Despite exodus, Bihar shares special bond with Gujarat

Migrant workers prepare to board the Sabarmati Express in view of protests which broke out over an alleged rape of a 14-month-old girl, in Ahmedabad, Monday, October 8, 2018. (PTI Photo)

The Hindi-speaking people from Bihar and Uttar Pradesh may be at the receiving end in Gujarat, following a rape incident at Sabarkantha district, but it’s equally true that Bihar and Gujarat have shared a special emotional bond for the last 100 years.

At present, most of the top officers, including IAS and IPS officers in the western state, are from Bihar.

Take for instance the top three posts in the Gujarat government, that of the chief secretary, the DGP and the principal secretary to the chief minister. These posts are occupied by J N Singh, Shivanand Jha and Manoj Kumar Das, all from Bihar. Incidentally, DGP (Prisons) Mohan Jha is also from Bihar.

Singh, a 1983-batch IAS officer of Gujarat cadre, and Shivanand Jha, also a 1983-batch IPS officer, are from Madhubani district in north Bihar.

Similarly, Mohan Jha, a 1985-batch IPS officer, studied at Laheriasari (Darbhanga) in Bihar, while Das is a 1990-batch IAS officer who earlier studied at Raj High School in Darbhanga.

“It’s not only the current crop of officers posted in Gujarat who hail from Bihar. Even earlier, Kishore Kunal, who served as Senior SP (SSP) of Patna, IG and then OSD in the PMO, was a Gujarat cadre IPS officer,” a top cop told DH.

“Currently, the CBI Additional Director Rakesh Asthana, a 1984-batch IPS officer of Gujarat cadre, was born in Ranchi in 1961 in the then undivided Bihar,” he added.

Historical bond

The two states have historical bonding. “While Mahatma Gandhi, who is from Gujarat, launched his 'satyagraha' against the British rule from Bihar’s Champaran in 1917, while the veteran Socialist from Patna, Jaya Prakash Narayan (also called JP) launched the students’ movement in Gujarat in the 1970s,” said social scientist Ajay Kumar.

He opined that top officials, including the Gujarat DGP and chief secretary, would be able to stem the rot and stop the mass exodus of Biharis after Chief Minister Nitish Kumar spoke to Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani.

“Or else, it will not only set a dangerous trend between the two states but will adversely affect the economy of Gujarat which is largely dependent on migrant workers from the Hindi heartland,” the social scientist argued.

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Despite exodus, Bihar shares special bond with Gujarat

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