Left warlordism in Bihar
Bihar is again back to Lalu, thanks to the UPA'sutter disregard for democracy and the Constitution. The Prime Minister has justified the dissolution of the assembly as a device to prevent the worst kind of horse-trading. Even if one is to take this contention on its face value for the sake of argument, many questions remain, begging for answers.
The Prime Minister was only parroting the Bihar Governor. The same Governor now says that he had no concrete evidence on horse-trading and if one comes before him, he will take penal action. This is the depths to which the UPA has brought democracy in the country. This is the third time the UPA in the last twelve months has misused the gubernatorial office. It is also surprising that parties like the CPM, CPI, NCP and the DMK who were at the forefront in the campaign against misuse of Article 356 all these years, did not utter a word when the Raj Bhawan presiding deities were first removed by the UPA to replace them with crony Congressmen!
The Bihar assembly was not even constituted, the MLAs had not taken oath and thus, they cannot even be technically called members of the house. Thus the allegation of horse-trading falls flat on the face. And hours after the Presidential proclamation, the CPM leader, Sitaram Yechury, was on the television claiming that still a secular government could be formed if only Ram Vilas Paswan had agreed. Thus the UPA horse-trading is perfect and legal. But what was the indecent hurry for this midnight coup?
The President was away in Russia. The dissolution could have waited his return a week later. The cabinet could have met in daytime, instead of the midnight on Sunday. The UPA could not wait for daybreak as the NDA leader Nitish Kumar was ready with the support of 137 MLAs to stake claim to form the government. Hence, the hurry to outsmart and deny a chance to the elected MLAs.
The lead actors in this dark midnight play were the CPM and the Congress who have no political base in Bihar. The CPM has won only two seats and the Congress nine, with the support of Lalu and Paswan together. Even before the full results were out, the CPM had started the chorus to dissolve the assembly as it became clear that Lalu misrule had come to an end by popular verdict. The communists who always thrive in anarchy were eager to hand over the state to the Lalu-Rabri gang. Even the vertical division in the UPA ranks with Paswan, Samajwadi Party and the MLAs of BSP, CPI (ML) and Independents openly opposing Lalu'swarlordism did not clear the myopic political vision of the Left.
As we emphasised in these columns immediately after the poll in March, Bihar will survive without Lalu, but Lalu cannot without Bihar. The CPM has chosen to become the new godfather of Lalu, prompting pressurising and even punishing parties to queue up behind Lalu. Its now CPM with Lalu as proxy in Bihar. They will try to muzzle bureaucracy, browbeat the Election Commission and delay the polls as far as possible so as to infiltrate the administration with Red loyalists to ensure a rigged election in the next round a la West Bengal. In a free election, they know Lalu will meet his Waterloo.
Arjun Singh and academic ghettoism
It is not clear why Muslims as a community cannot resist the architects of communal ghettoism, like Arjun Singh. In all his political career, despite pandering to the basest human instincts, promoting medieval obsession, and craving for cheap, purile publicity, the infamous Lilliputian hero of Churhat could not carve out a political constituency of his own.
We all know the kind of speech, mostly ghost-written, politicians make. Still he published 12 volumes of his speeches to mark his year-long 75th birthday celebrations. Congress president Sonia Gandhi even chided him, suggesting vanaprastha and reticence when the age is ripe.
But Arjun Singh cannot overcome his ambition. A crowning failure of his one-year helmsmanship in the Human Resources Development Ministry was the fall in the standards of all educational institutions in the country. So much so that the Kendriya Vidyalayas and Navodaya Vidyalayas, which produced marvellous results, beating the elite public schools in the country, for four consecutive years under Dr Murli Manohar Joshi, have already started slipping. Arjun Singh achieved the same dubious self-goal for the IITs, IIMs and other institutions of higher learning with his blind, one-track idiosyncrasies.
The latest in his pack of toxic marvels is the 50 per cent reservation for Muslims in the Aligarh Muslim University. Already there is reservation for internal candidates who are mostly Muslims. The combined reservation will come to over 90 per cent and clog the AMU. A degree from the AMU will soon become a mark of educational delinquency. It is understandable that Arjun Singh'stoxin should find its ultimate abode in the AMU, Deoband and Jamia Milia Islamia. For these were the seats of the most potent communal virus, throughout the last century. The maker of Pakistan, Mohammad Ali Jinnah, had described the AMU as the ?arsenal of Muslim India?. And Aga Khan, who was the past master of command performance for the British policy of divide and rule, called it the ?birthplace of Pakistan?.
So hallowed is the divisive history of this institution that after Partition, many national leaders wanted it to be shut down. But it was Jawaharlal Nehru'slaboratory for experimenting with his new theory of nationalism that the Muslims merged their proclivity for separateness at the altar of ?unity in diversity?. The common bond of heritage, cultural history and shared vision of a modern, prosperous, synthesising Indian personality that Nehru advocated to the AMU in his convocation address on September 24, 1948 underlined his vision.
In one stroke Arjun Singh has torpedoed all that. He has pushed the AMU into the communal ghetto, to make it a nursery of Jehad, terrorism and disaffection. All this was done with the patriotic Indian money, the tax-payers? sweat which make up for 80 per cent of the AMU'sexpenditure. Digging communal sewage with public money is Arjun Singh'snew curriculum for 21st-century India. Such men who fashion as modern-day Mohammad Bin Tughlaqs should be consigned to the drainage bins by any civil society. Unfortunately, UPA is the factory producing this pollutant in large quantities.