Why do some people dislike people from Bihar?


The very general question on which few people have fabulously written their opinion on Quora. Here on, we are having some thoughts.

Take of Ujjwal Aryan, born, raised up and educated in Bihar

I have seen many answers given here. I was born, raised up and educated in Bihar. Subsequently I have lived a significant period of about 8 years consistently outside of Bihar (totally owing to careeristic or family reasons !!! ).
As an educated person, I try to rationalize the different perspectives of thoughts I listen. As far as my response to this question is concerned , I have following things to say :

  1. Pretty much true without exception is the fact that If you are from Bihar, then this fact gives you an unconscious power to nod heads your way. There is a deep sense of peculiarity (within most people) about the people from Bihar. Every person from some distant region is attractive to us as a cultural experience. However, in the case of Biharis what I have seen is that for most people outside, there is a deep sense of mystery and uneasiness too. The primary reason I find is that they do see a lot of paradoxes when it comes to Biharis.
    • You would find scores of Biharis appearing in UPSC merit lists (sometimes there are sequences of Biharis appearing in such merit lists). Yet, apart from securing a good population there, you would also find them securing a good population when it comes to daily workers , auto drivers, rickshaw drivers, small vegetable vendors and not to forget domestic workers ( I do not mean disrespect to these professions !!!) .
    • You would find them in very respectable positions and merits, yet you would also find them proliferating as regular daily criminals which make us live our lives in unease.

    When such paradoxes exist in conjunction with a specific set of people in our society and in such close proximity, people tend to stay aloof or treat and deal with them as cautiously as possible. Whether or not you call it hatred is a different matter.  I will come to that a bit later.

  2. I another answer Prassun Saha has pointed out that Biharis have not really built up their image as a community and do not show up any cultural diversity and standpoint. I would absolutely and without exception disagree with this. On the contrary, there is indeed statistically speaking a strong cultural standpoint which is visible to people usually when it comes to Biharis. I believe that in most of the cases the poor image of Biharis can be largely attributed to their cultural standpoint and the tendency to form communities which are irrationally based on region and often this escalates in the whole community participating or at least making activities which quite naturally make people uncomfortable. I understand that this statement of mine might seem subjective to people, but just as a small token of example I will mention to you a recent incident (the victim was the one telling me this !!! All personal details are deleted.)

    So as it happened a girl (who is not a Bihari)  tried to take a rickshaw to go to home. At a place 5-6 rickshaws were standing smoking. They were talking in Bhojpuri and hence at least had some Bihari individuals. The price they asked was too high. As she tried to haggle, they got aggressive and told that the price shall not be negotiated. They also started whispering dirty words for her to each other. Feeling helpless, she happened to see a traffic police officer nearby. She called him and asked him to assist her in getting back. He also turned out to be a Bihari. He only very mildly objected to them. She also saw him sharing smiles with the others. Finally disgusted she had to walk and after walking for 600-700 meters, she got a rickshaw (happened to be driven by a Bihari) which took her home at a fair price.

    Such happening are day to day happenings in a milder or more difficult situations in other contexts. But if we carefully look around there is indeed this kind of standpoint at least amidst those who create problematic scenarios for others.

  3. I do realize that there has been a huge cultural degradation in Bihar over the past 2 decades. Due to unruly administration, education prospered little while crude globalization and modernity amidst severe crime and corruption fundamentally ruined to a great extent the general cultural line of thinking of a significant population of the society. This has happened only in the last 2 decades and was not before. So many great professors and academicians were from Bihar. Bihar had Patna Medical College Hospital which was envied even by colleges like CMC Vellore (talk to some very old alumni there). Its university (Patna University) has given people like Lal Bahadur Shastri and Rajendra Prasad. Ramdhari Singh Dinkar , Rahul Sankrityayan, Vashishtha Narayan etc are some of the few of the many great personalities from Bihar of that time. People might not believe so, but when they make Lalu Prasad Yadav the salient personality of Bihar, they do forget what a seriously disgusting mistake they are making.  This cultural degradation,  I believe that this is at the root of why do we see a huge variance when it comes to Biharis We should not stereotype people but in the case of Bihar people typically tend to create this stereotype of Biharis as being uneducated or uncultured or unrespectful because in the past two decades as a cultural decline happened, it happened to majority of the society and hence those who do not tend to appreciate the line of reasoning behind it , happen to create a stereotype Biharis into a huge number of bad entitites. Here is something I can just add as it is coming to my mind right now :
    • Bihar is the land of learned and educated men. Megasthenes called it to be better than Athens, Shuza, Samarkand and the whole of Persia. It is the land of people like Buddha and Chanakya.
      However, If I put this history on one side, and then show you all those vulgar Bhojpuri songs and dances and the dirt shown in them and then for the sake of your family and yourself ask you to make a decision, you know what you will do.
  4. But yes, I have also seen some people who simply hate us out of no real or rational reason. I would simply end this point by saying that out of 100 people whom you think they hate biharis , in reality only 1 person at the most would hate you out of no rational reason.
  5. I also want to mention one point that has always been told to me :
    • Why the successful Biharis do not do anything for their state and their people ?

