THE BIHAR ELECTION result is out: the Bhartiya Janata Party-Janata Dal (United) have won with a slender majority. The counting went late into the night. However, since the BJP can’t care for such propriety as the Election Commission to formally declare the result, it already declared itself winner by around 11 PM.
I write to make a confession: I did not follow the build up to the Bihar election. The reason was, a few weeks back, I read analysis by someone I respect and sort of knew it was correct. The analysis had averred that BJP has a plan they were following and would most likely succeed.
Yes, as the ground changed, the analysis flew in face of the crowds Tejashwi Yadav was gathering. It flew in the face of what we know about the migrant workers’ woes on their marathon exodus during the corona virus related lockdown. Yet, I sort of agreed with it because of my very brief personal encounter.
In August, when I was working on the piece on how the lockdown had affected our mental health as a society, I had spoken to a number of workers from Bihar who had gone back. I asked them whose fault was it that such misery was inflicted on them?
Unanimously, the answer was ‘It was God’s will‘.
Even then, even after the workers had walked hundreds of kilometres, they refused to blame the government for their woes. No one blamed Modi at all.
First few times I heard the response, I was both surprised and angry. Then, I thought to myself: fatalism. That is what most of India is – fatalistic. The rest, the anti-incumbency, the BJP absorbed by containing it within themselves – getting Chirag Paswan to blame Nitish Kumar. What could be a better tactic?
Plus, of course, every institution including the EC is in the BJP’s hands. Last night’s complaints by Rashtriya Janata Dal and CPI (ML) (L) fell on deaf ears. They had alleged unfair counting, their candidates being declared won and not given certificates, and so on. No one heard them.
Much as I wanted the Mahagathbandan in Bihar to win, to teach unscrupulous BJP a lesson, the positives I still see from this are:
a) The entire bureaucracy in Bihar has been so accustomed to Nitish Kumar that they would have made Tejaswi’s life miserable. Especially, if he had a slender margin.
b) Frankly, if the margin were slender, I do not trust Congress MLAs one bit. Like Karnataka and Madhya Pradesh, they would have jumped at some stage for money and/or on promises of positions.
c) This is a great chance for Tejashwi and the Left to create, really create, a huge opposition voice in Bihar and in India. If we have to ever dethrone BJP, we need to learn to speak again.
For most of us looking for a response to BJP’s juggernaut, this is a disappointing result. But a battle lost does not mean the war is abandoned. Democracy is, after all, eternal vigilance.
Disclaimer : PunjabTodayTV.com and other platforms of the Punjab Today group strive to include views and opinions from across the entire spectrum, but by no means do we agree with everything we publish. Our efforts and editorial choices consistently underscore our authors’ right to the freedom of speech. However, it should be clear to all readers that individual authors are responsible for the information, ideas or opinions in their articles, and very often, these do not reflect the views of PunjabTodayTV.com or other platforms of the group. Punjab Today does not assume any responsibility or liability for the views of authors whose work appears here.
Punjab Today believes in serious, engaging, narrative journalism at a time when mainstream media houses seem to have given up on long-form writing and news television has blurred or altogether erased the lines between news and slapstick entertainment. We at Punjab Today believe that readers such as yourself appreciate cerebral journalism, and would like you to hold us against the best international industry standards. Brickbats are welcome even more than bouquets, though an occasional pat on the back is always encouraging. Good journalism can be a lifeline in these uncertain times worldwide. You can support us in myriad ways. To begin with, by spreading word about us and forwarding this reportage. Stay engaged.
— Team PT