Bihar Needs a Young, Clean & Dynamic CM

People of Bihar have had the fortunes of having a clean Sushasan Babu as CM for over a long time now. There is hardly any doubt that he lifted up Bihar from the dark days of Jungle Raj adopted first by Lallu Yadav and his M-Y (Muslim-Yadav) politics and later when he planted his housewife Rabri Devi through a well-crafted intra-party coup when he was jailed. The scars of those dark days are still in the psyche of the people that Nitish Babu could somehow get rid of over years with huge political will and administrative efforts (बिहार कहाँ था और कहाँ है?

The charisma and efficacy of Nitish Kumar is on the wane, declining fast. Lallu Yadav and his family party of RJD have been flexing their muscles in the flanks. We had glimpses of the M-Y power in the 2020 Bihar elections. They have been waiting for right opportunity and Bihar will be back to those dark days in no time. Their “लठैती, डकैती, फिरौती गैंग” are still intact the glimpses of which were evident just before and immediately after the election results. Thanks to Owaisi and his AIMIM party which denied RJD the kind of M-Y effect that they had expected. There is no doubt that the incumbency factor against JDU has been increasing. Thanks to BJP that they could barely scrape through in 2020 but it may not repeat.

Now in 2022 when the world is grappling with the pandemics when the disease has devastated the lives and economy of most if not all nations the world over, India is not unaffected. This is more so in Bihar where standard of life and per capita income is still low as compared with many other states. Problems in Bihar are in plenty. Social injustice along caste and class lines are troublesome. Millions of man-days of the workforce, esp the youth, are wasted for want of job and opportunities. Education system is in limbo due to varied reasons. Livelihoods are in scarce. Lot many people are employed in other states, in their unorganised sectors; most of whom had shut their business during Corona. All those workers are unemployed, back in Bihar and to the best of the knowledge of the author, the state govt has not done much either to provide jobs or livelihood. In addition, it is believed there a high population of Bangladeshi and Rohingya illegal migrants in the state further burdening and diluting the job prospects of the resident Biharis. They are also believed to be 'law & order risk' and likely to be exploited by the 'Lallu clan' to create and manipulate 'situations' for the govt.

Nitish Kumar belongs to the older generation, yet he has done well. In the present days, merely providing food and shelter is not enough. There is a need for younger, clean & dynamic leadership to catch the imaginations of the new generation. They need good living, good education, well-being of the family, a caring and pro-active governance, employment for all, fructify their dreams and so on. “सड़क, बिजली, पानी” are not enough for them today. The Progress of the state has repeatedly been impeded by recurrent floods and droughts alike. It requires whole-hearted effort to overcome it, use viable technologies to limit the losses and also setting-up of high-yield infrastructures, increasing the yield of cultivation and so on.

The young generation of Bihar want entrepreneurship, set-up new industries and would like to acquire leadership roles in various sectors. For a long they have been denied all these. The new political leadership must find the ways and means of getting “works to all hands”, a topic which is so dear to the author (भारत में युवा बेरोजगार क्यों? Such a venture should be possible in agriculture centric state of Bihar (Works to all Indian Hands: Govt unable or unwilling? The Counterviews; Issue 2:04; PP-16; No longer they should remain dependent on only the union govt. Presently BJP is co-ruling in the state and all attempts must be made to set-up new infrastructures, assets, manufacturing & service hubs that could generate huge employment and take the state forward. The state should do everything possible to attract investors and private companies that could generate growth and jobs.

Nearly 10.5 Cr Biharis have high aspirations and expectations in their own state. Their aspirations are far more than surviving as a labour force or in MNREGA schemes. The present education system in Bihar is limping at best. Corruptions in govt offices are unending although relatively better than those Lallu-Rabri dark days. The work culture in the govt is 'stale and uncooperative' at best. Hardly any govt official has intent or keenness to reach out to the public for the betterment of the state.

It was expected that Nitish will pick-up and groom a young, clean and dynamic face among the ‘Gen Next’ in his decades of rule but he has clearly failed or it has not been his priority. The Co-Ruling party BJP too, seem to be not grooming anyone. The DyCM and other Cabinet Ministers all seem to be devoid of the type of energy, forward-looking imaginations, dynamism and 'will to excel' that is required in a new CM who should also be clean-handed. State BJP President Dr Jaiswal and National President Shri Nadda must undertake a talent search exercise. Maybe the author is expecting the moon but there is no reason why Bihar polity should not be looking for such a face.

Bihar govt is clearly underperforming. The extra-bit of efforts to outperform is missing from top-down. The leadership at various levels seem to be content with their chairs. The least they can do is to hire the best of the advisors from elsewhere for crunch govt departments, who could bring dynamism, whose services may be able to break the lethargies among the Babus and energise them with new ideas, new projects, with new approaches. The govt must initiate an inter-governmental healthy competition for the creation of jobs, for involving the officials under inertia for increasing productivity.

Nitish ji may be regarded as Bishma-Pitamah of Bihar politics by historians. It is his and the two ruling political parties (JDU and BJP) president’s responsibilities to find a suitable person having an optimal mix of all traits of a bright and successful CM, groom him while he is still in power and then vacate his chair for him. Bihar has been tormented enough by Lallu clans and would not like to slip back again. We can see the restlessness of Tejaswi Yadav to grab power somehow and behind him is the swarm of M-Y force, the “लठैती, डकैती, फिरौती गैंग”. It is time to remain alert and carefully steer Bihar out of the lurking dangers, uncertainties and worst, the rising anger among the presently docile populace. It is the responsibility of the two ruling parties to find that suitable person and put him/her in the CM’s chair sooner than later if Bihar has to avoid the black days again.

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