Bihar’s famous aloo and infamous democratic farce play out as state slips

Political parties indulging in all kinds of activities and pushing Bihar backwards


Ajay Singh | February 19, 2015 | Patna

#bihar   #nitish kumar   #manjhi   #laloo Prasad yadav   #manjhi   #assembly   #cabinet   #governance  

As one gets down at Patna airport, a billboard featuring Bihar chief minister Jeetan Ram Manjhi and agriculture minister Narendra Singh greets you with a bizarre proclamation – ‘bring out the biggest aloo (potato) and earn the prize’.

A little prodding about such billboards, popping up all around the state capital, reveals that the initiative was intended to promote agriculture in Bihar.

Bihar's fascination for "aloo" has anecdotal history. It was popular even in Pakistan when Lalu Prasad Yadav used to carry big potatoes to drive home the point in foreign land that Lalu and aloo that rhyme well were equally loved by masses.

There is nothing new in the way Bihar defines its own tryst with democracy that comprises all shades of extreme emotions. But the manner in which the charade of democracy is being conducted is nothing short of insidiously repugnant.

Perhaps there are no parallels that a group of dozen legislators was allowed to hold the entire state to ransom. Manjhi and his ministers do not belong to any party.

But Manjhi holds his cabinet meetings often twice in a day to make breath-taking announcements. If his decisions are to be implemented the state would go bankrupt beyond the scope of redemption.

His governments have been seeking outrageous and often hilarious advice from the advocate general. One such question put to the AG was on the scope of initiation of impeachment motion against Vidhan Sabha speaker Uday Narayan Chaudhary who belongs to the JD(U). However, the AG chose to look the other way instead of responding to such requests.

There are many such tales which expose the farce being enacted at Patna. Even other institutions like the judiciary have been contributing to the drama. The manner in which the Patna high court has been passing orders and amending them at short intervals in this political drama is quite amusing even for common people..

Now, Bihar is back in a time warp. Kidnappings have increased and criminals hold the sway in the state. Ironically, the man responsible for pushing the state on to this ruinous path is the one who restored governance in the state - Nitish Kumar. He calls it now a “wrong judgment" and Bihar is paying a heavy price for this judgement.

Curiously enough, the BJP which was in a position to gain maximum from this crisis of Nitish Kumar's making, does not have a patience to play a straight game. The party has been devising devious ways of propping up Manjhi to humiliate Nitish Kumar with the fine hope of winning over dalit sections. BJP leaders' impatience is borne out of their desire not to let Nitish Kumar take over the reign of the state again. In the process of this vendetta politics, democracy has become a game of deception and governance is found expendable.



Other News

Governance Now journalists win award for best TB reporting

Governance Now on Thursday bagged the REACH Media Awards for 2017-2018 for best reporting (English category) on tuberculosis (TB) at an event co-hosted by REACH, USAID and Lilly Global Health in partnership with the Lancet Commission on Tuberculosis. Our cover story

Simple facts about Special Status states

N Chandrababu Naidu-led Telugu Desam Party (TDP) on Friday parted ways from the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) at the centre. The official quitting of the alliance was preceded by the pulling out of two ministers out of the Narendra Modi government, a week ago. The

Peak performance

What is Narendra Modi’s biggest electoral success during the current term as prime minister? At first blush, most would say the Uttar Pradesh victory. That would be looking at the obvious (UP is the heart of the Hindi heartland) and at mere numbers (it has the maximum Lok Sabha seats). Yes, it was a

On a dangerous tangent

The killing of a seven-year-old boy at Ryan International School, Gurgaon, suddenly brought focus on violence by students in school. It was a gruesome case indeed: On September 8 last year, Barun Chandra Thakur dropped his children, including seven-year-old Pradyuman, at school around 8 am. By the time he

Juvenile crime and punishment

Like our jails, our correction centres for juvenile offenders are hardly conducive to bringing about positive change. No one will dispute the fact that an underaged criminal, especially if he or she is a first-timer, needs to be given a chance to reform, however heinous the crime. Unfortunately, society&rs

If you’re happy and you know it...

Finland has emerged as the world’s happiest country, as per the World Happiness Report 2018. The report has ranked 156 countries by their happiness levels, and 117 countries by the happiness of their immigrants. This year, the main focus of the report is on migration within and between countries.

Current Issue

Current Issue


CM Nitish’s convoy attacked in Buxar


Facebook    Twitter    Google Plus    Linkedin    Subscribe Newsletter