The Bihar government is living up to its promise to confiscate the property of corrupt officials and turn them into primary schools.
That is what happened at the home (picture attached) of former motor vehicle inspector (MVI) Raghuvansh Kunwar at Chaira village in Samastipur district. The government has already begun the process of setting up a primary school there.
Raghuvansh Kunwar was allegedly caught red-handed accepting a bribe of Rs 50,000 when he was the MVI of Aurangabad district on September 24 ,2008. In the course of investigation, vigilance officials found huge unaccounted for wealth. The official said Raghuvansh Kunwar's properties include two plots and a four storey building in Patna's Kankarbagh locality, a house in Chaira, a jeep, Rs 1.94 lakh cash and investments of Rs 8 lakh. "He owns property worth Rs 80 lakh," the official said.
A case of disproportionate assets was subsequently lodged against him in 2009. Raghuvansh Kunwar is not alone as hearings in disproportionate assets cases are under way against 12 government officials of the state. An official said all the cases were likely to be disposed of within the next six months.
While our parliament is still deadlocked over the 2G spectrum scam, it came as music to the people of Bihar, a state which was known for corruption and inefficiency for a very long time, when Nitish Kumar, while addressing the joint session of Assembly last week said that his administration has put in a lot of measures to ensure transparency in the government. Nitish Kumar declared a war against corruption after he became chief minister for the second consecutive term last month. Six special courts -- two each in Patna, Bhagalpur and Muzaffarpur had been constituted by the state government with the permission of the Patna High Court for speedy trial of cases involving a sum of over Rs.25 crore. He has also asked his cabinet members to provide details of their assets online for everyone to see.
On the one hand, while Bihar is struggling to clean the state by going after corrupt politicians and bureaucrats, we also have someone like Anand Kumar in Patna, founder of Super 30, who is working very hard to provide free coaching (including a place to live and food) to 30 students of the economically backward community to prepare them for IIT-JEE, the entrance examination for the Indian Institute of Technology. All the 30 students in 2008, 2009 and 2010 made it to the IIT. After the success of Super 30 and its growing popularity, he got many offers from both, national and international companies - as well as the government for financial help, but he always refused it. He wanted to sustain Super 30 through his own efforts. Anand Kumar has set up an example for everyone to emulate. His name has become so big that he can get a plum position anywhere in the world but he chose to stay in Patna. Instead of just making his own life better, he decided to make the lives of 30 students better every year.
It might take hundreds of corrupt politicians and bureaucrats to give the state a dirty name but only a handful of people with good and honest intentions are required to fix it. I was having a phone conversation with one of his IAS secretaries and he told me that Nitish Kumar starts his day at 8 AM and it ends around 10 PM and he has only one thing on his mind '“ the development of Bihar. A very close advisor to Nitish Kumar said that the corrupt bureaucrats are scared to see Nitish even in their dream. Let us hope that there are more Nitish Kumar's in the country and this model can be replicated in other states.