Discrimination faced by the Bihari community in India


Discrimination faced by the Bihari community in India

Bihari communities living in other states have been subjected to a growing degree of racial discriminationVir Sanghvi, [http://www.ibnlive.com/news/state-of-neglect-deluged-bihar-falls-off-govt-map/72343-3-p0.html The Bhaiyya Effect] , Hindustan Times, 27 Sep 2008 "The roots of Raj Thackeray's attack on the Bhaiyyas lie in India's economic transformation. Through a combination of poor planning and worse politics, Bihar and UP have been left out of the economic revolution. When people from those states travel outside to find work, those who have benefited from the recent prosperity treat them with the kind of snobbery and disdain with which the British treated Indians when we went to England to find employment in the 1950s. Then, we were seen as losers from a place that would never manage to prosper. But, of course, Indians ignored the racism and rose to the top of the economic pyramid."] [ CNN-IBN, [http://www.ibnlive.com/news/state-of-neglect-deluged-bihar-falls-off-govt-map/72343-3-p0.html State of neglect: Deluged Bihar falls off Govt map] ,Aug 28, 2008, "Does it hurt when Goa minister Ravi Naik said that people of Bihar are coming across and bringing poverty, when Raj Thackeray said that the people of Bihar must get out of Maharashtra? When racism and prejudice is directed against the people of Bihar, does it hurt and one feel that there is something that one must do for the state?" ] , prejudice [AM, [http://www.epw.in/uploads/articles/5670.pdf "Calcutta Diary"] , [http://www.epw.in/ Economic and Political Weekly] , July 21, 2001 "..How come Bihar has such a negative image in the rest of the country? Fingers will be pointed at the obscurantism characterizing the state, but are things any better in Rajasthan? Bihar is supposed to be riven by caste dissensions; can it however hold a candle in this regard to Tamil Nadu? Feudalism and social oppression are hallmarks of Bihar’s daily existence; what about Madhya Pradesh , Orissa and Chhattisgarh though? According to some snooty people Biharis are by and large crude. Some others would prefer to say that the people of Bihar are rooted to the soil and hate to hide their natural instincts behind pretensions; they cannot be any cruder than those populating the backwaters of Punjab."] [ [http://www.eweekdays.com/its-bal-thakreys-turn-nowsays-ek-bihari-sau-beemarimaharastra-cm-assures-of-action-against-him-in-reply/ Its Bal Thakrey's turn now,says 'Ek Bihari Sau Beemari',Maharastra CM assures of action against him in reply | eWeekdays.com] "Shiv Sena Supremo Balasahab Thakrey has come hard once again on Biharis. Bal Thakrey,in his latest article in Samna has written that Bihari’s are like dieses. He said that Ek Bihari,Sau Bimari. Do Bihari Ladai ki taiyari,Teen Bihari train hamari and paanch Bihari to sarkar hamaari. Earlier it was Raj Thakrey and his party Maharashtra Nav Nirman Sena who had launched an agitation against the North Indians. But this time its Bal Thakrey who has asked Biharis and Bihari Politician to improve their behavior."] [ [http://www.bihartimes.com/newsbihar/2008/march/newsbihar05march6.html Biharis are an affliction, says Bal Thackeray] " Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray, in an attempt to overtake his estranged nephew Raj Thackeray's campaign against people from north India, termed Biharis as an affliction, and said they were unwanted in all other parts of the country. The ageing leader warned that the so-called Bihari leaders, by accusing people of Mumbai of harbouring "anti-national sentiments, were attempting to again breathe fire into the anti-north Indian feelings in Maharashtra." They must realize this would only put their brethren here at the receiving end, he added."] and violence. [http://www.patnadaily.com/news2007/jan/010507/biharis_killed_in_assam.html 40 Bihari Workers Killed by ULFA - PatnaDaily News] ] Biharis are often looked down upon. [ [http://www.eleconomista.es/mercado-continuo/noticias/368898/02/08/India-struggles-to-tame-its-heart-of-darkness.html