Bihar: Politically Deprived
Indra R Sharma
Perhaps very few people may remember that the first IIT got shifted to Kharagpur in West Bengal from the proposed location in Bihar because Dr. BC Roy wished so. Dr. Roy got it as he was nearer to Nehru than Shribabu of Bihar.
A news report reminded me of the above historical fact. The news is shocking for Bihar. Many in Bihar might have political animosity and differences with Lalu. However, Lalu as railway minister in last UPA government got two huge railway projects with investments of around Rs 30,000 crore— a diesel locomotive factory at Chhapra and an electric locomotive factory at Madhepura. It would have brought prosperity for the common people in the region. Siemens AG and US-based conglomerate General Electric Co. (GE) were expected to execute the two projects. If properly executed, the projects could have resulted in number of manufacturing clusters for various categories of components.
According to many reports in media, the new railway ministry, under a new head is considering to shift the projects to West Bengal. Mamata with eye on the next assembly election may do that without going for any rationale or ethics that are always the causalities in political decisions.
It is unfortunate that in last 62 years that have seen a large contingent of eminent persons from Bihar holding the charge of various ministries in central cabinet ministers, but hardly any, be it Dr. Rajendra Prasad, Jagjivan Ram or her daughter Meira, LN Misra, or even Nitish could bring in some projects of significance for the Bihar. Were they afraid of getting bad name for showing regional interest or too busy in their own selfish interests? Did they lack the missionary zeal or right knowledge to take the state ahead in competition? Did not the state and its people suffer for their ineffectiveness and inefficiencies?
And finally in an appeal to Lalu, I request him to have his street protests in Delhi or Kolkata to get the transfer of the projects stopped.
If not the politicians the people and student community of Bihar must take up this issue united and forcefully, and prove that they can launch some useful movements too.