Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Patna students face ‘anti-Bihar taunt’ in Pune

PATNA: Bihar is today considered the best state in implementing the Right to Information (RTI) Act. But some people seem to gloss over the state’s remarkable transformation in recent times. These “ill-informed” persons are eager to listen something bad about the state, it seems.

Many Bihari students seeking admission to a Pune-based law institute encountered embarrassing questions about their native state during the interview.

Students of Notre Dame Academy, St Joseph’s Convent High School, DAV BSEB Colony and St Michael’s High School are upset with the interview board’s “anti-Bihari” attitude. These students were not willing to be quoted because of the apprehension of losing their chance to get admission.

Last week, the interview board threw a volley of questions at Shalini (name changed), a Patna girl. “Do you agree that Bihar is the crime capital of India? People from Bihar come here with an intention to commit crime. Do you agree with MNS chief Raj Thackeray’s opinion about Bihar?”

The girl was shocked. She tried her best to convince the board that the law and order situation is now much better in the state. But even before she could finish her reply, the board fired another salvo, asking her about the “Biharis who come to Maharashtra with an intention to commit crime”. “I again tried to convince the board that people come here to earn their livelihood,” she said. Another student said he were baffled to hear such questions, but he maintained his cool.

Shubham (name changed) said: “I told the interview board that the Constitution does not deny us right to move anywhere in the country.”

Hearing about such “developments”, parents are a worried lot. “We are apprehensive of their future. They have cleared the all India entrance examination held in New Delhi. After clearing the written test, they appeared for group discussion on ‘Relevance of Gandhi Today’. But it was during the interview that they were asked such irrelevant questions,” said one of the parents.

Academics from Bihar have taken strong note of the “anti-Bihari” attitude.

“Such questions are ‘unpatriotic’ and ‘unethical’. It should be reported to the authorities concerned, including the P.M. and the Union HRD minister,” said noted educationist Shaileshwar Sati Prasad.

Prasad said the people of Bihar should request Bihar CM Nitish Kumar to bring it to the notice of the Maharashtra CM.

Noted Sociologist Hetukar Jha said: “We are treated like beggars outside because we have failed to develop our own educational institutions.

We have made our boys and girls dependent on other states. This is what we have to face time and again until we create and develop our own institutions. During 60s and 70s our own academic institutions- Patna college and Patna Science college were best in the country.” CPIML (Liberation) central committee member Dhirendra Jha said that Bihar government should appoint separate resident commissioners in states where Bihari students are being harassed and humiliated.

ML’s student outfit, All India Students Association (AISA), has decided to hold its national council meeting at Pune on July 4-5.

Several student leaders including JNUSU president Sandeep Singh will attend the meeting, Jha said.

The student delegation would also meet the heads of various Pune-based academic institutions to apprise them of the humiliation of Bihari students in Maharashtra.

Source : Times of India