India struggles to tame its heart of darkness] "Biharis are often looked down upon in Delhi, and blamed forrising crime -- the city's chief minister Sheila Dikshitpublicly wonders how to turn back the tide."] and their accent is ridiculed. [ MAYANK RASU, [http://www.thehindu.com/op/2007/08/26/stories/2007082650011400.htm Musings of a Bihari] , The Hundu, " “Biharis” have now usurped the place of “Sardarjis” as a favourite butt of jokes. It is not just the jokes; there are other ways of embarrassing them too. Making fun of the Bihari accent and projecting it as the most rustic one is one of them."] In 2000 and 2003, anti-Bihari violence led to the deaths of up to 200 people and created 10,000 internal refugees. [ [http://www.rediff.com/news/2003/nov/26mani.htm AMSU against influx of Biharis to Manipur] "In the wake of the ongoing violence in Assam, the All Manipur Students' Union on Wednesday appealed to the state government to curb the influx of Biharis into the state."] [ [http://www.accessmylibrary.com/coms2/summary_0286-19514832_ITM 10,000 Hindi-speakers relocated in Assam amid separatist attacks. | Europe Intelligence Wire (November, 2003)] ] [ [http://www.theage.com.au/cgi-bin/common/popupPrintArticle.pl?path=/articles/2003/11/21/1069027275426.html Print Article: Hundreds flee ethnic violence] "Hundreds of Hindi speakers in India's north-eastern state of Assam have started fleeing ethnic violence which has claimed 29 lives in the past week, they and officials said yesterday.... With police reporting another six people killed by mobs and separatist rebels overnight, a sense of panic began to spread through members of the Hindi-speaking community, many of whom hail from the eastern state of Bihar."]
Bihar has had slower economic growth than other Indian states in last few decades. Economists and social scientists claim that this is a direct result of the skewed policies of the central government like freight equalisation policy, [Citation
first = Arvind N.| last = Das
author-link = http://www.lib.virginia.edu/area-studies/SouthAsia/arvindndas.html
title = The Republic of Bihar
place = India
publisher = Penguin Books
year = 1992
isbn = 0140123512
] cite news
last = Goswami
first = Urmi A
title = 'Bihar Needs an Icon, a person who stands above his caste'(Dr Shaibal Gupta - Rediff Interview)
publisher = Rediff
date = 2005-02-16
url = http://www.rediff.com/election/2005/feb/16inter2.htm
accessdate = 2005-02-16
] its apathy towards Bihar, [cite web
last = Guruswamy
first = Mohan
authorlink = http://cpasindia.org/about/mg.html
coauthors = Baitha Ramnis Attar, Mohanty Jeevan Prakash
title = Centrally Planned Inequality, the Tale of Two States – Punjab and Bihar
work =
publisher = Centre for Policy Alternatives, New Delhi, India
date = 2004-06-15
url = http://cpasindia.org/reports/07-Centrally-Planned-Inequality-Punjab-Bihar.pdf
format = pdf
doi =
accessdate =
] [cite web
last = Guruswamy
first = Mohan
authorlink = http://cpasindia.org/about/mg.html
coauthors = Mohanty Jeevan Prakash
title = The De-urbanisation of Bihar
work =
publisher = Centre for Policy Alternatives, New Delhi, India
date = 2004-02-15
url = http://cpasindia.org/reports/03-De-urbanisation-Bihar.pdf
format = pdf
doi =
accessdate =
] lack of Bihari sub-nationalism (resulting in no spokesperson for the state) [cite web
last = Gupta
first = Shaibal
title = BIHAR : IDENTITY And DEVELOPMENT
publisher = Asian Development Research Institute (ADRI), Patna
url=http://www.bihartimes.com/articles/shaibal/biharidentity.html
accessdate = 2006-04-30
] and the Permanent Settlement of 1793 by the British East India Company. The uneven economic development in India has resulted in mass migration of Bihari workers, and middle class professionals to seek work in more developed states of India like Maharashtra, the North East, Delhi, Western Uttar Pradesh (Noida), and Punjab. The free movement of Indians to settle and work inside the Indian Union has been guaranteed in the constitution of India. [ [http://indiacode.nic.in/coiweb/welcome.html Constitution of India - with all the Amendments] ]

