Ganga river, Ganga bank projects and Patna

 

There are enthusiastic news emerging from different sections of the administration about the grand plans of developing the ghats and banks of the river Ganges. The administration seems determined to push the ambitious projects, developers and contractors cheerful about the new contracts and people happy about the developments in almost stagnant landscape of myself. There are plan for Ganga driveway which would run beside the river Ganges, several clusters would be developed around it and my people has been informed to witness a 'New Marine Drive' in the locality. A number of ghats will be renovated and new facilities would be added up to make them more tourist friendly. Hundreds of crore rupees are expected to be poured in these projects to re-energize the almost dead banks of the holy river.

So far, so good. But, wait - are we missing something amid all these grand plans? Something that is very important for me and my people. Authorities seems ignorant, lest they are pretending so. But shall I also close my eyes like them and turned my gaze towards the glittering aspect of these projects? Who will let them know that river is more important and not the riverfront, driveways and the ghats? When the river is itself polluted, how can one expect the renovated ghats could bring people. Does any one like to visit place adjoining any city canals?

There are absolutely no doubt that the expressways, ghats etc. are important from the development perspective. But ignoring the river Ganga completely is equally disturbing. Let us not cheat ourselves. Aren't we aware of the level of pollution in the river Ganga that passes by the city? Is the river water fit for drinking or bathing to the accepted level? Definitely No !! Millions of liters of untreated waters are finding there way in the river. Tonnes of garbage which includes plastic, household wastage, sewage etc. from the city itself is being drained into the river, mostly untreated or partially treated.  The situations has so much worsen that if any unknown person happens to visit the city and travel from Kurji More to Gandhi Maidan via Rajapul, he will surely smell the stinging foul coming from the river side. The smell is not from the river Ganga, but a parallel canal that carries the sewage of the city in the river bed adjoining the road. This canal meets the main course of the river near Collectariat Ghat, and the administration has ambitious plans to develop these ghats, starting from Collectariat Ghat till the ghats in Patna City !! Will the proposed driveway along the river enhances my image or diminishes it? There are virtually no talk of the sewage treatment plants renovation or plans for the effective treatment of the used water from the households and the small industries. Just because river Ganga is an interstate river, the city administration can not wash off its hand from its involvement in further polluting the river.

It really makes me sad that we barely cares about the natural treasures we have been endowed with, but fantasies about the new developments which in turn could harm that treasure itself. There is need to give more importance to the river Ganga than to the number of projects besides it.

 

Yours,
Patna

Wish it could be ......


After all, who doesn't love the festival of Lights, Diwali ? It is one of the most important festival of India, and is celebrated with great pomp and show. The twinkling lights of Diyas still outshines the lights of electric bulbs. The crackers form an indispensable part of the festival. In fact, Children waits for this festival because of the crackers only.

This reflects the brighter side of the festival, but is there anyone to care about the darker side of it  that how much I chokes in this very pious festival of lights ? Not only on the day of Diwali, but also during the entire week of the festival. The colorful lights, sounds and obnoxious smokes arising from the cracker charms children as well as adults, but how far it goes in affecting the environment, no one seems to be concerned. The whole sky becomes so much smoky by the late night, that people feel difficulty in breathing in the open outside their home. The huge blanket of smokes and dust contains harmful gases likes carbon-dioxide, sulphur-dioxide and many others and minute particulates from the crackers and covers the entire sky. This act not only affect me badly, but to others also. Have you ever noticed that during Diwali where all the birds gets disappeared or even those who are visible are too afraid to come out of the hidings ? The poor street dog faces the hell day of the year - some even throw crackers over this social animal. Old peoples and hospital patients have horrific times. After all, where my people are going by disturbing the very delicate balance of nature ? Crores of rupees of crackers are burnt into fumes, causing damage much more than the amount invested in crackers.

There is no denying fact that during recent times, there has been awareness among the people. However, it is still at the nascent stage. Let it be a festival of light and enjoyment, and not of pollution. I sincerely request you to take care of my concern in your area.

 

Yours,
Patna

O' my sister Ganga


The season of festivals has started and so does the suffering of my eternal sister, the Ganga. With the beginning of every festive season when the world enjoys, my sister cries because of being choked due to the immersion of large number of idols of gods and goddesses. No, this was not the case since beginning. In fact during earlier period, there was enjoyment everywhere. However the situation started changing after 18th-19th century, when the idol worshiping began stated at a large scale and it became popular and widespread. This trend continued to grow by leap and bound, and now the commercialization of festivals has pushed it further at a rapid pace. There would not have been any problem, had the Government and the Society taken care of the proper immersion of the idols once the festivals were over. Alas !! none took care, and my sister became the only destination of the thousands of idols throughout the year, especially during the festive season.

