“By the time I joined as SP, the place already had a long history of crime. I was quiet young and had been recently married. So, there was a bit of initial unease, having been then quite well settled in Patna as City SP and upon hearing about its notoriety. But landing in Bagaha, I enjoyed some of the best days of my life explring wildlife in the forests and diaras in the process of chasing hideouts of naxals and criminals.” Vaibhav told PatnaBeats in an interview.
But, the 2003-batch Bihar-cadre officer, hailing from Begusarai, says this wasn’t the most daunting task he has faced in career so far.
“Heritage consciousness in India, especially in Bihar is very low. We see things in front of us, but do not recognise its value, let alone do something about it. My policing job took me to some of the most historical places in Bihar. And, I always thought of somehow inculcating among people the love for their heritage,” Vikas Vaibhav said.
Born in 1979, and raised in Barauni Refinery township and later in Delhi and Noida, Vikas Vaibhav says, “Even in Rohtas, the famous Rohtasgarh Fort stood to us as a symbol of lost glory, and I somehow felt that police operations weren’t the route to lasting peace.”
“Policing is a very stressful life and so delving into culture and heritage, breaks the monotony of that stressful life,” Vikas Vaibhav said.
“These places should be celebrated and be linked with tourism to boost not just our economy but also the image of Bihar in general,” he said.
On the present status of heritage in Patna, he says, “The core of the city should be preserved, and new constructions should come up in open areas a little away from the city, since Patna is a historic place, and the capital city’s old charm and character must be kept.”
“The same place now appears different, after having read Mahabharat. I am reading the Sanskrit version. Though I am not fully conversant with this ancient language but I can understand it mostly in this context. And, reading the epic in Sanskrit has a different feel altogether,” says Vikas Vaibhav .
Asked, if not civil services, what other career he would have chosen, he said, “Definitely engineering. I had started working with NTPC in UP, after finishing my BTech in 2001. And, I would have continued.”
“And, whether it is policing or researching on some historical thing, my science background only helped, and I always had and an investigative mind, and finding an ancient temple in some remote village or an old script on a stone gives a sense of discovery,” Vikas Vaibhav said.
“My affair with heritage, I would say, began with photography, and now I wish to continue this affair, besides doing my daily job. I am able to balance both,” Vikas Vaibhav says, with a smile.