History

The history of neglect and contempt for Bihar go back in the year of 1857. It is believed that Mangal Pandey sparked India's First War of Independence [http://us.rediff.com/movies/2005/aug/10lp.htm] . Most of those involved in the 1857 mutiny were from Bihar and Easter UP. After the mutiny, the British started hating, neglecting and insulting people from that regioncite news
last = Goswami
first = Urmi A
title = 'Bihar Needs an Icon, a person who stands above his caste'(Dr Shaibal Gupta - Rediff Interview)
publisher = Rediff
date = 2005-02-16
url = http://www.rediff.com/election/2005/feb/16inter2.htm
accessdate = 2005-02-16
] and sadly the Bengali elites joined them. That time Bihar was hinterland of Bengal. Bengalis from one side and Britishers from other side created havoc for Bihar. Bengalis of urban regions saw Biharis with contempt and disdain. AM, [http://www.epw.in/uploads/articles/5670.pdf "Calcutta Diary"] , [http://www.epw.in/ Economic and Political Weekly] , July 21, 2001 " For a full hundred years beginning with the middle decades of the 19th century till those of the 20th century, the Bihar populace were victim of a vacuous,remorseless neo-colonialism enforced mostly by migrant Bengalis. The Bengali babu dominated the profession of law, medicine and education. Briefless barristers from Calcutta moved to Patna and squeezed Bihari landed gentry dry. The Bihar poor were mincemeat to exploiting Bengali medical practitioners. Any number of stories are afloat of how a ‘dehati’ Bihari, struck down by malaria or typhoid, would approach the chamber of a Bengali quack and after a long wait would have his temperature taken by the condescending pretender of a doctor; the latter would not however bother to take the thermometer out of the case before thrusting it under the arm of the nervous rustic and the pile made by such unfair means would be duly transferred to Calcutta to build palatial mansions there. Some of the Bengali educationists, to be fair, did create an ambiance which facilitated scholarly aspirations on the part of the Bihari middle class. But exceptions cannot obliterate the fact of the overwhelming intellectual overlordship. Social and economic exploitation of the local population by outsiders who did not care to identify themselves with the Bihari persona was the prevailing order of the day. All Bengalis could claim for was their credentials as original British lackeys, and they thought that was a passport to exploit their western neighbours."] [cite web
last = Gupta
first = Shaibal
title = BIHAR : IDENTITY And DEVELOPMENT
publisher = Asian Development Research Institute (ADRI), Patna
url=http://www.bihartimes.com/articles/shaibal/biharidentity.html
accessdate = 2006-04-30
] . This prejudice was propagated through Bengali media and literature, which can be seen in one of the works of Rabindranath Tagore - Binodini. It was not an accident that people mostly from Bihar and eastern UP were taken to Mauritius and South Africa in 18th century as indentured labourers by Britishers. [Peter Gran, [http://www.internationalgramscisociety.org/resources/online_articles/articles/gran01.shtml Subaltern Studies, Racism, and Class Struggle: Examples From India and the United States] , International Gramsci Society (2004)] [http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/pathways/blackhistory/india/forced.htm The National Archives | Exhibitions & Learning online | Black presence | India] ]

According to Dr Shaibal Gupta from Asian Development Research Institute(ADRI), Patna

Cquote| Being the main area of the upsurge of 1857, it invited the bloodiest reprisal and retribution and subsequently the deliberate negligence and indifference from the side of colonial rulers. Despite the political linkage of Bihar with Bengal, linguistically and culturally she was more connected with Hindi Heartland. This lack of cultural affinity restrained the Bengali settlers in Bihar to identify with local population. In addition, the former developed supercilious attitude of cultural superiority as a result of their dominance as subordinate partner in the administrative professional set-up in the colonial rule. The movement in Bihar, for a separate state, mainly revolved round the discrimination against Biharis in the matter of education and jobs." [cite web
last = Gupta
first = Shaibal
title = BIHAR : IDENTITY And DEVELOPMENT
publisher = Asian Development Research Institute (ADRI), Patna
url=http://www.bihartimes.com/articles/shaibal/biharidentity.html
accessdate = 2006-04-30
] cite news
last = Goswami
first = Urmi A
title = 'Bihar Needs an Icon, a person who stands above his caste'(Dr Shaibal Gupta - Rediff Interview)
publisher = Rediff
date = 2005-02-16
url = http://www.rediff.com/election/2005/feb/16inter2.htm
accessdate = 2005-02-16
]

Indian journalist, M J Akbar, commented Cquote| The European treated the Bihari with unconcealed contempt. The Indian converted him into an unconcealed caricature. Caricature too is a form of hatred. The joke that folds you into the embrace of laughter also lacerates the victim, particularly if he is required to join in the fun out of a “sense of humor”. When the joke becomes part of the mass idiom, a staple of Hindi cinema, and a cornerstone of advertising, then it has become more than a joke. It is now a stereotype. [ [http://www.arabnews.com/?page=7&section=0&article=35469&d=23&m=11&y=2003 How to Hate a Bihari in 10 Easy Steps] ]

The colonial government used migrants to work in the colonies after the abolotion of slavery in 1833 by the British Empire. The recruiters selected so-called "hill coolies", who were generally employed as labourers on indigo plantations. During the low season, they came into the towns to seek work. From 1844, certain towns in the northern provinces - Delhi, Bihar, Oudh and Bengal - were recognised as magnets for potential recruits. [http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/pathways/blackhistory/india/forced.htm The National Archives | Exhibitions & Learning online | Black presence | India] ]

