Bihar: From its Glorious Past, a Great Leap Forward
- Pallavi Priya
- Published on 30 Jun 2021, 1:09 pm IST
- 6 minutes read
Bihar’s rich history is not a bucket of ashes but a living powerhouse which has the potential to change the lives of its youth even today, believes senior IPS officer Vikas Vaibhav. He has launched a state-wise initiative `Let’s Inspire Bihar’ in this regard.
- Mr. Vikas Vaibhav has started the noble initiative of inspiring Bihar by tapping into the ancient roots
Since time immemorial, Bihar has had a rich and glorious history. For many centuries it remained the political centre of an Indian Empire which stretched beyond Afghanistan in the west and went up to Assam in the East, Kashmir in the North to the place where land meets see in the Southern India. It was not an easy feat to achieve- but somehow most of its glorious past got lost in the fog of time, crushed out of shape by the ruthless march of centuries.
Now give a close look to the Bihar of today, a state where people often struggle with a sense of pessimism and dejection. Cast based identities are not just affecting the politics but also the holistic growth of its society. Largely unaware of their pristine legacy, the youth of Bihar are taking shortcuts for the success, acts which further bringing down its diminished glory.
Keeping all these perspectives in mind, the Special Secretary (Home Department, Bihar) Mr. Vikas Vaibhav is determined to revive the heritage of Bihar. And he has started an initiative called ‘Let’s Inspire Bihar’. The officer intent to encourage the youth and push them towards the road to success by making them aware of the state’s ancient history.
In an interaction with Indian Masterminds, the 2003-batch officer talked about what led to this unique initiative and how he’s implementing it in Bihar.
The Power of Heritage
An alumnus of IIT Kanpur, Mr. Vaibhav was lucky enough to get his home cadre for service, i.e. Bihar. During a career of about two decades, he has been in-charge of many districts including those dominated by Naxalism and criminals. Talking about his stint in Bagha during 2006 he said, “The area was infamous as Mini Chambal. However, the gangs were not vagabonds but living a very organized life. They had occupied large tracts of land on which they were cultivating sugarcane. Cracking them was tough. So, the first thing I did apart from the regular police operations was to shatter their economic backbone. We seized their crops and hit them hard. But at some point, I also got to know that all these raids are not going to solve the problem permanently”.
So Mr Vaibhav started the initiative of connecting the community with history. Bagaha had a history of reverence to Valmiki. Alongwith his team members, he started telling people that if the cruel dacoit and hunter Ratnakar did not have a change of heart and soul, he would not have become the great scholar Valmiki and his greatest work Ramayana would not have come into existence. These lessons worked wonders and apparently 26 hardened criminals of the region surrendered and the kidnapping cases there- which were in hundreds earlier- dropped to zero.
Repeating the Success
Mr Vaibhav repeated the technique while tackling the Maoists gangs of Rohtas in 2008. The officer organised several community policing camps and tried to connect the people with the rich heritage of Rohtas. His team was also the first to hoist the Tricolour on Rohtas fort in decades. Through the participation of people, many Maoists had a change of heart and they put down their guns and surrendered.
With the success of these experiences behind him, Mr Vaibhav believes that this is right time to inspire the youth with examples of their own potential, educating them about their illustrious ancestors.
He said, “This spirt of positivity inspired by the past heritage of Bihar and my own personal experience in transforming the present for the better has motivated me to start `Let’s Inspire Bihar’ initiative. I have a strong feeling that inspiring the youth properly and guiding them under proper mentorship will definitely bring back the lost glory of Bihar.’’
Dialogue with the Youth
The agenda of this whole initiative is to interact with the youth, with the central theme of “Let’s Inspire Bihar” and “Yuva-Samvad” i.e. Youth Dialogue. He already has had rich intereactions with people in several regions of the state such as West and East Champaran, Nalanda, Begusarai, Vaishali, Muzaffarpur and Bhagalpur apart from Barh, Bihta, Fatuha and other places. He mostly talks about the history of the state and share his experience of what al heritage can do to uplift the spirits and potentials of the people.
“Recently many young people have visited me and expressed their desire to join the inspiration and spread it further amongst the youth in their districts by forming district-wise chapters. The process is stalled due to the Covid-19 ,but it will be started soon. My goal is to impress upon their minds that the potential to create desired change lies within them”, Mr. Vaibhav said
He also mentioned that the curiosity of our ancestors went deeper than gaining knowledge, and they were not satisfied by pursuit of materialism alone. Their desire was to gain true knowledge that resulted in Universities like Nalanda and Vikramshila. The same broadness in thinking was the reason for Magadha gaining international prominence, Mr Vaibhav added.
Mr Vaibhav wants the people to focus on 3 Es: education, egalitarianism and entrepreneurship. The idea is to train them in gaining knowledge, help them to rise above caste and community set-ups and engage them for leadership. After all, and this is something which the youth of Bihar should not forget, there was a time when when cities like Champa and Patliputra were prominent centres of trade of India.
“I want the youth to firstly voluntarily understand theirown past and the themes which once motivated our ancestors. An inspired individual will then act as a centre of inspiration for others and thus set in a chain reaction which will transcend further” said Mr Vaibhav.
A noble initiative this certainly is, and Mr Vaibhav admits that even if it ignites a few hearts he would be more than happy.
END OF THE ARTICLE