This post has been self-published on Youth Ki Awaaz by Sibte Hassan. Just like them, anyone can publish on Youth Ki Awaaz.

Why I Am Rooting For RJD’s Return To Power In Bihar

More from Sibte Hassan

To me, it was very clear that the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) raided Lalu Prasad Yadav’s premises with the aim of dissolving a government which was becoming an obstacle to the BJP led Union government in the upcoming elections.

It has been over a month since the FIR was filed and the CBI has not arrested the accused. Meanwhile, the BJP leaders have come up with an entire sheet of allegations. Such allegations and accusations have put Tejashwi Yadav into the limelight.

The political party Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) started with a new zeal in Bihar under the leadership of Tejashwi Yadav. He took part in the recent Champaran ‘padyatra’ as a commemoration of Gandhi’s own Satyagraha in the region 100 years ago. Historically, the RSS itself opposed freedom movements and was absent from many such struggles. The paid media may show the ‘Janadesh Apman Yatra‘ as a caste based initiative. But for me, it was a setback to the agenda of showing the Yadav family in a poor light for opposing the Centre’s line.

Tejashwi Yadav’s entry into politics marked the beginning of a new and updated version of RJD. The fall from government should be a lesson to the party. Hopefully, it’s the last one because the party has the capability to be a face of opposition.

There is a fear of Lalu because he has a large segment of Bihar’s population behind him. He is the hero of social development. The socially backward people had to starve before the Mandal Commission. The unsung hero of the Mandal era is Lalu Prasad Yadav. He was charged with corruption in the fodder scam case, in which funds were being embezzled from the Bihar government treasury during Lalu Prasad Yadav’s tenure as Bihar’s Chief Minister. The Patna high court had ordered the CBI to investigate. Earlier this month, he appeared before a CBI court in Ranchi for trial.

Image Credit: Santosh Kumar/Hindustan Times via Getty Images

The mandate of 2015 Bihar elections marked the beginning of a new inning for cricketer-turned-politician Tejashwi Yadav. There was an uproar in the media over a person who had only studied till class 9 handling the system and government. But they were so biased that they forgot about the dubious educational qualifications of our own Prime Minister. At least we should be grateful to the Tejashwi for not bringing a fake degree. We never questioned Sachin Tendulkar’s Rajya Sabha entry even though he failed his higher secondary examination.

Does an aspiring cricketer need a degree? How many Indian cricketers have graduation or post graduation degrees? Similarly, legislative posts in India have never required such educational qualifications. Maybe Tejashwi was not academically excellent but I think he was showing his excellence in governance. He was modestly playing the role which was given to him. The extensive and cumulative approach towards development was smoothly progressing and his increasing popularity gave a new shape to Bihar’s politics.

Not only had Nitish Kumar become the Chief Minister but Tejashwi had also become a hero. He was appointed the Deputy Chief Minister and is currently the leader of opposition in the Bihar assembly, making him the youngest opposition leader in the country. This in itself is a milestone for a young and aspiring leader.

With a new battle to fight, the party should have a new approach, a new focus and new agendas. RJD always had a strong base in the rural areas. There should be a focus to make this base tighter. The youth have started joining RJD. And Tej Pratap’s Dharmanirpeksha (Secular) Sevak Sangh (DSS) must emerge as a parallel organisation of the party to reach out to the workers and the voters. Focus on Muslim votes should be more emphasised. The caste system that exists among Muslims in Bihar has pushed Muslims from lower castes into the hands of the JDU. RJD should develop a new batch of Muslim leaders who come from lower caste backgrounds. They can be an asset for the party. Abdul Bari Siddiqui, Mohammed Taslimuddin, Mohammad Shahabuddin, Ali Ashraf Fatmi and Tanveer Hassan are the ones who need to be reached out to in case of division among Muslim votes.

RJD never opposed upper caste Hindus. It only urged them to come forward and help their idea of socialism to evolve. The poor sections of the upper caste should be reached out to. The party needs to not only stand for the lower castes but for the poor in general. There should be a booth level team to strengthen the party at the district level. RJD’s core voting areas should be energised to advocate and advertise the party’s agenda.

