Bihar—one of the largest North Indian states in geographical size and population. Where Hindi, Urdu and English are the official languages and the regional languages are Angika, Maithili, Magadhi and Bhojpuri. The name Bihar is derived from the Sanskrit and Pali word—Vihara, which means a place to reside.
Ancient Bihar had a rich heritage and, culture. The two dynasties, Maurya & Gupta Empires—the greatest empires of India—arose from Magadh. Maurya Dynasty was India’s first empire. Magadh was formed of sixteen Maha-Janpad (great-republic communities), which had their own assemblies. You can say that it was the era of partial Republic Reign. It has seen the reigns of legendary kings as Chandragupta Maurya and Ashoka Maurya. These two emperors are believed to be one of the greatest emperors in the world. The central area of both the empires was Bihar, though it was expanded from West-Bengal to Uttar Pradesh and Orissa. Later, Ashoka extended the Empire over most of the Southern Asia. Previously Rajgrih (modern Rajgir) was the capital of Magadh, and later Patliputra (modern Patna) became the capital, which is still the capital of Bihar. The Gupta Empire has seen great advancements in various fields, such as Science, Mathematics, Astronomy, Arts, and Philosophy etc. The elements of Hindu Culture crystallized during Gupta Dynasty. This era is known as the “Golden Age” and this was the era when India was known as the “Golden Bird”. Historians have placed this dynasty along with many great empires (Roman and Han etc.) as a model of classical civilization.
Bihar had the oldest and truly international universities of time—Nalanda and Vikramshila. These universities were among the best centers of education.
Buddhism—the most followed religion in most part of Asia—arose from the region of modern Bihar. Gautam Buddha got Nirvana under the Bodhi tree in Bodhgaya, Bihar. Buddhism was widely spread by Ashoka Maurya, all over his kingdom, which are now various modern countries of Asia who worship Buddha. Now, Bodhgaya is a sacred pilgrimage for all the Buddhists.
Another progressive emperor of Bihar—Sher Shah Suri—improved the infrastructure and economy of Bihar. He established the current Indian currency – Rupiya. He is the one who established modern post offices, which had a significant role in communication before telephones and mobile phones arrived. The principles and conventions of archaically managed administration of Sher Shah influenced the future of Mughal Empire. Mughals never succeded in annexing Bihar and Bengal until Sher Shah was alive. He defeated the army of Humayun. Thus, Humayun was forced to make Delhi as his capital. After Sher Shah’s death, while fighting the second battle of Panipat, Akbar captured Bihar and Bengal. Even though they were rivals, Akbar got the motivation from Sher Shah’s administration.
Bihar has witnessed the birth of the tenth and last Guru of Sikhism—Guru Gobind Singh, who was born in Patna. There is a Gurdwara at Patna Sahip in his remembrance. The first president of India—Dr. Rajendra Prasad was also from Bihar. Bihar has also witnessed the great writers of Hindi literature, such as Ramdhari Singh Dinkar, Ram Briksha Benipuri, Rahul Sankrityayan, Nagarjun and Phanishwar Nath Renu.
Bihar’s three major mother tongues—Maithili, Bhojpuri and Magadhi—were lost competence since the first success of Hindi extent across Bihar in the year 1881, when it became the first state of India to adopt Hindi. Out of all the regional languages, only Maithili has superimposed its identity over Hindi. However, it uses Devanagri script for writing rather than its own script Mithilakshar due to the lack of development of the printing press and ignorance. The other regional languages have accepted the dialects of Hindi.
One of the regional arts—Mithila Painting/Madhubani Painting, which is supposed to be originated at the time of Ramayana, when king Janak asked the artists to create the paintings at the time of her daughter, Sita‘s marriage to prince Ram—is a world known and appreciated art now.
The national aquatic animal of India—River Dolphins are found in the great river of Bihar — Ganga. Near Bhagalpur, there is a dolphin sanctuary—Vikramshila Gangetic Dolphin Sanctury—to ensure the protection of dolphins.
Bihar falls in ample fertile plane with plentiful of water resources, which makes its agriculture rich and diverse. It is the largest producer of vegetables and fruits, such as potato, onion, brinzal, cauliflower, litchi, mango, banana and guava. It is the third largest producer of pineapple and other previously mentioned fruits. Sugarcane and jute are also the major crops.
Though. It is sad that besides having such an abundant cultivation potential, it has not reached to its full potential. There were flourishing industries of sugar and vegetable oil in Bihar, but they were forced to shut down due to some central government policies. Due to deteriorated administration, Bihar was said to be the perfect example of worst India. Moreover, it happened because of extensive and inevitable poverty, corrupt politicians indistinguishable from mafia-dons that they utilized and supported and caste-ridden social order that have retained the worst feudal cruelties.
It is woeful that suddenly the state, because of which the country was known as the Golden Bird and which had shown the world the exemplary managed administration, has become the state of persistent poverty, multifaceted social stratification, disappointing infrastructure and pathetic governance. The state of education and research is completely dis-satisfactory. It has lost the pace of being a center of education. People have to migrate to other states/countries for better edification.
So why not be confident and generate the sense of belonging and Bihari pride and let’s show the world that we are still those people who had the courage to create the golden era and we can still have that valor to do that again ..