September 30, 2013
Today is a day
for celebration for all of Bihar, and especially for this site.
Almost two decades ago, this site
was born, when the world-wide web was in its infancy, to inform
the world about my native state; and to launch an effort to get
rid of the dark forces unleashed by Laloo Yadav in the state,
which once was the pride of India and the birthplace of luminaries
of modern India, such as Rajendra Prasad, Sachchidanand Sinha, Jay
Prakash Narayan and many others.
In fact, the goal of this site is
stated at the very masthead.
Today, finally, after a long trial,
and having used every legal manoeuvre available to him, a CBI
court in Ranchi has convicted Laloo and sent him to jail. Under
the current law, he loses his membership in the Lok Sabha, and is
barred from contesting any election for years to come.
For Bihar this is deliverance.
Perhaps, the final chapter in the ugly history of modern Bihar has
come to an end. "Perhaps" because many believe that, as in the
past, Laloo, ever the conniver and boot-licker of those in power,
may succeed in coming out of the prison and continue with his
nefarious games with a vengeance. After all, he has been in a jail
before but that did not prevent him from enjoying the perks of
power through his illiterate and truly dehati wife and roguish
But today, the saalas, Subhash and
Sadhu, are pariahs in Bihar politics, and Rabri, the wife, is a
spent force, having already lost in a state election. In the past,
Laloo, had boasted about being a "muqaddar ka sikandar" - a
favourite son of Dame Fate. We hope, Dame Fate will not continue
her cruelty to Bihar.
There has been no shortage of
crooked politicians all over the world who have enriched
themselves and their relatives at the expense of the people. But
Laloo has been unique to have brought ridicule to the people of a
whole state. His boorish behaviour regaled the people of India,
including members of the parliament. But for the people of Bihar
it became a source of intense pain, since Laloo's antics came to
be thought of as characteristic of all Biharis.
The extortion of businessmen by his
cronies and relatives led to the flight of businesses from the
state. His callous indifference to the educational institutions
led to an exodus of young men and women out of the state in search
of acquring skills. Not merely a lack of any development work, but
outright destruction of industry and commerce forced Bihari
workers to flee to other parts of India in search of job and
sustenance. In short, Biharis became refugees in their own land
subject to all the hardships refugees all over the world have to
Bihar, which until the advent of
Laloo, boasted of an educational system on par with the best in
India, which had a thriving economy, and a civil administration
that was exemplary to the rest of the country sank into a morass
in all spheres. Laloo, single handedly, turned this shining land
into an "area of darkness".
It will take a long time, a very
long time indeed, to undo all the damage done by Laloo and his
nefarious gang. But so long as his political base is diminished,
so long as he cannot be a power broker in Delhi, so long as his
cronies can no longer wreak havoc in Bihari society, there can be
nothing but hope and opportunity for a better Bihar, once more.
Updated May 15 2010