Book covering various aspects of life and culture of Bihar published and considered as a landmark book. CM Nitish Kumar ought to get credit for launching multi-pronged Bihar Diwas celebrations in 2012 that included government support to publications of books having bearing on various aspects of Bihar life and culture, as the department of history of Delhi University has this year put one such landmark book in the series in its syllabus for MPhil course and research on regional studies.
The book is ‘The Making of a Province, Select Documents on the Creation of Modern Bihar, 1874-1917, Chief Editor Ashok Aounshuman and two assisting editors are Srikant and Abhay Kumar, and the book has been brought out by Bihar State Archives (BSA).
On this Aounshuman says- “Yes, the department of history of Delhi University has included the book in its regional studies section for M Phil syllabus. Moment should be seen as recognition to the meaningful efforts that went behind the book that is exhaustive in scope and also very comprehensive. Overall, the credit for it should go to CM Nitish Kumar for initiating multi-dimensional celebration of Bihar Diwas in 2012. It made the book possible,”
As BSA director Vijoy Kumar puts it, “Sources used are indeed extensive, ranging from unpublished official records and sources to newspaper reports, letters to editors, articles, comments, extracts of books, memoirs, speeches and advertisements etc. collected from various archives and libraries across the country.”
Asked about the reception of the book in the academic circles of Bihar itself, Aounshuman said, “It is at the initial stage. Four senior college teachers of history have already given their remarks to BSA, calling the book as ‘most enduring work.’ The BSA itself has to decide the mode of distribution to reach out to various universities and colleges.”
Overall, the source materials used and collected throw light on emergence of Hindi both as national and Bihari regional marker, apart from various aspirational demands, like provision of facilities for economic, educational and institutional growth and cultural revival of the people suited to a ‘self- contained state’. “Even at that point of time, the general Hindu-Muslim unity was the bedrock of the movement. In fact, the contemporary sources called it ‘Bihar Model’ that could even be practised nationally,” Aounshuman said.