Viewers' Voice

 Frightening thought of princedom

by Nawal Pandey


The analysis of the criminal politicians published at Bihartimes.com reveals one thing that the victory of the criminal politicians was no fluke; it was rather collaborative effort of the criminal enterprise and black money hoarders. It worked wonder and criminals won.

Notwithstanding Nitish Kumar’s vow of no Jungle Raj, stage is set for its possible return. It is apparent from the forthcoming cabinet of 30 ministers from RJD, 29 minister from JDU and 8 ministers from Congress that it will include criminal politicians. All we have to hope is besides being criminal; they are merciful enough to spare the people of Bihar from total annihilation.   

Being criminal is not disadvantage in Bihar politics; it is rather pride. All political parties nominated large number of criminals as their candidate and relied on them to come to power. The election of so many criminals gives credence that they are integral part of the political process and a force to be reckon with.  Could we ignore the importance of such a phenomenon and denounce them? I would say they deserve congratulation for their victory and commendation for being candid. It is noteworthy that they did not hide their criminal past or their ill-gotten wealth; neither did they force the voters to vote for them nor created mayhem during election process. Since their election cannot be voided, let us concede that they won fair and square.

However, if electing the criminal politician is inappropriate and anathema to democracy, the blame rests with the inchoate culture of the electorate that dwells on the irrationality of caste and religion. Temptation for money and fascination with power wielding criminals make the electorate loose sense of right and wrong and, despite what we call, they vote for the least possible denominator. Such apathetic conditions are godsend for the criminals but again when the politics of Bihar is crime and politicians, criminal, can the society cry about it?  

All of us know that Bihar is the bastion of corruption and cesspool of prejudices where criminals are revered and voted in power. Now the question is will the presence of criminal legislatures make the system of governance worse? I would say no because they are already the part of our system of governance and predisposed to loot the State Treasury and exploit the masses. I would say our criminal political system is robust and need not be feared. All they can do is what they do best and the apathetic masses are used to what they do. They do not care whether some legislature are criminal or all. They would rather welcome entire legislative body of criminals for security and continuity.  There is one serious concern though for certain people. They fear that presence of so many criminals could destabilize the government if the criminal legislatures became united to form a cartel and the possibility of cartel exists because of the rise of the king of the jungle as the king maker. He has the expertise as well as self-interest to unite the criminal politicians for such an end and despite Nitish Kumar’s assertion of the rule of law; he would be hard pressed to defy the cartel unless he himself joins it.

Although criminal legislatures are embedded in all parties, conspicuous are 49 criminal legislatures out of 80 elected from RJD, 37 out of 75 from JDU and some from the Congress. All of them have one thing in common; they owe their alliance to the King Maker. Since the King Maker himself cannot join the government, he has his offspring for substitute. It is expected that he would leave no stone unturned to pave the way for the establishment of a princedom for them. The slogans of Long live the King and long live his two princes are heard everywhere. There is no more whisper that King is inept and a convicted criminal; masses liken him to Valmiki, the robber turned sage and author.

What is more conspicuous is the desperation of the people of Bihar to see the coronation of the senior and junior princes. The people of Bihar sympathize with the prices that fought the election as worrier-prince and demand princedom for them as victorious princes. After all voting for them was the vote to return to the good old days of Jungle Raj in the guise of princedom. Needless to say, strategy is in motion to crown them and the people of Bihar will have the opportunity to celebrate their crowing.   

Princedom is feudal concept and hereditary phenomenon. Its continuation depends on the strength and popularity of the patriarch that chooses his offspring to be the prince usually by path of wickedness, not by merit and competence.

Whether it is the fear of princedom or introduction of what was once the Jungle Raj, Nitish Kumar is helpless. He has to do what the King maker has in mind and what he has in mind is to make his offspring vanguard of the government. It does not matter that they are feeble, uneducated and incompetent; they are the Princes and they must have their own princedom. For time being, the position of Deputy Chief Minister for one and the cabinet rank for other would suffice until the king maker determines that Nitish Kumar is hurdle for cartel and needs to be shunted out. Nitish Jee: co-opt or be ready to succumb.

Ancient Bihar was ruled by the Rajas, Maharajas and Jamindars who, after independence, turned to politics to maintain their hegemony. They transformed the landscape and Bihar became the septic tank of social prejudices like castism, bigotry and communalism. Over decades, crime proliferated and criminals became politicians, businessmen and king makers. They suffocated the democracy and democracy became their slave. If there is any lesson to be learnt from the recently concluded Bihar election, it is the dominance of criminals, influence of ill-gotten wealth, widespread social malaise and ubiquitous political decadence.


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