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Bihar After Lalu and Nitish

By Shivendra Shandilya

The book is a mini Political Encyclopedia of Bihar Politics. It covered the stories of all political activities from the past, depicting present scenarios and predicting the future. The author’s experience of journalism came into play in molding the book chapters. The political chronology and analysis are covered systematically.

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The beginning chapter discusses the socialist movement and the prominent figures and their ideology.Ranging from Ram Manohar lohia, Jagjivan Ram , Karpoori Thakur, and Lok Nayak Jay Prakash Narayan. Less talked about are Ramanand Tiwary and Kapildeo Singh.The political cohesion and enmity between the leaders. One Instance mentioned in the book when Jay Prakash Narayan met Ram Manohar Lohia and attempted to unify Socialist Party but the merger did not happen. The author further asserted ‘ Had Lohia not died in 1967 at age of 57, the course of India’s socialist history could have surely been different and more crystallized’

The Caste factor syndrome or The menace of deep-rooted caste politics in the Power arena of Bihar is addressed in the book. The Maoist Problem, armed caste struggle, and the dark days of Bihar are vividly reflected by the incidents In the past. There are dedicated units in the book which incorporate the emergence of Lalu Prasad Yadav, Nitish Kumar, Ram Vilas Paswan ( The Trio). Covering the Nitish- Lalu emergence from Total Revolution of Jay Prakash Narayan and Ram Vilas Paswan’s under Karpoori Thakur. The short biography of leaders & stalwarts like Jay Prakash Narayan, Karpoori Thakur, Jagjivan Ram, Bhola Paswan Shastri adds value to the book.

The author has given due credit to The forgotten subaltern Hero of Bihar by highlighting The significant achievement of Karpoori Thakur such as the ending of the River tax, removing English as a compulsory subject in Class 10th Board examinations, and waiving off school fees during his political career. The book is a story of great political events such as Lalu Becoming CM Superseding Ram Sundar Das, Ram Vilas Paswan’s missed opportunity to become CM, Collapse of Mahagathbandhan & The Great Fodder Scam. All these events changed the political discourse in the state. Lalu, Nitish, and Ramvilas -The prominent national political figures who occupied important portfolios at the Central Government have one thing in common and that is they came from a humble background and they build their Inroad into the political corridor with their style, grit, determination

The BJP’s Rise from an Untouchable party to senior partner in the present-day government is narrated by the author. Its footprint after participation in JP Andolan, Role in Supporting Lalu Prasad Yadav CM candidacy In 1990 to and The Interesting stories of Veteran like Kailashpati Mishra, Govindacharya who shaped the saffron party in United Bihar (Before Formation of Jharkhand In 2000) party is discussed. The author sharply observed the fall of the Oldest Political Party Congress, because of its negligence to groom EBCs/OBCs leaders over the years and how Bhagalpur Riots Incident proved to be the final nail in the coffin for congress downfall. The Political Coup episode over the party’s state unit finds special mention. The author has penned a chapter from optics of Policy & welfare schemes for the readers. He not only highlighted the good schemes such as Giving bicycles to girl children and electrification of Bihar brought by the Nitish-led government at the same time criticality commented on the worst education scenario in the state citing high court cases against the government.

The demise of Ram Vilas Paswan, Lalu in Jail, and Nitish at the end of Political Juncture hold the beginning of the New generation’s entry into the arena. The author in his last Chapter THE CHURN: BIHAR AFTER LALU AND NITISH examines the future of Bihar by discussing Tejaswi Yadav, Chirag Paswan, Kanhaiya Kumar, and Guru Prakash. Tejaswi has now emerged as a prominent leader Post 2020 Assembly election and has risen from his father’s shadow. Chirag Paswan, Who Could capitalize on his father’s magnificent charisma and beyond. Kanhaiya Kumar can become Bihar’s leader from JNU Poster boy or Guru Prakash Paswan, newly appointed Spokesperson from BJP, will take the space. As a journalist, Santosh Singh’s ground reporting gave him the edge to convert Interviews, personal Interactions, and his reporting compiled into the form of this book. The book is a must-read for those who want to take first-hand grips on Bihar Politics.

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(Author is Research Scholar of Public Policy & Public Administration at Central University of Jammu )

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