Monday, 6 August, 2007

The Annual Flood Drama in Bihar

I still remember 1975 flood, condition and worsening life in northernparts of Bihar. In 1984, myself had taken shelter at Dighwara (Sarandistrict) railway station.

I can understand the pain as well fun in the form of malaise of thevictims of swelling rivers (due to excessive rains). We sawhelicopters hovering in the sky and a few days later bags of fooddropped from the sky.

Many of us said "Bhagwaan sun le le baaran, bada bhookh laagal rahebada zor ke". We didn't ask for the caste and ate food together to see the worldanother day. Couple of weeks later receded water brought our livesback to normal and soon we erased our agony of life spent at therailway station and joined the same bandwagon (castes) we belonged to.In 1986, 1987 and 1989 we faced the similar situation and then Istarted living outside Bihar.

In 2002 or 2003 I read one statement for flood victims in Darbhanga district made by none other than former Chief Minister Lalu Pd Yadav


This is just a piece of his statement in modified form.

In 2007 his sudden sense of conscience has pushed him to do somethingfor Bihar or something in Bihar. It is great news for all of us if heand his party accepts the fact that sitting on hunger strike won'tsolve the crisis.

A self-styled Nero in the form of Lalu Pd Yadav is calling NitishKumar a Nero, a war of word won't solve the problem of flood.

With constantly changing climatic condition of the world, is this notour responsibility to find a permanent solution within our resource limit?

There are two options (ONLY) available in front of us

1. People of Bihar cutting across the castes and party based politicsline should develop a "Great wall of China type" engineering marvelacross the rivers of Bihar.
2. Follow the present trend: leave Bihar and settle elsewhere in Indiaand abroad and laugh, cry or "just" write on Bihar.

Choice is in our hand.

Since my childhood I am seeing these political leaders taking freeride in the sky, enjoying and enthralling them after watching maroonedflood victims.

Is it a "picnic time" in the sky?

Is it essential to provide flood victims every year the "sky show"?

Lalu Yadav, Nitish Kumar, Ram Vilas Paswan and then Prime Minister ofIndia Manmohan Singh (and Sonia Gandhi) `were/are/will be' going"flood-watching".

And then press media will ask them to please spell out your opinion. The answer will be the same what "Rickshawalla" can give to the nation.

If one can take a rickshwalla, expert of disaster management and PrimeMinister of India" for flood watch ride in the sky, all three willhave the same answer - "I am sad to see this".

Since independence we are listening to the same answers from the PrimeMinisters of India.

Reaching Delhi bring their lives back to normal with "Biriyani andChicken Pulao."

We the marooned Biharis in flooded water deserve this treatmentbecause we choose our representatives according to our 'casteawareness program' since 1971 without seeing the merit of enduranceand resolution.

We should understand that it is a kind of punishment for the crime wehave committed in choosing our representatives.

Unless we realize our mistakes we will be punished either in the formof flood/disaster or in the form of present leadership and hence nopossible development.

How long will we allow National Geographic or Discovery Channel tomake money showing our affliction?

It is ironical that those who did nothing for Bihar in the past 30-50years of his/her political careers except painting, erasing andtearing off the hoardings and banners written in English in 1974-1977(during JP movement) as well as removing slogans like - "Anushashan hidesh ko mahaan banaata hai" - are sending sympathies to fool theseBiharis again.

Fooled Biharis and their society should see and learn from the rest ofthe world. Instead of realizing the bitter fact the `puerile' peopleof Bihar are still waiting to see some miraculous change in their(bureaucracy and politician) mindset so that they can be rescued nextyear and thereafter.

Alas we (all) would have understood and found the reason for thisperennial problem of flood. We do job to feed our family till the ageof retirement. But we never learned what the meaning of communityservice is.

We never started war against illiteracy and poverty. We the lazypeople of Bihar have done nothing in the past other than debate andthe new-found form of Power Point presentation, that's it.

Let's rise above the conflict, understand our own need and search howcan it be done without receiving donation from World Bank and JapanBank of International Promotion. Instead of looking for investors, invest our energy and sacrifice for the sake of Bihar.

Let's dobusiness of courage, efficacy and efficiency. Let's carve out our own niche. We can make Bihar more vibrant and wecan resurrect glorious Magadh empire from Patna-Nalanda-Vaishali.

Choice is in our hand.


By Sudhir Ranjan, USA

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