“Hey, where are you from?”
“I’m from Bihar. Nice to meet you.”
I’m a Bihari and I wonder why this conversation suddenly turned out to be funny when the latter mentioned about being a Bihari. Do we look absurd? Or do we have labels on our face saying, ‘mock us’?
Perhaps, our language, our accent might seem funny to you. But every state in India has a language and their residents have a typical accent by birth. In fact, what people assume is that Bihari is a language. I tell you, its not. The Bihar state has its own certain languages which includes Bhojpuri, Magahi, Maithali etc.
Out of which Maithali has been included in the list of recognised languages of India. We really feel satisfied when we say ‘Hum’ instead of ‘Mein’. This is our style and we undoubtedly love it. There are Bhojpuri movies which are hitting the box office, not only in Bihar, but are also preferred and appreciated by a huge number of viewers outside of the state.
We are also considered uneducated, backward and unfit for the current society. But people forget that in ancient and classical times, Bihar was a centre of power, learning and culture. The most widely adhered religion has been originated here : Buddhism. Gautam Buddha attained enlightenment in Bodh Gaya district of Bihar. There are about 24 million tourists visiting Bihar each year. Places like Rajgir, Vaishali, Nalanda, Bodh Gaya, Tomb of Sher Shah Suri in Sasaram, Barabar Caves etc. are attraction of tourists.
Also, it has been the centre of prominent institutions like Nalanda University. It has a number of renowned institutions established such as National Institute of Technology, Birla Institute of Technology, Chanakya National Law University, National Institute of Fashion Technology, National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research, Chandragupt Institute of Management etc.
The studies say that Bihar has lagged behind in various sectors such as social and economic development, due to direct results of the policies made by the central government. But we have been growing at an increasing rate, in the current scenario.
Also, Bihar has a special festival : Chhatt, in which the Sun (Surya) is worshipped. This festival is getting widespread in other states as well. It is also famous for the delicious ‘Litti Chokha’ which is finger licking good. Moreover, according to the Statistics, Bihar is ranked 19th in the list of states of cognizable crime rates.
This is to let all those people know, who think Bihar tops the list. There are criminals but not each one of us are. We are also Indians and we do not like every random blame to be thrown at us. If you be good to us, we’ll be the best to you. But if you try to disregard or stereotype our state and culture, we’d not bear it because ‘Ek Bihari, Sab Par Bhaari’.
PS : The writer has no offence against any other state, religion, culture or language.