I am not a Bihari. Yet, Nitish Kumar’s victory in the just concluded Bihar elections, makes me want to rejoice. Somehow, I am not sure that I would want to do the same if (which is just to be politically correct) and when Mamta comes to power in Bengal.
True it will be a befitting end to the tyrannous rule of the Left so much that all that is left in Bengal is little of educated skilled labor, some fertile land, lots of uneducated farmers who have been seasoned to being the subject of the state’s undemanding and benevolent welfare system which emphasizes on rights and skips duties. All I would fear that lest it not be out of the frying pan and into the fire. Just as Red Bastion was turning atinge more blue, Buddha had managed to get the buy-in from the likes of Nirupam Sen on the need to reawaken the spirit of enterprise and virtues of hardwork … and thankfully Jyoti Basu is finally dead (touchwood!) comes the screaming and banner hoisting hooligans of Mamta busy to show their influence, even if that means weeding out the tender saplings of industrial growth planted. For the same reasoning (and the belief on collective wisdom being immune to seasonal irrationalities; something which is questionable) I will rejoice if Mamta gets re-elected on her second term.
Coming back to Bihar, I am tempted to call this state flooded with emotions. And not without ample reason.
- Indians gave a thumbs down to the BJP government after the India Shining campaign, even as Vajpayee had managed to pull off a remarkable Golden Quadrilateral, Dedicated Freight Corridors and given Indians a new hope. All for waht, beacuse some Indians were too jealous to accept that they (as per their assessment) had been left out of the growth story.
- Bill Clinton on his first India vist had pushed a very crucial thought. You cannot make progress and be happy if your neighbor is in distress. Its just not socially stable state and would invariably give rise to sparks and disturbances. Bihar has for long been in abysmal state of affairs. Its socio-economic indicators like health, education and Factors of productivity like GDP/GNP has been at the Nadir. All of this as the talented Biharis had to move out to find appropriate jobs and bear not only the taunts of the North Indian but the cuts and bruises from the Marathi Manoos.
- It shows the emergence of the quiet but unmistakably confident electorate in the Indian Democracy. One who is able to see through the showmanship of gaudy politicians; their hysterics of ‘Secularism’, the cry for cast driven agendas (Yadav, Dalit, Bhoomihar, Jat, Gujjar … ) and the fascination with the pedigree.
Youv’e got to hand it to them: The Indian Electorate. Afterall, Rahul Gandhi got his ‘footfalls’ but not their votes!