Jungle Raj appears to be returning in Bihar, but the media is not yet alarmed

Manu Maharaj is back in Patna, and this time as the SSP (Senior superintendent of police) of Patna. He not only carries a reputation of being a strict and honest cop, but also gives a cold shiver to criminals. He was brought back to Bihar because Nitish Kumar wanted law and order in Patna to stay in control. For first two weeks of this December, I was in there in Bihar for some personal reasons. I was delighted to see traffic police and police actively patrolling indifferent part of the capital. Despite the zig-zag moving traffic on narrow congested roads, police was constantly keeping eyes on everyone.

I was pleased to observe this, but sadly, despite these measures and despite several planning and promises done by Nitish Kumar, the current reality of Bihar is not very satisfying. I talked to some locals of Bihar which included businessmen, rickshaw wallas, farmers and home-makers. For them, it was too early to comment about the administration post re-entry of Lalu Prasad Yadav, but most of them accepted that crime is surging back. Another interesting outcome of my discussions was an inference that the worry and scepticism among people was not primarily guided by perception created by media or opposition, but it was based on real events happening in their surroundings. Cases of Gundagardi and Rangdaari in local markets have increased; people are also murmuring about threats.

As we travel away from Patna to the interiors of Bihar, the latest incidences make things gloomier for the residents. Criminals who were hiding for many years have started surfacing back. Cases of loot, murder, robbery, rangdaari, etc. which subdued after the fall of Lalu Yadav have started happening in daylights.  Two days back, I read that two engineers were shot dead in Darbhanga.

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Sadly, before I could read about steps taken by the government for this case, I read that one more engineer is murdered by slitting his throat.

Basic internet search and tweets published by local media agencies are good enough to expose the reality of law and order in Bihar.

These are not just statistics, as crimes do happen all over the country, but what’s more worrying is that criminals are challenging law and order by committing these crimes in daylight and in full public view. Jungle Raj is defined not just by crime rate, but by absence of fear for administration, and that’s what is threatening to come back in Bihar. During the previous era of Lalu Yadav, criminals didn’t fear police. In fact, police was afraid of criminals, and that is the Jungle Raj which people were afraid of. Many people are already sharing their fear:

While I am disturbed to read about the rise of crime in Bihar, I am distressed to see that national media is not only ignoring many of these news, but also instead of that portraying Nitish Kumar as an emerging national hero.  Media, for whatsoever reasons, was always in a rush to create a brand which can stand opposite to Modi. With his secular credentials, Nitish Kumar has emerged as the one of the blue-eyed boys of the media. Having faced the eccentricity and immaturity of Arvind Kejriwal, many of the critics of Modi see a better leader in Nitish Kumar. It is therefore very important for them to defend, strengthen and support Nitish Kumar. It should not be forgotten that beyond political rivalries and our personal bias, millions of people are waiting for a better state, with better job opportunities, live styles, healthcare and most importantly security. I am not sure what difference BJP or some other party could have brought in Bihar, but I am sure that right now Nitish Kumar needs to de-prioritize national politics and control the mushrooming crime in Bihar.

Some days back, @IndiaSpeaksPR wrote an interesting piece in which he requested the Indian media to attack Modi for right reasons. The same media goes complete blind when it comes to Nitish Kumar. If not for the wrong reasons, I hope that media will question Nitish Kumar and Mahagathbandhan for right reasons.


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