Glimpses of the change that started since Nitish Kumar took charge
For decades, Bihar epitomised everything shameful about India - corruption, poverty, nepotism, organised crime etc. It was worse than any Indian's worst nightmare - a contemporary antithesis of development. However, a popular mandate brought a Nitish Kumar-lead government to power in 2005 and the unexpected began to realise. As governance improved, development and economic growth followed. The much-visible progress helped Nitish Kumar renew his mandate in 2010 elections.
While Bihar has a long way to go before it is counted among the leading states of India, Nitish Kumar has shown that if politicans rise above narrow vote-bank formulas and calculations and focus on the agenda of development then they can reap healthy electoral dividends. On the eve of polls in various states, a look at an emerging Bihar.
In this photo: A vendor carries bangles for sale as he crosses a road in Patna, the capital of Bihar state January 21, 2012. Reuters