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Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Vintage Bihar Collection

Bihar's glorious history is replete with innumerable instances of heroics and milestones which have left indelible marks on mankind. It's rare to find images of Bihar's glorious past on Internet. Vintage Bihar collection is an effort to showcase those rare glimpses of few historic moments and a peep into history.


Most of these images have been searched from archives. I am trying to create a collection with such rare images from the past, which could be used as a reference content for generations to come.This collection has few rare Bihar images from 1800-1970's. Hopefully this should provide some perspective on Bihar's glorious past.

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Saturday, September 10, 2011

Bihar Calling

Take take a look at what happens when the Bihar story actually sustains itself. New Bihar through the eyes of the few entrepreneurs who have returned to their homeland to be a part of this striking change. This report showcases few individuals who have decides to start unique ventures in Bihar to generate employment opportunities.

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Thursday, August 11, 2011

Mother Teresa International Film Festival - Patna

Mother Teresa International Film Festival is going to take place from 2nd to 5th September 2011 in Patna. The festival has been held at Kolkata, Agartala, Shillong, Udaipur, Chennai and other cities in India on a grand scale.

This three day film festival will showcase special movies based on life and characteristics of Mother Teresa and include various other programs. The main objective of this event is to show people the love and compassion of Mother towards humanity, let people meet and understand the most valued but often missed human traits of love, peace and harmony.

Aim is to spread the global message of Mother through this event. Mother Teresa, the famous and most respected of Catholic nuns also known as “angel of mercy” and “flame in the slum” is a saintly figure to not only the Christian community but to all religious and social groups of the world. She was honoured by Bharat Ratna and Nobel Prize. Mother Teresa was born in 26th August 1910 in Albania and moved to India where she got Indian citizenship. She died on 5th September 1997. AASRA Charitable Trust has received permission from SIGNIS Bengal [license holders and organisers of MTIFF] to conduct the event in Patna.

The event is to be a tribute to the Mother from all members of civil society, Church and State. MTIFF 2011 is being held for the first time in Patna. It has been held in India, Japan, South Korea, Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Macau, Cambodia, Vietnam, Thailand, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Myanmar, and Italy. It has travelled from Kolkata to about 50 destinations in India.

The films will be shown to the general public with special screenings for students and the differently abled. An estimated 6,000 viewers are expected to visit the festival venue.

Reach out to AASRA if you would like to be part of this event.

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Sunday, July 10, 2011

Blissful Bihar Collection

Slideshow from the Blissful Bihar Flickr Group

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Friday, July 08, 2011

IITians leave cushy jobs to work with farmers

A farming initiative by the two IITians Shashank and Manish has helped the villagers of Bihar's Vaishali district earn three times what they used to earn a year ago. The initiative has been introduced in 30 villages so far.

The two IITians who refused to pursue a cushy and lucrative career and decided to work at the grassroots. They headed to Bihar to help farmers get a better life. The conventional farming is now being turned into scientific farming, new crops are being experimented and the bumper harvest is already changing the facet of the region. Not only this IIT duo, but thousands of farmers are benefited in the process.

'Farms and Farmers', the name of their farming initiative, has now become a household name. The initiative has helped farmers learn and implement new techniques such as water harvesting and organic farming. Each technique is tailored to the soil content and land size. Cash crops such as rajma and flowers have replaced the conventional rice and wheat farming in the region.

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Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Bihari Folk Song on Coke studio

Dheere Dheere

A medley of four folk songs from Jharkhand and Bihar that describe 4 different situations in a woman’s life.

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Sunday, June 12, 2011

Highway On My Plate - Bihar

NDTV's Highway On My Plate: The duo discover the finesse behind Litti Chokha and other delicacies like Maner ke Ladoo and the nuances of an unusual sweet made from cottage cheese fried to a golden hue in Bihar.

Rocky and Mayur are in Bodh Gaya where they find food nirvana at a wonderful restaurant.

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Sunday, May 15, 2011

Bihar Entrepreneurs Network (BEN) Conference

Bihar is witnessing a unprecedented surge in investment sentiments, private players have shown keen interest in tapping the great potential which Bihar has to offer. Biharis around the world have also been keenly observing the growing revival of Bihar and there long cherish dream to invest in Bihar. Most of the Non Resident Biharis are challenged due to lack of support and direction on how to start ventures in Bihar. Bihar government has started Bihar Foundation chapters to encourage Biharis around the world to network and reestablish connection with Bihar. 

