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100 years of Bihar

Bihar Day is much more than celebration. It is more than another public holiday. It is more than the pride and excitement of citizens who call themselves Biharis. Bihar Day, celebrated on 22 March to commemorate the State’s separation from Bengal in 1912, is the one day of the year where over 103 million individual Biharis, regardless of their religious beliefs, can come together in shared experience; an experience that may not be easy or necessary to articulate, but that – often unconsciously – binds them to this remarkable land and its people.

This is an important occasion to remind ourselves how lucky we are to be citizens of the most historical place in the world that is the cradle of Hinduism, the birthplace of Buddhism, Jainism and the tenth guru of Sikhs. Our cultural identities reflect the common historical experiences and shared cultural codes which provide us, as ‘one people’, with stable, unchanging and continuous frames of reference and meaning, beneath the shifting divisions and vicissitudes of our actual history. This ‘oneness’, underlying all the other, more superficial differences, is the truth – the essence of ‘Bihari-pan’ or simply ‘Biharism’.

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