Starting from the Dussehera Puja during October-November to Saraswati Puja during February-March, the idols of numerous God and Goddesses find their abode in the holy water of my sister. The festival of Holi further adds to its misery. The ever growing size of idols, sometime weighing in to tonnes and the heavy use of synthetic colors, paints, chemicals and massive use of Plaster of Paris ultimately finds their way in the already troubled water. These pious immersions not only chokes the flow of the water, but also kills the natural habitats and leave an indelible mark of the ever grading quality of the water. It is expected that during this year more than 1000 idols of Dusshehra Puja and 5000 liters of paints will find their way in the river. The ghats becomes the point of immersion and most of the idols are immersed withing 3-4 meter of distance from the bank. This further pollutes the ghat.

There is every right that people should enjoy the festivals. But, to how far it is appropriate that their enjoyment results in the misery of my sister. Wish someone would be concern about the destiny of my sister. Hoping for the best.

Yours,
Patna

Biharis, me and the Threat from Mumbai

 

In recent times, I often hear some threatening voices from Mumbai. The threat is given to the Biharis who are staying and working there for their bare livelihood for evacuating the city of Mumbai. I often wonder how  such thing can happen in India where constitution has given fundamental rights to its citizen to live and earn in any part of the Country. Is such frequent threatening not ringing any bell in Honorable Court of India ?

Lets get to the basic facts. There are thousands of Biharis who are working in Mumbai in the low income group strata. They are the daily wages laborers, security guards, factory workers, household maids, ferrywalas, taxi drivers and the list go on for all the posts in which local people do not want to get in, primarily because of the very less pay that is offered to them and the social stigma involved in it. These are the people who live somehow in some corner of the city, just managing enough to send some money back to their families  in villages. They belong to the sector where their is no guarantee of anything - job, money, leave etc. If some people threaten them to evacuate the city, then its like cutting the branch of the tree on which the branch-cutter is sitting. Imagine what will happen if all the people in this class vacate the city !!!! There will be utter chaos throughout the city. Such threats has not been made against the Biharis, who are situated at the top level, because of their influence and basically because, the Government can not let it happen at the higher level.

So, the question arises who is wrong - the people who are threatening because of some cheap politics or the 'State'  who is letting it happen with ease or the Biharis, who are earning minimal, themselves ? There was a time when the people of my region were welcomed with great respect across the nation and beyond . This was the land of Chandragupta Maurya, Ashoka, Samudragupt, Kalidas, Panini, and numerous personalities who shaped the destiny of the country, much before the city of Mumbai was even born. So, what has happened now. As far as I remember, at that time, people were proud of me, they were chauvinist, ready to die for my pride. But as the time progressed, this feeling subsided and by the end of 20th century, we began to consider ourself as the citizen of the country, leaving far behind the regionalism of Bihari, which proved fatal in the coming decades. In todays India, chauvinism is not appropriate but pride of regionalism is must, which we have lost because of some facts which are unexplained. This is because of loss of feeling of regionalism that Biharis are being threatened right from Assam to Mumbai and from Delhi to Chennai.

Biharis are in way inferior to any other Indian in the country. They are endowed with brilliance and sharp minds. Their land is fertile compared to none in the country. They have rivers full of waters throughout the year. Then why we be threatened like none other in country ? The reason lies in the people themselves as much as in the political system of the state which has crippled during more than 60 years of Independence.

Regeneration of self pride and regionalism is the only way which can pull us. No level of development can do this unless the people themselves are ready to consider superior to rest other. Can we forget the 'superior Aryan' theory of Hitler which revolutionized the German people, who were devastated at the end of first World War ? We should put the feeling of 'Indianization' behind regionalism. First the feeling of regionalism, feeling of being " Bihari", should be developed,  strong enough to shake the Country. Unless, we are chauvinist about our land, our history, our present and our people, nothing is going to change in the coming days. Its going to be bad to worse and the same threats will come from other parts of the country as well.

