BIHAR – Past , Present &……??

By Mohammed Qaisar- Jeddah (Kingdom of Saudi Arabia)

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(A lame attempt is taken by me to focus our state in a nutshell. The readers are the best judge… the time has come to unite ourselves. The foundation for this purpose is already laid by Respected Dr. I.A. Khan with the help of moderators who are doing tremendous work in this regard. I also appreciate the work of Respected Dr. Moiz shams. We know that we cannot change the whole Bihar but we can change the fate of our community, that's the reason of writing this article. Finally, I would like to request my readers if there is something to rectify or modify please inform me which will be solicited.)

Bihar, a land of golden era of ancient Indian history, which gave the essence of democracy to the world. Its history is very ancient. It extends to the very dawn of human civilization.

If we peep into the ancient time we find that it was Bihar which produced innumerous intellectuals such as Lord Buddha (founder of Buddhism), Lord Mahavira, (founder of Jainism) and Ashoka (explorer of administration system).

During 7 – 8th century B.C. it produced rulers who devised a system of administration and linkage to modern science of economics. Muryan Empire brought about amicable co- existence between the Greeks and Indian (Bihar). Megasthenes, an emissary of Alexander’s General Seleucus Necator, lived in Partliputra (Patna) around 302 B.C. he left behind a chronic ale of life in and around Partliputra. This was the first recorded by a foreign traveler in India. It revealed that the people were very honest, literate and had great dignity of life.

The world’s first University was established at Nalanda in Bihar during Gupta period. The people from different part of the country and foreigners used to come to study here. Fahein (Chinese) and Hein Hsang (Chinese) were the prominent travelers who studied here. Hein Hsang stayed about 14 years in this University. The another remarkable University was Vikram Sheela. These University continued as a temple of learning till the middle ages of our history.

This is a brief history of our Land which tells us about golden era. Now the question arises that how has our glorious era vanished? What was the reason behind it? And of course how can we get back on the driving seat?

The glorious and golden history of Bihar lasted till around the 7th or 8th century A.D. The conquest of almost all northern India by invaders from the Middle East and of course, Bihar also became a victim. In the medieval times Bihar lost its prestige as the political and cultural center of India. 

During Muslim rule and particularly that of Mughal was a period of unremarkable provincial administration from Delhi. The only remarkable person of these time in Bihar was Sher Shah Suri (Sher Khan Sur, based at Sasaram) who became the king of India after defeating Hamyun. (Son of, the founder of Mughal Empire, Baber) twice but unfortunately he also made Delhi as capital of his Kingdom instead of Bihar. Secondly, he ruled only five years so it could not bring back the glory of Bihar. Though he was very good administrator. After Sher Shah nobody came forward for the betterment of that neglected state. 

The British government hammered last nail on its coffin by making Bihar as a part of the presidency of Bengal which was governed from Calcutta. They established all leading educational and medical centers in Bengal. Actually, during British rule Bihar was totally ignored and no attention was paid towards its people and land. They wanted to crush the morality and knowledge of the people and they succeeded in this regards.

When Bihar & Orissa were separated from Bengal presidency in 1912(Later on both land got their statehood). It seemed that the British Government would pay special attention towards Bihar. Though it got its administrative unit in 1935 but sorry to say nothing specific step was taken in this regard. The people were living under dark sky where there was nothing except poverty, illiteracy and law less ness vice versa. Whether you believe or not at the time on independence the percentage of literacy was 10%. 

Therefore, the Land of knowledge, intellectuals and temple of Education faded its reign and gradually slipped into new era, the era of illiteracy, the Land of Cast and Creed, poverty and of course a land of lawlessness. Even people could not maintain their supremacy in respect of education, wiseness and heredity of knowledge.

In spite of such attitude and negligence of the government, Bihar once again showed its power when Mahatma Gandhi launched his Civil Disobedience Movement, which ultimately led to India’s Independence from the District of Champaran in 1917. It also made the British authorities recognize for the first time Gandhi as a national leader of some consequences thus, in 1917, began a series of events in a remote corner of Bihar.( We can say, it was Bihar and the people who made Gandhi, a national hero and led the foundation stone of Independence). We also see that plight of a large no of people during pre & post independence in search of education, security and satisfy their thirst of knowledge, most of them merged themselves in the land of migration. 

At the time of Indian Independence we got another big set back when our country was divided into two parts (India & Pakistan). A large number of intellectuals, educated and the people who were holding high post in government Department migrated to Pakistan (Only Muslims) leaving behind no sign of return back. The consequences of this Muslim migration from Bihar pushed us into a land of uncertain and insecure (Insecurity of life, wealth, job and of course living) .This migration continued till 1971 when a new country born on the map by name Bangla Desh( Before East Pakistan). In a nut shell, we find these were the main reasons………………!!!!!!!!

It is said that if you wish to finish any Nation or Community, destroy their culture, language, literacy and their Identity. So they did and our ancestor could not resist it.

Now, the question remains that how can we put ourselves in the cat race ……????

Our country became free in 1947. The reign of Monarchy and dictatorship gone and we became the biggest democratic country of the world. The country will be governed by the people, for the people and of the people. Our state became, having the 2nd largest no of the members in the parliament in one hand while in the other, we became the biggest producer of the minerals (The main back bone of our economy). But sorry to say, even after 58 years of independence we are lacking behind in comparison to other states. The states like Kerela, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Maharashtra and Gujrat which got remarkable attention towards the development in all fields while we are still in tortoise walk. Why………????

After Independence, the first census of different categories took place in 1951. According to the first census (1951) our literacy rate was 13.49% while latest census 2001 shows that our literacy rate is 47.53%. Thanks God our literacy rate is increasing rapidly but it is still very low as compared to the all India average of 65.38%. 

In fact, unfortunately, after independence we did not get any leader who had a real pain for the state and its people. That’s why very less attention is paid towards the development of the state in all sectors. So instead of, coming forward and join the cat race we became the inhabitant of the state where lawlessness, hatred for each other in respect of cast and creed which is well practiced.

In my opinion, to be in the cat race or to get back our glory we have to work out, on the following points though it is very tough task but not impossible. We know very well that that need much time, may be another fifty years, but we can put foundation stone and leave footsteps behind to follow the coming generation. I have firm believe that the present generation (either living in Bihar itself or any part of the country or the world) has much power and strength to resist any hindrance. They have the capacity and ability to change the entire scenario to uplift their community (God willing). The points are as follows; 

  1. POLITICAL LEADER (Choose and support educated and right person as far as possible). 
  2. LITERACY (Enhance and propagate the Education among all, particularly among the women, as they are responsible for teaching manner, culture and civilize youngster) 
  3. STRONG ECONOMY (Though it much depends on the government, but we can contribute in many ways in which there is no need to elaborate) 
  4. FIGHT AGAINST CAST AND CREED (We experienced that that is very much practiced in our Muslim community which is derived from Hinduism). 
  5. FIGHT AGAINST DOWRY SYSTEM (It is also derived from Hinduism). 
  6. INDUSTRIES AND FACTORIES (It depends on government and need time while public sector cannot invest until or unless they get security of life and money). 

The above points are very vital to get back the glory. As we are well aware that Bihar is a land of different culture, languages and religions. It is said that Charity begins from home so we should start from our community. Among the above points LITERACY plays vital role in uplifting morally, culturally and socially. We must fight against the illiteracy as literacy gives us strength, high morality, good position in the society and of course make economically strong.