard labor to make places like Mumbai, Delhi and forget about our region - the place we belong to... I am not talking any regionalism, but can we not give at least 20% to our native place...!

    Everyone doin so will lead to a very even world... where there won't be famine and feast together at the same place...!

    very well written...

    cheers...!

    www.jdodyssey.co.nr

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  3. nice... it ticked off a strange nerve.


    "Destruction leads to a very rough road but also breeds creation" - RHCP

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  4. you are the original bihari in true senses, while reading yr article i felt like travelling through school n college days. even my college in delhi (ramjas,known as bihari college in DU)had typical bihari flavour. i will send this article to my father.

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  5. Hi,
    It was heartfelt writing. I am also a bihari and agree with your opinion. We need to strengthen ourself, we need to bring back our dignity. But the problem is people like raj thakrey should not abuse any community as he did. Not all biharis are illetrate and bhaiyyas. There are bihari who are on the top of everything as compared to marathi. We need a leader who can beat unemployment in our state.

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  6. I am liberal, but I support George W Bush when he deprives legal recourse for terrorist. Raj Thackeray is a terrorist.

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  7. Very true and apt in present scenario. I remember those days in Bihar, when some friends were good to me only because of same caste. Don't know when we can go beyond these boundaries?

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  8. after reading this article i disjoined caste based community from orkut.thanks rahul

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  9. You are very very welcome !

    Don't worry about Raj he is alright.

    Just look at the benefits he is bringing to your state.

    He is sending back Biharis back to Bihar who will ferociously work to change the face of Bihar and change it into another USA, UK etc in terms of development.

    We should have more such "Raj's" in other states like Punjab, Assam, Karnataka etc so that Bihar can be developed at a faster rate.

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  10. There are so many Bihari's & Punjabi's who are brainwashed to work as slaves in ashrams of Maharashtra in the name of hindusim why doesn't Raj Thakrey send those people back to their families in north India? Politics by using criminals & using name of religion has become Indian business, as some criminal have mushroomed like asaram. It's sad how they kill & how dead bodies are scattered & how these criminals dispose off those dead bodies of victims who spoke against them. I have seen with my own eyes the dark side of these criminals.

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  11. Very well written bhai .. its high time when we come out of the caste based cheap politics and try to revive the lost glory of the land that was Bihar. Its time to roar, "Jai Bihar!" along with "Jay Bharat!". Let's be impeccable so that no one can dare to raise a finger towards us.

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  12. "There are so many Bihari's & Punjabi's who are brainwashed to work as slaves in ashrams of Maharashtra in the name of hindusim"

    Maybe you should list their names and send them to Raj then he'll take care of them.

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  13. "As a Bihari, I want to thank Raj Thackeray and team to have attacked Bihari students gone to take exams in Mumbai. They chased Bihari students away as stray dogs are chased by watchmen. They beat them up as donkeys are beaten up when they refuse to move. I loved it. I loved it as a Bihari.


    No no, neither am I a demented soul nor am I attempting any Gandhigiri. But as a hopeless optimist, I see a silver line in the clouds."


    Well as a bihari , i dont go by your opinion. Its so easy and "different" to say that he........Raj Thakeray...........is awakening the people of Bihar to do something for their state. But in your deliberate attempt to be different you really forgot something..............the students who are in desperate need for jobs and sometimes the lone hope of the family need to ensure their earning first and than will they be in the position to do something u know!!

    Going by your thoughts all Indians in New York or Chicago or any other such cosmopolitan cities should be thrashed out if at all we need to see a developed India........but i really doubt it would work!


    "I ultimately succeeded in 2001 when I came to Delhi to study journalism. I never went back to Bihar since then."

    Why d hell did you not come back...........you may have come back here after gaining some experience in your field and work for your people . You say driving out students is okay and dat will lead to the upliftment of Bihar then why not well established people like you should not be shown the door back home????

