Sunday, November 08, 2015

Lessons from Bihar

Like any election result, the Bihar outcome also is not monochromatic in what it conveys. Nitish Kumar conducted himself decently as a chief minister without presiding over any loot. This was appreciated atleast by some people. Laloo Prasad had been out in the lurch long enough to make some people yearn for his comeback. His rustic humour appealed to some others. Though there was no inherent attraction between the supporters of Nitish and Laloo, there was no repulsion either as BJP had wished for. BJP did not field the few local leaders it has, with due importance. Modi and Amit Shah allowed themselves to be consumed by their arrogance and self-delusion, the inevitable by-product of power.

Exit-pollsters, post poll pollsters and even vote counting lead-readers exhibited their immense capacity to be ignorant of what was happening. "Indianomix: Making sense of modern India" authors Vivek Dehejia (Economics Professor in Canada) and Rupa Subramanya (Economic journalist) now have more grist to their mill and we can look forward to an expanded edition of their entertaining and educative book.

Where do we go from here? If Modi realises that Indians' proverbial patience is not that long-lasting, action is more important than words and there is no place for hate-speeches, people of Bihar will feel satisfied.

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