With so much action around, few passionate Biharis have come together to start Bihar Entrepreneur network (BEN). BEN is a team entrepreneur, executives from diverse industry background, academicians, policy makers, Bihar enthusiasts. They have come together to host the inaugural annual event “BEN Conference” in the historical city of Bodh Gaya, Bihar India, which will be the largest professional and networking conference for entrepreneurs in Bihar. Bencon 2011 will have panel discussions on real estate, education, energy, healthcare, tourism and e-governance. There will be workshops on business plan basics and a business plan competition for students.

BEN conference will have impressive list of guest speakers who will be attending the meet in Bodh Gaya on May 21 and 22 to highlight the potential of the State as the destination for investments. Prominent speakers will include, among others, Mr Nitish Mishra: Minister, Rural Development Department, Government of Bihar, Mr Vijoy Prakash ,Principal Secretary, Planning & Development, Mr S M Raju , Commissioner, Tirhut, Mr Madhukar Shukla, Professor, XLRI, Mr U S Pandey , an expert in the field of renewable energy.

If you are interested in registering for the event , please register here

We are also seeking sponsorship to support this event, please contact here

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Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Vaishali ~ Blissful Bihar

Vaishali or Vesali (Pali) was the capital city of the Licchavi, one of world's first democratic republics, in the Vajjian Confederacy (Vrijji) mahajanapada, around the 6th century BC. It was here in 599 BCE the 24th Jain Tirthankara, Bhagwan Mahavira was born and brought up in Kundalagrama in Vaishali republic, which make pious & auspicious pilgrimage to Jainist. Also Gautama Buddha preached his last sermon before his death in ca 483 BCE, then in 383 BCE the Second Buddhist council was convened here by King Kalasoka, making it an important place in both Jain & Buddhist religions.

At the time of the Buddha, Vaishali, which he visited on many occasions, was a very large city, rich and prosperous, crowded with people and with abundant food. There were 7,707 pleasure grounds and an equal number of lotus ponds. Its courtesan, Amrapali, was famous for her beauty, and helped in large measure in making the city prosperous. The city had three walls, each one gávuta away from the other, and at three places in the walls were gates with watch towers. Outside the town, leading uninterruptedly up to the Himalaya, was the Mahavana, a large, natural forest. Nearby were other forests, such as Gosingalasála.

The city finds mention in the travel accounts of Chinese explorers, Fa Hian (4th century CE) and Xuanzang (Hiuen Tsang) (7th century CE), which were later used in 1861 by British archaeologist Alexander Cunningham to first identify Vaishali with the present village of Basrah in Vaishali District, Bihar.

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Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Leaders Inspire – Perspective on leadership style of M S Dhoni & Nitish Kumar


It takes moment in life to make it special, dream of a generation, imagination of a nation, heartbeat of billions, and then the prayers finally were answered. India lifted the world cup 2011 with great pride and emotions. What Dhoni and his men have achieved will remain etched in the memory of our generation forever. Tears of joy, cries of triumph, and a sense of gratitude filled our hearts as the realization of world cup victory finally sinks to the nation.

Celebrations still continue and what really stood out was the cool and razor sharp finesse which Dhoni displayed in his leadership style throughout the tournament. Perhaps he summed it up himself when he said how his decisions could have been questioned. But as lady luck had it, Dhoni will smile all the way to the glorious annals of cricketing history, perhaps the most successful India captain ever.

One can’t help but draw parallels of his leadership style with another great leader Nitish Kumar who was the Man of Year 2010 for bringing a ray of hope and faith in the murky theater of Indian politics. Nitish Kumar, Chief Minister of Bihar, won his world cup (Bihar elections) consecutively by transforming the electoral dynamics in Bihar. Both Nitish and Dhoni have uncanny similarities in the way they operate and bring out few unique dimensions of their leadership style in their own sphere of influence. They have displayed remarkably identical traits and style which really demonstrates similarity in their leadership style and ability to influence outcomes.

Communication is the key 

Dhoni has always spoken his mind out on every aspect of Indian cricket. Often criticized for being too blunt, he has never been a favorite of his bosses in BCCI. Nitish Kumar also stands out for being upfront and plain talks, he has often earned wrath of media, alliance partners and even his own team members for speaking his mind out. Another interesting aspect that stands out of Dhoni and Nitish is the way they have been humble and open enough to admit weaknesses. Dhoni didn’t mince any words in castigating his fielders publicly and even accepted that few decisions didn’t work to the plan. 

Likewise, Nitish has publicly rebuked his own party men and allies on many programs and policies. At the same time, one must acknowledge that they have set right goals, worked with their teams to strive together as a team. As the captain of the team, both have been articulating there plans and vision for the teams.

