I was skimming the pages of the Indian Express online edition today and read about the Village Idiot being trounced in Bihar. Being cautiously optimistic, I think, there might be some hope after all for the land of the Nalanda University and Bodhgaya. That reminds me of an incident.
My hair stylist is a Vietnamese lady, who is very good at her trade. A couple of months back she mentioned that her uncle was going on a pilgramage to India. I was curious to know where... and when she mentioned bodhygaya in Bihar, I was frankly very scared. She is buddhist and hence the pilgrimage to the land of Buddha. Yesterday I met her again and she mentioned that her uncle is back home "safe". I wondered why she emphasized the word "safe", but after listening to her account of his travels, I wasn't surprised. She comes from a very very rural setting in Vietnam and she said that his experiences in Bihar were much worse than that. To get the real impact of that statement, one has to put things in perspective. Vietnam is a country that went through one of the bloodiest civil wars in history, a country that brought a super power to its knees with the bloodiness of its wars. Even after all that devastation, if a rural setting is better than the current situation in Bihar, where natural resources abound under the foot of every individual and ancient history and opportunities for religious tourism run into the billions of dollars, I am truly ashamed. But then if village idiots run states for 15 years, then one truly wonders if the democracy for the people, by the people and for the people is being a self fulfilling prophecy of idiots choosing an idiot. I know that is not true, hence there has to be something else at play. Whatever is was, it appears to have faded for now. Hope Nitish gets a free hand to change this spiral into doom.