Thursday, November 24, 2005

The Bihar Times and the birth of Bihar
Dr Suresh Nandan Sinha,Bihar Times.
The state of Bihar owes a great deal for its birth and development to the newspaper 'The Bihar Times' whose publication started in the year 1894 to give a boost to the demand for the separation of Bihar from Bengal which comprised of the the states of Bihar, West Bengal, Orissa and Assam. In this congeries, Bihar was a non-entity as all attention were given to Bengal, Calcutta, being the centre of administration.
After the decisive battle of Buxar, the Emperor, Shah Alam of Delhi throne transferred the diwani of Bengal, Bihar and Orissa to East India Company whose centre of activities was Calcutta. As such, there was little education in Bihar and the State was socially, educationally and economically backward and exploited.
It was in the year 1889 that Late Sachchida Nand Sinha went to England for doing Bar-at- Law. There, he became a butt of ridicule when he called himself a Bihari, coming from Bihar which had no existence on the map of the country. This humiliating experience provided a spur to Dr Sinha to strive for a niche and separate identity for the state of Bihar. In 1893, having successfully completed his Bar-at-Law, he returned to Patna and took a vow to rest content only after making Bihar-a separate administrative unit. But the struggle for Bihar like all other struggles also brought stiff opposition in its wake as volatile Bengal was not agreeable to separate identity for Bihar.
Nevertheless, the idea for separation of Bihar started taking shape and for spreading it and eliciting public support in its favour, publication of a weekly journal \'\'Bihar Times\'\' was started in the year 1894 with the support and cooperation of Nandkishore Lal of Gaya, Rai Bahadur Shreekrishna Sahay and famous journalist, Mahesh Narain who became its editor. In the initial years, this weekly journal exclusively devoted itself to the struggle for separation of Bihar from Bengal and this movement became widespread. After sometime, Dr S N Sinha and Nandkishore Lal submitted a memorandum on behalf of many local institutions to Lt governor Alexander Mackenji for separation of Bihar from Bengal. In 1906, Rajendra Prasad who was secretary of \'Bihari Club\' of Calcutta, organised a conference of Bihari students at Patna in consultation with Sachchida Nand Sinha and Mahesh Narain. \r\nIn this conference, a student committe was formed to give fillip to the separatist movement and thus it gained great momentum. In 1907, Mahesh Narayan died but the movement got backing of Maulana Mazrul Haque, Ali Imam, Rai Bahadur Brahmdeo Prasad, Hasan Imam. With their help in 1908, the first convention of Bihar State Sammelan was held at Patna in which a resolution was unanimously passed to separate Bihar from Bengal. The same demand was repeated in its second convention at Bhagalpur in 1909. After a few months of this convention, Dr \r\nS.N.Sinha and Mazrul Haque were elected members of Imperial Legislative Council from the quota of Bengal Legislative Council and Muslim minority seat. By this time, the separatist movement had got recognition in the eyes of British administration. It was at that time that the then law member \r\nS.P.Sinha resigned from his post and Vice-Roy Lord Minto made Consultation with Dr Sinha to fill up the said post. Dr Sinha suggested the name of Ali Imam who was appointed Law member in place of S.P.Sinha. Ali Imam proved very helpful in furthering and giving legal boost to the idea of separation. In 1911, in Delhi Durbar, George V was going to be declared Emperor of \r\n",1]
);
//-->

Nevertheless, the idea for separation of Bihar started taking shape and for spreading it and eliciting public support in its favour, publication of a weekly journal ''Bihar Times'' was started in the year 1894 with the support and cooperation of Nandkishore Lal of Gaya, Rai Bahadur Shreekrishna Sahay and famous journalist, Mahesh Narain who became its editor. In the initial years, this weekly journal exclusively devoted itself to the struggle for separation of Bihar from Bengal and this movement became widespread. After sometime, Dr S N Sinha and Nandkishore Lal submitted a memorandum on behalf of many local institutions to Lt governor Alexander Mackenji for separation of Bihar from Bengal. In 1906, Rajendra Prasad who was secretary of 'Bihari Club' of Calcutta, organised a conference of Bihari students at Patna in consultation with Sachchida Nand Sinha and Mahesh Narain.
