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November 2003 — Monthly Archive


Like Old Ben Said…

Topical quote from Ben Franklin, for all the genial folks in Maharashtra and Assam intent on xenophobic mayhem: We must all hang together, or assuredly we shall all hang separately.

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24 November 2003 12:01 pm

Bihar: Migration and Poverty

MJ Akbar has a great opinion piece on Bihar: where Migration and Poverty go hand-in-hand.

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11:58 am

The Government We Deserve

Of course, the Bihari (to use them as a symbol for all the failings of the BIMARU states of the country) also have problems. The “democratic process” there is a joke, high illiteracy, a submissive people and chronic unemployment has meant that it has been subverted into a process of appealing to voters to vote not for development, but for their caste or community. This has changed somewhat in Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh, but Bihar has shown not the slightest inclination to come out of its rut, and the lack of charismatic, forward-thinking leaders haven’t helped either.

So the answer to the lady who threatened poor Shankar is — no, there are no jobs. The precious little there are taken away by vicious cycles of reservation, corruption and nepotism. Yes, Shankar and his brethren are probably responsible for this state of affairs — after all, to this day, the people of Bihar haven’t risen against the democratically elected tyrants who have den