History Hour 20 – “Middle Class Myths about Bihar” by Dr. Prakash Louis, S.J. – Wednesday, 11th January 2006.

The word Bihar or Bihari has become a laughable commodity or a point of ridicule. Those outside of Bihar both Indians and foreigners are scared to come to Bihar, but over 80 million people live here. It is believed that until the Mandalisation of Bihar took place everything including law and order was perfect in Bihar. Mr. Laloo turned out to be the clown for the media but the manner in which Laloo used media to build his own image was overlooked by this media itself. Now with Mr. Nitish taking over the reigns of power in Bihar his tenure is being spoken of as an attempt to put law and order back on track. But these are just middle class myths with hardly any substances on the ground.

Prakash Louis, a Jesuit from the Patna Province, holds a doctorate from A. N. Sinha Institute of Social Science and his thesis was “Radical Agrarian Movement in Bihar”. His major publications are: The Emerging Hindutva Force, People Power: The Naxalite Movement in Central Bihar and The Political Sociology of Dalit Assertion. He contributes regularly to research journals like EPW, Mainstream, Seminar, Social Change Action. He also writes regularly for Hindi and English dailies.

Dr. Prakash Louis S.J.

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