An open Letter to politicians of UP and Bihar

TruthWell in one of my articles “Political games being played all over”, i mentioned reasons about large scale migration from UP and Bihar. I was lacking some figures which i got in today’s HT Counterpoint written by Vir Sanghvi on page 10.

Here is an excerpt from that article.

My suspicion is that the disdain with which the Thackerays treat people from UP and Bihar – the so-called Bhaiyyas – is part of a wider trend. As India develops and transforms itself, UP and Bihar are increasingly being perceived as the laggards. Once, Bihar was India’s best-administered state (do not laugh: an international study came to this conclusion in the 1950s); now, it is seen as a wasteland. UP was the heart of India, the state that gave us the largest number of Prime Ministers. Now, it is a mess, treated on par with Bihar.

One look at the figures will demonstrate that UP and Bihar are the two states in India that are certainly not shining. The net state domestic product of Bihar was Rs 51,194 crore in 2004-05. In contrast, the state domestic product of Ma- harashtra was Rs 3,28,451 crore, over six times the figure for Bihar. Even poor, backward Orissa did better than Bihar at Rs 52,240 crore.

The contrast is more striking when you look at per capita figures. In 1993-94, the per capita domestic product of Bihar was Rs 3,037. Eleven years later, in 2004- 05, that figure had gone up to Rs 5,772 which, when you adjust for inflation, prob- ably means that income hardly went up at all, and may even have gone down.

Now, look at the figures for other states. In 1993-94, Maharashtra’s per capi- ta domestic product was Rs 12,183 – already four times the figure for Bihar. By 2004-05, it had gone up to Rs 32,170, nearly six times the figure for Bihar. Gujarat was at Rs 28,355 in 2004-05, and other states were booming: Kerala at Rs 27,048; Punjab at Rs 30,701; and Haryana at Rs 32,712.

Uttar Pradesh has fared a little better. In 1993-94, its per capita income was Rs 5,066. In 2004-05, it went up to Rs 11,477 (largely on the basis of Noida, but that’s another story). This makes it better off than Bihar but still worse off than every other Indian state.

Together, UP and Bihar are bottom of the list when it comes to per capita income. It takes four Biharis to earn as much as one resident of Maharashtra. And, UP’s current per capita income of Rs 11,477 is less than Maha- rashtra’s income of Rs 12,183 a decade ago in 1993-94. In those 11 years, UP has not even reached where Maharashtra was way back then while Maharashtra and other Indian states have surged ahead.

The economic disparity is matched by a political decline. In few states has politics got as dirty as in today’s UP. If it isn’t Mulayam Singh Yadav’s crony capitalism, then it is Mayawati’s shameless casteism and her naked pursuit of her own enrichment (her annual income is Rs 60 crore the saving grace is that she declares it and pays tax on it).

As far as the rest of India is concerned, Bihar has become a wasteland run by mafia dons who are pursued by Naxalites. The rule of law does not exist, and politics is largely a question of caste.

In both states, national parties hardly get a look in, unless they are alliance partners. Regional groupings based on caste share power with one another. Because these states have such a large share of Lok Sabha seats (UP has 80 while Bihar and Jharkhand together have 54), national politics is held hostage to these caste considerations and to the ambitions of regional leaders.

All this contributes to the lack of regard for UP and Bihar in many parts of India.
In Bangalore, a few years ago, a successful software executive told me that he had compiled a growth rate for south India and that it exceeded China’s. “It is UP and Bihar that let us down,” he said. Such sentiments are common. The face of India that we show to the world – hi-tech, Bollywood-glitzy and super-educated has nothing to do with UP and Bihar. For many Indians, the two states have become an embarrassment.

Now i have a question for politicians of UP and Bihar. Do they have any blue print of taking their state forward? The states have only caste politics nothing else. The people are so “innocent” that they fall prey to caste games. They don’t even understand the term development it seems. May be because they have never seen it. But one thing is for sure that whole India is developing at a brisk pace while UP and Bihar are crawling.  As Mr Sanghvi says–  I have respect too for the ordinary Biharis, who are truly the salt of India, going off to other states to create wealth for all of us. I doubt if West Bengal could survive without Biharis and Punjab’s crops are usually planted and harvested by Bihari workers. And oddly enough, whenever Biharis have travelled overseas, they have prospered: in Mauritius, Guyana and Surinam, for instance.

But then why can’t their own state take care of them. It is because we have not changed with time. Rest of India ignored the casteism and racism and rose to the top of the economic pyramid. And eventually India shed its old image and went from being perceived as an underdeveloped wasteland to becoming an emerging superpower. But the status-quo in UP and Bihar. I want to ask the politicians and people of UP and Bihar—- How long will they deny their citizens the benefits of the new India? And how long will the voters of UP and Bihar allow themselves to be ruled by a bunch of casteist crooks?

