Comparison could also be a wise advertising and marketing technique, however in politics it is used when the story of ‘change’ and ‘hope’ loses its appeal. And when the comparability will not be amongst equals, each in occasions and concepts, it provides rise to fallacies. Bihar at the moment is witnessing an identical comparability — 15 years of Nitish Kumar vs 15 years of Lalu Yadav.
“Aaya toh baar baar sandesa ameer ka, humse magar na ho sakaa sauda zameer ka” (Was provided the riches however couldn’t commerce in my conscience). It was a second of political reckoning for Nitish Kumar as he famously quoted this couplet and snapped ties with the BJP after Narendra Modi was introduced because the marketing campaign committee chairman in the BJP’s nationwide govt in Goa in June 2013. He launched into a journey that might for a quick whereas mission him as a possible PM candidate of the then opposition. The relaxation as we all know is historical past.
Sociologist Manisha Priyam questions the comparability and means that by doing this, the JD-U is placing itself on an equal platform with the RJD. “It’s a non-comparator because Nitish has a good governance image. The question that will be asked is why does he need to compare himself with 15 years of Lalu anyway? Why does he need to compare with an RJD that’s being led by a young politician, Tejashwi Yadav. What’s the compulsion to make this comparison? Maybe it was good to do it in 2005, but why now?”
So, is Nitish Kumar on the defensive as he tries to promote worry of ‘jungle raj’ third time over? Does he not have new themes for a greater Bihar? Nitish has unveiled the second half of his ‘7 Nishchay’ scheme, a set of pre-poll guarantees that led to Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) chief Chirag Paswan elevating the flag of insurrection and exiting the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) in Bihar.
In 2015, Bihar noticed a political experiment in the Mahagathbandhan when arch-rivals however pals of the socialist motion, Nitish Kumar and Lalu Yadav, got here collectively. Nitish was the face and Lalu the social engineering drive. The ‘jungle raj’ tag was forgotten and Nitish was vociferous in reminding those that this alliance was right here to remain. Born out of compulsion, this was a coalition of opportunism.
Nitish had run the federal government with the BJP from 2005 until 2013. Those have been the years when Bihar regarded buoyant, and Nitish the beacon of hope driving excessive on Bihari satisfaction. The state witnessed many firsts with 50 per cent reservation for ladies in panchayats, reservation for economically backward courses (EBCs), speedy trials and convictions. The religion in rule of legislation was restored. The folks of Bihar gave him a good larger mandate in 2010. The NDA received 206 seats in the 243-member Bihar meeting.
The Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) didn’t get sufficient seats to even stake declare for the Leader of Opposition place. The subsequent few years would additional set up Nitish’s political integrity, squeaky clear picture and place him as ‘sushasan babu’ (man of good governance).
But then got here the period of political turmoil, which impacted his governance too.
According to knowledge sourced from the Bihar authorities’s Department of Home, the quantity of kidnappings in the state has gone up by nearly 5 occasions. Cases of reported rapes in the state elevated 1.5 occasions throughout Nitish Kumar’s third time period, as in comparison with his first 5 years as CM. The state registered a relentless improve in incidents of homicide, dacoity, theft, housebreaking and theft in 2019 as in comparison with 2005.
Bihar noticed an training revolution below Nitish Kumar. Girls on bicycles on the roads of Bihar was the defining picture. Enrolment charges amongst ladies spiked in main and higher main faculties by near 20% since 2005-06.
However, in 2016-2017, Bihar recorded the best proportion of dropouts in main training at 38.69%, a lot worse than the nationwide common of 26.96%. In 2018, Muzaffarpur shelter residence scandal got here to gentle the place circumstances of sexual abuse, rape and torture have been reported. In a medical examination, it was discovered that 34 out of 42 inmates residing in the shelter residence have been sexually abused.
Nitish Kumar’s dealing with of the incident drew sharp criticism from the Supreme Court. In one other incident at Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidyalaya in Triveniganj, 250 km from Patna, a mob thrashed a bunch of ladies inside their college premises after they resisted harassment by boys. It confirmed Bihar was slipping between the fault traces.
Sanjay Kumar, director of the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies (CSDS), says, “Nitish Kumar’s aura of ‘Vikas Purush’ has been much bigger compared to the real achievements. In order to cover up the reality, you have to compare it to someone who has done much less; so the tool of comparison is being used by Nitish Kumar. The first 5-7 years of Nitish were fantastic; there is evidence for that. His 2010 victory was the biggest victory because of the work done by him between 2005 and 2010.”
“In 2010, the NDA led the RJD by 14-15% votes. That’s an enormous victory, just like Lalu’s victory of 1995 when he had simply accomplished 5 years as chief minister. He led the NDA by 13% votes. So the primary 5 years have been significantly better,” Kumar adds.
In 2019, Bihar saw floods and the images of Bihar’s deputy CM Sushil Modi being evacuated from his Patna home were flashed across national news channels. That symbolised how the state’s poor urban infrastructure, poor drainage system were a grim reality. According to the 2011 Census, the rate of urbanisation was 11.3% in Bihar, compared to the national average of 31.2%.
Bihar today doesn’t have any showcase city. During the fifth annual cleanliness survey of the country, Bihar continued to be at the bottom of the list with the six dirtiest cities coming from the state. The coronavirus pandemic made matters worse. Nitish Kumar was the only chief minister who raked up iron gates at the state border and refused entry to returning migrants in their home state. While the CMs of other states, including neighbouring Uttar Pradesh, sent buses to ferry its people back home, Nitish Kumar abandoned his own.
Today, the state is seeing a recent problem with its migrants returning residence, including to unemployment. The Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy mentioned that the unemployment fee in Bihar elevated by nearly 3 times between 2011-12 and 2018-19. The National Sample Survey Office (NSSO) knowledge revealed that unemployment amongst ladies in 2011-12 spiked by nearly 30% when put next with 2004-2005.
In 2005, when he first launched into his yatra to Champaran forward of coming to energy, Nitish rigorously selected Mahatma Gandhi’s place of Satyagraha. It was about connecting to the folks of the state with an ethical attraction. For all of 15 years, Nitish Kumar has been a pacesetter who has had no challenger in the state; the one challenger was in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections. Today, the challengers to Nitish Kumar in Bihar are the sons of his JP motion pals.
If 2005 was in regards to the satisfaction of Bihar, in 2010 Nitish remodeled himself right into a Sushasan Babu, and in 2015 he was the challenger to BJP. If a comparability with 15 years of RJD is all he has to supply in 2020, he would seem as a pale shadow of his personal previous to many.