 

yours,
Patna

Me, rumors and people of North East India

 

The first news that I heard was from 2000 km distance away from the IT city of Bangaluru where people of North East (NE) India were mass evacuating the city. The reason - a rumor that caught its way among the NE people about being attacked after few days because of the communal violence that took place some 3000 km away in the valleys of Assam. Within hours, the same news started coming out from big cities like Chennai, Hyderabad, Mumbai etc. I was holding my breath that this should occur here also. But with the next sunrise, I also came in light or went into darkness with people of North East India thronging the Patna Junction.

Nothing can be more heart breaking to see when your people who are contributing to the success of city in day-to-day activities leaving  out of city on  a baseless threat and rumor. They work in hotels, saloon, showrooms and numerous other places, and they have earned the reputation of dependable. How come, my own people can be so insensitive to the migrants who are working hard to earn small money. These people has long association with me as me being the nearest big city near to Nepal or Bhutan. They have contributed to make the city multi-ethnic and they are considered to the decent neighbor. Then what happened suddenly that people started fleeing ?

I believe that lack on confidence on these people caused such panic. I heard that Bangaluru police, politicians and local people took all steps to stop the exodus and they have succeeded also. I agree that such intense exodus was not in Patna, but I also saw that people were not as active  compared to their Bangaluru counter part. Its sad on my part that people still consider people of North East India as from Nepal, Bhutan, Tibet or China. If even after being so close to NE, my people are not sure, then I can not blame the distant South Bangaluru.

People seems to have forgotten that I have given support to refugees who came here in during more than 2000 years of my past. They eventually became a part of my existence and contributed to culture. If the same people now threaten other migrants, then such steps can not be accepted at any cost. Every Indian has right to live here and any part of the country. People who spread the messages are equivalently responsible. The government has taken strong steps to curb such things, people has came out in full support, but the question still remains wide open - have the faith of people of North East India with respect to rest India not shaken ? Whats wrong if they call the mainland India as 'Videsh' ?

I have seen how the history changes and the time passes and heals the gravest injury. This is a big issue, it will get solve eventually, but we should not forget the lesson learnt from it. People of North East India does not belong to Nepal, Bhutan or Tibet.. they are also a part of great Indian community and they have equal right to live and earn in any part of the country with due respect. I hope the people who has left me will come back soon.

 

Yours,
Patna

Children's park vs S K Puri park

Let me make it clear in the beginning itself that both the park names refer to the same park. Its only the difference of generation by whom this park is referred. This park is situated beside Sahdeo Mahto Marg in the Boring road area. The park as it is called today 'S K Puri park' is quite different from the park which was famed as 'Children's park' few years back.

First come to once Children's park. As the name suggests, the park was meant for children, though there was nothing as park. There was a big open playground encircled by concrete pavements for the morning walkers. There were enough trees in one corner of the ground. Also in one section of the park, there was a small area where elder people used to sit and do morning exercises. It was made in such a way that the playground noises or disturbances were minimal. Children from nearby as well as far away area used to come here for playing games like cricket, football and badminton in the playground. It used to be wonderful view seeing so many children playing and enjoying in the field whereas elder taking rest in the benches beside pavement.  During weekend, it was always full with the teams of cricket. It was children's park in true sense.

Now coming to the upgraded S K Puri park. It has completely changed the landscape of earlier Children's park. The big playground has been covered with land and many concrete pavements criss-cross the playground. Benches has been placed beside the pavement. Few swings are also installed. Most of the tall tress has been felled down and a concrete pavement crosses between the remaining trees. There are fewer children to be seen here now. Playing cricket is not possible because of the concrete pavements. The majority of the park visitors now consists of old age people, middle aged house-wives and young pairs from nearby institutes. Overall, the view is quite adorable during evening seeing the family gatherings sitting together on the green ground.

But my question is- have we done it right or wrong ? In order to provide more facilty to the elders, haven't we taken the joy of children who use to play there ? Children do come here also but they can not play the game. If we take away the playfulness of the children then its going to have great effect on the society at the later stage. In earlier Children park, there were facility for all type of people, but in the newer version, it looks like Childrens have been left out. I ask, if as a society we believe that this is good then aren't we going in the wrong direction ? When the playing space was constantly being reduced in the area due to new apartment constructions, it was important that the originality of the park needed to be maintained for the generations to come. Alas !!! we have failed. We have sacrificed the playfulness of children for the sake of older generations. Generations to come will not believe that there used to be a playground at this place where children from distant places used to come and play.

yours,
Patna

 

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