The many implications!
First, the next Lok Sabha elections in 2019 could be very different!
Nitish Kumar, the alternative Prime ministerial candidate?
The revolt within the BJP can have other implications!
What about the future of the Congress?
Bihar is a backward state. So, not much close attention is not given to its performance under Nitish Kumar. It has recorded 12 per cent growth; its agri sector grew at 3 percent. Social sector progress is impressive too. Though there is a long way to go.
The Idea of India triumphed again, so say the India observers, both native and foreign. So far, it was a mixed feeling after the triumph of the BJP in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections. The triumph of the BJP party under Mr.Modi and the triumph of the Hindutva sent a mixed signal. On the one, 2014 election was attributed to the coming of the new ideology. In fact, many failed to notice that it was the sheer bungling by the UPA under Sonia-Manmohan team that sent the Congress to the dumps. The national party suddenly took a turn to promote the dynasty and in the mid-way we only saw a forlorn Rahul left to fend for himself.
So, Mr.Modi had the freedoms and an open ground to make his all India rallies with no one to interrupt him.
Now, in Bihar he had problems. He had formidable opponents, even if it was only Mr.Lalu Prasad Yadav Mr.Modi could have score some point. But with Nitish Kumar as the CM candidate with his moderate face, moderate tone and not without charisma and beside him the street fighter Lalu, the duo proved a fatal combination. Lalu matched Modi word for word, gesture for gesture.
Modi was really the outsider, Lalu the very insider. And given Bihar’s caste structure and the many captivating slogans, the Bihari electorate this time rose in almost a mass chorus that drowned the very silly types of issues, slogans that didn’t make any sense to the very disciplined audience under Nitish-Lalu dynamics of electioneering. It was a sheer spectacle to watch Lalu’s each and every inch of his pace, his carefree style, the way he descends from his helicopter and the way he walks with so much confidence, you watch a lion pacing its ways and looks the two side of the short space he went for the kill!.
It was not a routine, one more, political election, it was a sheer gladiators’combat! Bihar Assembly election this time had all the ingredients of a Roman amphitheatre’s drama and deadly end!
Where is the Opposition body in Bihar? Who are all the leftover combatants? In fact, there are not anyone left or anyone willing to come out and show their face! Such was the crushing defeat inflicted on the opponents, mostly left out in Delhi and it will take some time before anyone can figure out the implications, both short and long-term.
In fact, India today seemed to have taken one giant step forward. Both in terms of politics and economics.
Though politics grips our attention at the moment, it is really the socio-economic and even the psychological impact on the lives and aspiration of the Bihar people that must be explored and where credit is due must be assigned.
Yes, Bihar is the most backward state in India today. It is also a vast populous state. Bihar’s per capita income is one third of the Indian national average. Some districts of Bihar, Siwan for instance, said to b agriculturally prosperous has a per capita income of one tenth of the national average, has also 1,700 people per sq km, four times more than the national average population density and this is 35 times larger than the global average!
And yet, the average Bihari citizen was not moved any way by the sheer bombardment of Mr.Modi’s 27 almost non-stop rallies, it is almost like the infamous carpet-bombing of the war times.
It is a great day for India, Indian democracy, Indian democratic beliefs triumphed and the very poor of the poorest Indian citizens put their faith in secular values, communal frenzy didn’t impress the people, they stood as solid rock, it is a proud day for the Hindu-Muslim unity, damn the irrational and even violence-driven calls for communal polarisation.
If there is one remark to be made about the Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s campaign he could have openly restrained his extremist fringe groups but he didn’t. Also, he was widely seen as resorting to studied silence when the whole nation expected him to control these elements. It is regretful that he gave a clear impression he was behind these polarisation processes. It is really an avoidable process and yet the Pm did nothing about it. How great a loss of face and credibility!
It is the moderation that won the otherwise highly emotive issues and it is a measure of where Indian democratic awareness had spread.Thank god, the otherwise run by Modi must have really led to a very divisive India.
When Mr.Modi won the 2014 elections we welcomed his democratic win. Indian democracy must mature and two party systems must come to play its parliamentary legitimacy.
Even now, it is our view that it is the alternative political process the Bihar elections had thrown out that gives hope for the short and long-term.
It is the emergence of Nitish Kumar as the national alternative to Mr.Modi that is the true outcome of the Bihar election.
Also, it is the emergence of Mr.Lalu Prasad Yadav as the alternative national face for the emergence and consolidation of the Opposition forces.
Almost a repeat of 1989 is seen by the observers.Let us hope that Mr.Modi, truthfully as he seems to give the impression, will settle down to govern in a transparent and truthful manner.
As we write there is good news for Bihar’s economic development. Two big FDI projects, one by GE, the other by the French giant Alston have announced investments in Bihar, on for Rs.15, 000, another for Rs, 20,000 crores in railways.
This is a good augury for Nitish Kumar’s image as a vikas purush. We need more vikash purushs. Mr.Modi, faced with an instant internal revolt by the veterans, L.K.Advani, Yashwant Sinha, M.M.Joshi and Shantakumar and others, has moved fast and announced economic reforms by pushing for 100% FDI in key sectors, is welcome and it can push up economic growth.
Also, the key question in the minds of many, both in the ruling party as well as in the Opposition is: will this act alone save the PM from facing the internal revolt.
Obviously some heads will roll. Bihar in particular might prosper under Nitish leadership. So, this is a good time for India. Also for the rest of India, the series of Assembly elections, starting next with UP makes politics in India more exciting. As we write we also read that about 250 billion dollars worth of new aircrafts are to be inducted into the Indian aviation market. All this point only to India’s transformation as the world’s third largest economy. Also, not the least important, the Indian democratic norms and practice get a new uptake with some more sophistication and strengthening of the very many institutions. A time to be optimistic, indeed.