It has been 8 years and 5 different cities now, so I can say, I have a vivid idea about people’s opinion of people from Bihar, in general. Biharis are generally considered to be poor and uncouth, in fact in the NCR region, they call any uncouth, uncivilized person, a Bihari, well regionalism is not so sophisticated an act too, but we will delve into that later.
It happened primarily when due to the non-availability of jobs and opportunities, people started fleeing Bihar in the 90s. They moved to bigger cities to petty jobs, mainly because it was their need. They started sleeping on the footpath and saving money for their family back home. Their dialect of Hindi was different and certainly the way of living was poor and uncouth.
What people saw on television, was a guy with no manners and sophistication, sitting on the CM’s seat up there and what they saw on the streets was a guy so poor that he could not afford even a place to lay in the night. The images were somewhat coherent.
There was another crowd of Biharis, swamping all across the country, the students. Due to the ‘black era’ of governance, as I like to call it, the society never opened up at par with other cities. So, when the teens from Bihar went out to those cities, it was quite unusual to them. Some tried to adapt, some to repel. This created a whole strata of students, different from all other of their age, in an unknown place. They became friends and that is why you see a Bihari group in every damn college of the country.
But things have changed in the last decade, with the change of government and the excellent PR strategy Mr Nitish Kumar deployed, there has been a change of perception about Biharis.
Today, a typical Bihari stands as:
‘ A guy who is not the most sophisticated of the lot, but is immensely hard-working, a fighter, values relationships and is adaptable to anything.’