In this conference, a student committe was formed to give fillip to the separatist movement and thus it gained great momentum. In 1907, Mahesh Narayan died but the movement got backing of Maulana Mazrul Haque, Ali Imam, Rai Bahadur Brahmdeo Prasad, Hasan Imam. With their help in 1908, the first convention of Bihar State Sammelan was held at Patna in which a resolution was unanimously passed to separate Bihar from Bengal. The same demand was repeated in its second convention at Bhagalpur in 1909. After a few months of this convention, Dr S.N.Sinha and Mazrul Haque were elected members of Imperial Legislative Council from the quota of Bengal Legislative Council and Muslim minority seat. By this time, the separatist movement had got recognition in the eyes of British administration. It was at that time that the then law member S.P.Sinha resigned from his post and Vice-Roy Lord Minto made Consultation with Dr Sinha to fill up the said post. Dr Sinha suggested the name of Ali Imam who was appointed Law member in place of S.P.Sinha. Ali Imam proved very helpful in furthering and giving legal boost to the idea of separation. In 1911, in Delhi Durbar, George V was going to be declared Emperor of
\' Bihar Times\' played its role effectively, true to its purpose, in educating the masses to struggle for creation of Bihar. This journal took up the cause of Bihar and nourished the idea that the separation of Bihar from Bengal would provide the necessary relief to the Bengal administration which will be convenient to Govt of India and in due course \'Bihar Times\' influenced other newspapers of neighbouring states also in moulding them towards the idea of creation of Bihar. With the death of Mahesh Narain, it got a big jolt, nevertheless, the paper continued to come out and much later it took the form of \'Motherland\' and it still continues to serve the state of Bihar in its new avatar on internet and thus the history of this paper originates from 19th century and traversing its long journey through 20th century, it will now enter the 21st century after a year with a renewed and added zeal to serve the friends of Bihar in India and abroad in the new age of information technology. \r\n\r\nGrowth in Western India Reduces Poverty in Bihar\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nGerry RodgersAn eminent economist, he worked extensively on poverty & employment in Bihar, currenty working as director(training) ILO,Geneva.\r\n",1]
);
//-->
India.On this occasion, the Secretary of India affairs wrote a letter to Govt of India in which he emphasised the demand of the Biharees terming them''healthy and law-abiding who were different to Bengalese in their origin, language, propensities, land and thinking.'' It was also communicated that on 12th December, a Lt governor in council separately for Bihar and Orissa would be appointed. This was announced in the Delhi Durbar to everybody's satisfaction amidst great rejoicings. Thus Bihar and Orissa became separate administrative unit under Lt Governor in council from 1st April,1912. In due course, Orissa was also separated from Bihar from 1st April,1936.
' Bihar Times' played its role effectively, true to its purpose, in educating the masses to struggle for creation of Bihar. This journal took up the cause of Bihar and nourished the idea that the separation of Bihar from Bengal would provide the necessary relief to the Bengal administration which will be convenient to Govt of India and in due course 'Bihar Times' influenced other newspapers of neighbouring states also in moulding them towards the idea of creation of Bihar. With the death of Mahesh Narain, it got a big jolt, nevertheless, the paper continued to come out and much later it took the form of 'Motherland' and it still continues to serve the state of Bihar in its new avatar on internet and thus the history of this paper originates from 19th century and traversing its long journey through 20th century, it will now enter the 21st century after a year with a renewed and added zeal to serve the friends of Bihar in India and abroad in the new age of information technology.
Growth in Western India Reduces Poverty in Bihar
Gerry RodgersAn eminent economist, he worked extensively on poverty & employment in Bihar, currenty working as director(training) ILO,Geneva.