Party workers are the gems of the party and they should be treated well. The ratio of state level and district level meetings should increase and the party should start a new membership drive to keep the workers and supporters busy.

As opposition, RJD can play a vital role and grab the utmost position by pointing out the faults and shortcomings of the government. As we all know, Nitish Kumar is a political mastermind and it won’t be easy ousting him. But nevertheless, Lalu and the RJD have always chosen to accomplish impossible tasks. RJD should start again the fight for a caste-wise census so that we all get to know the numerical analysis behind the caste demography. Bihar is not only Patna; we need to know the conditions and situations of all 38 districts.

Lalu’s time in government not only coined social development but also paved a way for socio-economic development. The JDU-BJP alliance had often spoken about development. However, being a good speaker doesn’t make one an able ruler though it can help out an opportunist. Currently, the state of education in Bihar is deplorable.

The RJD needs to see this as the start of a new dawn. They need to take their idea of socialism to a new level. It is a new beginning and the RJD should mark it.

You must be to comment.

More from Sibte Hassan

Similar Posts

By Accountability Initiative

By Suneel

By Bashiruddin Faruki

Wondering what to write about?

Here are some topics to get you started

Share your details to download the report.









We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

Share your details to download the report.









We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

An ambassador and trained facilitator under Eco Femme (a social enterprise working towards menstrual health in south India), Sanjina is also an active member of the MHM Collective- India and Menstrual Health Alliance- India. She has conducted Menstrual Health sessions in multiple government schools adopted by Rotary District 3240 as part of their WinS project in rural Bengal. She has also delivered training of trainers on SRHR, gender, sexuality and Menstruation for Tomorrow’s Foundation, Vikramshila Education Resource Society, Nirdhan trust and Micro Finance, Tollygunj Women In Need, Paint It Red in Kolkata.

Now as an MH Fellow with YKA, she’s expanding her impressive scope of work further by launching a campaign to facilitate the process of ensuring better menstrual health and SRH services for women residing in correctional homes in West Bengal. The campaign will entail an independent study to take stalk of the present conditions of MHM in correctional homes across the state and use its findings to build public support and political will to take the necessary action.

Saurabh has been associated with YKA as a user and has consistently been writing on the issue MHM and its intersectionality with other issues in the society. Now as an MHM Fellow with YKA, he’s launched the Right to Period campaign, which aims to ensure proper execution of MHM guidelines in Delhi’s schools.

The long-term aim of the campaign is to develop an open culture where menstruation is not treated as a taboo. The campaign also seeks to hold the schools accountable for their responsibilities as an important component in the implementation of MHM policies by making adequate sanitation infrastructure and knowledge of MHM available in school premises.

Read more about his campaign.

Harshita is a psychologist and works to support people with mental health issues, particularly adolescents who are survivors of violence. Associated with the Azadi Foundation in UP, Harshita became an MHM Fellow with YKA, with the aim of promoting better menstrual health.

Her campaign #MeriMarzi aims to promote menstrual health and wellness, hygiene and facilities for female sex workers in UP. She says, “Knowledge about natural body processes is a very basic human right. And for individuals whose occupation is providing sexual services, it becomes even more important.”

Meri Marzi aims to ensure sensitised, non-discriminatory health workers for the needs of female sex workers in the Suraksha Clinics under the UPSACS (Uttar Pradesh State AIDS Control Society) program by creating more dialogues and garnering public support for the cause of sex workers’ menstrual rights. The campaign will also ensure interventions with sex workers to clear misconceptions around overall hygiene management to ensure that results flow both ways.

Read more about her campaign.

MH Fellow Sabna comes with significant experience working with a range of development issues. A co-founder of Project Sakhi Saheli, which aims to combat period poverty and break menstrual taboos, Sabna has, in the past, worked on the issue of menstruation in urban slums of Delhi with women and adolescent girls. She and her team also released MenstraBook, with menstrastories and organised Menstra Tlk in the Delhi School of Social Work to create more conversations on menstruation.

With YKA MHM Fellow Vineet, Sabna launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society. As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Read more about her campaign. 

