Bihar is going through a major event for its social settlement to sustain the atrocities of the changing atmosphere of global development expected in the twentieth century. No wonder, this world is fighting the never-seeming-to-end battle against a global pandemic, but at the same time, the world is progressing. We all now think more globally than ever before, we all are more connected than ever before, and the intellectual and technological standards of the world have risen.
But there are nations or states around the world still reeling the fate of inefficient social structure and racial or caste-based discrimination. There are regions around the world where antisocial elements are breeding over the bureaucratic negligence fuelled by incendiary demagogues. These states are not changing with time, but the pattern of already omnipresent issues is just getting more and more complex.
One such state is Bihar. Bihar, since decades, grew with abject poverty and caste-based discrimination. This fuelled issues like political intolerance among communities and caste-based upheavals.
People’s emotions, their beliefs and their lifestyle got so entrenched into the prevalent climate of mediocracy that anything like a flood-affected area, rape in the nearby neighbourhood and exam cheating in the universities became next to normal.
Bihar for some may seem to be a totally different planet, but for Biharis, it’s their way of life.
For 15 years, we have Nitish Kumar as CM of Bihar who is no way different from his predecessors in ruling Bihar. But the people of Bihar never had options, or what can be said is that “they never got new options”. This election, however, is different in a way that we can observe a generational shift in Bihar politics and some young and new faces are coming up.
Chirag Paswan, Tejaswi Yadav and a totally new party launched by a somewhat unknown female figure in Bihar politics, Pushpam Priya Chaudhari. It can however evidently said that issues remain the same: poverty, unemployment, quality education, quality health infrastructure.
Can this new generation, or we should say the next generation of elitist political figures, change the political scenes of Bihar? Or will we witness a cloning of decades of caste wise voting patterns and development being the least important concern?
Pushpam Priya holds a Masters degree in Public Administration from the London School of Economics and Political science. While Tejashwi Yadav dropped out of school to pursue his passion for cricket. A true sportsman, isn’t he? And we have Chirag Paswan who apart from being a politician is also an actor.
We have our political players taking the stage from diverse backgrounds but not in terms of caste and class but rather in terms of passion and talent. These new young individuals can be a hope for a hopeful Bihar youth. For young Bihar to progress, we need strong social development policies which would bring in investment and that will, in turn, develop the economy. There is a need for a decrease in corruption and an increase in the participation of civil society in decision-making.
However, it has been observed that every third candidate in the first phase of the pole is a crorepati. This proves that Bihar’s politics is still confined to exclusivity and is yet to turn to the egalitarian phase. Many of these millionaires still believe that last 15 years were extremely progressive for Bihar, and many believe that the 15 years before these 15 years was the actual progressive Bihar model.
While the unemployment rate in Bihar is higher than the national average and an already dwindling health infrastructure which has further crumbled in the COVID-19 times is not a representative of dynamic and visionary leadership.
The question is can a generational change bring a dynamic change in Bihar’s political environment?
Can we see more youths, who come in for voting, actually vote on development? Can we someday actually believe in the leaders we have at the top of the legislative circus? The answer lies in the collective action and reaction of a young and dynamic Bihar. It’s up to the youth, the changed face of Bihar that they want to stay clean of the dirt of hatred, political demagoguery and communal violence or they too believe in the footsteps of their predecessor.