0 thoughts on “An open Letter to politicians of UP and Bihar”

  1. Being a Bihari i truly understand what it means to migrate.Everything is left behind ,your parents your home your friends and all those little thing which you have seen from your childhood.
    Never knew that i will have to leave my native place too for my studies.will come to an unknown world , try to accustom my self to the new environment …
    often i have been asked by friends why u people need to migrate ?when biharies r known for their intelligens and hard work why on earth such need occurs that migration becomes inevitable for u people ?
    I can’t explain to them coz they will hardly understand … if u really want to know what is happening there u need to go there …how poor people are illusioned on the basis of cast ….how dirty politics has brought darkness to them….the one and only one reason is politics ….
    people in Bihar have been made to forget what basic neends for a decent society life is …if u will go to patna tha capital of bihar u will be shocked to see that even though it’s a capital city it lacks the basic infrastructure of being called a town !!!!!!!!!!!
    no proper rodes no street light no water supply
    i mean nothing …
    But still people r not complaining coz they don’t know if something better than this can happen !!!!!!!believe it or not it’s true ….
    i will continue my comment ………..

  2. Dear writer,
    You have really brought some good facts to reveal the true state of Bihar and UP. I really appreciate ur feelings about the innocent people being fooled and expoited and India being pulled down because of these two states.
    We have to look at some facts more analytically. Its a fact that Bihar was best administered state once.This really gives a great hope and raises few great points.
    This condition of bihar was when it was ruled by Bihari politicians only and at a time when people were more cast conscious than today. If cast consciousness has led Bihar to this pathetic state then why it was not seen at that time???
    Bihar is known for its non progressing state departments..but the same biharis when outside fair very well. Why is this anomaly??
    It is a fact that the Biharis who have resources so that they can study are very studious ,dedicated and perform excellent in their fields. But still Bihar is the most Illiterate state. Why??

    During the time of 60s and afterwards development issue was kept on a shelf It was considered a fashion in Bihar to be corrupt.The one who was honest was laughed and ridiculed at. Castism, favouritism were order of the day.
    People became so short sighted in their selfish interests that they could not see that their small immoral acts would make them rich but in the long run would backfire. Thats what happened. The castism gave birth to politicians
    like Lalu Prasad, Ram bilas etc…Corruption reached the peak beyond control

    Bihar was meant to learn few lessons. She learned it the hard way.Now that the people of Bihar have realised that castism, internal bitings, corruption at their own small level accumulates and boomerangs on their own self, they are changing for the better. It takes only the mentality of people to change before the face of state changes.
    I think Bihar has lived out the midnight and is now heading for a new dawn.
    The recent stupendous win(almost 2/3rd majority) of Nitish led NDA on sole ground of development is a testimony of the fact that people are now fed up with the old ways and wan t changes for the better.

  3. i also believe that bihar is doing better under nitish kumar….. but there are still some doubts that how will he attract corporates and others……. but still hoping for d best….

  4. The phase of change has begun ,under the able leadership of Mr.Nitish Kumar Bihar will reach a new hight.But sheer thinking can’t produce a result all the people of Bihar need to come together to bring back it’s lost glory …by saying all the people i not only mean those who are living in Bihar but all those Biharies living in INDIA and abroad.
    The same Bihari doing so well outisde the state is a coplete failure in Bihar !!!!!!!!!
    why so?Its not beacuse some miracle happens with him/her when thy is out of state but its the sheer lack of opportunity which leads to the failed result.
    we need new cities we need new roads we need new universities we need new schools and all such things which are needed for a proper livelihood .But the big question is who is going to create it …will Mr.Nitish kr do it for us …no he can only help us the real work has to be done by we people ,we have given him an opportunity now let us lend him a helping hand …we know that its a tough ask but we can not get away from our responsibility.
    Lets join hand to build a new BIHAR …you ideas and thoughts are welcomed here …PLZ participate and pen down your comments ….

  5. I agree that if we take a snapshot today, Maharashtra can claim to be far ahead as compared to Bihar. However, if you look at a particular species called “politicians” in Maharashtra – they have regressed in the past 60 years. Caste and criminal elements have a huge role today, compared with 3-4 decades back. A state that was the economic engine of the nation, is now repeatedly in the deficit. Law and order which Mumbai was once known for, today, has to watch helplessly while goondas beat people up citizens on the street. They have to seek the blessings of politicians before they even take simplest of defensive actions. All the leading lights of Maharashtra politics today are aligned on the basis of caste or criminal background. Just go to Pune and check out the kind of politics that happens there – political rivals are being killed gangland style every now and then, in broad daylight – in the so called IT and learning hot spot of Maharastra … and surprise…surprise – NO ONE IS CAUGHT OR PROSECUTED!!
    So you god damned smug people of Maharashtra remove your blinders and start seeing reality in front of you….your state is trending negatively for the past two decades…and very soon it will meet Bihar on its way up. Our farmers are killing themselves like flies, with the lawlessness and land grab politics in our cities, companies will move out as other cities become more attractive…and in couple of decades, people from Maharashtra will be the migrants working in the fields of Bihar.
    Unless we common people recognize that our collective wealth is being looted by criminals, who claim to be our political leaders, and we roll up our sleeves, enter politics and kick their butts out – the day is not far when these criminals will be getting their directions from ISI and Dawood and doing their bidding.
    Remember my friends these people don’t have any principles – they will sell their mothers if it satisfies their greed.
    Just take a serious look at the tragedy at the national level – Dr Manmohan Singh, a PhD from Oxford is the PM…and who really controls him? A third rate former student and au pair who never completed her education. Such is the level of control that when citizens get beaten in the financial capital of India, our PM dare not utter a word nor use his authority to ensure safety of citizens. He went into the same “mute” mode when medics protesting in Mumbai and elsewhere against OBC reservations were beaten up like dogs on the streets for protesting peacefully.

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