Patna: If cradling India’s first republican system of government some 3300 years ago is a grand alibi to promote the trigger-happy don-turned-politicians participating in electoral games then Bihar can indeed take pride in it.
Electoral history is repeating with tainted politicians facing the charges of murder, smuggling, gun-running, kidnapping and “rangdari” are again in the fray in this politically fragile state where might, apparently, is right.
Since the term criminalization of politics has become an old hackneyed term, the new coinage now is Dabang in Bihar. The Hindi term Dabangg means mighty, powerful and of course, trigger happy as you cannot just become Hercules in the electoral battle without doing that.
In fact, the fielding of goon-turned Dabang politicians is hardly news in the Hindi heartland of Bihar and Uttar Pradesh.
However, this time it has turned very relevant as the revered politician Raghuvansha Prasad Singh who died soon after he resigned from the RJD as the ticket for coming to Legislative Assembly from his seat Vaishali was given to a Dabangg.
This topic of reel-life like real-life politics of Bihar is in the spotlight as all political parties, cutting across ideological lines, have their very own shares of Dabanggs.
The elections in Bihar, which earlier produced such stalwarts like Dr. Rajendra Prasad (the first President of India) and Loknayak Jaiprakash Narayan, really cannot be imagined without the modern-day Dabangg. Naturally, the reverberation of the staccato of gunfire in the poll-time is a given.
Since the judiciary has barred convicted Dabangs from participating in polls, such goon-turn politicians often have their police cases reverted or nullified with the help of brute political power.
In wonderful political somersaults, the political parties do often say they will not field goons with guns but in reality, they do so and give alibis to the withdrawal of criminal cases against such elements. But then, Bihar has the legacy of being one of the most ancient cradles of democracy.
Hence, it is no wonder that while the political parties of the state may stand divided on most of the national, international, and regional issues, stand united in fielding Dabangs be it the parliamentary or legislative assembly polls proving every Indian soul can fight polls.
So what if some of them are tainted? Has not their case history of criminal activities been altered to pronounce them innocent?
Incidentally, India’s first republican system took birth at Vaishali in Bihar. Mahatma Gandhi also had made his entry into the Indian politics in 1917 from Bihar’s Champaran by launching the first Satyagraha against the British. But things have changed. You can call it what you will - a mockery of democracy or whatever. The number of Dons likely to contest the coming polls is only going to rise. Its really not news anymore but the implications for ordinary voters and their political rivals are ominous. Some even announce openly that they will unleash a reign of terror if they are defeated in the polls. The old newspapers, tell the same story.
Though the criminalization of Bihar politics took a sudden upward turn in 1971-72 when the Naxalite movement created massive fluidity in the political set up, it continues to remain the main feature of the state’s poll-politics with no sight of a solution or end.
Practically, all governments over the last 50-long years failed to stop the entry of Dabangg politicians in the poll fray. The ideology of the political party in power mattered very little.
If you try to understand the Bihar politics in its real perspective, you will discover that the tainted characters have mostly succeeded in the polls be it an assembly or the Lok Sabha. Why nobody knows! We can, however, hazard a guess: the fear factor. They know if they refrain from voting for the Dabangg, it may result in the killing or kidnapping of their children. Nobody can brave the wrath of such elements.
Yes. This is the real-life democracy today in Bihar that was the cradle of the country’s first republican system.
Going by the criminalization of Bihar, it really is the strangest possible fact that democracy first sprouted in this state. If giving birth to democracy is an alibi for the criminalization of politics, then Bihar can take pride in it. Indeed!
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