Bihar is a state where social change is very slow. Once Kerala society was highly discriminatory but series of movements like prolonged peasants' movement, Sri Narayan Guru Movement, Teachers' Movement, Library Movement etc. changed the face of the society. Now Kerala society is supposed to be the most progressive among Indian states. Bihar has a poor history of reform movements. In spite of some notable changes on infrastructural and economic front, the social disparity continues to exist in a big but subtle way. Educated and well informed intelligentsia never took to actions against social discrimination and feudalistic mindset.

The Bihar government led by Nitish kumar appeared to be willing to bring two notable changes in Bihar, namely land reform and common school system but it could not muster courage to implement the report of either Bandopadhyay Committee or Common School System Commission. The initial euphoria to implement these reports were gradually died down as the dominant sections of the society including top bureaucracy never liked these ideas and found ways to divert these political initiative. Although Bihar government is being appreciated for some administrative reforms and use of e- governance in order to cater to the needs and solve problems of the common people without delay. But basic questions of disparity and feudal mindset remain to be unanswered. Rather recent use of some technology in governance has become source of increased exploitation, disparity and discrimination in the society. Bihar still has highest number of illiterates. As far as factors like computer literacy and access to computers are taken into consideration then for a major proportion of the populace of Bihar, such governance is painful, exploitative and discriminatory. Help/call/service centres run by the government are either inefficient or non responsive or unable to cater to the needs of the people in absence of expert manpower, limited infrastructure and resources, fast internet service etc. The private service centres are doing big business. Even a large number of students turn to them for different purposes like submission of online forms, downloading of hall tickets etc. A large number of politicians, public servants and bureaucrats are dependent on others to retrieve information or for other uses of computers. They are ill- trained in discharging their duties efficiently. Most of the general e- complaints remain unattended.

It is not that I am against use of e governance, I am very much in support of it provided that the government could ensure timely, free and hassle free services to the common people who are either computer illiterate and don't have access to computers and internet. I never like such system who fails to serve the people and never ready to call it modern and progressive until capable of serving the common people. Any technology can not be modern only because it works efficiently and has larger impact on an alien society having altogether different context. We need a technology that can be efficient and effective in our context. Our policy planners and bureaucracy can never think as per indigenous needs and as per specific social context, their abilities are limited to duplication and copying of ideas. They visit abroad on state expenditure not only to learn how they have evolved in their own contexts but to learn how to copy their technology even without any adoption. They have really killed the spirit of modernity and preferred to retain neo- feudalism so that their incompetent status could be protected in their hegemony.

Very recently on the day of Vijayadashami (3 October, 2014), over thirty people mostly women and children died in a stampede while leaving the famous Gandhi Maidan of Patna after watching the religious show of Ravan-vadh. According to Hindu scripture Ravan was a learned demon and symbolized evil forces. He was killed by Lord Ram on the last day of dussehra i.e. vijayadashami. The reason of death of over 30 innocent people was negligence towards public service and duty by the administration and police for which they are paid by the state. As usual for every such incident an inquiry is setup. Inquiry into an incident generally means avoiding or delaying actions or manipulating facts. All know that Patna stampede of vijayadashmi was caused due to closure of all gates of Gandhi Maidan except one; darkness as lighting was quite inadequate for huge number of people assembled in the huge ground; high mast and street lights not working; the only open gate was also partially closed; cattle trap outside of this gate in which people stumbled over was not repaired; no public address system available; no barricading of the ground done etc. In fact administration and police appeared to be the real demons whose negligence created situations for loss of valuable life of innocent people. What is the use of burning Ravana's effigy whereas our own protectors behave like demons.

This is a classic example of feudal mindset from Bihar where top officers do not prefer to think and make strategy by going to the fields and assessing situations and supervise the final preparation. Their behaviour is similar to Bihar landlords who love to keep lands but never like to go to farmlands for agricultural activities. In fact they hate doing menial work like ploughing, sowing, harvesting etc. Such works are generally done by the common people at the lower rung of society. Top officers of Bihar hate visiting and meeting people in the fields. They do not like to walk on foot. Even in crowded and prohibited places they like to visit in beacon lighted vehicles. Their lower order officers and most of the time school teachers do field jobs for them. In fact they do not behave as people's servants but as people's masters. It would be appropriate if officer/adhikari word is replaced by 'sevak' for example, prakhand/block sevak, anumandal/subdivision sevak, zila sevak like terms may be used. This might have some impact in sending the right signal to the people regarding their status.

In continuity to the above discussion it is very important to link the recent efforts of the government of Bihar towards popularization of disaster management, training and dissemination of information to the public in order to meet challenges thrown by disasters.Funds are being spent on these activities. There is a full fledged department of disaster management. Disaster management is being discussed at policy, programmes and execution levels. Disaster management has been made part of school curricula. But reality of preparations for disaster management can be visualized and assessed in light of recent stampede discussed above. I know there may be official reply that stampede is not a kind of disaster but I am sure it is a kind of disaster created by negligence and feudalistic attitude of administration.