Five people torched to death. The issue , a trivial one , disputed ownership of a Buffalo. Although it might be perceived by few as an isolated incident , but to discerning eyes it is symptomatic of a deeper malaise.
Caste tensions and eventually caste wars are not new to BIHAR. Casteism single handedly has been responsible for not letting the state jump onto the development bandwagon , rather to make matters worse it is pulling it down and the state is crashing heads first. The state of affairs in Bihar is degenerating by the day and some drastic measures need to be taken to stem the rot before it spreads like a cancer and renders it beyond help . Once (in the 1950s and the early 60s ) Bihar could proudly lay claim to being the best administered state but now if we were to tell this to anyone we would get those "We-know-better" glares. Bihar's honeymoon with administrative discipline , law and order and prosperity ended long ago , most probably with Shri Krishna Singh's tenure as the chief minister. He is undoubtably one of the best chief ministers to have ruled over any state and undeniably the best to rule Bihar . During Mr Singh's tenure at the helm Bihar prospered as new industries were setup here. Bihar figured prominently in Nehru's scheme of things vis-a-vis the industrial revolution in India as Bihar became the hub of heavy industrial setup having an ecclectic ensemble of industries both large and small scale . Petroleum refinery , a fertilizer plant and Thermal power station were setup in Barauni ( Distt Begusarai) , there were steel plants in Bokaro and Jamshedpur.
In the field of Education Bihar was doing equally good. In times when the number of engineering colleges in the country could be counted on one's finger tips , Bihar had engineering colleges at Sindri , Muzzafarpur and Jamshedpur. Patna science college produced the best talents and brains in the country.
The downfall of Bihar started , I daresay, with JP Movement. I know I have ruffled a few feathers by saying this , but the fact of the matter is , JP Movement set the wheel of Bihar's downfall in motion. Students shunned colleges , government employees their offices and the whole state came to a grinding halt. When this movement stopped , Alas, Bihar could not wake out of its slumber and it lumbered in the same state. This is the law of inertia of a inert state, the state being Bihar. While the whole country shrugged off the indolence and lunged forward , Bihar staggered and chugged , tottering towards its fall.
Today humbled by the loss of power in Bihar, RJD is playing the dirty game of caste politics again. Ironically the targets this time are the downtrodden and poor whose very cause the RJD claimed to champion . Embittered with the loss , it vented its anger on the hapless BC s( Backward Castes ) in bihar for not voting for the regime. Instead of fueling the already raging fires of casteism , which if rages on for long would engulf the entire state , Laloo should help in establishing a congenial environment in which the state could prosper. Laloo in his tenure spanning the better part of last two decades promised much but delivered little. Even the Yadavs did not benefit much under him except perhaps a false notion of power and prosperity . The list of beneficiaries of the regime is very exclusive besides being equally limited and would read like the family tree of Mr Yadav.
With JP movement the monster of Casteism raised its ugly head , the very monster that the movement set out to slay. In the name of Social Justice people started indulging in what we now as "vote bank " politics as the champions of this so called social justice abounded. They swore by JayPrakash Narayan and Lohia but followed their own personal agenda. Laloo prasad Yadav belongs to this school of thought, but let us not blame everything on Mr Yadav . He is simply carrying forward from where BP Mandal and Karpuri Thakur left.
In the name of social justice Laloo openly asked for a wiping out of forward castes , ( BHOORA BAL). The equation was simple enough :
BHOORA BAL = BHumihar+ Rajput + Brahmin + Lala ( Kayastha)
Mr Yadav , also a firm believer in secularism has his own very interesting notion of the same. Convinced of the fact that India was not following the secular principles envisaged in the constitution and that the popular notion of secularism is flawed, he immediately took upon himself the onerous task of providing a more wholesome and complete definition of secularism. Mr Yadav also has vast experience is providing such concise and correct interpretations of esoteric terms which clears reflects in his very succulent delineating of fundamentals of socialism, communalism , communism and all such -isms. Mr Yadav's abundant and adequate love for his people can be guaged simply by following the curious nomenclature he has for his votebank--which he so aptly and in a uniquely touching fashion calls as MY votebank . This at once conveys his pride , affection and solictitude for MY or rather HIS votebank. Till date Mr Yadav has been wisely and diligently regulating the composition of this exclusive club , with the membership granted to Muslims and Yadavs and also has prevented himself from falling into the trap of practicising parochial and narrow minded politics so blatantly being followed by parties like the BJP who only concern themselves with Hindus ( Though I am not sure if this allegation is entirely true as BJP is just going helter skelter suffering from ideological cataract and opportunistic myopia at the same time).
And ofcourse Laloo jee swears by Democracy and socialism. We need more perspective on this. Socialism has acquired a very parochial definition in India . What we follow is not social justice but SOCIAL REVENGE. It sets out to avenge the wrongs committed by forefathers of socially forward caste people on those not so previleged. Reservation in jobs , promotions , admissions in colleges and now even in primary schools are glaring examples of this skewed mentality. For social justice to prosper and India to be a functional democracy caste based reservation system should be abolished as reservations have clearly outlived their purpose. It should be strictly on economic grounds as it is more a question of CLASS than Caste. Following the present logic for reservations , a poor brahmin student would not get any reservation but sons of KR Narayanan , Ram Vilas Paswan and their likes would enjoy its fruits. Is this what we mean by social justice , I hope not.
Thank God for small mercies , clearly the Lord has been benevolent in granting us a magnanimous soul in Mr Yadav whose actions are all guided by the solitary motive of upliftment of people to heaven, in which he has been successful to a great extent , his absolute success only thwarted somehow by the unscrupulous and opportunistic alliance of few vested interests.