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(Bihar Times) It was early morning when I received call from my mother and assumed it as a usual call to check my well being and inform about her. She was not usual and informed me of flood like situation around many villages. I asked her to leave for Patna as soon as possible and didn’t comprehend the gravity of the situation. In the evening I spoke to my kin & kith in village to check the situation of flood which is normal during these months in north and eastern part of Bihar. The conversation left me with choked throat as it was not a regular flood like situation but a devastation of optimum degree. Many of the acquaintances were caught unaware in devastation. The news channel and newspaper quoted from government and other agencies as one of the worst situation the state has faced in recent time and above all situation will not be normal in few days as it use to be in earlier cases. Because the river Kosi has returned to its earlier course after breaching the fragile embankment. As usual state government found short of resources which is required to meet the devastation of such magnitude. People were without help for week or so even after best of intention displayed by the state government. But intention alone doesn’t save millions and millions of life; it is well oiled sensitive machinery couple with resources which can rescue life from such devastation.

The higher the degree of devastation the dirty the politics. The political bickering began with the onset of devastation among the present ruling coalition of state and previous one. The first group was lead by CM and its cabinet which tries to put Bihar on the track of development which was de-rail by their predecessor. The second group is lead by present Railway minister who is also a part of central government. This is the group which ruled state for fifteen years and intentionally destroyed the system of state in order to create its own to feed their vested interest and they were more than successful then they could have imagined. It is the same group who openly stated that forming government is not the consequences of development but forming caste and religious equation is. Unfortunately, it is the same who supports citizenship for Bangladeshis infiltrators and propagate revocation of ban on SIMI.

The state government seen begging to centre to help them carry the rescue work as no state government especially state like Bihar will be able to meet the devastation of this magnitude. It took week’s time for PM and his preceptor (A lady who is not holding any constitutional position in govt) along with group who ruled the state for fifteen years to have an aerial survey to decide whether the magnitude of devastation is of National Calamity or not. It really puts question on federal structure and centre –state relationship or is it because state like Bihar which doesn’t add much to treasury of centre. Knowing the political scenario and parties of state, it was only the political consideration of vote which was detrimental in determining the course of rescue operation. It was lead non other than by Railway Minister who directly or through proxy ruled the state for decade and a half . The larger question which left unanswered “is few friendly groups / people of establishment going to decide on status of national calamity or the well laid down parameter of establishment is going to decide”? If it is the case , can we claim ourself citizen of law abiding nation or champions of democracy where elected Chief Minister seems begging for help for his people which is any way the foremost duty of any government of state or centre. Even after according the status of national calamity it took more than few days for central government to rush the resources at the place of need. The psychology is of one upmanship where once failure is other’s gain and this is the group who took great pride in pushing the state at bottom of the country’s performance list. “He is the same minister who advised people of fishing in flood water and said one doesn’t have to go to water body to have fish as fish itself have come to their houses.” This is the time when saving life and re-constructing the sustenance could have been only aim of establishment not a blame game.

Natural calamity doesn’t take away your tangibility but intangibility too. One could acquire house, property, cattle and sustenance but how could one acquire self esteem and confidence which has been gushed with strong stream. The pain with one acquires so much for their hay day to live on their soil with head held high. The confidence that they and their family will never be on mercy of anybody whether it is government or any other agencies who is camping to help survivors. The helplessness of seeing their own vanishing with flow of river in front of them and trauma of helplessness of being mere spectators will be their for life. The inadequacy of mother to feed their young ones is never to go. The establishment forgets that their every act of material relief is paying the debt that has been accrued since time of them being the part of the establishment. The nature fury doesn’t discriminate people in Backward, Forward, Schedule Caste & Tribe , Above Poverty Line & Below Poverty Line which is so conveniently done by state to serve the interest of power monger rather it firmly puts everybody on same platform. The insensitivity of establishment can be gauged by discriminating among needy on quantum of relief to be distributed among Above Poverty Line & Below Poverty Line. The government machinery has forgotten that nature has left everybody at same strata and not inflicted miseries as per their policies. State has to have complete blueprint to handle devastation of this magnitude and needs to understand that governance is serious task and any tom dick and harry can’t to that. Their has been complete reshuffle of government officials which is quite prevalent in most of part of the country because most of the time officers are posted on personal likings and not on competencies and ability to deliver during crunch time like this. The state has to answer why they require particular officials at the time of devastation who is shunted during good time. It isn’t the onus of establishment who doesn’t put people’s welfare as only consideration? If state / government fails to do that they have to face burnt of their deeds. You can be only self styled democrat if you send government chopper to rescue your minister whereas leave millions of people on mercy of god. “One needs to demonstrate selflessness of King Bharat who doesn’t pass rein of Bharat to his own son but to able and competent commoner.” If establishment function on these principle state will not be sort of resources to meet calamity nor overnight reshuffling of administration will be require.

The lesson should be drawn from the effort demonstrated by locals in terms of helping affected and providing all material help to survivors. There are instances in abudance where people who can hardly earn two squares of meals have gone to feed the single empty stomach. There are numerous Folklore of heroes who did all possible things to save life of living being when state was caught napping then after indulged in political bickering. This isn’t stomach full for establishment to understand what people requires at this hour of crises is re-erecting of their demolished life. Remind you many of the helping hand lend to survivor didn’t ask the political affiliations of the needy. Country has seen so many these sorts of devastation which have claimed life on its whims but what has not changed is the knee jerk reaction of establishment. It seems they don’t harbour any concept of disaster management as far as delivery is concern at the time of disaster. Disaster can’t be managed by making few committees after every disaster whose chairman sits at distant location in their cozy offices and got to know about disaster with rest of the world. There has to be widespread network which should manage each and every square inch of soil with dedicated, motivated and trained resources. There training schedule can’t be treated as festival which comes once in a year and whole activities starts around that time rather it has to be bound by timeline and accountability.

The state has two option, one could be to loose heart to magnitude and take it as bane to furnish excuses which their predecessors were adept at or treating it as blessing in disguise and transform the opinion towards governance and set a parameter which will be pinnacle for governance and government.

The choice is with CM and his cabinet .one needs to remember whatever will be their stand history will remember them for that. Inspiration can be drawn from swearing in of present government in Bihar which unfurls hope for better time to come in hearts of millions.

Nature has its own whims and fancies but living being has ability to live.




I have gone thru many such articles in the past. In response to the above mentioned article I will like to comment on the fact that it seems to be pro Nitish and anti Laloo. This is also politically inclined. Well that’s my view. What I want to comment on is the basic fact that people all across the world especially Biharis outside Bihar have sent a lot of help in whatever form they can. What I was surprised to observe that our so called bigies of the Film Industry were no where in the picture for supporting the cause, those who were are more of the lesser known faces and remind you that they really worked hard to raise funds. Similar to the fact that the Politicians, Actors and people like them who are in profession of public contact and have an edge over others (people like you n me) to influence people were nowhere supporting this cause.

The most important fact is that after this devastation what needs to be done is the re-construction of the affected part of Bihar. If we are going to rely of either of the governments then we are fooling our self. What can be done is that we (I mean people in media like u all r and professional like us) can continue arranging fund from all the people who want to help the cause and start the work. This can be taken forward as a project and I assure that this can work. Since if we in Bihar want to rise we need to do it on our Owen as we have always done in past. We need to forget that there is any govt. to stand by us and I assure that both of the government will be on there knees helping us.

Kanishka Kumar Sinha