Get the best out of limited means

One of the most inspiring aspects of both these leaders has been how they have struck to the basics of managing their teams. With limited resources at hand, they have ensured that they get the best out of each situation to work to their team’s advantage and thereby imbibing the culture of self-belief and resilience. Despite India’s limited bowling attack, Dhoni marshaled team well and always had an ace in his weak link whenever opposition came to bat. Though Indian bowling attack never looked lethal, but it was very effective and result oriented when it came to the crunch. Dean Jones went to the extent of saying that Dhoni must be dreaming to win this world cup with current Indian bowling attack. With this victory, he has really proved that dreams do come true if only we work as a team.

Similarly Nitish has always worked under constraints, he never had the luxury to spend on public welfare programs, with limited resources and little financial aid he has been able to transfer a state by just ensuring that limited resources are put to optimum utilization. He has proved that good governance can lead to electoral success and one need not always fall back on petty politics of caste and chicanery to achieve political victory. Despite low per capita income & investment, lowest Credit deposit ratio in the country, Bihar has had the 2nd highest growth rate in the country for the last 5 years. Bihar chief minister got applauds from none other than Melinda Gates for his achievements in increasing the immunization rate in Bihar . “In 2005, when Nitish Kumar became the chief minister of Bihar, the burden of disease in the state was massive. It also had a low immunization rate, 33 per cent compared to the global average of 70 per cent. By 2010, however, Bihar’s rate had risen to 66 per cent,” said Melinda

Lead from the front

Boy.. who can question Dhoni on his ability to lead from the front ( though he remains behind the wicket). When it came to the rubber hitting the road, Dhoni stood up for the challenge like a true champion. Not only did he score well and took the battle back to the opposition, he ensured he is there till the end to give the final punch, and what a thump it was. 

Nitish, just like Dhoni has always taken things head on and confronted his party members, policy makers on every public policy decision. He was the first one to come out and declare his assets when he enforced public declaration of assets and wealth owned by all public servants. They have both inspired there teams by their actions and has also given them hope in times of despair. 

What’s even more surprising is that both Dhoni and Nitish has been called the Obama of cricket and politics respectively. Despite many parallels, both are believed to be inspiring leaders in their own rights.

Delegation, Decentralization &  Team work

Gary Kirsten went on record to state how Dhoni gave him complete freedom to work in his areas. He said “Dhoni was the man in charge once they crossed the rope” while he continued doing his job off the field. Great leaders are not the most talented; they realize they realize that as long as they get the best from everyone there job is done. Dhoni as a batsmen and wicket is not the greatest of all, but he helped the team achieve its peak with help of Kirsten and Sachin and other senior players. He has allowed every one the space to breathe and creating a sense of joint ownership with harmony.

Unlike both Nitish and Dhoni predecessors, there was no noise in public space to display sense of being in control or vulgar display of authority on trivial issues. Nitish Kumar has delegated few key responsibilities to his key advisor N K Singh ( Rajya Sabha MP & Economist) & Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Modi. Just like Kirsten, N K Singh is believed to be the master strategist and close advisor of Nitish Kumar. Kumar also re-energized the local governments in the form of panchayats or assemblies, by giving them more responsibility for areas such as education.

Dare to dream and take risk 

Both Dhoni and Nitish have been non-conformist in their decision making style. They have dared to risk their own stake by taking decisions that may have backfired. Dhoni’s decision to drop Ashwin and take Nehra may have backfired but it proved otherwise in the match against Pakistan. Similarly, the decision to promote himself in the batting order during the final match would have come for severe criticism if he had failed to perform with the bat. His ability to back his team and stand for his decisions has really earned respect from his team and peers. 

Nitish has also charmed his followers and critics with his ability to implement out of box ideas which have had significant impact on social development in Bihar. Who would have imagined few years back that girls in Bihar would ride all the way to school and women’s will get 50% reservations in panchayat. Today, Bihar’s leads in various many initiatives, which other states are emulating. Programmes like Sarva Shikhsa Abhiyan, Mid-Day Meal scheme, NREGS and innovative schemes to suit marginal sections, setting up of District Child Protection Units (DCPUs) are few firsts which Bihar has stood out under leadership of Nitish Kumar. His party has often warned him of losing his vote base but Nitish has always implemented his ideas of development.

Humble beginning and private family life

Both Dhoni & Nitish have humble background and they continue to keep their family life very personal. Dhoni’s father worked in MECON and his brother and sister have also stayed away from public eyes. His close friends still count on him for any support. Nitish has also kept his personal intensely private; his family has always been away from media eyes, not much is known about his brothers and only son.

With all the glory and achievements, both of them there feet firmly stuck on the ground. They are indeed role models for today’s youth and inspire everyone to dream the impossible.

