Among the major states, Bihar is the least developed state. The main problem is the excess population and high population growth rate. While population in the 0-14 years age group, developed states have only about 25% of the total population, in Bihar it is 35%. The active working age people are in the age group 15 to 59. In this age group, developed states have over 65% of the total population, while in Bihar it is only about 55%. Bihar should give high priority to population control. Otherwise it will be impossible for any administration to develop the economy.
If Bihar is to catch up with the rest of the states, it should make people work as much as possible. Since the number of workers is proportionately less in Bihar, as a short term measure, the employees should be asked to put in an extra hour work i.e. 9 hours a day against 8 hours in other states.
Work should be provided to all able bodied persons. Till adequate number of factories are established, the existing factories should be asked to work 3 shifts a day. Government should establish factories and transfer ownership to the industrialists later.
Bihar state had/has able, efficient and illustrious Chief Ministers like S.K.Sinha, Bhola Paswan Shastri, Dr.Jagannath Mishra, Laloo Prasad Yadav and Nitish Kumar. Some of them had very successful Cabinet Ministers at the Central Government holding important portfolios. The state also had/has brilliant bureaucrats. Some of the successful bureaucrats at the Central government are from Bihar cadre. But none of them was able to lift the state out of poverty. The state was under President’s rule several times though for short periods. Among the states, Bihar still has the lowest per capita income of just Rs12000/-per year. The production of food grains is only 10 million tonnes in 2010-11, less than the production of 10.6 million tonnes in 1991-92. The yield per hectare of land instead of increasing over the years has come down from 1450 kg/hectare(ha) in 1991-92 to 1090 kg per ha in 2010-11. The national average yield in 2010-11 is 2240kg/ha. The people of Bihar do not produce even 100 kg of food grains per head per year while other states on an average produce more than 200kg per head per year.
One of the major reasons for the backwardness of the state is the very high density of population (1100 per sq.km) and a very high population growth rate(25% during 2001-11) and the inability of the successive governments to launch huge developmental projects which would have increased the per capita income and reduced population growth rate. Among the major states, Bihar has the highest population growth rate.
Law and order situation is also not satisfactory.
Experiments like postponing elections for two-three years, forming non-party government, imposing President’s rule, emergency etc could be debated
When Mr. Nitish Kumar assumed office of the Chief Minister of Bihar in 2005 (earlier he was CM for a few days in 2000) there were great expectations. Under his leadership, Bihar was expected to improve in the law and order situation, infrastructure and the economy. At that time Bihar had the lowest per capita net state domestic product(NSDP). Now after years of his rule Bihar still has the lowest NSDP of Rs.20,000 (2010-11) Haryana’s NSDP is over Rs.92000. There is no significant improvement in the law and order situation or in infrastructure.
In spite of his best intentions and efforts the CM could not effect much improvement because it seems that the people are not in a mood to work hard and honestly. It is time to urge people to put in hard work and be honest and committed in work. The other reason is that the state is too large to govern effectively. It has a population of over 10 crores (of course UP and Maharashtra are bigger). Bihar is bigger than about 180 countries out of about 193 countries in the world. For administrative convenience and faster economic development and social improvement, Bihar should be divided into two states. Even with less efficient administrations, both the new states will develop much faster than now.
When late Indian Prime Minister, Mrs. Indira Gandhi, of Congress Party gave important party positions to her son, opposition parties agitated against the attempt to bring in dynastic rule. At that time, Mrs. Gandhi asked why the country should lose the services of her talented son, merely because he was her son. She claimed that as an individual, her son had the right to do whatever he wanted to, whether to be in politics, business or agriculture. Since then, the states of Haryana, Punjab, Bihar, Orissa, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Jammu & Kashmir and Uttar Pradesh have seen relatives of politicians – sons, sons-in-law and wifes – occupying positions of dignitary in party or government.
The latest instance is that of Chief Minister Mr. Karunanidhi of Tamilnadu appointing his son Mr. Stalin as the Deputy Chief Minister. There does not appear to be any opposition to this in the party. The D.M.K party seems to have made it a policy to nominate the wife or son or daughter of deceased members of parliament (MP) or members of legislative assembly (MLA) for elections in the mid-term poll.
In India there are innumerable cases of MPs, MLAs, State and Central Ministers and political party leaders grooming their relatives to succeed them. These politicians use the following logic: the son of an industrialist succeeds his father as the Managing Director or Chairman of the company. Why should not a politician’s son become a politician, that too with the acceptance of the people?
Dynastic rule agitates against the spirit of democracy. Even during the days of the Kings, the people would not have had any objections to the Prince succeeding his father. In some countries, while people want a particular leader to continue to be in power, the constitution of the countries have prescribed a limit of two or three terms for the President/Prime Minister. This is with a view protect democracy and to prevent dictatorship. In this spirit, it may be worthwhile to debate whether some restrictions should be placed on the children and other relatives of political leaders entering politics in order to protect democracy. Of course, after a few years – 3 to 5 years – of retirement of the leaders from politics, their relatives could get their right to participate in politics.