\r\nIn April we returned to Mazgama and Pokharia, two villages in Purnia District, for the first time since 1981. It was our third visit. In 1970 we had found these villages deep in poverty, with poor links to the outside world, and benefitting little from government programmes. Still, there was hope for the future. The Kosi canal irrigation system was under construction across village lands, and the increasing availability of high yielding seeds offered possibilities for agricultural development. \r\nBut in 1981, we found the situation little changed. The Kosi canal system provided no irrigation water and increased vulnerability to flood. Agricultural development was limited. Some tubewell irrigation had begun, but the main pattern was one of stagnation. Incomes were if anything even lower than in 1970; certainly wages had declined. A few workers were seeking employment outside the village - earthwork in Assam, for instance - but most remained dependent on local agriculture. Levels of mortality among agricultural labourers were high. As we approached the villages in April 1999, signs of change were evident. At the village itself, the first stop was a cluster of shops on the road, including a small pharmacy, a cycle repair shop and some general stores. This was new, a sign that there was money to spend in an economy which was hardly monetized at all before. We talked to villagers, and returned to households we had visited before to find out how their lives had changed. The pattern soon became clear. Agriculture in the villages had improved a little - tubewell irrigation had spread, and more fertilizer-intensive crops were being grown. But the change was small, given that 18 years had passed, hardly sufficient to keep pace with population growth and certainly not enough to explain the apparently healthy local economy. Some non-agricultural activities had also emerged, mainly in commerce and transport, but they appeared to be a consequence of increased income rather than a cause. \r\n",1]
);
//-->

In April we returned to Mazgama and Pokharia, two villages in Purnia District, for the first time since 1981. It was our third visit. In 1970 we had found these villages deep in poverty, with poor links to the outside world, and benefitting little from government programmes. Still, there was hope for the future. The Kosi canal irrigation system was under construction across village lands, and the increasing availability of high yielding seeds offered possibilities for agricultural development.
But in 1981, we found the situation little changed. The Kosi canal system provided no irrigation water and increased vulnerability to flood. Agricultural development was limited. Some tubewell irrigation had begun, but the main pattern was one of stagnation. Incomes were if anything even lower than in 1970; certainly wages had declined. A few workers were seeking employment outside the village - earthwork in Assam, for instance - but most remained dependent on local agriculture. Levels of mortality among agricultural labourers were high. As we approached the villages in April 1999, signs of change were evident. At the village itself, the first stop was a cluster of shops on the road, including a small pharmacy, a cycle repair shop and some general stores. This was new, a sign that there was money to spend in an economy which was hardly monetized at all before. We talked to villagers, and returned to households we had visited before to find out how their lives had changed. The pattern soon became clear. Agriculture in the villages had improved a little - tubewell irrigation had spread, and more fertilizer-intensive crops were being grown. But the change was small, given that 18 years had passed, hardly sufficient to keep pace with population growth and certainly not enough to explain the apparently healthy local economy. Some non-agricultural activities had also emerged, mainly in commerce and transport, but they appeared to be a consequence of increased income rather than a cause.
The main factor in the change was a massive increase in migration. Villagers were migrating, not permanently, but for 2, 4 or 6 months at a time, to work in Delhi, Punjab, Western UP or Haryana. Migration of this sort is nothing new in Bihar, but the scale had changed. Now ,in virtually every labour family with an able-bodied male member, there was at least one migrant, often 2 or 3. In Western India ,the migrants could earn double the local wages, and their remittances and savings were pouring thousands of rupees into the local economy. Local wages had risen sharply as well, responding to the competition from the national labour market. As a result, the incomes and consumption levels of the poorest groups - agricultural labour households - had risen markedly. \r\nSo poverty in these villages had declined, and on the whole it was the poorest groups who benefitted most. It was a welcome surprise. But the improvements stemmed from economic growth which was occurring, not in Bihar, but elsewhere in India. Whether these changes will lead to sustainable development locally will depend on whether these monetary flows can find their way into productive investment. \r\nJanine Rodgers Gerry Rodgers \r\nBihar Society: Motion Sans Vision\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nDr Shaibal GuptaEconomist and member secretary, ADRI, Patna\r\n\r\nBihar is geographically and demographically equivalent to France and Germany. In terms of mineral resources, it is considered to be the Ruhr of India. However, earlier policy of freight equalization had spelled doom for industrialization of the state. On the other hand, the fertile soil of Bihar plains with abundant ground and river water could have been delight of any development strategist. Yet, Bihar remains one of the most backward economic tracts. Paradoxically, however, in spite of extreme poverty, the sale of Maggi (a food product of multinational Nestle) in Patna is second highest after Delhi; different varieties of chocolates vie with \'medicine\' to record highest sale in the state, or another multinational, manufacturing \'chewing gum\', appoints a regional manager with an army of subordinates to look after its burgeoning sale even in rural areas of Bihar. \r\n",1]
);
//-->

The main factor in the change was a massive increase in migration. Villagers were migrating, not permanently, but for 2, 4 or 6 months at a time, to work in Delhi, Punjab, Western UP or Haryana. Migration of this sort is nothing new in Bihar, but the scale had changed. Now ,in virtually every labour family with an able-bodied male member, there was at least one migrant, often 2 or 3. In Western India ,the migrants could earn double the local wages, and their remittances and savings were pouring thousands of rupees into the local economy. Local wages had risen sharply as well, responding to the competition from the national labour market. As a result, the incomes and consumption levels of the poorest groups - agricultural labour households - had risen markedly.