The policies adoped by planning commission of India is believed to be responsibe for the low development of Bihar.cite web
last = Guruswamy
first = Mohan
authorlink = http://cpasindia.org/about/mg.html
coauthors = Baitha Ramnis Attar, Mohanty Jeevan Prakash
title = Centrally Planned Inequality, the Tale of Two States – Punjab and Bihar
work =
publisher = Centre for Policy Alternatives, New Delhi, India
date = 2004-06-15
url = http://cpasindia.org/reports/07-Centrally-Planned-Inequality-Punjab-Bihar.pdf
format = pdf
doi =
accessdate =
] cite web
last = Guruswamy
first = Mohan
authorlink = http://cpasindia.org/about/mg.html
coauthors = Kaul Abhishek
title = The Economic Strangulation of Bihar
work =
publisher = Centre for Policy Alternatives, New Delhi, India
date = 2003-12-15
url = http://cpasindia.org/reports/02-Economic-Strangulation-Bihar.pdf
format = pdf
doi =
accessdate =
] In each of the ten five year plan since Indian independence, Bihar's per capita share has been the lowest.cite web
last = Guruswamy
first = Mohan
authorlink = http://cpasindia.org/about/mg.html
coauthors = Kaul Abhishek
title = Children Ganga Politics Allocation
work =
publisher = Centre for Policy Alternatives, New Delhi, India
date = 2003-12-15
url = http://cpasindia.org/reports/05-Children-Ganga-Politics-Allocation.pdf
format = pdf
doi =
accessdate =
] It was declared the best governed state of India in 1958 by Paul Appleby and touched its nadir in 2000. [ [http://planningcommission.nic.in/plans/planrel/fiveyr/default.html 10th Five Year Plan (2002-2007)] Planning Commission, Government of India] [ [http://planningcommission.nic.in/plans/stateplan/stplsf.htm State Plans] Planning Commission, Government of India]

Mr. Mohan Guruswamy, Chairman, Centre for Policy Alternatives, New Delhi says

Cquote| Bihar is not only being denied its due share, but there is a flight of capital from Bihar, India's poorest and most backward state. This is a cruel paradox indeed. The cycle then becomes vicious. This capital finances economic activity in other regions, leading to a higher cycle of taxation and consequent injection of greater central government assistance there. If one used harsher language one can even say that Bihar is being systematically exploited, and destroyed by denying it its rightful share of central funds." [http://cpasindia.org/articles/mg-05-11-24-nitish-kumar-bihar-development.html]

Causes

Indian journalist, Vir Sanghvi, says

Cquote| The roots of Raj Thackeray's attack on the Bhaiyyas lie in India's economic transformation. Through a combination of poor planning and worse politics, Bihar and UP have been left out of the economic revolution. When people from those states travel outside to find work, those who have benefited from the recent prosperity treat them with the kind of snobbery and disdain with which the British treated Indians when we went to England to find employment in the 1950s. Then, we were seen as losers from a place that would never manage to prosper. But, of course, Indians ignored the racism and rose to the top of the economic pyramid.

ocial & Cultural

Almost 58 per cent of Biharis are below 25 years age, which is the highest in Indiacite web
last = Guruswamy
first = Mohan
authorlink = http://cpasindia.org/about/mg.html
coauthors = Kaul Abhishek
title = The Economic Strangulation of Bihar
work =
publisher = Centre for Policy Alternatives, New Delhi, India
date = 2003-12-15
url = http://cpasindia.org/reports/02-Economic-Strangulation-Bihar.pdf
format = pdf
doi =
accessdate =
] . In years to come, with higher than average birth rates, Bihar is believed to become one of the most over populated states inside India. There is a perception in states with smaller populations that Bihari culture could dominate local languages and customs as migration of poor workers continue from those states. This feeling that local customs would be overwhelmed by migrants was a key feature of the MNS campaign in Maharashtra and feelings of resentment in Punjab. [ [http://www.hindu.com/thehindu/holnus/000200802092067.htm The Hindu News Update Service] ] [http://www.ndtv.com/convergence/ndtv/story.aspx?id=COLEN20080042337 NDTV.com: A clash of cultures] ]

This fear is amply personified by the rise of Bhojpuri cinema in non-Bhojpuri speaking states. Bhojpuri cinema has become very successful in Punjab and Maharashtra due to the large Bihari and Uttar Pradeshi migrant populations in those states. Punjabi comedian Jaspal Bhatti, who has produced three Punjabi films, said instead of assimilating with the culture of the state, the migrant population was seeking to decimate Punjabi culture and cinema. Bhatti also blamed Punjabi film producers for not coming up with healthy films. He said this was a worst phase ever for Punjabi cinema as producers were incurring heavy losses. [ [http://www.dnaindia.com/report.asp?NewsID=1113804 DNA - India - Bhojpuri films set cash registers ringing in Punjab - Daily News & Analysis] ]

