Bihar elections are done and gone and BJP’s NDA has lost heavily. While the combine of Nitish Kumar, Lalu Prasad and Congress won a 2/3rds. In this combine RJD came out the winner with 80 seats. Congress also gained 23 seats. Interestingly, it was JD(U), Nitish’s party which lost most of the seats in a swing against it. BJP on the other hand had a negative swing of 38 seats.
The verdict is being hailed as a verdict for “incumbency” and “development”. But was it?
An election where the biggest gainers are Laloo Prasad Yadav’s RJD and Sonia-Rahul-Vadra combine Congress, hasn’t corruption really won the day? Laloo is out on a temporary bail and could be back in the jail anytime. And, to even suggest that Congress rule was anything but plunder, is masochistic lunacy of the highest order.
Two elections since the General elections of 2014 have given two results and both don’t augur well for India.
Delhi Elections: How Socialist narrative struck down Capitalism progress
Aam Aadmi Party’s spectacular victory in Delhi was predicated on Socialist/Communist agenda of how the state will give freebies and doles to the citizens. Free water and subsidized electricity. Free schools and toilets but without acquisition of land – arguably on land “gifted” by the villagers and citizens of Delhi altruistically. Other promises didn’t make much sense as well – No industrial waste would be dumped in Yamuna but no alternative was given as to where the industries will dump it? How will the change be made and financed?
15 lakh cameras will be installed for women safety but the cost discussed was only of a cheap camera in the calculations. No discussions of the data storage (running into several thousand TBs) and analysis or the other infrastructure like the cables etc to be installed.
With such an unsubstantiated and Socialist agenda, AAP won the elections handsomely.
Impact: Profit and business again became a “bad word”. For many decades the Nehruvian policies had smashed business atmosphere and created an elite class of some business houses who ruled the country amidst nationalization of resources and talent. It was after 1992 that things changed and looked up for everyone. But that change – where things became better for Indians was based on business becoming the central driving engine of the country. Individual excellence and entrepreneurship and unabashed capitalism was what pushed much of India’s population above poverty line and created the legendary middle class.Not just that, it created substantial foreign currency reserves as well.
All that meant that we – as a nation – had rejected Nehru and Indira’s Socialist structure once and for all. It was an abject failure the world over as it had been in India and now we were jettisoning it. That was the main lesson of the last decade of the 20th century.
Yet, Delhi elections turned that clock back all over again. AAP and others who supported it showed that they could turn the clock back to the “Garibi Hatao” days of empty slogans and faulty policies and yet win the elections.
But did anyone even realize the magnitude of the loss in terms of national and social narrative that India and Delhi suffered due to an antagonistic mindset towards one person? Modi. Did it occur to us that BJP which had refrained from making those useless promises deliberately had actually bet on the intelligence and experience of Delhi-ites. And they failed the bet miserably?
Didn’t we move backwards in terms of national narrative?
Now, moving to Bihar elections.
Bihar Results: Which Indian can rejoice Victory of Corruption?
All of the parties and people in the “Mahagathbandhan”, the only person who had some history of development was Nitish Kumar. But of all the three main constituents, the only party which had the largest negative swing was Nitish’s party! Actually Laloo – riding on Nitish’s back – revived not just his own fortunes but also the specter of extreme corruption in Bihar. If the average Bihari was concerned about her/his future and wanted to live happily in a lawful and justful state, then wasn’t this the worst act of masochism?
With 80 seats in an alliance with 178, does anyone wants to bet who will be doing the back-seat driving of the Government? Of course, Laloo! The guy who cannot contest the elections himself and hasn’t done for years ran the whole show with proxies is out to run yet another government in such an important state. Isn’t that a moment for reflection?
Unless the only rationale for the exuberance for the media and commentators is “Defeating BJP and Modi”, there is no explanation for rejoicing this verdict IF you care for this nation or for Bihar as part of that nation. If you have any other rationale than the inherently hateful “Anti-Modi” rhetoric (yes, I have heard every version of that so dont try it) to explain why this verdict was “good”, please explain to me. I cannot find any. Honestly.
I am simply reminded of the lyrics of the famous song penned by Prem Dhawan and sung by Talat Mahmood.
Karte rahe fizaa se hum sauda bahaar ka, badla diya to kya ye diya unke pyaar ka.
Sab kuch luta ke hosh mein aaye to kya kiya?