    When I think about it, I feel that it is actually true. It is a very sad and painful fact, but it is true that I have seldomly seen successful Biharis coming back to Bihar. However to this I would probably not curse the Biharis themselves. I would simply put the curse upon the situations that were rampant in Bihar for the past 20 years. After 2005 things have improved. But the venom of corruption and uneducation take too long to detox. I guess before we blame it on their attitude we should give them time and environment to come back.

    But yes, on a cultural level there is much less interaction when it comes to Biharis as against Bengalis or Gujratis. Even on this front there are sufficient contradictions and explanations involved. In the festival of chhath you do see a huge community gatherings of Biharis in pretty much every part of India where there is water. Moreover Biharis have mostly been in academia or simple working class and hence, need for a more elaborate community arrangements were probably never felt. They have been in places where the need was there. For eample there are many Bihari hotels in south India where you get to eat the kind of food which resembles the cuisine of Bihar.

As an end note, I would say that “Hate” is not the right word to use. It would be “suspicion” or “misunderstanding”. The image is just what has come out of Bihar. Ideally people should have cleased the image with the detergent of information, but people have typically failed to do so. Very less people know anything about the culture of Bihar and the local situations therein. So, this is largely misunderstanding based on misinformation and even lack of information about the people of Bihar.

Take of Utkarsh Kumar, lived in Jharkhand

  • People are ignorant– This is the biggest reason for people looking down upon anything. People in general won’t ever make an effort to get to know the culture for themselves and brainlessly feed onto whatever is served on the platter by media and other ignorant people.
  • We talk funny– I get it, we have a sing-song-y tone. I never say ‘main’ because I have always used ‘hum’ to refer to myself. But this trait has been vastly overdone by the media and the comedians of our country. I have people in my college who try to emulate the way Biharis talk and make themselves look like insensitive assholes. Either do a good Bihari accent or don’t do it at all.
  • The movies told you so- Our movies have done a pretty good job in racially profiling our country’s states. A Punjabi will be rich, stupid and loud. A South Indian only wears a lungi/dhoti and talks in an alien accent. A sindhi will be a cunning businessman and a Gujarati will only eat khakra and fafra. The same goes for a Bihari. A Bihari character will be loud, uncouth, uncivilised, rude and hot headed and frequently use the word ‘sasura’.
  • The number of people– Bihar has had vast history and there was a time when several people migrated to Bihar from all around the country. This lead to incessant procreation and thus, the huge population. People then gradually migrated all around the world from Bihar. We are to Indian population what Indian population is to the world. You will find one anywhere you go.
  • The misconceptions- I could see a few surprised faces in college when people got to know that I can speak and write in English. One of them even asked me, “You listen to English music too?” I said, “No, I have only heard Manoj Tiwari songs and lollypop laage lu is the Bihari National anthem.”
  • The slang-ification of the word– anybody who acts uncultured or miserly is called a Bihari. Anybody from Bihar/UP is a bhaiya and the  sheer contempt with which some of the people look at a fellow Indian is sometimes scary.

There are other issues too like crime in politics and bad infrastructure but I think that can be dealt with. What you can’t change is the kind of people living there. They have a specific way they talk, walk and live but that does not make them villagers.