Wednesday March 20, 2019
Home Politics Bihar ‘misrul...

Bihar ‘misruled’: Nitish Kumar looks more ‘eager than desperate’

0
//

In the run up to the 2015 Bihar assembly elections scheduled for October-November, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar looks more “eager than desperate” as compared to the 2014 Lok Sabha elections where he seemed more “desperate than eager”. While the catchy slogans differ, the ruling party’s punch-line remains the same: “Phir ek baar Nitish Kumar”.

Photo credit: oneindia.com
Photo credit: oneindia.com

The flamboyant chief minister, who bit the dust in 2014 Lok Sabha elections, is going all out to counter Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the famous “Modi-way”, hiring the brain behind his smashing success through digitalized campaign – Prashant Kishor.

“The man wants to achieve that all over again, without the BJP. He has been hearing some jarring sounds with a formidable rival at work but he would do whatever it takes — from attacking Prime Minister Narendra Modi to brandishing his development plank to forging an alliance with long-time rival Lalu Prasad,” says the book whose publication is certainly well-timed with the crucial elections just a month away.

This is one of many interesting accounts that the book, Ruled or Misruled, written by Santosh Singh, offers. The book, whose cover portrays contrasting images of good governance and truth is described by the author, a journalist, as “an extension of my reporting”.

“He accepts making his campaign more organised than last time,” it adds.

“He has started knocking at the doors of the voters a bit early to remind them that it is an assembly election and Narendra Modi is not going to be the chief minister.” The author advocates that Nitish Kumar has “realised the value of brand-building belatedly, especially through unconventional and modern methods of social media”.

The book compares former chief minister Jitan Ram Manjhi’s emergence as a “leader” in nine months with the birth period of a child.

“A childbirth period of nine months has a great symbolism in the context of Manjhi. He was also born a leader in his nine-month tenure as Bihar chief minister. He chose his political birth as a Dalit leader as an afterthought.

“Manjhi had got his chance at the age of 70. After all in his last 34 years of political career, he had hardly done or said anything to get noticed, let alone trying to emerge as a leader of dalits,” the book says.

The book, however, describes central minister Ram Vilas Paswan, another Dalit face in Bihar, as a leader who “could have become a national dalit icon, but frittered away the opportunity because of his obsession with short-term politics and love for the comfort zone”.

From the rise of Lalu Prasad, the Rashtriya Janata Dal chief, to his growing influence and a massive debacle and from the rise in influence and governance of Nitish Kumar to the “political importance” of the Manjhi surname, the book, through 21 chapters, carries one through the political landscape of the state, which has been arguably the most misruled over the years.

The author sensibly narrates the stories of repair, hope and construction under Nitish Kumar, disillusionment and new political realignment after the 2013 NDA split, Nitish Kumar and Lalu Yadav coming together again after two decades and Nitish Kumar almost walking out of Lalu Yadav’s alliance.

The book also details the emergence of the BJP and the reunion of ‘Janata Family’.

By Prashant Kumar, IANS

Next Story

Know How Grammy Award Winner Inspired by PM Modi to Dedicate Music to Environment

From songs like "Ganga" - depicting the plight of the river considered holy by most Indians - to his Grammy-winning album "Winds of Samara" - which speaks of peace and global harmony

0
grammy award winner, modi
"What was to be a photo opportunity with the Prime Minister turned into an hour-long discussion with him on environment. He spoke on the impact music could have on society and inspired me to make music on environment," Kej told IANS in an interview here. Wikimedia

A chance meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi in September 2015 in New Delhi inspired Bengaluru-based Grammy Award winner Ricky Kej to dedicate his life and music to the cause of environment.

Since then, Kej, who has represented India on global fora, performing at venues including the United Nations General Assembly in New York and UN Headquarters in Geneva, has been using music to flag ecological issues to policymakers and public the world over.

“What was to be a photo opportunity with the Prime Minister turned into an hour-long discussion with him on environment. He spoke on the impact music could have on society and inspired me to make music on environment,” Kej told IANS in an interview here.

From songs like “Ganga” – depicting the plight of the river considered holy by most Indians – to his Grammy-winning album “Winds of Samara” – which speaks of peace and global harmony – Kej’s music connects with all — from world leaders to the man on the street.

With the aid of compelling visuals, Kej’s music, and collaborations with global music artists, highlights the deleterious consequences of urbanisation, climate change and human-animal conflict.

modi, grammy award winner
From songs like “Ganga” – depicting the plight of the river considered holy by most Indians – to his Grammy-winning album “Winds of Samara” – which speaks of peace and global harmony – Kej’s music connects with all — from world leaders to the man on the street. Wikimedia

“There are so many issues in India like child labour, gender inequality and poverty, which none seem to be reflecting through music. We see that music has lost the identity of being an art form and has become a profession,” he lamented.

Kej, 37, bagged Grammy in 2015 for the ‘Best New Age Album’ for “Winds of Samsara”, created along with South African flautist Wouter Kellerman. He is also recognised as the ‘United Nations Global Humanitarian Artist’ for his music with environmental consciousness.

The subjects of Kej’s music include, the rising air pollution in global cities and towns, the perils being posed to wildlife due to urbanisation and the story of Republic of Kiribati, an island nation in the central Pacific Ocean off Fiji, whose coasts are receding each year due to rising ocean levels due to global warming, among others.

With 15 studio albums released internationally, 3,500 commercials, three feature films in Kannada and over 100 music awards in 20 countries to his credit, the conservationist-musician’s album “Shanti Samsara” was released by Modi and then French President Francois Hollande at the United Nations Conference of Parties (CoP-21) Climate Change Conference in Paris, held from November 30-December 12, 2015.

The album, conceived after his meeting with Modi, had Kej collaborate with about 500 musicians from 40 countries, for songs like “Ganga”, throwing light on the pollution plaguing the river, and on “Earth and Water”.

“Politicians and policymakers are used to statistics and numbers, but when one approaches them through art, it makes a lot of difference. I have seen politicians change their perspectives towards environmental causes after attending my concerts,” Kej asserted.

The element of environment and nature in his work comes from his own experiences. For instance, he composed the song “One With Earth” – which highlights natural farming and the need to give up chemical fertilisers – after he lived with the tribals in Andhra Pradesh’s Araku Valley to understand their lifestyle and traditional farming techniques.

Grammy award winner, modi
“There are so many issues in India like child labour, gender inequality and poverty, which none seem to be reflecting through music. We see that music has lost the identity of being an art form and has become a profession,” he lamented. Wikimedia

Born in 1981 in North Carolina in the US, Kej moved to Bengaluru with family when he was eight, with intense love for music and nature.

“As a child, I felt music and nature were connected and found music in the sounds of nature, birds and animals. I used to look at music as a way of understanding history, cultures and emotions from different parts of the world. A lot of my education was through music,” said Kej, who was part of a rock band “Angel Dust” during his class 12th from Bishop Cotton Boys’ School in Bengaluru.

Even as Kej pursued a dental science course on his father’s advice, he continued to create music and decided to pursue it full-time on completing the degree.

“Like most musicians, I started my career with popular music and later turned to heavy metal and jazz. I finally zeroed in on world music as it connects with the people the world over, irrespective of the language they speak,” Kej recalled.

ALSO READ: Practice What You Preach: Celebrities Should Stand By Their Public Image In Private Domain

As a professor at the National Institute of Advanced Studies (NIAS) in the renowned Indian Institute of Science (IISc) campus in this tech hub, the musician believes his job is to approach environmental subjects artistically.

“Numbers don’t hit people as hard as visuals and art can. My job as a musician is to drive the numbers and data through emotions,” Kej added. (IANS)