    "So I am thanking Raj because I believe it will inspire more sensitive Biharis to go back to Bihar and do something? "

    Can only sentiments build a state..............I have had sentiments and ideas for the upliftment of my state..........and very noble ones indeed but ma ideas fail to produce results in want of proper resources!

    "I thank Raj Thackeray as a Bihari who was/is sick of caste based feelings that ran/runs deep among Bihari students in particular and society in general."

    Come on Sir, being a journalist you must be and you ought to be aware of the fact that the caste system has been woven into the social structure of india since tmes immemorial . I have been studying in a college in Rajasthan , the college being headed by some people from the * community and the faculty constitutes of people from the * community mostly!!

    So Bihar is not the lone state plagued by this!



    "Thank you Raj Thackeray for making Biharis feel like one people."

    Ohh Bihar got its Messiah...........When will India get one???????????

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  15. hello sir, i am really proud of what u have posted here.currently, i am working as software engineer in tcs in pune. I woul really love to go back to my own place and work there if provided one there itself. I really want to do something for my own state which has given me money to study and make my career. I am not paying even any taxes there and i feel bad for the same. I would really love to see you all talented lot to open some company in bihar and take some initiative as bihar desperately needs some. There are so many people from the place who wants to do something for the same but are not able to do anything as there are no directions for it. It would be really appreciable if one starts this. Being a girl it would be hard for me to take any initiative right at the moment. but ou guys please take it seriously and do something. looking forward to it. thanks

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  16. Hey Dude, Its great to be critical of a situation when you're not part of it. So for one, you were not there when the poor people got beaten up in Mumbai and two, if you so crave for things to get better in Bihar, get off your behind and do something about it. These mails sound good on blogs but unfortunately, thats where they are born and thats where they lie. Kudos to your writing, no doubt but Raj Thackeray has a point somewhere in the madness. The Biharis coming to this city of mine are amongst the most filthy and backward there can be. So political or not, there is some good in the message being driven here. The means are not correct but the result is, nevertheless. Yes, if its bringing Biharis together, good. If they badnd together and stop flooding my city, even better. Unfortunately, they are not going to change in the near future, and more unfortunately, even Raj Thackeray's political agenda seems to have lost steam so its for the city to deal with its issues all over again. Such is the tragedy of live my friend.

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  17. I remember an incident that occurred with me and my friends when we were in class 12th and were going to Kolkatta for NDA written test....there were about 1000 students from my native place all going through the same train....Suddenly some students made group of 50-60 and started looting every other students in the train even though all were from the same place,state and some from same schools.....so we can go on saying things like its the politicians who have made Bihar what it is today.....i totally disagree....even when we biharis are outside our state we tend to hunt and harm people from our state the most.....You will seldom see a bihari helping another in any way untill and unless there is some ulterior motives.....Playing politics against every other person who is around,not being good leave aside human to others and not feeling ashamed of ones wrongdoing are some of the traits that we as a community posses......what Raj did was once in a blue moon thing....but the kind of stuff we do when we are studying,working in other states is equally horrible.....never giving respect to the locals from other states,always having false superiority feeling and god knows wht not .....the fact of the matter is we Suck big time as a community,as a state and as everything else we collectively are in the same way my writing sucks all the while........

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  18. Thank god you gave up on blogging. A big thank from another BIHARI.

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  19. brillant piece of information, I had come to know about your web-page from my friend hardkik, chennai,i have read atleast 9 posts of yours by now, and let me tell you, your webpage gives the best and the most interesting information. This is just the kind of information that i had been looking for, i'm already your rss reader now and i would regularly watch out for the new posts, once again hats off to you! Thanx a million once again, Regards, Raj Thackeray images

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  20. Not much has changed since October 2008 despite rule of Nitish. Biharis are still going out for studies, jobs....

    Now, Delhi's Educations Minister Sisodiya says that he'd reserve 90% of the college seats for students from Delhi.

    Meanwhile, educational facilities have not improved much especially higher education....

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