Role of Nitish Kumar is not limited to affecting the lives of people living in Bihar but it also plays a very significant role in the life of people living outside Bihar.
After completing my schooling from Loyola High School, Patna, when I came to Delhi in 2006 to join Kirori Mal College, Delhi University, I realized how people thought negatively about people from Bihar. No one wanted to keep a Bihari tenant because of the image of Bihar. Friends from Delhi and Haryana always wanted to visit Bihar but they were afraid to go to Patna because of its image but luckily around the same time (2005), Nitish Kumar came into power in Bihar and within a few years, image of Bihar improved considerably.
It took a few years and then people started saying that now your state is in safe hands so we can visit Bihar. Though even now people criticize Bihar and have a bias against Biharis but lesser than what Biharis faced earlier.
In the current scenario, whether Nitish Kumar is a good Chief Minister or not can be a point of debate but what his presence as Chief Minister of Bihar means to people of Bihar living outside Bihar means a lot, at least because of available options (for CM face) in Bihar.
Today, many people say that now the law and order has deteriorated in Bihar, he is not the Nitish Kumar that he used to be; but for us, he has played a role of a savior.
What he is facing with the BJP was very much expected; it is a tactical move by the BJP. Whenever BJP goes for a coalition with any regional party then after a few years it starts attacking its coalition partner and makes it very weak. We can see many such examples. Whether it is J&K or our Bihar, BJP always creates a scene after making an alliance.
Unfortunately, caste plays a major role in India and when it comes to Bihar then it plays a very crucial role and current caste dynamics in Bihar is such that no party can come to power single-handedly. At least RJD and JD-U has a clear face that will emerge as the next CM if their party wins but just like Delhi, in Bihar also BJP doesn't have any capable and undisputed face of the party.
So, people have only two options: whether it can be RJD+JDU or BJP +JDU and, in both scenarios, Nitish Kumar has an upper hand as CM contender in the future elections.
Under Nitish Kumar, Bihar has seen tremendous improvement in the condition of roads and electrification. Now people get more than 20-hour electricity almost everywhere and the Bihar power organization's data shows 100% electrification.
However, what confuses people is the stand of Nitish Kumar regarding his ideology. He has formed government with the RJD also and with the BJP. And, when he is in alliance with the BJP, then he is also against the ideology of BJP, which he makes clear time and again.
His renaming of Patna's Bailey Road as Jawahar Lal Path was not just a change of name but it was a message to the BJP that he doesn't follow BJP's principles.
Even in the upcoming Delhi elections, he is going to fight against BJP and he knows that though he may not win a single seat in the Delhi election, he will be able to bag some vote because of his image amongst Biharis in Delhi and also amongst people of Delhi.
So, the truth is that you can love him or hate him but you can't ignore him.
Ashutosh Rabindra, Advocate. Studied at Delhi University (Kirori Mal College and Faculty of Law, Delhi University and Loyola High School, Patna)BLOG COMMENTS POWERED BY DISQUS