In Mumbai, Raj Thackeray had also complained to theatre owners for their reluctance to exhibit Marathi movies. Producers of Marathi movies complained that it is becoming difficult to hire theatres in Mumbai to release their productions. About a decade ago, the Maharashtra government made it compulsory for theatres to show Marathi movies for at least 180 days a year. In Maharashtra, due falling audience for Marathi movies, exhibitors prefered to show Bhojpuri language movies. [ [http://www.nowrunning.com/news/news.aspx?it=13774 Why Mumbai cinemas prefer Bhojpuri movies?] ] In March 2008, Bhojpuri filmmakers in Mumbai expressed disappointment that the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) removed the exemption from Bhojpuri movies for the payment of Entertainment Tax (ET). The BMC decided to give ET exemption only to Marathi and Gujarati movies in Mumbai. [ [http://www.thaindian.com/newsportal/entertainment/bhojpuri-movies-get-raw-deal-from-mumbais-civic-body_10029385.html » Bhojpuri movies get raw deal from Mumbai’s civic body] ]

Economic

Lower Local Wages

Bihar has a per capita income of $148 a year against India's average of $997. Given this income dispartity, migrant workers moved to better paid locations and offered to work at lower rates. [ [http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Cities/Chandigarh/Most_Punjab_labourers_not_from_Bihar/articleshow/2760122.cms Most Punjab labourers not from Bihar-Chandigarh-Cities-The Times of India] ] For example, in Tamil Nadu inter-state migrant construction workers are paid about Rs.60 to Rs.70 a day against the minimum of Rs.130 per day. [ [http://www.hindu.com/2008/02/26/stories/2008022659340400.htm The Hindu : Tamil Nadu / Chennai News : Migrant workforce builds up city pulse] ] After thousands of migrant workers left Nashik, industries were worried that their costs would increase through more expensive local workers. [ [http://www.centralchronicle.com/20080217/1702142.htm Central Chronicle-Nation] ]

Impact on Urban Infrastructure

In an interview with the Times of India, Raj Thackeray, leader of the MNS said; Cquote|"The city (Mumbai) cannot take the burden anymore. Look at our roads, our trains and parks. On the pipes that bring water to Mumbai are 40,000 huts. It is a security hazard. The footpaths too have been taken over by migrants. The message has to go to UP and Bihar that there is no space left in Mumbai for you. After destroying the city, the migrants will go back to their villages. But where will we go then?" [ [http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Respect_local_culture_or_suffer_Raj_Thackeray/articleshow/2770188.cms Respect local culture or suffer: Raj Thackeray-India-The Times of India] ]

The strain to Mumbai's infrastructure through migration has also been commented by mainstream secular politicans. [ [http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/msid-2850604,prtpage-1.cms Unchecked influx straining Mumbai: Deshmukh-India-The Times of India] ] The Chief Minister, Vilasrao Deshmukh felt that unchecked migration had placed a strain on the basic infrastructure of the state. However, he has maintained and urged migrant Bihari workers to remain in Maharashtra, even during the height of the anti North Indian agitation. [ [http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/msid-2790374,prtpage-1.cms Nashik exodus continues-Mumbai-Cities-The Times of India] ]

Sheila Dikshit, the Chief Minister of Delhi, said that because of people migrating from Bihar and Uttar Pradesh, Delhi's infrastructure was overburdened. She said, that "these people come to Delhi from Bihar and Uttar Pradesh but don't ever go back causing burden on Delhi's infrastructure." [ [http://www.patnadaily.com/news2007/may/051007/sheila_dixit_apologizes.html Sheila Dixit Tenders her Apology - PatnaDaily News] ]

Anti-Bihari violence

Railway admissions in Maharashtra

In 2003, the Shiv Sena alleged that although 500 Maharashtrian candidates appeared from Nagpur were selected, the final results on July 21, 2003 declared only ten of them successful. [ [http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/323500.cms HC issues notice to Nitish on rail jobs-Mumbai-Cities-The Times of India] ] However, 90 per cent of the successful candidates were from Bihar. Activists from the Shiv Sena ransacked a railway recruitment office in protest against outsiders being among the 650,000 candidates set to compete for 2,200 railway jobs in the state. [ [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/south_asia/3227782.stm BBC NEWS | World | South Asia | Threats hit India rail job drive] ] Eventually, after attacks on Biharis heading towards Mumbai for exams, the central government delayed the exams.

2008 attacks on people from Bihar and Uttar Pradesh

The 2008 attacks on North Indians in Maharashtra began on February 3, 2008 after violent clashes between workers of two political parties—Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) and Samajwadi Party (SP)—at Dadar in Mumbai, capital of the Indian state of Maharashtra. The clashes took place when workers of MNS, a splinter faction formed out of the Shiv Sena (a major political party of Maharashtra), tried to attack workers of SP, the regional party based in Uttar Pradesh, who were proceeding to attend a rally organised by the United National Progressive Alliance (UNPA).cite news|title=Supporters of Raj Thackeray, Samajwadi Party clash|url=http://www.hindu.com/2008/02/04/stories/2008020456251200.htm|quote=Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) leader Raj Thackeray’s continuing tirade against North Indians erupted in violence on Sunday. MNS workers tried to attack Samajwadi Party workers who were proceeding to attend a rally by the United National Progressive Alliance (UNPA), which was addressed, among others, by the former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister, Mulayam Singh Yadav, at Shivaji Park here.|accessdate=2008-04-04|date=2008-02-04|author=Special correspondent|publisher="The Hindu"] Defending his party’s stand, MNS chief Raj Thackeray explained that the attack was a reaction to the "provocative and unnecessary show of strength" and "uncontrolled political and cultural "Dadagiri" (bullying) of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar migrants and their leaders".cite news|url=http://www.expressindia.com/latest-news/Do-political-movements-need-to-obey-the-law-What-about-Advani-rath-yatra-Modis-Godhra-outrage/276266/|title=Do political movements need to obey the law: Raj Thackeray|accessdate=2008-04-04|publisher="The Indian Express"]

