ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Bihar Shows the Way

The landslide victory of the Lalu Prasad Yadav–Nitish Kumar coalition in the assembly elections in Bihar has posed a big challenge to the Narendra Modi–Amit Shah brand of politics of monolithic Hinduism. It is significant that this happened in a state which is “backward” in terms of mainstream parameters of development. We should keep in mind that it was Lalu Prasad Yadav who had the courage to stop the modern ratha yatra of Lal Krishna Advani (which led to communal flare-ups in different parts of India) in Bihar in 1990. Nitish Kumar was a close associate of Lalu at that time. No one knows how the Nitish–Lalu coalition will work in the coming days. But there is no doubt that their big victory in the Bihar assembly elections will impact our national politics and politics of other states in India. The results of assembly elections in Bihar have belied the electoral forecasts of the dominant corporatised media. Moreover, they testify that our canonical categories of political analysis are grossly inadequate to understand the popular categories of caste, religion and vikas, which determined the political outcome in Bihar.

Arup Kumar Sen
KOLKATA

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