Saturday, May 31, 2014
Life And Times Of Nitish Kumar
Nitish Kumar is one fine enigmatic specimen. Perhaps the reason why off late I have this urge to write some kind of biography on this man. I had similar urge to write a memoire on Rahul Gandhi few months back but then, the prince made himself vanish to oblivion by his sheer acts of stupidity or what that leader of Congress from Kerala said? Yes, 'behaving like a joker'. No, I am not equating Rahul Gandhi with Nitish Kumar. With all his faults, Nitish Kumar at least fought his way up, unlike the prince who got everything for being born in to a certain family. Nitish at least has shouldered responsibilities at various stages of his political career or otherwise. Nitish may have made a mockery of himself by displaying his greed and reading the political semantics entirely wrong but no one can dispute that he was a great administrator. No one can dispute that his governance as the CM of Bihar has many silver linings. It is just that Nitish Kumar thought himself way bigger than he ever could be and ended up humiliating himself.
That said, there is at least one striking similarity between Nitish Kumar and Rahul Gandhi – both are prisoners of their own rebellion. While Nitish Kumar convinced himself to bite much more than he could possibly chew in his entire life, the Baba of Congress was made to believe as someone who can chew the entire world even without taking a bite by the hoard of sycophants that swarm any Congress office. While Rahul Gandhi depended on servility to achieve this image of a mass leader whereas he always remained someone not qualified enough to even be a peon, Nitish Kumar became a slave of his own imaginations and thought himself to be the best thing that happened to the nation in recent past. Both the false notion of greatness crashed down badly in this general election and left both these human beings stranded middle of nowhere. If licking wounds helps in reliving the pain, then these two losers must do that but at the same time they must also should ponder why the fan fell on their head quite unceremoniously.
Forget the prince for a moment because he largely is a hopeless phenomenon. Someone who escapes to Spain, each time to avoid responsibilities; someone who can’t figure out where Arunachal Pradesh is in our map; someone dreaming of becoming the PM of the nation but not sure which nation that is; well such a character doesn’t warrant any time to be spend on him henceforth. Let’s concentrate on NK instead.
I fondly address Nitish Kumar as the modern day ‘Srikhandi’ of our political discourse. It still bewilders me, how a smart politician like NK could be waylaid to a situation where he gets entangled in his own monumental blunders. Till the point he broke away from BJP, he appeared a perfectly sane individual to me. He always looked like someone who doesn’t have his top tier entirely empty. But then, bad dreams do have a long term effect on your sanity, I guess. I am not saying dreaming is bad. But there has to be a differentiation between dreams and dreams turning into nightmares. It becomes a nightmare when you chase your dream when you know it is badly in want of some logic and feasibility. Dreaming to sleep with Deepika Padukone is fine but to pursue that dream if you roam around her house, sooner or later you would be apprehended and termed as a stalker. I still can’t believe, Nitish Kumar, being so seasoned, didn’t weigh the feasibility before going for his dream; yes the dream of becoming the PM of this nation. NK should have waked up and revisited his dream with open eyes and judged himself, where he stands and then should have taken a call. But to surprise many, he instead smiled in his dreams and woke up and started running for it at once. No timing, no plan, no methodical execution at all. So expectantly fell flat on his face before he could start running. All that he now has are his wounds and absolutely no one else to blame but himself.
Here is the thing. When NK decided to pursue his own interest away from BJP, he barely had 20 MPs of his own and was in still need of allies to remain a CM in the state. But before that, we must go back to history and see how Nitish Kumar, from being a sundry regional leader become the Nitish Kumar that we know. When he became the CM of Bihar for the first time, his party JD(U) was the junior member in the BJP-JD(U) alliance with lesser legislative seats than BJP. It was the graciousness of Vajpayee that he wanted this new kid in the block to flourish. Defying the unwillingness of the then state BJP unit, Vajpayee allowed Nitish Kumar to become the CM of Bihar. That is from where NK started his political sojourn. Not something he earned by merit but a generous gift from a foresighted statesman. How I wish NK had inculcated this fact in his mind for the rest of his life. Had he done that, he wouldn’t have become the architect of his own humiliation.
Blame it on NDTV for awarding NK as the person of the year for two consecutive terms; he suddenly had this bout of pan-India reverence. He precipitously imagined himself in bigger shoes that he possibly could ever carry. I don’t know how but he somehow self-appointed himself as the PM candidate of NDA by his own judgments. That was funny, no? Someone who can’t even run his own state without help from allies, put himself on the bigger stage and thought all else to follow suite without raising their eyebrows. Stranger even, he thought, none would object, not even BJP, for having such hallucinations. Barely 10% contribution to a proposed house of majority and NK thought BJP would dump all its top leaders and go gaga behind him because he has already self-appointed himself as the next PM of the nation. Such wishful thinking might give you a high but they are, at the same time very dangerous to your future prospects; aren’t they?
So when BJP declared Modi as their poll panel head, NK saw that as a threat to his ambitions. I mean, how dare the BJP could go against “The Nitish Kumar”, the biggest phenomenon of our political discourse? When he broke away giving funniest of reasons, I predicted that to be a masterstroke but on the path of a grand political suicide. The day NK broke away, I had said, hereby NK just set the foundation of his political irrelevance. And aren’t my words exactly supporting the sorry outcome of this general election, as far as Nitish Kumar is concerned? I also had said, NK not only lost that remote chance of becoming the PM but also has lost the grand chance of remaining the CM of Bihar as well. Exactly what I had said happened. JD(U) already reduced to a non-entity on the national platform and very well will be decimated in the state elections later this year. To top it, NK himself is no more the CM of the state, because of which he drew a larger than life portrait for himself. A gift from Vajpayee turned this man to a baggage of arrogance and greed and now the arrogance turned this man to a heap of utter failure and dejection. Sad, very sad, knowing this sorry turn of events for a leader who showed promises and glimpses of leadership at some point of his governance. But no sympathy towards NK because he wholeheartedly asked for it. He asked for it, and he was rewarded duly for his own mistakes.
Ditching people won’t make you achieve you anything. Nitish Kumar should have understood this than doing his experiments with deception. From Mir Zafar to Arvind Kejriwal, history is a proof that ditchers have always ended up licking their self-inflicted wounds. But then, NK is a habitual ditcher. He has ditched way too many people in his life. It is just that he ran out of his luck one final time. The only sorry part is, India probably lost a potential leader to the selfsame arrogance and unrealistic dreams of that leader himself. Only can utter a deep anguished filled sigh for this loss. As I said, no sympathy for NK because he himself is the sole architect of his own demise. Sigh again.