Since time immemorial, India was referred to as 'a golden bird' and Bihar as 'a seat of learning' where great universities like Nalanda and Takhshila and noted scholars like Chanakya dispersed knowledge among the people. The blessed land of Bihar has been witness to several momentous events owing to its historical, cultural, social, economic, geographical and political importance.
This book is an attempt to acquaint readers with diverse topics related to the state of Bihar in the format of a questionnaire. Every effort has been made to introduce readers to little-known aspects of the state. The book deals with Bihar's history, political system, geographical expanse, industry, agriculture, forest, tourism, education, arts and sports. The book contains 1,000 questions with four answers each, one of which is correct. These questions could have been placed directly, but that would not have generated interest among the readers. They have, therefore, been segregated under various topics so as to enthuse the readers. This format, we believe, makes the whole exercise of answering the questions less monotonous.
May we be allowed to say that this collection is the most comprehensive quiz book on Bihar.
Aneesh Bhasin Born: July 12, 1981 in New Delhi.
Education: B.A. (Honours) and M.A. in Political Science from Delhi University. Post-graduate diploma in Journalism and Mass Communication from Kurukshetra University. Took a course in Hindi publication technique and proof-reading from Kendriya Hindi Sansthan, Agra's Delhi centre. Name on merit list as a topper in college.
Present vocation: Pursuing freelance writing for the last four years. Articles published in many national newspapers. Teaching in private institutes for the last many years.
Even before I set out to write this book, I was asked a thousand times - 'Why a quiz book on Bihar?' I was never irritated. In fact, it has been a privilege to underscore my intent by flipping the pages of history, from the ancient to the present. True, the image of the great land took some beating in the past, but that was primarily because of political turmoil. That does not take away the glory from a land which has a history so cherished that the epics, Vedas and Puranas never tire of praising it. From the ancient times to the modern, Bihar has been the centre of learning, arts, literature, religion and spiritualism, the Karmabhumi of Lord Buddha and Lord Mahavira, a land which has seen traditional values mould a modern society without forgetting its roots. This is the reason why Bihar was and still is an inspiration for the country and, indeed, the whole world.
According to ancient history, the present region of Bihar was known as Magadh during the Maurya, Kushan and Gupta periods. At that time, there were a large number of Buddhist Vihars, for Bihar was the epicentre of Buddhism. Some of the prominent ones were Nalanda Vihar, Vikramshila Vihar and Odantpuri Vihar. The name Bihar originated from the Word 'Vihar' derived from Sanskrit and Pali, which means dwellings.
The Mughal emperors also left their imprint on this land' as did the founder of the Sur Empire, Sher Shah Suri. Between 1557 and 1576, Emperor Akbar seized Bihar and Bengal. The 10th and last Guru of Sikhism, Guru Gobind Singh was born in Patna. After the battle of Buxar in 1764, the British East India Company took over the administration of Bihar. The fertile land, pure water and skilled labour were attractions for many a foreign power like the British and the Dutch in the 18th century.
The British Raj saw a huge and powerful administrative region, with Bihar, Bengal and Orissa (now Odisha) united as part of the Bengal Presidency. On April, 1912, Bihar and Orissa were separated from the Bengal Presidency and made a separate region. In 1936, a further segregation led to Bihar and Orissa becoming individual regions. Post Independence, during the reconstitution of the states in 1956, Purulia was segregated from Bihar and merged with West Bengal. Nearly 44 years later in 2000, Bihar witnessed another division with the formation of Jharkhand, as a separate state, cut from its southern region.
To turn our attention to more objective questions now, the one factor that most people do not have is time. Moreover, this is an age of competition. Keeping both the factors in view, the book has been conceived in the form of an objective, multiple-choice questions. While compiling this book, all efforts were taken to collect little-known facts about the state. The book has different sections on Bihar's history, political fabric, geographical constitution, industry and employment, agriculture, forests, tourism, education, arts, culture and sports, among otheis. The book is a compendium of 1,000 questions which could have been placed straightway without dividing them into segments, but that would have robbed the exercise of its charm and curiosity that inhibits a reader while hunting for answers.
Bihar is too vast to be covered by merely 1,000 questions. Actually, not even 10,000 questions would have sufficed. However, I had a parameter within which to operate and it was my intention that the reader should be given as much basic information about the state as possible. Care was taken not to miss out on any important question that is basic to the understanding of a great land like Bihar. To give the questionnaire a proper perspective, 16 books on the state have been referred to and I am truly indebted to the writer of each one of them.
It is my humble belief that this book will prove to be of interest to students, examinees, researchers and, indeed, to the common readers. The acceptance of the book will be my true reward.
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