On February 13, 2008, the state government, which was accused of reluctance to take immediate action, [cite news|url=http://www.ndtv.com/convergence/ndtv/story.aspx?id=NEWEN20080040577&ch=2/6/2008%209:11:00%20PM|title=Mumbai police soft on Raj?|publisher=NDTV|accessdate=2008-04-30|date=2008-02-06] ultimately arrested Raj Thackeray and Abu Asim Azmi (a local SP leader) on charges of instigation of violence and causing communal disturbance. Although released that same day, a gag order was imposed on both leaders to prevent them from making further inflammatory remarks. Meanwhile, tensions in Maharashtra rose as the news of Raj's possible arrest, and his subsequent actual arrest, angered his supporters. Incidences of violence against North Indians and their property by MNS workers were reported in Mumbai, Pune, Aurangabad, Beed, Nashik, Amravati, Jalna and Latur. Nearly 25,000 North Indian workers fled Pune,cite news|url=http://www.expressindia.com/latest-news/25-000-North-Indian-workers-leave-Pune/276576/3/|accessdate=2008-04-06|title=25000 North Indian workers leave Pune|publisher="Indian Express"] cite news|title=25000 North Indians leave, Pune realty projects hit|url=http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/25000_North_Indians_leave_Pune_realty_projects_hit_/articleshow/2809937.cms|accessdate=2008-04-04|publisher="Times of India"] and another 15,000 fled Nashik in the wake of the attacks.cite news|url=http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/2780795.cms|accessdate=2008-04-06|publisher="Times of India"|date=2008-02-14|title=Maha exodus: 10,000 north Indians flee in fear] cite news|url=http://www.rediff.com/news/2008/feb/13nasik1.htm|accessdate=2008-04-06|title=MNS violence: North Indians flee Nashik, industries hit|date=2008-02-13|publisher=Rediff] The exodus of workers caused an acute labour shortage, affecting local industries. Analysts estimated financial losses of Rs. 500 – 700 crore. Although the violence receded after the arrests of the two leaders, sporadic attacks were reported until May 2008.

Attack on Biharis in North East Indian States

Biharis have sought work in many states that form part of North East India. There were significant communities in Assam, Nagaland, and Manipur. As with all migrations in history, this has created tensions with the local population, which has resulted in large scale violence. In 2000 and 2003, anti-Bihari violence led to the deaths of up to 200 people, [http://www.patnadaily.com/news2007/jan/010507/biharis_killed_in_assam.html 40 Bihari Workers Killed by ULFA - PatnaDaily News] ] and created 10,000 internal refugees. [ [http://www.rediff.com/news/2003/nov/26mani.htm AMSU against influx of Biharis to Manipur] ] ] . [ [http://www.accessmylibrary.com/coms2/summary_0286-19514832_ITM 10,000 Hindi-speakers relocated in Assam amid separatist attacks. | Europe Intelligence Wire (November, 2003)] ] [ [http://www.theage.com.au/cgi-bin/common/popupPrintArticle.pl?path=/articles/2003/11/21/1069027275426.html Print Article: Hundreds flee ethnic violence] ] Similar violent incidents have also taken place recently in Manipur and Assam. [ [http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/14_migrant_workers_killed_in_Manipur/articleshow/2879664.cms 14 migrant workers killed in Manipur-India-The Times of India] ] [http://www.hindu.com/2003/11/17/stories/2003111705861100.htm] According to K P S Gill waves of xenophobic violence have swept across Assam repeatedly since 1979, targeting Bangladeshis, Bengalis, Biharis and Marwaris. [K P S Gill, [http://www.sinlung.com/?p=804 ‘Outsiders’ must be welcomed] , Sinlung, 22 March 2008, "But Manipur is not alone in these isolationist excesses. In neighbouring Assam, six migrant workers have been killed in two attacks this year, and as many as 88 were killed, and 33 injured in 12 such incidents in 2007. Indeed, waves of xenophobic violence have swept across Assam repeatedly since 1979, variously targeting Bangladeshis, Bengalis, Biharis and Marwaris." ]

