PROUD TO BE A BIHARI
Much happened in Mumbai and its surroundings in the recent past, when my friends from Bihar were subjected to unprovoked wrath from some quarter. I had, however, preferred silence. But, the following mail from a colleague – Nidhi – has been stimulating me from fairly some time:
“Two movies, based on same topic, slotted to be released back to back but slated against each other? Watching a special report on two movies ‘Aamchi Mumbai’ and ‘Bhola Bajrangi’ on Headlines Today was shocking. It was shocking to see how the film industry can take on a sensitive topic under such tense situation, over which politicians have already created mayhem in Maharashtra.
“This is what producer-actor of Aamchi Mumbai has to say, “We welcome people from all the states, they should embrace the Maharashtra culture but please do not snatch meal from the ‘bhumi-putras’ (read Mumbaikars…born only in Maharashtra).”
“The statement is contradicting itself. And the irony? The release of the movie has been banned in Mumbai as the court feels that it may create a law & order problem in the ‘melting pot’ of India; while the director of Bhola Bajrangi (with lead actor Ravi Kishen) sits calmly clinching to his diplomatic answers wondering how Bihariaits (he chose to say that!) or Upiaits respect Mumbai as their karma-bhumi. The only question is where are we going to draw the line? What is the meaning of staying and mingling with the Maharashtra culture but being not allowed to work?”
Well, Nidhi, I am still undecided if I should join issues with the likes of Raj Thackeray. However, I would certainly say for the moment that I am proud to be a Bihari, proud to be an Indian.
Note for my friends: ‘Web Log updated on 12.03.2008’
A click on the address www.coolbihari.blogspot.com is sure to open many eyes. Excerpts:
“Reality struck us when few days back news channels showed the shocking acts of cowardice on the streets of Maharashtra.
“People from Bihar and other parts of north India were brutally attacked, roughed up and forced to leave Maharashtra on the call of the local politicians and goons in the name of regional pride.
“The State and Central Govt. were reduced to mute spectators and the nation could not be made aware of the gravity of the issue because of inappropriate media coverage.
“Our friend Nitin Chandra has now come up with a documentary to highlight the plight and shows as to how the Maharashtra incidents has forced us to rethink about our identity.
“This is not an issue limited to Bihar. This threatens the existence of our great country. We need to rise above region and state to have an objective assessment of this grave crisis of regional identity.”
LIVING WELL IS THE BEST REVENGE
Writing in “coolbihari” Group, another friend Pandey Nitish Kr. Sahay writes: “I want to see Bihar – at the glory, that I have never seen before in my lifetime. No IIT/IIMs, no good private medical/ engineering colleges, still Biharis contribute most doctors and engineers in the country. No green revolution here, still the best rice comes from Bihar.
“I refuse to be treated as a second-rated citizen in my free India. I refuse to be victimised by circumstances and vested interests. I want Bihar and fellow Biharis to be given the equal (level) playing fields.
“For me, Bihar is not just a piece of land where I was born. It’s a realisation; it’s more than a piece of land; it is the collective aspiration of millions of people; it is a thought process; it is a culture; it is a sense of pride; it is the capability of leading India and the world, which has been so far, oppressed by vested interests.”
True, as my friends from Bihar say, “We should always follow logic and believe that Living Well Is The Best Revenge. You Don’t Have To Be A Pig To Fight A Pig.”
Lal Salaam Bihar.
I am proud to be a Bihari (from Samastipur), presently working in Saudi Arabia.
Trust me you are great bihari and great indian. I do say proudly i am bihari with bihari instinct. – Vikas Mohan
What a pertinent post, just right for the times. Once upon a time, I was among the teeming millions who came from different aprts of the country to live and work in Mumbai. In the Nineties, it was a open minded, if businesslike city, welcoming all into its folds. Mumbai was a city where no one was ever made to feel like a stranger. I feel saddened by current trends. Biharis, Tamils, gujaratis, does it matter what language we speak or where our forefathers came from? We’re all Indians.