Bihar in India used to be one of those places where corruption and crime linked politicians make all progress impossible. Now, according to this article ("How Bihar Went from Basket Case to Case Study") that is no longer the case. It praises a local politician, Nitish Kumar, for the turnaround. The article is a nice illustration how fast such corruption basket cases can be changed.
It should be noted that neighboring Uttar Pradesh has simultaneously undergone a similar transformation. So maybe it is not only the presence of an idealist politician but was it also somehow "in the air".
Postscript. Foreign Policy had in januari 2012 another article ("The battle for Bihar") on the subject. It compares the situation in Bihar with that elsewhere in India where corruption is increasing.