Back from the Wilderness by Dr Mohammad Manzoor Alam (DECEMBER 21, 2013)

The release of Lalu Prasad Yadav from prison on bail has introduced a powerful element in Bihar politics as well as national politics.

The Supreme Court’s decision to allow him bail makes great sense as nobody was able to figure out why he alone was marked for denial of bail as everyone else was out on bail.

Justice cannot be selective. Already there is too much caste prejudice in Bihari society and administration, and people of newly rising castes have been made to suffer in one way or the other on caste grounds.

Lalu Yadav, too, had to suffer partly because of these considerations. The fodder scam was not his creation; he only inherited it from the previous government.

The lapses on his part were largely because of the nature of Indian bureaucracy, which clears files before ministers, chief ministers and prime ministers sign them hurriedly, often without reading them carefully, fully trusting the chain of clerks, junior and senior bureaucrats who had signed the files before them.

Now that Lalu Prasad Yadav is out, a clear, unambiguous voice for secularism is being heard with clarity in an environment muddied by the BJP’s communal campaign.

Years of backseat driving by the BJP (now also known as the Bharat Jalao Party) under Nitish Kumar rule has, sadly, vitiated the atmosphere with communal posturing and killing of Muslims. After separation from JDU and power, the BJP has become desperate, looking for opportunities to polarise and divide society on Hindu-Muslim lines.

Lalu Yadav’s presence on the scene is important and he is warning people in big gatherings not to fall prey to BJP’s malicious moves. “The Bharat Jalao Party is creating a 1947-like situation”, he cautions people. His advice must be heeded.

 

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