Re: Bihari Kahin Ka - Stigma of being called as Bihari
Dear Mr. Thakur,
While reading your emotional but true article, I was crying within and felt that somebody wrote down my own plight. All Biharis go through similar ridicule. Now I live in the United States, but here too the same stigma chases us.
However, I want to take your experience to another level. Have you ever thought that any other group from India might be getting the same hellish treatment? I would give you a clue - Indian Muslims. They are hated in every parts of India, in every state, city, and village.
I used to work for a state government agency in Bihar. One day I went to a person who was in charge of stationeries of the office. I wanted to get some office supplies. The office procedure was that whatever you need, you should enter into a register. I took the register and wanted to enter the names of items that I needed. The stationary guy was sitting in the office of the head clerk. He snatched the register from my hand and gave it to the head clerk, who said to me that we do not begin our register with the name of any "Katua" (circumcised) fellow. The head clerk put another person's name at the top, and then gave the register to me to write my name. This was my first job of my life. At that time, I came out of the university with an undergrad degree, with a very prestigious ranking. I was very young and full of energy, passion, and real and true Indian, who never missed the Independence Day parade of August 15 and who also unfurled a small Indian flag at his house on that day.
I took this job because I was underage for applying at the Deputy Collector's competition examination, which I yearned to compete for.
Anyway, later on, I resigned from that job, and successively resigned from numerous government jobs and ultimately I landed in the United States, where nobody discriminated me based on my faith.
But let me tell you, I am not bitter, I still love Bihar, India, my native land, because I believe that if a dog bites you, you don't bite back the dog. Furthermore, there are also nice people who make this world livable, and certainly, there were many around me. We need to be an optimist. The same is true for Biharis. A lot of people ridicule us, but there are more people who love us because of our simpleton behavior and humbleness,
A proud Bihari, and a patriotic Indian.
It clearly depicts the discriminatory attitude of non-biharis but I feel this has come because of the fault of our fellowmen only. You can easily see the attitude of the people from my state (bihar). Leave behind those like us who left bihar and are educated enough to understand the things and sustain all types of pressure.
Those staying there do not have the minimal needs and it is this lacunae they want to hide. There is lot of activities just to sustain life which are not at all good termed as illegal also. Only change in the environment which can be brought by some of us can change the whole scenario.
Right now what I feel is that if we can unanimously try to eradicate poverty and bring some social awareness showing how the other parts of India is surviving then only there maybe change in the attitude of the people. Secondly lot of people from outside bihar if they can visit securely and enjoy there short duration in bihar they can spread that bihar is not like that shown by media. At least media should also show the values still surviving there. Our people who have links in the media industry can take this initiative. Our fellowmen who are educated and from well to do families can open industries. Everything should be collaboratively done then only we can change the face of Bihar.
So I hope if people like us can join hands and contribute in our own manner and once again teach the world the lesson of unity we can again rewrite the history.
During 25 years of my social activism I have travelled all over India and interacted with thousands of ordinary people and activist. I have always found the Biharis most vibrant and Bihar one of the most vibrant states. It is a human nature to make jokes about people with whom we can't compete. That is why perhaps the maximum number of jokes in our country are about Sikhs and Biharis.
Bihar could be a poor and backward state and majority of the Biharis could be living below poverty line but the general awareness level of Biharis is difficult to match with anywhere else in the country.
You can invite 10 students each from an ordinary college in Bihar and from our 'most developed' state Gujarat and you will know the difference.
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