Haimanti Banerjee Posts
Bihar is close to my heart. Whenever I think about its legacy I get emotional not only because I was born in undivided Bihar, but of its glorious history and great contribution to Indian and world civilization at large. In 2000, when Jharkhand was carved out of Bihar the feeling of oneness among Biharis was hurt and a lot of commotion took place in the region. Still, Bihar is the largest state as far as population is concerned, though 12th in size.
The name Bihar was derived from the Sanskrit and Pali word vihara, which means ‘abode’ and also centre of learning. Two of the greatest ancient learning centres, Nalanda and Vikarshila, were established in Bihar several centuries ago. The state’s contribution in the fields of education, arts, literature and spirituality has all along been immense.
However, let’s look at modern Bihar. Bihar has seen continuous decline in most areas in the recent past. Around 15 years of RJD misrule, which became synonymous with underdevelopment, ended in after the 2005 election, making for way for Nitish Kumar-led NDA. Kumar, known as the miracle man of Bihar, along with Deputy Chief minister Sushil Kumar Modi, has transformed the state for the better since he took charge. His simple administrative formula helped restore law and order as he immersed himself in focusing on upgrading the state’s infrastructure that was neglected for decades.
Bihar’s glorious history dates back to India’s first politically unified nation in recorded history, the Mauryan empire, which was founded by Chandragupta Maurya around 300 BC. During that period Buddhism flourished in the region in what’s known as Bihar’s capital Patna.
Modern era started with the advent of Pathan of Bihar, Sher Shah who took over the reins of Bihar after the mass destruction and killing of Buddhist monks and educational institutions by invading Mughals. Sher Shah brought significant changes in infrastructure, administrative reforms, highways and several other initiatives.
Bihar was the hub of education and educational institutions for several centuries. But unfortunately Bihar lost the glory over time. However it is catching up again, thanks to establishments of new institutions to bridge the gap of inadequate educational infrastructure which created a huge gap for needs of people. Bihar established several new education institutes between 2006 and 2008, including BIT Mesra, Patna extension, IIT and NSIT. For long the craving for higher education among the state’s general population of Bihar had led to a massive migration of the student community from the state but now it is slowly recovering from the loss from the brain drain. In 2011, literacy rate went up to 64% from 47% in 2001.
Bihar is also a pioneer in the field of yoga with its internationally renowned institute Bihar School of Yoga in Munger. Ayurveda and yoga are inseparable and both originated as part of a greater system of Vedic knowledge. Ayurveda and yoga promote holistic health whose popularity is increasing every day globally. It is expected that the government should focus on establishing more schools for learning ayurveda and yoga to make them a money-spinner for the state.
Arts and crafts are the treasures of Bihar. Mithila painting originated at the time of the Ramayana, when King Janak commissioned artists to do paintings during the marriage of his daughter, Sita, to Lord Ram. Mithila painting is a unique style of Indian art practiced in the Mithila, Darbhanga, Madhubani region of Bihar. It is also known as Madhubani art, or Madhubani painting. The painting was traditionally done on freshly plastered mud wall of huts, but now it is also done on cloth, handmade paper and canvas. Mithila painting mostly depict men and its association with nature and scenes from ancient epics and divine representation of Krishna, Ram, Shiva, and Durga, Lakshmi, and Saraswati. Natural objects like the sun, the moon, and religious plants like tulsi are also widely painted, along with scenes from the royal court and social events like weddings. Art is the real reflection and depiction of human civilization and culture. Hectic lifestyle and technology intrusion fades away the interest of learning or nurturing these ancient art forms along with other art forms. One hopes that the government would take initiatives to showcase the art forms in the country and across the world by hosting exhibitions, conferences and by opening a few art schools.
And finally, as many great people said every dust of India is sacred; the same holds good for Bihar. It is fascinating to even think that Lord Buddha walked on this land. The land became pious when the last Jain Tirthankar Bardhaman Mahavir was born here. This land also has the honour of giving birth to the last Sikh Guru Gobind Singh. The state is full of ancient and modern monuments and pilgrimages. Bodhgaya, Vaishali and Patna are the holiest places in the state. Bodh Gaya, Gaya, Nalanda, Vikramshila Patliputra Rajgir Kesariya Pawapuri Sitamarhi Madhubani and many more a must-see as tourist destinations.
Some other greatest names in Indian and world history were also from Bihar which includes mathematician-scientist Aryabhata, economist --political guru Chanakya, emperors Ashoka, Chandragupta Maurya and Samudragupta, poet Vidyapati and sage author Vatsyanana.
Nature has also given Bihar with abundance of charm and beauty. Bihar is a beauty queen with its flora and fauna and a very diverse climate. Its temperature is subtropical in general; it is a vast stretch of fertile plain drained by the Ganges. With numerous national parks and sanctuaries, it, indeed, is a tourist haven.
New Global Indian invites all to come and explore Bihar to experience the development, business, spirituality and tourism potential of the eastern Indian state....