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    Published On : Tue, Oct 13th, 2015
    Opinion of the Day | By Nagpur Today Nagpur News

    Bihar and its netas’ bet on throne!

    Nitish-Modi-LaluBihar is in for good times. You may ask why, since good times and Bihar don’t usually go together. The thing is, this time around, no one is going to get a clear majority. So, Biharis will be spared a lot of grief as politicians will be too busy playing musical chairs to pay much attention to the common man when the music stops.

    And that’s what the average citizen of Bihar wants. To be left alone. To be untouched. To be unnoticed. To be unnoticed by Nitish Kumar, so that in his hubris, blinded by the sight of a resplendent Narendra Modi in golden threads, he takes more knee-jerk decisions that finally end his marriage of convenience with Lalu Prasad Yadav nine months down the line.

    I can almost hear Nitish Kumar declaim from Patna’s Gandhi Maidan, Ramdhari Singh Dinkar’s immortal lines from his 1952 epic poem, Rashmirathi (The Sun’s Charioteer), where Krishna challenges Duryodhan, “Zanjeer badha ab saadh mujhe/ Haan haan Duryodhan baandh mujhe!” (I have such a taste for chains/ Yes, Duryodhan, tie me up!), to the teeming multitudes below listening to him with rapt attention in the monsoon downpour.

    To be unnoticed by Lalu Yadav, who is too busy trying to scuttle Nitish and secure 1 Anne Marg for his wife, son or family retainer of the month. Bihar has not forgotten the years when it was noticed by Lalu every passing second, giving it 15 glorious years of a total solar eclipse. Many who chose to gaze back are still blinded by it.

    And then there is the illustrious Jitan Ram Manjhi of the Hindustani Awam Morcha, who if he actually manages to retain his own seat, will be too busy to join Nitish, Lalu, Shatrughan Sinha or Sushil Modi to notice the Dalits of Bihar and further subdivide them.
    As for Ram Vilas Paswan, he will have his gaze firmly on Delhi as always, and Bihar will have nothing to worry about. Except perhaps about his son, the failed actor-turned-Lok Janshakti Party MP Chirag Paswan, insisting that his next movie be declared tax-free.

    Which brings us to Sushil Modi, reticent and self-effacing, an able administrator who will never be allowed by his own party to administrate, riven as it is by upper-caste prejudice in the state. Modi will be too busy watching his back for the proverbial dagger — which he knows is being sharpened this very minute in accordance with the post-poll scenario — to actually bring the development he talks so sincerely about in all his rallies.

    The good thing is that with Sushil Modi so distracted with his own survival, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) agenda will go for a toss. While the RSS has only a toehold in Bihar today, it is hoping for the BJP to come to power in Patna with much anticipation.
    But all its crackpot ideas would come to naught. Bihar is not Gujarat. It is not even Karnataka. Most Hindus in the state would have a Muslim classmate or two. Muslims aren’t ‘foreigners’ to them. Many Biharis would vote for the JD (U), the BJP and the RJD in the next few weeks, but none throw in his lot with the RSS.

    So, for the next two years, till the next midterm polls, it is going to be a time of bliss for the people of Bihar. A fractured mandate bestowed by them on this confederacy of extraordinary gentlemen would keep them out of harm’s way. As parties split and re-split like amoeba and cabinet reshuffles happen every few weeks, the aam aadmi in Patna or Bhagalpur would go about his business unmolested.

    And now to the last gentlemen of the evening, the original Bihari Babu, a man who is as petulantly disliked by Narendra Modi as Nitish Kumar — and only because he dresses better and knows more about camera angles and photoops than the Prime Minister.
    Now if Shatrughan Sinha takes up residence at 1 Anne Marg, it would be a godsend. As a man known for his punctuality, we shouldn’t be worried about his entering the fusty Patna secretariat to pick up a file on developing Bihar ever.

    We would be totally invisible then. We will be wiped off the map of India and become a true place finally. Like in the days of Megasthenes and Indika.

    To be unnoticed, to be unenumerated, to be uncalled for, to disappear into the cracks of democracy. Such sinful bliss.

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