Did you notice that “Bihar Calling” ad on BBC World…I mean, the one meant to woo investors to Bihar? The ad shows a still-shaky, days-old Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar trying to lure back the estranged, rich Biharis staying abroad, to their land of birth. Singing paeans in praise of “metamorphosed Bihar”, he would have you believe that in a matter of just about a month, he has turned the “the land of carnage” into that of plenty, and that he simply needs some investments to nurture this “land of eternal peace and prosperity”.
How hollow and how funny! It’s so surprising that even after the occurrence of the incident on the very first daybreak of 2006, when a somebody set six people on fire in some village in the vicinity of the state capital following some enmity over a buffalo-stealing case, the chief minister hasn’t sent the ad off-air. I am afraid, Nitish Kumar is talking about some other Bihar, and not the state he is heading.
Till the other day, when he was still making desperate attempts to unseat Rabri Devi to put on the mantle of chief minister, he sounded a much more logical man. It seemed he is familiar with the state of affairs in Bihar, which was condemned to bear the excesses of Laloo, his clan supporters for full 15 years. It was during this period that RJD and its goons bled Bihar like anything, when people noticed total absence of rule of law, when extortion and kidnapping industry thrived at the cost of all other industries, when no new investor was ready to come to Bihar…
Instead of resorting to political gimmicks, the need of the hour is to first make Bihar a peaceful place to live in. Unless people have faith in the rule of law, no constructive development can take place. Before making the “Bihar Calling” call, Nitish must ensure there are sufficient reasons for non-resident Biharis to look back at their land of origin. There is no electricity for better part of the day in most of the small towns and villages, condition of roads can’t be worse and law and order has to go a long way before the government is able to instill at least some sense of security among the common men.
Therefore, it will be in the fitness of things to see Bihar first making the best use of its existing resources, including the potential travel sector, before inviting people from outside. After all, if the government doesn’t have to showcase anything of its own, on what basis it can ask others to invest in a lawless Bihar!