Punjab

In early 2008, bombs exploded in Ludhiana which killed six people and injured a further 30 in a blast in one of the three cinema halls in a multiplex. The halls were frequented by migrant workers from Bihar and Uttar Pradesh. NDTV reported that not many in Ludhiana were surprised that militants targeted a local theatre showing a Bhojpuri film given the growing Punjabi resentment to Bihari-Bhojpuri migrant workers. NDTV added that even local journalists displayed a total lack of sympathy, and an SMS started doing the rounds that "this is what happens when they think they can form a mini Bihar here". [ [http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Ludhiana_blast_meant_to_scare_away_UP_Bihar_migrants/articleshow/2461755.cms Blast meant to scare away migrants from UP, Bihar?-India-The Times of India] ]

Jammu & Kashmir

370 recruits of the Bihar Military Police had joined two training centres at Udhampur and Jagnoo on June one for a 40-week-long training course. The BMP trainees had alleged that one of the recruits was called by an instructor to his room on June 20 and an attempt to sexually harass him was made. When the recruit raised an alarm, his colleagues rushed there and rescued him. The BSF strongly denied the allegation and maintained that the recruits, part of a 370-strong group, had left the course as they were unable to sustain the tough training course at Udhampur. [ [http://www.ndtv.com/convergence/ndtv/story.aspx?id=NEWEN20080054126 NDTV.com: BSF denies 'sexual harassment' at its training centre in J&K] ]

Notable incidents

Derisive use of BIMARU term

Dr Ashish Bose, a Bengali retired govt servant coined the epithet BIMARU. [http://www.livemint.com/2007/07/11001558/Ashish-Bose--The-man-who-coin.html Ashish Bose | The man who coined the term ?Bimaru? - Profiles - livemint.com] ] Even official planning commission records use this term. BIMARU resembles the Hindi word for illness, "Bimar". [http://www.livemint.com/2007/07/11001558/Ashish-Bose--The-man-who-coin.html Ashish Bose | The man who coined the term ?Bimaru? - Profiles - livemint.com] ] The BI in BIMARU stands for Bihar. Ther other Hindi-speaking states that are included in BIMARU are Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh. Bihar, and other North Indian states, have also been held accountable for holding India's GDP ranking below the double digit number. [ [http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/2006/09/17/stories/2006091702650500.htm The Hindu Business Line : UP, Bihar, Orissa, MP drag down GDP growth] ]

Comments by Home Minister of Goa

The Home Minister of Goa, Ravi Naik who belongs to the Indian National Congress, remarked that should a rail line open between Patna and Panjim, Goa's capital, then the state would have an influx of beggars and criminals. [ [http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Cities/Trains_from_Patna_bring_beggars/articleshow/3381301.cms Commencement of trains from Patna will increase beggars: Naik-Goa-Cities-The Times of India] ]

Comments by Lieutenant Governor of Delhi

Lieutenant Governor Tejender Khanna, [ [http://delhigovt.nic.in/lg07.asp The Cabinet of Ministers : Meet the Cabinet : Government of Delhi] ] an almnus of Patna University and of Punjabi origin, said that people of North and North-West India took pride in violating the law, especially traffic rules. [ [http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/2768125.cms VIEW: Don't resort to stereotypes-Editorial-Opinion-The Times of India] ] Khanna said that “In this region, the situation is such that commonly it is a matter of pride to violate the law. The behaviour pattern in South India is such that the people naturally stay within the limits of the law" and he added that “It is a specialty of North and North-West India that the people feel a sense of honour and pride in violating law and boasting that no action has been taken against them,”. The Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati demanded that Khanna be removed from his post.

Comment by Indian Health Minister

The Indian Health Minister from Pondicherry (South India), Anbumani Ramadoss, stated that it was a doctor from Bihar was the reason why UK derecognized Indian medical degrees in the 1970s. Ramadoss said senior doctors told him that Britain unilaterally revoked recognition to the medical degrees issued by India because a doctor from Bihar practicing in the UK did not know where the spleen was. [ [http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/India/Ramadoss_sorry_for_remark_on_docs_from_Bihar/articleshow/2639161.cms Ramadoss sorry for remark on docs from Bihar-India-The Times of India] ] Ramadoss later aplologised for his remarks.

