With the month long election already started, Bihar has become a hot topic in media. Has the mindset of the people changed over the years when India has emerged as power to reckon with on global canvass? Will they vote for the development that is visible somewhat but not reached to all corner? Will the development be the focus for any political party coming in power?
I have another question running in mind. Does education make people broadminded or make them more attached to the traditional identities of caste or community? Many mails that I get or many views and opinions expressed on digital social network sites morose me. A minimal output of the right education must be a liberal personality. But unfortunately it doesn’t happen in India.
In the present election in Bihar, the voting pattern of some groups of people needs to be watched with interest. Will the so-called upper caste (by birth) vote against Nitish because of the fear of the land reform giving some right of land to the actual tillers? Some have created the bogey. I don’t think Nitish is brave enough to get that bill through. Moreover, the major shift in the ownerships of the land holdings towards OBCs may also be deterrent. It will not be prudent for him to do that. I have a view on the land reform. The land holdings have reduced over the years and become unviable for the profession of farming for living. The government should raise the ceiling limit. The farmers interested in retaining agriculture as profession must be free to buy land at market price. Secondly, if it is right to retain an additional urban property and earn rental for living, what should be the problem with sharecropping?
I will also watch to see how the minority that can play a decisive role in any election in India if it votes in block goes this time in Bihar. Nitish has done everything including bringing in a suspected character Tasalimuddin in his fold to win the minority votes besides offering many lucrative schemes exclusively for the community. I like some of the schemes such as ‘Hoonar’ that trains the girls in some skills. I wish that would have been extended to all the girls and young women of the state. Can’t the skills of nursing and midwifery be trained to larger number of these girls to make a better impact on the overall health of the society? But will the minority vote in block or follow fatwa of Imams? I wish they don’t. Will they remain with Madarassa or go to the regular government schools and demand good and compulsory education up to class X? I believe the community has a DNA of highly sophisticated skill and it can never remain poor if that potential is nourished.
But the most interesting judgment of the voters to be watched will be about Rabri Devi. Will they vote for her just because she is of a caste, even when she has failed the state at large both as the chief minister and the leader of opposition?
Unfortunately, I am missing the excitement and I am to live on the information coming from digital media.
The views expressed by the author are personal.