Tuesday, January 01, 2008

The plight of being Bihar

I had to draft a letter to Mr.Tarun Tejpal . Editor of Tehelka after his magazine carried out a highly biased report on the state of governance in Bihar in the December 29th issue “ Two years On, no new deal ” . Also have produced a counter-article and mailed the same to Tehelka. Producing the same here. Abhinandan

Dear Mr.Tejpal,

This is with regard to the piece on Bihar that has been published in Tehelka's 29th December issue. “ Two years On, no new deal ”

I expected a much better supervision from your side before the article saw press. Even a man from mars will be able to say that you already had a pre-determined negative picture of Bihar in your mind when your magazine started working on that report.

You have every right to to paint such a negative picture of Bihar but just for the sake of it and for the sake of the principles of journalism you could have inserted the other side too.

I have drafted a letter in reply to the article and if you get time then do go through it. Maybe then you will realize that things are bad because they are portrayed bad. And I hope that you understand that every thing has two sides.

Warm regards and best of luck.

Abhinandan Mishra , New Delhi

The plight of being Bihar

We have time and again read and heard the the concept of “ Prejudiced reporting ”. Those who have gone through this weeks Tehelka magazine ( December 29, 2007) would have surely read the article “ Two years On, no new deal ” on the state of governance in Bihar by Tehelka’s Bihar correspondent. And one would not find a better example of ‘prejudiced reporting’ than the above mentioned article.

Those who are not aware of the ground realities in Bihar are sure to rise in unison and call for the rolling of Nitish ‘s head after reading the current Tehelka’s write up. The writer has left no further scope for criticizing Nitish kumar led JD (U) government and he has through manipulative use of facts turned every work of progress and development that has been taken up by Nitish into that of misdeed.

He in the end of his article says that the ‘people of Bihar are wondering whether they did the right thing in electing Nitish as a CM’? The writer has failed to answer on what is the parameter that he has has used while constituting ‘the people of Bihar’ in the present case.

The writer has embarked on a “feel bad” drive while criticizing the state government and made sure that by the end of the article people start feeling that “Nitish is the worst thing that has happened to Bihar”.

It would have been better if the writer had acknowledged the efforts that are being taken up by Nitish to improve the situation Bihar which has been result of 15 years of ‘‘susasan’’ by RJD. (pun intended)

It has been only two years since the JD(U) assumed power in Bihar. The Correspondent at one place says that Nitish has formed commissions after commissions to implement policies.and to conduct enquiries into the various social and legal misdeeds of the previous state government. What else he expects? Does he expects that all mis-adventures of the previous government should be ignored?

For the records one of the commission was on the 1989-90 Bhagalpur riots. The Justice N N Singh Commission of Inquiry which was constituted in February 2006 recommended that victims of the 1989-90 Bhagalpur riots should be compensated on par with those of the 1984 anti-Sikh riots.

Later after the JD(U) came into power a Bihar court sentenced Kameshwar Yadav, the prime accused to rigorous life imprisonment. The police had earlier closed the case against Yadav, citing lack of evidence. In fact, he was later given a citation for maintaining communal harmony by the state police in 2004 when the state was ruled by the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) government of Rabri Devi.
Chief Minister Nitish Kumar last year ordered a fresh probe into the 27 riots cases that were closed by police citing lack of evidence. So much for bad governance.

Later the writer says that although the crime rate has gone down in the state after the new government yet crime committed has increased. He states that this is due to the fact that the police machinery has been told not to register cases. If this arguments has any substance then I am sure that the previous government also had enough ‘clout’ over the police to stop them from registering cases. But under the RJD rule both the crime rate as well as crimes committed increased.

The writer further quotes a PUCL worker to substantiate his claim. It is illogical to expect that a human rights activist with due respect will say that all’s well in the state. Better choice would have been a local trader or a local journalist.

The biasness continues to gain strength as we turn the pages. The magazine goes on to criticize Nitish Kumar on the ground that by setting up speedy trial courts he is targeting his political adversaries. They further say that the CM is targeting leaders from particular castes. One of the so called ‘target’ was Anand Mohan , a JD(U) leader and a former MP. He was ‘targeted’ by Nitish for inciting a mob to lynch the then district magistrate of gopalganj Krishnaiah 13 years ago.

Then the magazine dwells on the issues of development. The appointment of 3.12 lakhs of teacher comes up ; but even in this case Nitish earns negative input. He uses this number to point out that only 1 lakh post of policeman and engineer have been filled up till now. Nobody not even a CM possesses a magic-wand these days and expecting him to bring the golden days of patliputra back in a short period of 2 years is a bit too much.

The most childish of the magazine claims is embedded in the first paragraph of the article. The writer says that Nitish and company are worried after around 2 lakh disenchanted people turned up for a “Chetavni rally’ of Lalu yadav.

Those who were in Patna at that time will tell that these rallyist were not the ‘dis-enchanted lot’ and by no stretch of imagination they numbered 2 lakhs. As a matter of fact that rally was supposed to go on till 5 PM but when the RJD leaders saw the sparse crowd they decided that it was in their best interest to windup the rally by 2 PM but not before Laluji dedicated his two sons to the service of the nation.

Much of the rallyist composed of rural people who came in buses and tractors, not because they wanted a change in the state but because it was better to earn some bucks and have a good time in the city rather than idlying away a Sunday afternoon.

Quoting opposition leaders and local activist for describing two years rule may give a picture but it will not be a true and complete picture.

I have time and again reiterated that a mess that took 15 years to be done cannot be undone in 2 years. Atleast Nitish is trying and putting efforts to put things back on track. Let us save our critiques for 3 more years and till then let Nitish do his job and let Bihar live in peace for the state has already earned more than its share of bad name.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

pathetic bihar and arrogant criminal biharis.it will take 5000 years for you to improve.tejpal is right.


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