Posted by: Prem Piyush | December 20, 2004

Bihar – the Write Thing? -(1) – Origin as a State


The word “Bihari” is of more important to me and to my identity than my Bengali upbringing as well as traditional values. I accept the fact that many a times I enjoy the dual advantage of being a Bihari as well Bengali. I am born in the territory of Bihar like my parents and have the responsibility of accept the fact of being a “Bihari”.

I am writing this series of blogs to analyze the facts and the fictions behind the degradation of the word Bihari. I had felt this bitter truth for the first time when I went to Chennai 10 years ago. I was searching for a room to stay there along with my Maa. I was not only one from Bihar. There were many students like me from Bihar. There manager of a mess asked us whether we were Bengali. After being tired of seeing many rooms nearby Maa nodded her head in affirmation. I wondered how the manager told so guessed correctly that we are Bengali. Later on I knew that Bengali women’s sari wearing style and Shakhas-Polas (Shakaha – White Bangles made of Conch shells) make their appearance specific. Now the other Biharis also got room but they had to face more difficulties in getting it, there were more enquiries for them, a guarantor, and more security deposit in advance for other students from Bihar. I don’t feel sorry for the acceptance of fact that we felt easier to present our Bengaliness than Bihariness that time, although manager knew that we were from Bihar. But still today many a times we become suspected when we go outside Bihar and tell that we are Bihari.
It’s necessary to trackback the historical lineage of Bihar before discussing more on Bihar and Biharis. It’s a must to know who we are before think why we are so and what can we do.
Bihar became recognized as the administrative unit by Akbar and later on by SherShah Suri. Prior to it there are historical milestones of Bihar. Here is given a brief description (My history knowing readers please point out errors if there are.)
• 544 B.C. The rise of Magadh Empire.
• 528 B.C. Gautam Buddha became Tathagata.
• 498 B.C. Mahavira got the incarnation.
• 455 B.C. Patliputra (Present Patna) became the capital of Magadh Dynasty.
From the period of establishment of Magadh Empire to till death of Ashoka (232 B.C.) the great, the Magadh was the proud and glorified province. There were three Baudha Sangitis (The Buddhists’ Congregation) during this period.

The Period was Mughal Sultan’s reduced the status of Bihar as a province only. In the period of Mughals the province of Bihar enjoyed the peace and stability.
There came the day when a “Bihari” SherShah Suri again took over the throne of Delhi. He founded the present Patna from the Patliputra as the administrative capital of the Bihar province in the year of 1541.
The year of 1764, Battle at Buxar, the English won it. The history started writing a new chapter. The British got the province of Bihar, Bengal and Orissa from Shah Alam II .

The days of slavery were going on. There were several revolts ,among them to name few were farmer revolts (1789), Kol revolt (1830), Bhumij revolt (1832), Santhal revolt (1855).
Of course we can recall the greatness and bravery of Babu Kunwar Singh of Ara and Birsa Munda in these episodes.
There was a constant demand for the Bihar as a separate province. The voice strengthened in the year of 1906. And Yes in the year of 1911 it got declared as a separate province and on 1st April 1912 it got established formally as a province( If you have 1st April syndrome, you may ponder over it). Till the year of 1947 we had many struggles for independence from which some of them turned out as a spark to lead the national fire of revolt. Can we forget the Nil Andolan of Champaran of farmers led by Mahatma Gandhi?

And for good or bad there were two more separations in the year of 1936 for Orissa and the latest 15 November 2000 when the Jharkhand got separated.

These historical perspectives have a lot of thing to tell. If we just don’t blow own trumpet of historical richness or bravery we have something to think over why every time the Bihar become a point of specific identity of separation. Does it have something special or does it don’t have something special to it? More I think about it, more I get entangled within it. Its pity that even after struggling so much for existence we are now condensed as a small Bimaru state. We are still trying to find a ground for existence and a respectable identity.

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Responses

  1. hello.
    Can you tell me about rajpati singh his brother and about sarui prashad singh
    please reply on raghvendra_2@yahoo.co.in


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