[Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar participate in the 350th birth anniversary celebrations of Guru Gobind Singh at Gandhi Maidan in Patna, on May 1, 2017(PTI file photo)]
Well Bihar Chief Minister is hailed as “Vikas Prush” i.e. development man in the country. He has recently made another somersault in his political career and is going making noises about his latest move as being an adherent of ‘principals', 'morality' and 'ethical' and so on and so forth.
Here, is a summary of his morality quotient that I have put into FOUR Acts. Here i must give due acknowledgment to Mr Sankarshan Thakur who has brought out these graphic details in his write up “I, PROMISCUOUS Power and the Improbable Amorality of Nitish Kumar” published in The Telegraph.
Act 1 – Scene 1- Bihar Bhawan, New Delhi, year 1992 It was Janata Dal days, Nitish Kumar goes to meet Lalu Yadav in his room. Soon commotion booms and abuses follows, Lalu was yelling: "Nikal baahar, nikal, baahar nikal, saa..a... Get out, get the hell out, you rascal!"
Soon Nitish was thrown out of Laul’s room. As he leaves Bihar Bhawan, Nitish mutters: "Ab iss aadmi ke saath kaam karna asambhav ho gaya hai... It has now become impossible to work with this man."
Nitish went on to formally split away from the Janata Dal and take up arms against Lalu.
Act 2 – Scene I Year 2009 Lok Sabha campaign in Ludhiana, Nitish barely sets his foot on the stage when Narendra Modi scampers down to him from the far end and holds his hand aloft. Cameras pop and Nitish feels like he has been coned.
He was fuming: "Isiliye yahan laaye thhe? Aap jaante thhe kya hone waala hai, provoke kiya gaya hai mujhe aur aapne mujhe phansaaya... Is this why you brought me here?
"Sab deliberate hai, design hai, kal akhbar mein wohi photo chhapega jo uss aadmi ne mera haath pakadke zabardasti khichwaya. Iss tarah ki rajneeti ke main sakht khilaaf hoon... All of this is deliberate, part of a design. Tomorrow's newspapers will carry the very picture which that man forcefully held my hand for. I am strongly opposed to politics of this kind..."
Act 3 – Scene I Year 2010 Patna - Modi as Gujrat CM gives Rs 5 crore aid to Bihar for flood relief and makes noises about it; Nitish is furious; "Yeh kaisi sabhyata hai, daan dekar koi usko vigyapit karta hai? Yeh Bihar ka apmaan hai... What kind of culture is this, does a donor advertise his donation? This is an insult to Bihar." He returns the donation.
Act 4 – Scene I - June 2013, On Modi's candidacy for Prime Ministership he comments on the BJP. "Rajneeti mein kuchh cheezen satta aur sarkar se upar hoti hain... There are some things in politics that are above power and government,” About Modi he goes on to say: "Iss insaan ka naam sunkey desh ke kadodon alp sankhyakon mein bhay or sandeh ka mahaul ban jata hai. Iss aadmi ke saath samjhauta nahin ho sakta... This man's name invokes fear and suspicion in the millions of minorities of this country. There can be no compromise with this man."
Rest as they say is history. This not to deny the fact that Nitish Kumar has played a key role in taking Bihar out from the days of 'jungle raj.' Accolades are overdue for his governance corrections and cynically working towards Bihar's development.
However, it seems Nitish Kumar have forgotten his own words; “There are some things in politics that are above power and government.” Now he is trying to defend his latest act saying; “I will take power, by hook or by crook, but having got it, will do good work."
This leads to some poignant thoughts on the nature of change in the direction of Indian politics that is taking place and is very apparent. There are two brands of politics that is put in motion in the country. One is Corruption free but Hindutva laced brand. The second is secular but attached corruption brand. Both the brands are having own magnetic pulls.
With the ad campaign of both the brands soliciting endorsement from the people, Indian voters are caught up in such catch22 situation. If they endorse first brand they are communal and other they are corrupt. They simply don’t know which one to pick and which to reject. Such cacophony is polluting the political atmosphere.
The latest political move by Nitish Kumar suggests that he can dump the secular brand blaming on corruption and champion the communal brand calling it ethical has made the choices much complicated. The absence of any middle path is greatly missed by the people. And this is the harsh reality of the developing political culture in the country is most dangerous path to traverse.
[Syed Ali Mujtaba is a journalist based in Chennai. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.]