Andhra Pradesh Judge's Comments

High court judges of Andhra High court used Bihar's name in a scam even though the case had nothing to do with Bihar itself. [http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Hyderabad/MBBS_scam_in_Bihar_style_HC/articleshow/2212504.cms]

Editorial by Bal Thackeray

Shiv Sena leader, Bal Thackeray, commented in the Shiv Sena newspaper, Samnna on why Biharis are disliked outside Hindi-speaking North India. He quoted part of a text message as the title of his article. The message suggests that Biharis bring diseses, violence, job insecurity, and domination, whereever they go. The text message says, "Ek Bihari,Sau Bimari. Do Bihari Ladai ki taiyari,Teen Bihari train hamari and paanch Bihari to sarkar hamaari". [ [http://www.eweekdays.com/its-bal-thakreys-turn-nowsays-ek-bihari-sau-beemarimaharastra-cm-assures-of-action-against-him-in-reply/ Its Bal Thakrey's turn now,says 'Ek Bihari Sau Beemari',Maharastra CM assures of action against him in reply | eWeekdays.com] ] [ [http://www.bihartimes.com/newsbihar/2008/march/newsbihar05march6.html Biharis are an affliction, says Bal Thackeray] ]

MV Kamath's Comments on Bihar

MV Kamath of Karanatka, editor of the Illustrated Weekly of India, wrote an essay saying Biharis are not fit to rule Bihar. He even went on to say that Bihar needs to be kept under the tutelage of outsiders till they become capable to handle their affairs themselves, even though data from NCRB shows that in several parameters of crime, such as murder, rape, dacoity and dowry harassment, Bihar is nowhere near the top. It is only in kidnapping that Bihar was ranked top since 2000 to 2005.Fact|date=September 2008

heila Dikshit's comment on Bihar

Sheila Dikshit, the Congress leader and Delhi Chief Minister while laying a foundation stone for a new flyover in south Delhi on May, 2007 said she wished there was a way to stop migration from other states particularly from Bihar and Uttar Pradesh. [http://www.patnadaily.com/news2007/may/050907/sheila_dixit_blames_biharis.html]

Raj Thackeray's Comment on Chhath Puja

Chhath the festival of Bihar is not about celebrations but a ritual carried down since time immemorial. [http://bihar.ws/info/Religion-in-Bihar/Chhat-Puja.html/] Chhat is a most popular and unique festival of Bihar. MNS leader Raj Thackeray compared the popular chhath festival to a natak. [http://www.rediff.com/news/2008/jan/31bihar.htm] Hundreds of angry protestors across Bihar burnt effigies of Maharashtra Navnirman Sena chief Raj Thackeray and condemned his remarks against North Indians and the Chhath festival. [http://www.rediff.com/news/2008/jan/31bihar.htm]

Consequences

Bihari responses have varied, and have depended upon the nature of the expression against Biharis in a particular state. However, the state government, post 2005, has made an effort to improve the economic condition of the state, and reduce the need for migration.

In 2008, the state government approved over Rs 70,000 crore worth of investment, has had record tax collection, broken the political-criminal nexus, made improvments in power supply to villages, towns and cities. [ [http://www.ndtv.com/convergence/ndtv/story.aspx?id=NEWEN20080057141&ch=7/15/2008%201:11:00%20AM NDTV.com: Bihar witnesses a quiet transformation] ] They have laid greater emphasis on education and learning by appointing more teachers, [ [http://www.ndtv.com/convergence/ndtv/story.aspx?id=NEWEN20080043399&ch=3/8/2008%2011:32:00%20AM NDTV.com: English makes inroads in Bihar villages] ] opened a software park, and a new IIT in Patna. Ministers who have failed to live up to election commitments have been dismissed. [ [http://www.ndtv.com/convergence/ndtv/story.aspx?id=NEWEN20080046748 NDTV.com: Nitish drops 8 JD(U) ministers ahead of Cabinet expansion] ]

Since November 2005, there has been a significant fall in the number of migrant workers in many parts of India, notably in the Punjab. However, migrants returned to Maharashtra. [ [http://www.bihartimes.com/newsbihar/2008/June/newsbihar3June1.html Shortage of Bihari labourers in Punjab to hit kharif crops] ] [ [http://www.financialexpress.com/news/Punjab-slips-in-agricultural-production-Bihar-showing-remarkable-move-study/253505/ Punjab slips in agricultural production, Bihar showing remarkable move: study - The Financial Express] ] [ [http://www.ndtv.com/convergence/ndtv/story.aspx?id=NEWEN20080048585 NDTV.com: Migrants return to Maharashtra amid fear] ]

Bihar's GSDP grew by 18% over the period 2006-2007, which was higher then in the past 10 years and one of the higest recorded by the Government of India for that period. [http://mospi.nic.in/6_gsdp_cur_9394ser.htm]

After the early 2008 migrant crisis and bombing of the Bhojpuri cinema hall in Punjab, Biharis have decided to firmly stay away from states of the North East and Punjab. [ [http://bihartimes.com/newsbihar/2008/Aug/newsbihar19Aug2.html Bihari labourers leaving J & K, but not stopping in Punjab] ]

References and footnotes

ee also

*Marathi Regionalism
*2008 attacks on North Indians in Maharashtra


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