Barely 72 hours have passed since the Chief minister of Bihar Nitish Kumar has called upon the Non BJP political parties to get united to stop the juggernaut of saffron ideology , the media buzz on this whole issue tells the story how Nitish Kumar has hit so hard where it matters most?
Bihar Chief Minister is the shrewdest politician who has very deep knowledge of dynamics of Indian politics and more than his knowledge he somehow believes in his intuition on political matters and have mastered the art of patience to nurture his political ambitions.
In the decade of 90’s when BJP was a politically untouchable force and desperately needed someone in Hindi heartland to give it credence as political party with wider appeal beyond its “ Hindu first” seized suffocated ideological spectrum ,it was the Nitish Kumar who rescued BJP and along with socialist heavyweight George Fernandies get BJP out of its melancholy and provided a platform to grow it nationally and attract more allies in the leadership of Atal BIhari Vajpaee to form a coalition .
Nitish Kumar who himself is the product of a socialist movement knows the dynamics of Indian politics and limitations of the surge of right wing politics in Indian context.
In the run up to the general elections in 2014 he anticipated very well that if he decides to leave the ship where he sailed together for more than one and half decades will not be seen as an opportunistic decision but will provide him more credibility as a politician who stands for his values and principles. The decision of Nitish Kumar to leave the NDA coalition for ever was very calculative decision where he ignored his short term political advantage for long term political investment because it was the same Nitish Kumar who did not left NDA government when Gujarat riots happened in 2002 because if that time he would have left the NDA he would be viewed be more impulsive rather than politically correct and how politically sharp he was in his decision that another leader from Bihar Ram Vilas Paswan who left the NDA cabinet in 2002 could never earn the secular credentials and political capital out of his decision which he wanted but Nitish Kumar become more relevant when he left NDA in 2014.
As in 1990’s he had realized that in Bihar politics he would be overshadowed by Lalu Prasad Yadav and rather than playing second fiddle to Lalu or waiting to be vanished from Bihar politics he decided to go with BJP as their friendship was more like a friendship of Lame and blind where both needed each other badly .
The time has taken a full circle again and destiny has again thrown a chance before Nitish Kumar to repeat his experiment of 90’s the only difference is the reversal of role of both sides.
Since Nitish Kumar has called upon the Non BJP political parties to come together to fight against RSS and BJP this call is being considered as another futile exercise to form a third front but in the opinion of writer of these lines this is wrong assessment of the current political scenario of the country . The issue of Third front arises only when there are two fronts have already been in existence in political scene but almost the decimation of centrist politics and Congress party has put right and left ideologies to confront each other . It was the Congress party who was balancing the right and left with sometimes playing centre left and sometimes centre right as situation arise but now the left and right are looking into eyeball to eyeball each other and Nitish Kumar knows very well that political and social space of left in India is much wider as essentially left in Indian context in not communist and RSS and BJP both does the mistake to paint all the space of left as communists( and which they find with soft anti national approach) .
Atal Bihari Vajapee had more exposure and insight into Indian society and politics and more often use to say privately that BJP can grow in Indian politics as long as Congress is there as centrist force to balance and court the left but the new aggressive generation of BJP and RSS leadership overestimated their growth and strength in Indian society and polity too early too fast and overplayed the slogan of “ Congress free India” .
This slogan has benefitted BJP immediately to decimate Congress from political stage but it gave new breath and elbow room to left in general and Communists in particular and the recent electoral tie up between Congress and Communists is the indication where Indian politics headed for.
In previous post the writer projected the weaker Congress as an asset in coalition politics as it was the case with decaying Mughal empire in its last days when its symbolic value has the potential to help others to become the ruler and they have no other option to be happy to be a little partner . The Decimation of Centrist Congress has given a space to Communists to grow in Hindi heartland which they hesitated due to their truce with Congress not to exapnd its political base on the cast of Congress in Hindi Heartland.
In new political circumstances the romanticism of Leftist ideology doubled with slogan of socialism and social justice have the potential to change the political arithmetic and dynamics in next three years and politics is the game of probabilities and uncertainties.
Those who are taking the call of Nitish Kumar in lighter way due to their preconceived projection of Rahul Gandhi is being groomed as contender for Narendra Modi in next general elections doing another mistake and most of the political projection of BJP is based on this assumption as Rahul Gandhi can’t give challenge to Modi and it is very much true but given the persona and preparations of Rahul Gandhi it does not seem from anywhere that he aspires to become Prime Minister in 2019 if he could even think about this possibility not even before 2024 because it seems almost impossible for the congress to revive its strength in states in next two to three years as most of the regional parties and newly emerged AAP has started to eat into its political base.
Nitish Kumar knows very well that weaker congress around 2019 would have no option other than to provide supporting role in stitching an alternative alliance if not for ideological reasons then surely to save its political and economic assets.
Given this political situation the call of Nitish Kumar to unite Non BJP political parties is a serious effort and could pave the way for new kind of politics in India of amalgamation of regional satraps the reminiscent of ancient MahaJanpad.
If some people hope to revisit the Martha Warrior Shivaji in Narendra Modi who wants to build Hindu empire then Nitish Kumar has the ambition to revive the Nalanda and become new Chandragupta Murya. Let’s see who wins the confidence of people of country in coming months and year the Maratha warrior or ancient Nalanda .