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Monday, March 21, 2011

Bihar Day Celebrations

Stage is all set for Bihar Day celebrations all over the world on March 22nd, 2011. Biharis over the world are joining the celebrations with great fanfare and pride. Bihar foundation and various Bihar related groups and associations have joined hands for the occasion across different countries and regions. The team is hosting various cultural and community gets together events to mark this momentous day. Bihar day marks the creation of the state when the British carved Bihar out of the Bengal presidency March 22, 1912. Read more about the history of Bihar’s creation here.

This year, Bihar Divas is being organized to mark the 99th anniversary of independent statehood of Bihar. The festival this year will be organized at a grander scale, as the state will be entering its 100th year. The HRD department will felicitate important persons who have created a niche for themselves in different fields. Grand festivities are in store for Patnaites on the occasion of Bihar Diwas celebrations set to begin on March 22.

These will kick off year-long celebrations that will culminate in 2012 Bihar Diwas centenary functions. A three-day extravaganza, including cultural and academic events, will also be held at Moinul Haq Stadium in Patna. An air show could also be organized and talks were on with the Air Force for the same.The three-day cultural extravaganza at Gandhi Maidan promises to be a musical treat with pure Bihari regional flavour, including Maithili, Bhojpuri, Magahi and Angika folk songs apart from classical songs, 'qawwalis' and kavi sammelans.

Bihar based associations in California, New Jersey in the US, Sydney in Australia, Seoul in South Korea, Qatar and Bahrain in the Gulf, besides Canada and Trinidad are the countries which will observe Bihar Day with pomp and grandeur. You can also enjoy the live show of  Bihar Day celebrations here.

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Monday, February 21, 2011

"The Bihar" Webzine inaugural edition

We are delighted to present our Bihar webzine which truly showcases the efforts of our people, for our people.

It’s an earnest attempt to connect Bihar to world and rest of world to Bihar. Our inspiration and guiding sources are the greats of Bihar like Ashoka, Chanakya and Lord Mahavira to name a few. We take great pride in our past and also look forward to usher into Bihar 3.0 which we believe will lead the country and world at large.

Our webzine truly represents the collaborative, passionate and committed efforts from friends of Bihar. We aspire to set new standards in our attempt to showcase the best which Bihar has to offer. Inspired by Constantin Brancusi, Romanian sculptor, quote "Create like a goddess, Command like a queen, Work like a slave", we believe this effort will strengthen our sincere resolution in scripting a new story of progressive Bihar and a better world.

Do share your feedback with us, it will extremely valuable in our journey.

Team Bihar


Thursday, February 10, 2011

Mahabodhi Temple - Blissful Bihar

The Mahabodhi Temple (महाबोधि मंदिर) (Literally: "Great Awakening Temple") is a Buddhist temple in Bodh Gaya, the location where Siddhartha Gautama, the Buddha, attained enlightenment. Bodh Gaya is located about 96 km (60 mi) from Patna, Bihar state, India. Next to the temple, to its western side, is the holy Bodhi tree. In the Pali Canon, the site is called Bodhimanda, and the monastery there the Bodhimanda Vihara. The tallest tower is 55 metres (180 ft) tall.Bodhgaya Temple and the tree are sacred in Buddhism. "Bodhi" means enlightenment, and the tree itself was actually a kind of ficus (or pipal) tree, which has been propagated from a sapling of the original tree under which he sat. The current living tree is 80 feet high and about 115 years old. Under the tree is a red sandstone slab that is said to be the Vajrasana, the diamond throne that Prince Gautama sat on when he attained nirvana.

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Sunday, January 02, 2011

Blissful Bihar Calendar 2011

Blissful Bihar is an attempt to showcase Bihar’s rich cultural & social legacy.Hopefully this calendar will remind the world of its glorious past & promising future that lies ahead.

Will be releasing the monthly calendar every month on this portal. Calendar is free to circulate, can be printed & shared with due credits.

So here’s wishing you all a great new year ahead and look forward to everyone’s feedback & suggestion. Do send me a note if you need the complete calendar for print.

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Wednesday, December 29, 2010

The Buddha, A Film by David Grubin

Watch the full episode. See more The Buddha.

This documentary for PBS by award-winning filmmaker David Grubin and narrated by Richard Gere, tells the story of the Buddha’s life, a journey especially relevant to our own bewildering times of violent change and spiritual confusion. It features the work of some of the world’s greatest artists and sculptors, who across two millennia, have depicted the Buddha’s life in art rich in beauty and complexity. Hear insights into the ancient narrative by contemporary Buddhists, including Pulitzer Prize winning poet W.S. Merwin and His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Join the conversation and learn more about meditation, the history of Buddhism, and how to incorporate the Buddha’s teachings on compassion and mindfulness into daily life.

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