(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)
October 17, 2010
Will Nitish's 'Shining
Campaign Meet Vajpayee's Fate?
occurred in the politics of
travelling for few
days in Mithilanchal and Seemanchal areas of the state and interacting
people, this question arises in my mind: will Nitish's campaign meet
fate as that of Vajpayee's 'Shining India' in 2004 Lok Sabha polls? The
similarity between the two campaigns is striking in one aspect: at a
the actual conditions of the poor have worsened, they are being
to take part in a 'Shining' affair. And the poor in
In a state
of people are dependent on agriculture and most of whom are landless,
agricultural production has declined in three years out of five years
JD(U)-BJP government. If Arjun Sengupta commission came out with the
figure of over 70 per cent Indians earning less than Rs 20 per day,
studies in Bihar have concluded that the poor in
In such a
the administration tries to fleece money from the poor for delivering
minimum welfare schemes, they are naturally livid. The Public
implementation is a farce in
Not only such
exists at micro level, the people of
constant effort to showcase improved roads as “development” is not
with the poor although the middle classes seem to be receptive and in
feel that this regime is a better one over the previous Laloo regime.
Mahato, a rickshaw puller in
The other important part of 'Shining Bihar' campaign is the false claim of improvement of law and order situation in the state. Nitish Kumar, as also other bourgeois parties, have adopted a clever approach as far as accommodating criminals in these elections is concerned. They have given tickets to the wives of criminals. For example JD(U) has fielded for Lalganj constituency Annu Shukla, wife of Munna Shukla who is serving a life sentence in a murder case. Similarly known criminal element Mohd Taslimuddin has been welcomed into JD(U) from RJD recently. So, all this talk of improved law and order situation is false as the number of crimes is gradually increasing, particularly crimes against women and dalits. There are many custodial deaths and rapes. There is also the phenomenon of hardcore criminals supporting the ruling combine turning into white collar criminals – becoming contractors and taking a large share of loot in the name of development works.
Nitish Kumar is presenting a picture as though he is above caste politics. But in reality he is playing hard casteist politics. After successfully weaning away the other backward castes from Laloo Yadav through formation of “Extemely Backward Castes”, he is now targeting the dalits. Out of 24 dalit sub castes, 23 have been clubbed into “Maha Dalits” and separate schemes announced for them. One sub-caste left out is Paswan community. The reason being obvious: break the dalits rallied behind the Lok Janashakti Party of Ramvilas Paswan, which is fighting these elections in alliance with the RJD.
With more than a month remaining in the final votes to be cast here, it remains to be seen whether the people's anger against the government would hurt the prospects of JD(U) in a decisive manner or whether the propaganda blitz accompanied by clever caste manoeuvring will help Nitish sail through for a second term.