Apart from local inhabitants people from Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana too reside in Bihar. The South Indians residing in Patna perform Ayappa puja with full devotion and furvour. They also celebrate Onam with equal fanfare. During Onam, it seems Patna has turned into mini Kerala
India is inhabitant of the people with diverse cultures and languages. People migrate from one state to other in search of jobs or employment. A large number of such people have settled in different states. Bihar too is no different, as people from various states have settled here. A distinct section among them is people from Southern states including Kerala, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Telengana and Tamil Nadu. Some of the families migrated to Bihar around 1947 and now their third to fourth generations live. These people have not only preserved their original culture and traditions, but also remain active in local festivals and social activities.
Patna, the State capital, has a huge building of South India Cultural Council known as ‘Bharat Mandapam’. It is situated near one of the busiest markets at Vidyapati Road and also Patna Museum. South Indian festivals are observed here with full enthusiasm. It includes some of the popular dances including Mohiniattam and Kathakali. The organisation has played a key role in generating interest towards these dances among the local people of Bihar. Secretary of the Council Shri Ajit is from Kerala. His father Shri SK Panikar had joined Patna University in 1965. He was basically called by his maternal uncle Shri Krishna Pillai who had shifted to Patna in 1949. Since then, Bihar is the place of work for their entire family. During this period, he developed a bond with Bihar and its local culture. He appraised Shri Panikar about the goodness found among the Biharis. At the same time he also stressed the need to apprise the local Bihari people of the Kerala culture. The work started by Shri Panikar is now being looked after by Shri Ajit who even married a Bihari girl Kriti who is a teacher in Commerce College of Patna.
There are over a thousand South Indian families in Bihar. They influence the medical and education sectors. Teachers and nurses from Kerala can be found in almost all hospitals and schools or colleges of the State. They even manage many good schools in Patna, Bihar Sharif, Jogbani and other areas. These institutions have played a key role in enhancing the literacy rate in the State. They have also contributed hugely in the field of journalism. Resident Editor of The Hindustan Times in Patna is Mammon Mathew who has earned good reputation in the field of journalism.
Apart from Kerala, there are families from Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana. People from Andhra Pradesh and Telangana are mainly associated in construction activities. Keralaites have formed many organisations also including Patna Nair Service Society, Kerala Kala Samithi, Kerala Club, etc. Nair Service Society is a highly reputed, which runs 47 colleges and more than 1,500 schools in the State. It also runs Engineering and Medical Colleges in Kerala. Earlier the organisation was active in Kerala alone, but on insistence of the Keralaites residing in Bihar it started work in Bihar also.
Patna Nair Service Society was formed on April 4, 1976. According to Shri PK Vasudevan Pillai, founder member of the organisation, they celebrate April 4 as Red Letter Day. Apart from Patna, the Nair Service Society also has activities in Kolkata, Bhopal and Delhi. The South Indians residing in Patna perform Ayappa puja with full devotion and furvour. They also celebrate Onam with equal fanfare. During Onam, it seems Patna has turned into mini Kerala. These people have contributed hugely in development of Bihar.