A student from Delhi School of Social work, Vineet is a part of Project Sakhi Saheli, an initiative by the students of Delhi school of Social Work to create awareness on Menstrual Health and combat Period Poverty. Along with MHM Action Fellow Sabna, Vineet launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society.

As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Find out more about the campaign here.

A native of Bhagalpur district – Bihar, Shalini Jha believes in equal rights for all genders and wants to work for a gender-equal and just society. In the past she’s had a year-long association as a community leader with Haiyya: Organise for Action’s Health Over Stigma campaign. She’s pursuing a Master’s in Literature with Ambedkar University, Delhi and as an MHM Fellow with YKA, recently launched ‘Project अल्हड़ (Alharh)’.

She says, “Bihar is ranked the lowest in India’s SDG Index 2019 for India. Hygienic and comfortable menstruation is a basic human right and sustainable development cannot be ensured if menstruators are deprived of their basic rights.” Project अल्हड़ (Alharh) aims to create a robust sensitised community in Bhagalpur to collectively spread awareness, break the taboo, debunk myths and initiate fearless conversations around menstruation. The campaign aims to reach at least 6000 adolescent girls from government and private schools in Baghalpur district in 2020.

Read more about the campaign here.

A psychologist and co-founder of a mental health NGO called Customize Cognition, Ritika forayed into the space of menstrual health and hygiene, sexual and reproductive healthcare and rights and gender equality as an MHM Fellow with YKA. She says, “The experience of working on MHM/SRHR and gender equality has been an enriching and eye-opening experience. I have learned what’s beneath the surface of the issue, be it awareness, lack of resources or disregard for trans men, who also menstruate.”

The Transmen-ses campaign aims to tackle the issue of silence and disregard for trans men’s menstruation needs, by mobilising gender sensitive health professionals and gender neutral restrooms in Lucknow.

Read more about the campaign here.

A Computer Science engineer by education, Nitisha started her career in the corporate sector, before realising she wanted to work in the development and social justice space. Since then, she has worked with Teach For India and Care India and is from the founding batch of Indian School of Development Management (ISDM), a one of its kind organisation creating leaders for the development sector through its experiential learning post graduate program.

As a Youth Ki Awaaz Menstrual Health Fellow, Nitisha has started Let’s Talk Period, a campaign to mobilise young people to switch to sustainable period products. She says, “80 lakh women in Delhi use non-biodegradable sanitary products, generate 3000 tonnes of menstrual waste, that takes 500-800 years to decompose; which in turn contributes to the health issues of all menstruators, increased burden of waste management on the city and harmful living environment for all citizens.

Let’s Talk Period aims to change this by

Find out more about her campaign here.

Share your details to download the report.









We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

A Gender Rights Activist working with the tribal and marginalized communities in india, Srilekha is a PhD scholar working on understanding body and sexuality among tribal girls, to fill the gaps in research around indigenous women and their stories. Srilekha has worked extensively at the grassroots level with community based organisations, through several advocacy initiatives around Gender, Mental Health, Menstrual Hygiene and Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) for the indigenous in Jharkhand, over the last 6 years.

Srilekha has also contributed to sustainable livelihood projects and legal aid programs for survivors of sex trafficking. She has been conducting research based programs on maternal health, mental health, gender based violence, sex and sexuality. Her interest lies in conducting workshops for young people on life skills, feminism, gender and sexuality, trauma, resilience and interpersonal relationships.

A Guwahati-based college student pursuing her Masters in Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Bidisha started the #BleedwithDignity campaign on the technology platform Change.org, demanding that the Government of Assam install
biodegradable sanitary pad vending machines in all government schools across the state. Her petition on Change.org has already gathered support from over 90000 people and continues to grow.

Bidisha was selected in Change.org’s flagship program ‘She Creates Change’ having run successful online advocacy
campaigns, which were widely recognised. Through the #BleedwithDignity campaign; she organised and celebrated World Menstrual Hygiene Day, 2019 in Guwahati, Assam by hosting a wall mural by collaborating with local organisations. The initiative was widely covered by national and local media, and the mural was later inaugurated by the event’s chief guest Commissioner of Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) Debeswar Malakar, IAS.

Sign up for the Youth Ki Awaaz Prime Ministerial Brief below