23-Nov-2005

More Things Change

More they remain the same. Tucked away in the corner of page 8 in DH, this nugget:
‘Criminals’ come up trumps
Patna, ians

Barring a few exceptions, most known criminal-politicians who contested the Bihar assembly polls emerged winners on Tuesday.

The JD (U), which is set to become the state’s ruling party, tops the list of parties with poll winners who have a criminal background.

Laloo Prasad’s RJD, Ram Vilas Paswan’s LJP and the BJP follow JD (U). These criminal-politicians are locally called “bahubalis” for their combination of political and muscle power.
Italics, of course, mine. A political party does not arise out of nowhere, nor does it exist in a vacuum. It draws on the conditions surrounding it if it wants to contest and win elections. What is needed is a person who can change the conditions. Will Nitish Kumar be that person? Maybe. Will we shortly start hearing excuses like "It is difficult to change in five years what was in place for 15 years"? Again, maybe.