So poverty in these villages had declined, and on the whole it was the poorest groups who benefitted most. It was a welcome surprise. But the improvements stemmed from economic growth which was occurring, not in Bihar, but elsewhere in India. Whether these changes will lead to sustainable development locally will depend on whether these monetary flows can find their way into productive investment. Janine Rodgers Gerry Rodgers
Bihar Society: Motion Sans Vision
Dr Shaibal GuptaEconomist and member secretary, ADRI, Patna
Bihar is geographically and demographically equivalent to France and Germany. In terms of mineral resources, it is considered to be the Ruhr of India. However, earlier policy of freight equalization had spelled doom for industrialization of the state. On the other hand, the fertile soil of Bihar plains with abundant ground and river water could have been delight of any development strategist. Yet, Bihar remains one of the most backward economic tracts. Paradoxically, however, in spite of extreme poverty, the sale of Maggi (a food product of multinational Nestle) in Patna is second highest after Delhi; different varieties of chocolates vie with 'medicine' to record highest sale in the state, or another multinational, manufacturing 'chewing gum', appoints a regional manager with an army of subordinates to look after its burgeoning sale even in rural areas of Bihar.
Nowadays, even in rural areas, no social ceremony of even a modest household is complete without soft drinks and video recording. In case Bihar faces \'food and drinking water scarcity\', Rabari Devi can say without compunction, "If there is no bread and water.......eat chocolates and drink Pepsi". In fact, foodgrain production, recording nearly national growth rate, has resulted into almost 25 percent annual growth of deposits of rural banks and opening of retail outlet of corporate organisations in the muffossil area. This incongruous economic spectacle is essentially the result of distorted and dependent capitalism that had developed in the state. However the economic spectrum that has unfolded in Bihar is a consequence of many political factors. Over and above, the recent massacres in central plain have assumed the diabolical dimensions. \r\nIt is a tragic irony that when most of the states are awaiting the new century and millennium by strengthening the foundation of knowledge capital, Bihar is increasingly getting into the quagmire of ancient gladiatorial society. \r\nPolitics in Bihar is significantly determined by the agrarian relation, essentially scripted by Lord Cornwallis, through the permanent settlement in 1793. Being the important bastion of Sepoy Mutiny in 1857,Bihar was subjected to extreme repression after the failure of the revolt. Thus, this area developed insularity and resistance to ideas related to science, education, culture, modernity etc, over a period of time. For a long time it was a part of the catchment area of Hindu orthodoxy of Varanasi, symbolized through the Maharaja, Brahmin Pundits and Bhartendu Harischandra, father of modern Hindi and ideologue of merchant aristocracy. \r\nHindi heartland did not experience social movement in the absence of an \'intermediate identity\' of regional subnationalism.Capital transformation in agriculture along with \'Sanskritisation\' had resulted into further consolidation of either \'caste profile\' or \'Hindutva identity\'. \r\nNot that emergence of Karpuri Thakur and subsequently, Laloo Prasad is a replication of the phenomenon of Charan Singh in UP or Devraj Urs of Karnataka, but their political resonance at the central level is similar. But, what one could see at the national level may not be true in Bihar, where state is either slowly \' withering away from within, unable to\' mediate\' between highly conflicting interest groups and maintain even a modicum of governance. One could characterize weakening of the state through a number of indicators; but the state of public finance probably tells the story in most convincing manner. Out of its total annual budget of Rs. 18,503 crore (in 1999-2000), no less than Rs. 3,519 crore are to be spent on repayment of loan and interest (\r\n",1]
);
//-->

Nowadays, even in rural areas, no social ceremony of even a modest household is complete without soft drinks and video recording. In case Bihar faces 'food and drinking water scarcity', Rabari Devi can say without compunction, "If there is no bread and water.......eat chocolates and drink Pepsi". In fact, foodgrain production, recording nearly national growth rate, has resulted into almost 25 percent annual growth of deposits of rural banks and opening of retail outlet of corporate organisations in the muffossil area. This incongruous economic spectacle is essentially the result of distorted and dependent capitalism that had developed in the state. However the economic spectrum that has unfolded in Bihar is a consequence of many political factors. Over and above, the recent massacres in central plain have assumed the diabolical dimensions.
