Tuesday, June 9, 2015
Janta Parivar - Colony Of The Opportunist Clowns
In politics there are no permanent friends or permanent enemies, only permanent interest – Lord Palmerston
This is perhaps why all the world leaders cajoled up to Muammar Gaddafi on various occasions while castigating the same man at other times for being a big danger to humanity. It is very common in world politics to see politicians rushing in to take sides of their foes if the very act assures benefit. All in the name of permanent interest, for the party or for individuals, these politicians act out of the box and adore someone they once claimed to hate most. We can call it opportunism but that is fine. Interest is just a polished synonym of opportunism and in today’s complex political idioms, there is hardly any difference left between these two characteristics. Looking at the way our politics is taking a new low on hourly basis, we may very well have to live with this phenomenon for decades to come.
Back home, two most astute exponents of this phenomenon in India are Lalu Prasad Yadav and Nitish Kumar. Since the implausible fire-water merger finally happened yesterday, we lesser mortals must now explain ourselves on the ‘permanent interest’ that brought these two poles of Bihar politics together. What could be the common interest between a convicted criminal like Lalu and a failure called Nitish Kumar that suddenly became the glue to stitch these two antagonists? Knowing Lalu and his unconditional love for corruption and Mafiosi, concerns for the state of Bihar hardly looks like that glue. When Lalu was the CM of the state, he made sure that the state never improves from its deplorable state of hunger, poverty, lawlessness and governance bankruptcy. He let his cohorts create bedlam and loot the state like it is their personal property while the citizenry languished at the bottom of all growth parameters. During Lalu’s tenure, Bihar was crippled to its basics and even struggled to survive as a state. So, if one thinks Lalu had an incarnation in last few years with new found attribute of love for the state then he is only fooling himself big time. Nitish isn’t much different here, except perhaps the lack of enough credible corruption charges to match Lalu’s prodigious record. In their own ways, both these politicians destroyed Bihar inside-out. Though their path to glory looked identical, they never enjoyed each other’s company. Perhaps the political equations of yesteryears weren’t conducive for public display of affection. By virtue of being from two different political outfits, they had to talk rubbish against each other for political brownie points. And both of them played their role to perfection. Now one wonders; what has changed so drastically that these two opportunists finally hugged each other in public.
Post 2014 general election results, Nitish Kumar’s popularity were at all-time low and perhaps it still is. This is the precise reason why he was asked to vacate the CM’s post after JD(U) got routed in the poll. Many in JD(U) felt, the pitiable outcome is because of NK’s ego and his unrealistic dream of PM’s chair. There were open dissent within the party where the decision to break away from BJP was openly criticized. I even agree to the conclusion. Someone with only having 20 MP seats can’t demand to become the PM of the nation. If that is not good enough, someone even needing support to run his government in the state must not think beyond what he is capable of. Had NK been a genuinely popular leader he should have managed to win Bihar on his own for once at least. In fact the present Bihar dispensation had more BJP representation than JD(U). While facts always pointed towards the incapabilities of NK as a complete and national leader, he was far from reading the writings on the wall. Day dreaming isn’t a crime and not harmful either. And I don’t blame NK for his bit of wonderland journey. That should be fine. After all every politician worth of his salt wants to be the PM of the nation. Problem is when one thinks the day dreams are real. The problem in case of NK was so severe that he was asked to leave when the reality came calling. From a vivacious CM with support from BJP, NK suddenly became irrelevant in politics. That must have hurt NK because he, with all his flaws and ego, was still far better than most of the politicians Bihar ever produced. With NK, JD(U)’s political dividends also nosedived. Now is a situation where JD(U) as a party can’t envisage more than 40 seats if they fight it alone and NK knows it very well. And nobody loves to let go power so easily. Hence NK had no option but to hug a criminal like Lalu because the other way only leads to further oblivion, both for his party and himself.
Lalu is even in a worst situation. He already is a political non-entity. His party, which was formed with a sole motive of looting the public, is already irrelevant in Bihar as well as national politics. Lalu and Co have already done enough impairment to even come anywhere near the striking distance. Like NK, Lalu also knows the road ahead is both dark and blocked, if he aspires to walk alone. To top it, Lalu may be thrown back behind the bars at any moment. Without power on his side, Lalu knows, he would end up rotting behind the bars for the rest of his life. Drastic situation calls for drastic measures, even if that means forgetting political differences. In NK, Lalu sees his power and route to his undeserving freedom. Even though he was reluctant initially to accept NK as the CM candidate, he had to succumb to the reality when Rahul Gandhi showed him the hell hole in front. It is only necessary here to mention that Lalu met RG in Delhi about two days ago. And by the way, no one better than RG knows, what it means getting stripped of that ill-gotten power. Let alone the man in question, without power, even the Jamai Razas won’t be spared. Saving the skin is just one part of the benefit. Here the Congress also sees benefit in joining with Lalu and NK, as far as their presence and importance in national politics is concerned. They have already lost every major state to BJP in last one year. If the sorry figure continues, they may even struggle to survive as a national party in five years’ time. In Bihar, Congress doesn’t exist anymore, provided a 5% vote share makes any serious count. In the alliance, the Congress party sees that glimmer of restoration hope. Rather than cutting a sorry figure of zero, Congress hopes to be a parasite in the alliance and win at least a dozen seats to save its face and that of Rahul Gandhi’s as well. So, all three ganging up is more of a compulsion of survival than choice. And as it is, beggars can’t be choosers and no one knows better than Lalu, Nitish and RG.
The adversity inadvertently brought these three opportunists together. The bitter truth in case of an individual fight will lead all three of them to doomsday in the state. Not only they would become extraneous in the state but they very well may reduce themselves to naught in national politics. Hence the differences leave way for opportunism to sneak in. The hugging and kissing spree in public must continue till the poll dates to fool the public. Sworn enemies turned into best of friends in the altar of a decade, is the biggest miracle to happen in recent times and we must congratulate Modi for this marvel to happen.
Now for those who still refuse to accept that breaking away from BJP is the biggest mistake that NK ever did. Case in point, Pawan Verma. To sooth his and his master’s ego, Mr. Verma takes shelter of that nonexistent morality of NK. As per him, NK had to break away owing to the pressure of his conscience since Modi was declared as NDA’s PM candidate. Really? When Ram Vilas Paswan left NDA after 2002, NK was the first one to call him an opportunist. Not only that, in 2003, NK went to Kutch to inaugurate a rail maintenance factory as the then Railways Minister and hailed Modi as a great CM and administrator. Not only that; he even advised all to move on from 2002 riots because he saw nothing wrong with Modi or his efforts in containing the riot. So, how the perception changed suddenly when it was clear that his day dreams of becoming the PM got ruined by the declaration? What logic satisfies the fact that NK stayed with BJP for more than a decade but ran away immediately after Modi was nominated as the PM candidate? Morality? Conscience? Or plain ego and stupidity?