- Indian citizens closely following the fortunes of the political scenario in India would have noticed how the incumbent Chief Minister of Bihar Nitish Kumar has changed his association with allies in the last 15 years or so. From joining hands with the Congress to the BJP the subsequent flip flops must have confused the gentleman himself, forgetting about ordinary citizens. One thing that has been a constant in the hurly-burly politics of Bihar must be Nitish Kumar’s seamless shuffling from one alliance to another that has ensured his continuation as Chief Minister, irrespective of the ideologies surrounding the alliance partners. Joining hands with the secular alliance to communal to secular has been such a swift act that it would put to shame any trapeze artist.
- We are aware of how important a role caste plays in the country. The caste conundrum is too complex for it to be easily deciphered and hence, the political class is always on the lookout to cash in on the issue. Add to the mix the quotas and reservations, the heady socio-economic concoction assumes such significance that the entire political narrative in the country revolves around the labyrinthine caste equations. We know the caste survey undertaken in Bihar recently ostensibly to provide succor to the marginalized strata of society. But the real aim of the survey is to project Nitish Kumar as the messiah of the marginalized people historically subjected to societal prejudices. Now, the CM is up to something uncalled for as well.
- Bihar CM has ordered another house-to-house survey on what people feel about the ill-advised and economically suicidal prohibition. Note that Nitish insists he isn’t reconsidering the 7-year-old ban on alcohol sales but emphasizes that the survey will determine the strength of for and against constituencies. One wonders from where Nitish receives such pearls of wisdom and ideas that are not only illogical but also extremely hazardous for the fiscal health of the state. Needless to mention, the envisaged survey is a total waste of time, effort, and resources by a cash-strapped government that is grasping for fiscal breath to stay afloat. Nitish is just pussyfooting around a policy that’s long established as doing more harm than good.
PC: Asean Now
- Agreed, there’s more awareness about the ills of excessive drinking, but prohibition is not required to create awareness about alcoholism and its adverse impacts on health or household finances. In Kerala the government’s social justice and excise departments run programs to survey and address Kerala’s very real alcoholism challenge and the crisis of underage drinkers. Much of the funds for these drives come from the state. Treating excessive alcohol consumption as a law-and-order problem, as Bihar does, as opposed to a health problem, the Kerala view grievously impacts revenue. No wonder, the illicit liquor mafia, a massive pile of cases, hooch deaths, job loss, and zero revenue have impacted Bihar. Cancel the meaningless survey, Mr. CM.