These mails were sent to Rajdeep Sardesai on his recent articles at the link given below:
What is it that makes journalists like you so insular to the feelings of Biharis that you keep using the name of Bihar for all that you see wrong anywhere in the world?Do you ever pause and think that the inefficiency in Maharashtra or anywhere else that you have chosen to highlight in your article has got noting to do with Bihar?
Seriously, what has your article got to do with Bihar except to use it as an example of all that you think is wrong?
Who has given you the right to use the name of a region, with a population of almost 10 crores and a culture and history that would make any region proud, in this abhorrent manner?
Or such logic have no place in the thinking of journalists like you who think it is alright to keep using a state and its people like a punching bag?
Do you feel you come out smelling of roses by writing such articles trying to perpetuate a stereotype that guys like you, the members of the despicable “Oye Bihari Brigade ” have created in the first place? is there no other way to sell your newspapers or advertisement seconds?
No other method to pander to the base instincts of morons who need to denigrate something to feel better? Perhaps you know in your heart that the main audience of your articles are such dregs of the society that you have to do this to get richer? I would seriously like to understand the mental make up of journalists like you.
Is it that you people dont realise that articles like you wrote is serioulsy damaging for Bihar and Biharis? Maybe you are such innocent people that you dont realise this simple fact and need to be forgiven.
Is it something personal like you were you were beaten hollow by fellow bihari students during your student days?
Do you fear the jobs of your children would be taken away by the hardworking and diligent Bihari by the dint of his superior intellect and ability to work hard?
Is it pure contempt – of the type that the white South Africans felt towards the black?
Whatever it is, I do hope you people realise this would seriously dent your credibility in teh long run if you continue with such diatribe against Bihar and Biharis and loose your chance to be taken seriously by the public. Unfortunately, till that happens, we have to suffer you because of the sheer negative pubilicity you generate. But then, even Jews had to suffer Hitler and see how successful they are now.
Thanks but no thanks
This refers to your article “Is Maharashtra the new Bihar?” published in HT on 15th Sep’06.
I am shocked by this frequent negative stereotyping of Bihar by the media. Secondly, I don’t understand the need for bringing the name of Bihar while analyzing the plights of Maharashtra. It is completely out of the context, uncalled for, and undesirable.
Moreover, terms like “Biharisation” are very bad in taste and surpass all levels of journalistic impropriety. I have my doubts about your knowledge of Bihar. I don’t know how many times you have traveled to Bihar, but one thing is certain – you have never tried to understand the real Bihar and its problems. Yes, Bihar has some negative things. But tell me which state of India doesn’t have negative things? You talk of corruption synonymously with Bihar. I think you should know the levels of corruption in Maharashtra in general and Mumbai in particular, or UP, or Delhi, or West Bengal, or Tamil Nadu, or Punjab, or MP. Why then you see corruption and corrupt politicians only in Bihar and no where else in India? Has God given you media guys a very selective eye-sight or what?
Let’s come point by point:
Your journalist friend from Bihar: Let me tell you that one of the biggest curses Bihar has is some of her very own journalists, who sell the aabru of their state to further their own journalistic career. The less said about these scoundrels the better it is.
When you talk of daily dose of murder, kidnapping, death, disease, unemployement, Agrarian distress, etc. then better talk with hard numbers and give some fact based comparison with other states. If you don’t have numbers then just keep your mouth shut. When you talk about poverty in Bihar or the lack of development, then it would be better to do some analysis of the economic policies of the government from 1947 to this date. Even if you know a little bit of economics then you will understand that the root cause of underdevelopment of Bihar is biased allocation of resources post independence in favour of states like Punjab and Maharshtra. Here is some fact for you. “In 1955, the total national outlay for irrigation was Rs.29,106.30 lakhs. Of this Punjab got Rs.10,952.10 lakhs or 37.62%. By contrast Bihar got only Rs.1,323.30 lakhs, which is only 4.54% of the irrigation outlay. The Bhakra Nangal dam, one of Jawaharlal Nehru’s grandest temples of modern India, planned at an outlay of Rs.7,750 lakhs, alone irrigates 14.41 lakh hectares. Even after excluding this from Punjab’s irrigation plan; we see that its outlay is almost 2.5 times that of Bihar …Punjab has 50.36 lakh ha. of land and of this 42.88 lakh ha. is arable. Of this arable land 89.72% or 38.47 lakh ha. is irrigated. Looking at it in another way 76.38% of all land in Punjab is irrigated. Much of it owing to the munificence of the Government of India. Given the recent attitudes of the present Punjab government, the Bhakra Nangal dam may not be a place of worship for all of India, but it certainly is one for Punjab! In contrast only 40.86% or 71 lakh ha. of Bihar ‘s total area of 173.80 lakh ha. is under cultivation. Of this cultivated area only 36.42 lakh ha or 51.30% is irrigated. Thus Bihar which is almost 3.5 times larger than Punjab has less irrigated land than Punjab. Even after accommodating for the difference in terrains in both states, the sheer difference in the irrigated acreage and the percentage of irrigated acreage, the direct result of public spending on irrigation in Punjab is telling. It is not without some irony that having benefited at the cost of other states; Punjab today denies any water to the neighboring states.” (Source: Centrally Planned Inequality: The Tale of two states – Punjab and Bihar by Mohan Guruswamy, Ramnis Baitha, Jeevan Prakash Mohanthy published by Centre for Policy Alternatives)
“Collapsing infrastructure? Maharashtra’s roads are closer to resembling Hema Malini’s cheeks than Bihar’s ever will be .” Mr. Rajdeep, Bihar’s future is not dependent on your opinion. By what authority you are saying that Bihar’s roads can never be smooth and flawless. You keep such opinions to yourself and your inner coterie. No need to publicly put such baseless and moronic opinion on the editorial page of a reputed daily. By the way, I request you to go to Patna and see the present condition of roads. Having experienced the bumpy rides on the roads of Mumbai, you will get a change for the better.
