This week the nation wants to know who will win the battle for Bihar. While Lalu Prasad Yadav is confident that his Mahagatbandhan with Nitish Kumar has hit the home run, BJP is certain that their pinch hitters have done the trick; the exit polls have only added to the confusion predicting a close game. So all eyes are on Sunday for the counting to start.
The Bihar elections are significant in more than one way: Nitish Kumar has proved that politics makes for strange bedfellows when he stitched up a partnership his arch rival Lalu Yadav and a win for him will change the political dynamics of the country. A win for Nitish will be the wind in the sail for all political parties pitched against the BJP in general and Narendra Modi in particular.
While most in BJP’s ranks have been busy with the Bihar elections in the past few months, others like Yogi Adityanath have been drawing up a dos and donts manual for Indians in their public lives. According to the rule book, use of words like ‘intolerance’ is equivalent to terrorism and qualifies for a Pakistani citizenship. And Bollywood superstar, Shahrukh Khan might just be leading that queue for Pakistani passport.
It all began when poor King Khan instead of celebrating his birthday and posing for photographers decided to bare his mind about the recent spate of protests by the Indian intelligentsia against the Modi Government. Again, a big no-no according to the rule book. While ‘ghar-wapsi’ is allowed ‘award wapsi’ is against the manual. After Sahitya Akademi, the recent laurel being returned is the National Award. So far 24 filmmakers, scriptwriters and cinematographers have returned their National Awards alleging a threat to diversity and freedom of speech under the present Central Government. While the BJP top brass continue to smell conspiracy in this as a method “to derail the Government’s development agenda”, another group of writers, academicians and artistes have taken a completely different stand, in support of the Narendra Modi government. These writers have found a spokesperson in Finance Minister, Arun Jaitley, who said that PM Modi has been the biggest victim of intolerance in the country. Did Jaitley just use the ‘intolerance’ word? It’s against the rule book Mr. Finance Minister!