A testimony of Bihar’s changing image

PATNA: ‘Bihar Diwas’ celebration is reflecting the changing image of Bihar globally.

It is for the first time that the High Commissioner of Mauritius to India witnessed the inauguration of the grand event in the city. A brainchild of CM Nitish Kumar, ‘Bihar Diwas’ is being celebrated since 2009 in Patna. The High Commissioner of Trinidad and Tobago to India, Chandradath Singh, is also likely to attend the celebrations here in the next two days.

“There is huge curiosity about Bihar in foreign countries. It (curiosity) runs deeper in countries where people of Bihari origin reside in large numbers. By inviting representatives from these countries, we want to establish a new synergy with them,” Bihar’s education minister P K Shahi said here on Thursday. The education department is entrusted with the task of organizing ‘Bihar Diwas’ at Gandhi Maidan here.

The state guests are quite excited. “I am excited to be here. It (Bihar Diwas) is an opportunity to celebrate,” the High Commissioner of Mauritius to India, Arye Kumar Jagessur, told TOI. The High Commissioner of Trinidad and Tobago to India had to cancel his Patna visit due to unavoidable reasons, but told TOI from Delhi, “Bihar Diwas is a three-day affair. I will try my best to come to participate any day.”

Chandradath Singh, however, has conveyed his best wishes to authorities of Bihar. “Citizens in my country are extremely excited. They always look forward to any occasion which brings them closer to Bihar,” he said.

In the US, South Korea, Australia, Qatar, Bahrain, UAE, Canada and other countries as well, Bihar Diwas is a hit. Bihar Foundation, a state government agency which works to promote Bihar as a brand through its eight foreign chapters, is organizing ‘Bihar Diwas’ celebrations on foreign shores.

Deepak Kumar Singh, chief executive officer, Bihar Foundation, said: “In foreign countries, Bihar Diwas is likely to witness healthier participation this year.” The foundation’s Indian chapters, situated in different parts of the country, are also celebrating ‘Bihar Diwas’ by organizing cultural activities.

While some Bihar Foundation chapters will celebrate ‘Bihar Diwas’ on March 22, others will celebrate it later. Like previous occasions, ‘Bihar Diwas’ celebration on foreign shores will showcase Bihar’s glorious history, rich culture and economic viability, said Singh.

Bihar’s resurgence has inspired a group of Qatar nationals so much that they have composed a poem to glorify Bihar. “A 50-member delegation of Qatar nationals is on a visit. A group of them has written a poem in Arabic which they would sing today,” said a senior education department official. A four-member delegation from Surinam is also on a visit.

Besides, various institutions and groups of individuals in different countries are also organizing ‘Bihar Diwas’. Various events have been announced on Facebook. One such event is scheduled in Michigan (USA). The organizer, Rachna Kumar, has invited guests at ‘Bihar Diwas 2012: Celebrating 100th Foundation Day of Bihar’.

Utpal Kumar, who runs a portal about Bihar, said: “Bihar anthem and Bihar prayer song, released by the chief minister on Wednesday, have attracted many in foreign countries. Within 24 hours, a huge traffic has watched videos of the songs which I had uploaded yesterday.”

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