Crime. Get your numbers right. Speak in terms of numbers and you will see what bull shit you are talking about. If you get your numbers right then you will see far worse cases of crimes in other states than Bihar. Purely senseless comparison between Maharashtra and Bihar for crimes in state. I think since long Maharshtra and Delhi have better crime rates than Bihar ever had.
How Delhi fairs in the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) compilation of crimes in 2005 in 35 cities with a population of 10 lakh and above? Rape, 562 cases, 33.2% Percentage of such crime in 35 cities. Kidnapping and Abduction, 900 cases, 37.4% Percentage of such crime in 35 cities. Dowry deaths, 94 cases, 19.1% Percentage of such crime in 35 cities. Molestation, 654 cases, 23.1% Percentage of such crime in 35 cities. Sexual Harassment, 197 Total cases, 8.4% Percentage of such crime in 35 cities. Source: http://cities.expressindia.com/fullstory.php?newsid=199110
Naxalism. Why you never brought Andhra Pradesh in picture. Or for that matter even the West Bengal. Come on Rajdeep, it’s too obvious a bias now.
Social Harmony. So you decided to compare apples with oranges i.e . casteism with communalism. No problem. Yes Bihar is plagued by casteism to some extent. But is it not the same for UP, Tamil Nadu, etc? Then why Bihar has to get national limelight all the time when casteism is discussed. And as far as communal harmony is concerned, Bihar is one of the best on this front. Ever heard of a riot in Bihar in last 16 years? Gujarat would have been a much better benchmark to compare Maharashtra.
Declining political culture. Bihar’s politicians are corrupt and populist. Ever heard of the TV sets distributed in Tamil Nadu as election soap and that too at the tax payer’s money? Or the copious distribution of free rice and free electricity in other southern states and your very own Maharashtra? These are non populist measures while any little act done by politicians from Bihar becomes populist and corrupt. If you do some fact based analysis you may be surprised to find that some of the most corrupt politicians are not in Bihar but in Maharshtra, Tamil Nadu, Punjab, Delhi, UP, MP, Haryana. And which state is the most populist? I think you know the answer but shy away from mentioning it.
And as far as Bihar and its future is concerned, you need not worry about it. Fortunately, someone well equipped is at the helm of the affairs and doing a lot of good things. You media guys still may not like telling the positive sides of Bihar, but who cares? You might have heard about the cliché “Nothing can stop an idea whose time has come”. To tell you very frankly, the time of Bihar has come now. And you will see it much better and prosperous than your very own Maharashtra in your life time only. Just wait a few years.
A lot of high caliber Biharis from around the world are working on making a better Bihar. These include people like managers, technocrats, doctors, entrepreneurs, social workers, engineers who are well educated and doing very well in life. These are not the kind of people who whine, ” kuch nahi ho sakta”. These are people who see opportunity in adversity and say, “Let’s just do it”.
And as for you media wallas who derive great pleasure from negative stereotyping of Bihar, let me assure you that we, Biharis, are going to take the battle to your own turf very soon. Just wait for a while. You cannot play around with people from land of Chanakya. All of us are well versed in Chanakya Neeti.
Your esteem profession has given you the privilege and responsibility to represent a factual and objective /unfair analysis of any given subject. You have the freedom and power of press which can make or break lives around. As a journalist you are free to represent your viewpoint and also do justice to the subject of your analysis.
It amazes and pains us to see the biased, jaundiced and preposterous analysis of yours which tries to assert that Bihar is the land of perpetual darkness and abyss. What exactly are you trying to tell people?
Have you verified the facts before making such obnoxious and inane comparison? It really makes me question and doubt your credibility and integrity as a journalist of repute.
People talk about politicians having hidden agenda but I guess Journalist like you have certainty some agenda of your own. At least politicians are subject to accountability and questioning, but folks like you flagrantly stab the journalist ethics every now and then. It actually makes me wonder if you have some personal grudge against Bihar and Biharis.
I am sure you must have heard of some ethics in journalism like Objectivity, fairness and truthfulness. But I guess you have come up with your own code of conduct which seeks to marginalize, demonize and label states, culture and people based on your drawing room assessment.
Let me ask you few simple questions?
Has any articles/news coverage of yours has highlighted something positive and unique about Bihar ?
Have you read the history, culture and contribution of Bihar and Biharis in various walks of life?
Do realize the debilitative impact it has on the coming generations of Biharis ?
Do you realize that few lines of yours keyed on your laptop may undo the toil and meticulous hard work of many people who are fighting odds and people like you to create a better Bihar.
Rajdeep give yourself a break man, this article of your stinks and I’m sure many people have lost respect for you.
I know that you are too thick skinned to reply to this mail of mine but man get a life and do something good.
May god bless you…