I am back in Bangalore after almost three weeks in Patna as an expenditure observer in Bihar elections. This was the third time I was an observer during elections, after my stints in Delhi and Bangalore. Many officers are reluctant to go on observer duty, but I personally view election duty as an honour bestowed by our glorious democracy to be a small clog in its wheel. I have learnt a lot from the various election duties I have participated in, both as an observer and as income tax nodal officer.
I had written a small piece on the election expenditure monitoring mechanism, while in Patna, and it has been published by the prestigious web journal, Indiatogether.org. A link to this article can be found below:
On a different note, Patna surprised me. The narrative on Bihar is, to a large extent, exaggerated in a disparaging sense. The state has decent roads and decent infrastructure. Electricity is a problem; there are frequent power cuts and many villages in the vicinity still lack an electricity connection. But the situation is not as bad as my friends from Bihar make me believe it to be. Nalanda and Rajgir are resplendent with ancient ruins and modern Buddhist stupas.
|A memorial to Hiuen Tsang built as a symbol of Hindi-Chini bhai bhai|
|The legendary travelogue writer, Hiuen Tsang|