A visit to the capital of Bihar - where a new government came to power last year – helps change the erstwhile perception about the safety of its people. With an improved law and order situation, women are now seen venturing out alone, driving cars and even taking children to favourite evening hangouts, which were unimaginable until a couple of years ago.‘Earlier, we were so petrified that in spite of being financially well-off, we couldn’t enjoy our lives. But now things have changed. We have started living a normal life. There is a marked improvement in law and order,’ Anjani, a housewife.’One of the most significant changes seen in the last one year is the city’s business community fearlessly investing money in new projects. Earlier, people dreaded showing off their earnings.’Apart from the mushrooming of new shopping malls and an increase in cars plying on roads, what has come as a relief is that people have started enjoying their lives.’Patna is like any other city. I don’t understand why people fear so much. We also go out with friends and freak out,’ retorted Priya, a student of Patna Women’s College.
No bluster, no baloney, no trick of charisma or charm, both of which Nitish Kumar summarily lacks. But listen to what he has been saying. Listen and discern the difference. Here is a chief minister talking governance — kilometres of roads built and the mileage left, the acreage under irrigation, the number of schools without teachers and buildings, the number and kind of drugs flowing into government health centres for free distribution, the availability or the lack of funds for this project or that. Bihar should probably thank its luck it has a chief minister who is talking in the manner he is, gives you the sense the state has a minder. It is easy to be lackadaisical in Bihar and get away with it.