Thursday, September 4, 2008
Visuals of the Bihar floods are haunting me day and night. Not that we have not seen destruction of this kind ever, but definitely there has never been such national apathy towards a calamity. I very clearly remember working at mobilizing funds for the Gujarat earthquake, the Tsunami and also remember not even once thinking that I don’t belong to these states. I think that a tragedy of this kind should be above regional and linguistic biases. Unfortunately this time around Bihar is fighting a very lonely battle.
During a discussion a few days back, one of my colleagues (a financial analyst) questioned the economic importance of Bihar,” It’s a burden” he opined. I am totally shocked at the lack of economic understanding shown by this person. No developing country (actually even developed) can afford to have a few of it’s states in a condition of total despair. It gives rise to anarchy, crime, terrorism and social recklessness. Such places become easy targets for the recruitment drive of anti social elements. While economic weakness is no justification for crime and anarchy in a perfect world, but in a world driven by capitalism this truism falls apart. So Mr. Analyst get your calculator and start calculating the economic cost of an underdeveloped Bihar.
I am not begging for the state I love. I have no doubt on the potential of Bihari’s. Pick up the qualifying lists of IIT’s, IIM’s and the toughest competitive exams in the country and you will get proof of the potential of Bihari’s. This was the state which gave us Jainism and Buddism. It’s in a state of disrepair due to faulty Politics and Policy. But friends don’t forget we are Indians too and therefore look forward to fellow Indians reaching out to us in one of our darkest hours.
The debate can wait…..Please save our lives first.