It is a tragic irony that when most of the states are awaiting the new century and millennium by strengthening the foundation of knowledge capital, Bihar is increasingly getting into the quagmire of ancient gladiatorial society.
Politics in Bihar is significantly determined by the agrarian relation, essentially scripted by Lord Cornwallis, through the permanent settlement in 1793. Being the important bastion of Sepoy Mutiny in 1857,Bihar was subjected to extreme repression after the failure of the revolt. Thus, this area developed insularity and resistance to ideas related to science, education, culture, modernity etc, over a period of time. For a long time it was a part of the catchment area of Hindu orthodoxy of Varanasi, symbolized through the Maharaja, Brahmin Pundits and Bhartendu Harischandra, father of modern Hindi and ideologue of merchant aristocracy.
Hindi heartland did not experience social movement in the absence of an 'intermediate identity' of regional subnationalism.Capital transformation in agriculture along with 'Sanskritisation' had resulted into further consolidation of either 'caste profile' or 'Hindutva identity'.
Not that emergence of Karpuri Thakur and subsequently, Laloo Prasad is a replication of the phenomenon of Charan Singh in UP or Devraj Urs of Karnataka, but their political resonance at the central level is similar. But, what one could see at the national level may not be true in Bihar, where state is either slowly ' withering away from within, unable to' mediate' between highly conflicting interest groups and maintain even a modicum of governance. One could characterize weakening of the state through a number of indicators; but the state of public finance probably tells the story in most convincing manner. Out of its total annual budget of Rs. 18,503 crore (in 1999-2000), no less than Rs. 3,519 crore are to be spent on repayment of loan and interest (
In the absence of pro-active \'state\' in Bihar, people here have developed ingenuity to convert \'disadvantage\' into \'advantage\'. However, in the absence of an effective and enlightened political leadership, the \'state\' is far behind its own people. If an MNC - inspired corporate vision is to be thrust on Bihar with \'laptop- totting industrialist and professionals\', a sanitised chimera of modernity can be woven overnight; one only needs to hire only foreign firm or give another assignment to Mckinsey and Co. But this \'corporate\' canopy will only embroil us into yet another \'tokenism\'. To be meaningful and effective, \'development\' should be accepted as an agenda and only then a \'vision\' would emerge demarcating the roles of physical, human and, more importantly, the\' knowledge capital\'. \r\nIndeed, it is the knowledge capital which has emerged as a potent source of development. Even the poor can now hope to catch up the rich. The only constraint here is the absence of a \' vision\' and nothing else. \r\n\r\n\r\n",0]
);
D(["ce"]);
D(["ms","5648"]
);
//-->
19.6 percent).Of this, interest payment alone is Rs. 2,825 crore (15.3 percent). To take another indicator, the initial budget for plan expenditure during 1998-99 was Rs. 3,700 crore, but it had to be revised twice, bringing it down to only Rs. 2,000 crore. In the absence of pro-active 'state' in Bihar, people here have developed ingenuity to convert 'disadvantage' into 'advantage'. However, in the absence of an effective and enlightened political leadership, the 'state' is far behind its own people. If an MNC - inspired corporate vision is to be thrust on Bihar with 'laptop- totting industrialist and professionals', a sanitised chimera of modernity can be woven overnight; one only needs to hire only foreign firm or give another assignment to Mckinsey and Co. But this 'corporate' canopy will only embroil us into yet another 'tokenism'. To be meaningful and effective, 'development' should be accepted as an agenda and only then a 'vision' would emerge demarcating the roles of physical, human and, more importantly, the' knowledge capital'.
Indeed, it is the knowledge capital which has emerged as a potent source of development. Even the poor can now hope to catch up the rich. The only constraint here is the absence of a ' vision' and nothing else.
Post a Comment