OPINION
The seven blind men and the elephant
- Observer
The seven blind men and the elephant



I just read an article in The Wire, by the veteran journalist Prem Shanker Jha titled 'The Enigma of the Political Suicide of Nitish Kumar' in which he gloomily concludes that Nitish Kumar has destroyed himself by his volte-face in favour of the RSS, for reasons that are not clear, and has destroyed the chances of a United opposition to BJP-RSS in the next general election and as such destroyed India too.

A frightening and depressing scenario indeed and it could well come true.
 
But I have another viewpoint to offer, if only people across the country, especially the opinion making media - will listen with an open mind.

Is it really such an enigma, that Nitish has to hastily abandon the opposition, when Lalu was recently raided by the CBI and the ED?

Can the blind men of Indian Politics and media really not see the simple truth, even when it is hidden in plain sight, so to speak?

So Mr Prem Shankar Jha goes so far as to say, that when Kejriwal was raided by the CBI; Mayawati, Mulayam, Mamta and Lalu were cowed down by similar means, what with the Sarada scandal, the Sahara funds and the scandal ripping out of Engineer Yadav Singh's exposed misdeeds, Mayawati's "party funds", and Lalu's alleged land deals, Nitish quickly realised he could be next, is that not an answer to the enigma?
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The rural agricultural and pastoral families feel an instant connect with him. The tendency among the elite to portray him as a buffoon masks and insidiously undermines his innate gift of humour and knack for an unforgettable turn of phrase.
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Is JDU the only heaven- descended Party, pure as driven snow, in Indian Politics? Would not the same dirt, if not worse have emerged from JDU records and Nitish's cronies, to whom new body connects him only because the media is deeply owned and controlled by the selfsame cronies and their ilk ?

Nitish has no mass base, his USP is his so-called "clean image", which Modi and Shah with all Intelligence and Enforcement agencies at their command, could have blown up in a matter of hours.

His carefully cultivated Mr Clean and Mr Sushaasan image of several decades would have been smashed to smithereens and he would become not just a footnote, but a dirty shoddy contemptible footnote in history.
Lalu does not get as easily cowed down, as leaders whose mass base is nonexistent or slippery, like Nitish, Kejriwal, Mayawati or Mulayam.
His core vote bank which is sizeable in Bihar has by and large stood by him and in fact has got consolidated in a huge wave of sympathy and indignation at the current betrayal of both Lalu and the people's mandate by Nitish in cahoots with the BJP.
 
This destroys Nitish but strengthens Lalu in the war of perception, and Tejaswi emerges as all the brighter and stronger because of his impeccable record, amazing maturity, great social media skills, and wonderful oratory, besides his sheer fresh faced charm.
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Nitish has no mass base, his USP is his so-called "clean image", which Modi and Shah with all Intelligence and Enforcement agencies at their command, could have blown up in a matter of hours.
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So a person sitting in Bihar who can see on the ground Nitish's corruption, while Lalu's has been put behind him as he has not been in power for many years now, can not only see that Nitish, whose secular credentials and mass base have always been seriously questionable, was never the right answer to a Modi led BJP.
 
And nobody seems to want to make the next necessary connection - that Lalu, even though pushed out of the electoral field, is the single real mass leader whose secular credentials and commitment to establishing the dignity and rights of a backward-Dalit-minority, majority of the entire populace of this country are indubitable , regardless of allegations of corruption against him, and he is a recognisable and connectable brand name in politics across the country for groups that form this vast majority of people in the country.

He also has a masterly gift for communication across all kinds of state and language divide as his riveting TV appearances show.

The rural agricultural and pastoral families feel an instant connect with him. The tendency among the elite to portray him as a buffoon masks and insidiously undermines his innate gift of humour and knack for an unforgettable turn of phrase.

The liberal elite of the country and elitist corporate media and politicians overestimate Nitish and underestimate Lalu even today.

This is the fatal mistake that will destroy the country and not the loss of an innate hypocrite and turncoat like Nitish, whose departure to the Hindutva camp well before the next general election should be seen as good riddance to bad rubbish in good time, rather than becoming a cause of gloom among the vast and dynamic population of this country.
 
The minute you put Lalu, Misa, Tejaswi or even Sharad Yadav backed by Lalu and Co​​ supported in the place where you had tried to put a hypocrite like Nitish, the scenario changes for the better.

Accept this combination, and you will see all but the Crony corporates and the fanatic Hindutva wallahs rallying around the united opposition.

Bihar will yet again rescue India, but not via the villain who looked like a hero​ ​- Nitish, but by the real superhero who has been made to look like a villain - Lalu.

Anyone who has seen him struggle and fight with all feudal forces reinforced by media, judiciary, CBI and all his social and political opponents together, and remembers how for all his real and perceived faults he never ever compromised with communal forces, or got cowed down by the combined forces of the State and Central Govt, CBI, ED, a hostile media, a vicious social elite and more; will realise that no other political leader in the opposition, from Rahul to Mulayam-Akhilesh, Mayawati , Mamta Banerji or Stalin or Karunanidhi can hold a candle to him when it comes to fighting BJP RSS.

It's a Cinderella story, people!

Your pumpkin is a royal Carriage; your country Bumpkin is in fact your Knight in Shining Armour.

Just kiss this Frog once, and he will turn into your gallant Prince Charming!

And you get three for the price of one- Misa and Tejaswi, bring fresh hope for the future, along with your well recognised fighter of a leader, Lalu Prasad Yadav.

Not to forget the sweet Rabri Devi as well, who can be really useful at  a pinch.

You may say I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one​.​

I hope someday (soon) you'll join us​.​

And India will rise again as one!
 

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Punjab Today believes in serious, engaging, narrative journalism at a time when mainstream media houses seem to have given up on long-form writing and news television has blurred or altogether erased the lines between news and slapstick entertainment. We at Punjab Today believe that readers such as yourself appreciate cerebral journalism, and would like you to hold us against the best international industry standards. Brickbats are welcome even more than bouquets, though an occasional pat on the back is always encouraging. Good journalism can be a lifeline in these uncertain times worldwide. You can support us in myriad ways. To begin with, by spreading word about us and forwarding this reportage. Stay engaged.

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