In the fall of 2015, India witnessed a series of events that astonished the entire nation and left people speechless. The streets of Bihar roared and marched with slogans for the state elections to be held over October & November 2015. The country’s citizens anticipated and truly believed that this time Bihar would be free from inescapable poverty. Its caste-ridden social order will be considered by the strong foothold of BJP over the nation led by the Hon’ble Modiji. But irrespective of this, the people of Bihar crowned Shri Nitish Kumar as their Chief Minister and portrayed how caste politics played a vital role time and over again.
The legacy of Caste politics and Corruption flows through the state. The start of the deterioration of the state date long back to the late 1960s when Congress took over and Smt. Indira Gandhi (PM at that time) ruled over the state for 2 decades using puppet Chief Ministers under her gloves, totally impairing integrity and ignoring the welfare of the people.
It was never properly established, and the state was labeled anarchist and backward and had a strong contrast to the other states in India. It was the 1st time that Caste Politics came into play when Shri Lalu Prasad Yadav from RJD became the CM of Bihar. He properly utilized the backward caste votes, constituting nearly 60% of Bihar’s electorate at that time, creating a state of segregation. Unapproved of the policies of Laluji, Nitish Kumar parted ways with him and joined the JDU party. Lalu Prasad Yadav is a charismatic leader who ruled over the state from 1990-2004, making it the most backward state in the nation. The state was completely in chaos and was handed over to the local Mafia and goons due to a deficit of order.
Completely bathed with corruption throughout these years, nobody even questioned his authority. When people and authorities put up the allegations against him, it was far too late. To annul his corruption charges, he splendidly resigned over his post and named his wife, Smt. Rabri Devi, the new CM and dictated the state through proxy. Bihar, named after Vihar (meaning Monasteries ), once enriched with paramount culture, was completely shattered and robbed of its glorious past and purity.
Talking about the elections in 2015, the main parties that contested the elections were JDU, RJD, and BJP. Clearly, this time too, the caste factor came into action and the Hindu-Muslim conflict going on in the nation strongly affected the elections. The votes were divided without ambiguity. RJD, in coalition with Indian National Congress, had voters from both backward classes and Muslim Community under its clutches. In contrast, on the other hand, the BJP had followers from the Upper Castes. The Muslims were unsupportive of BJP due to the ludicrous acts of BJP in Kashmir and Uttar Pradesh, which created a sense of tension between them. The main catastrophe broke when Nitishji and Laluji shook hands and joined in countering the power at the center, i.e., BJP Party.
After being on the opposite side of the fence for years, Laluji and Nitishji were on the same side of the camp, albeit with different slogans. PM Modiji tried his level best and aspired to eliminate Caste politics from Bihar and rebuked Nitish Kumar and Laluji, but all in vain. His course of action ultimately led to the party’s downfall, causing the Backward Classes to turn against them. Despite having backward caste leaders like Nand Kishore Yadav, BJP was still considered an upper-class party in Bihar.
The common people were extremely confused and weren’t sure who to vote for; thus, the outcome of the elections was outrageous. The whole nation was bewildered by the outcome. The thought of making the caste-ridden society of the state into a free society had once again become a dream.
“Ignorance is a hindrance to learning. “
A proverb that is completely suitable to a state like Bihar goes something like this:
Until and unless the camouflage of politicians is not removed, no changes can prevail in the state.