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A visit to Mithila

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Kishan Dev
Kishan Dev
Provocative Trash-talker. University of Delhi.

As I arrived in Mithila after six to eight years, I was struck by the changes that had taken place in this region, particularly Madhubani and Darbhanga. The most noticeable change was the condition of the roads, which had greatly improved since my last visit. The roads were not only paved but were also well-built for durability, which was important given the natural disasters that often occurred in Mithila such as floods and earthquakes.

I saw a clear difference between the roads funded by state schemes under the chief minister and the roads funded by the central government schemes under the prime minister. The latter were better constructed, more durable, and made of high-quality materials. In contrast, the state-funded roads were in a dilapidated state and were poorly constructed, leading to them being in bad shape.

One such road in Raj Nagar, which my uncle took me to see, had cost more than one crore rupees to build, but was full of pebbles and stones. My uncle informed me that the authorities in charge of construction took commissions and gave contracts to private contractors, leading to a lack of oversight and regulations. This corruption was a prevalent issue in the state-funded projects, while the central scheme roads were smooth and well-maintained.

Despite the corruption, the people of Mithila were optimistic about the economic changes occurring in the region. The central scheme had funded clean drinking water, which was a much-needed amenity that Mithila lacked since India’s independence. Poor villages were provided with two big tankers fixed atop a big blue structure that provided water to households. However, rich villages like mine didn’t require such facilities as they could afford water connections and owned vast estates.

Mithila is known for its lush green fields, and during my visit, I observed that the crops were fresh, qualitative and well-farmed. However, poor castes lacked these amenities and were worse off. Another observation was that both poor scheduled castes and Brahmins were mostly oppressed by the middle castes who held land. Many people supported Mr Modi’s government policies and economic schemes.

During my visit, I also saw the contrasting development between those who could afford luxuries like air-conditioned trains and flights, and those who could not. The development concerning railways, tracks, new lines, highways, and expressways had increased, and I saw a few new projects being carried out, including new airports such as the Darbhanga airport. However, the sectors concerning healthcare, hospitals, and education saw negligible development.

I observed that despite becoming richer, the villages were getting emptier and mostly inhabited by old people. For a fresh environment, the quietness was sometimes overwhelming. The temple complex made by the Maharaja of Darbhanga in Raj Nagar lay in ruins and was unattended. People blamed the state government for its apathy towards Mithila.

During my visit to Mithila, I was pleasantly surprised to find that the villagers were quite knowledgeable and well-informed about various national and international events. It was apparent that they had access to the latest news and were in touch with the new happenings around politics, social issues, and economics. They had strong opinions on various topics, ranging from the issue of Khalistan to the recent elections in Meghalaya, Tripura, and Nagaland.

During my visit to Mithila, I was amazed to find that even the villagers were aware of the Hindenburg Research report that was published in January, which alleged irregularities in Adani Enterprises Ltd’s operations. They were knowledgeable about the ongoing controversy surrounding Adani Enterprises Ltd and had strong opinions about the issue. It was impressive to see how even the villagers were aware of such significant events and had informed opinions about them. They were also wary of the imperial legacy of the West and had strong opinions about the Americans.

It was interesting to note that even the local representatives had involved the villagers in promoting the G20 events. People were given G20 stickers and advertisements to educate others about this sociopolitical event. Banners were also given to put on vehicles to promote the event. It was heartening to see the villagers taking an active interest in geopolitics and being asked to be ambassadors for such significant events.

Despite living in remote villages, the people of Mithila were not ignorant about the world around them. They were quite aware of the latest happenings and had informed opinions about various issues. Their involvement in promoting the G20 events showed that they were not just interested in knowing about the world but also in actively participating in it.

Furthermore, the issue of social disparity in Mithila was apparent during the visit. While the rich could afford luxuries like clean water connections, the poor were left to depend on the government for their basic needs. This disparity was also evident in the difference in the quality of life between the upper and lower castes. It is important to address these social inequalities and provide equal opportunities for all the residents of Mithila.

Moreover, the lack of development in healthcare and education is a cause for concern. The government should prioritize the development of these sectors to ensure that the people of Mithila have access to quality healthcare and education. Investing in these sectors will not only improve the quality of life for the people but also contribute to the long-term development of the region.

Finally, Mithila has made significant progress in terms of infrastructure and economic development. However, more attention needs to be paid to areas like healthcare and education, and the issue of social inequality must be addressed. It is heartening to see the residents of Mithila being well-informed about global events and taking an active interest in promoting international affairs. With the right investments and policies, Mithila can continue to grow and prosper, benefiting all its residents.

In conclusion, my visit to Mithila after six to eight years revealed significant changes, particularly in the condition of the roads, which had greatly improved. While corruption was prevalent in state-funded projects, the people of Mithila remained optimistic about the economic changes occurring in the region. However, the contrasting development in sectors such as healthcare, hospitals, and education remained a concern, and more attention needs to be paid to these sectors to ensure that Mithila’s growth is comprehensive and sustainable.

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Kishan Dev
Kishan Dev
Provocative Trash-talker. University of Delhi.
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