WHY INDIA NEEDS RESERVATION IN PROMOTION

Misinterpretation by Judiciary and conscious silence of ‘Civil Society’

Equality is inherent pre-requisite for any civilization or nation to be humane, progressive or even stable. We in India have been lucky and unlucky to witness both aspects of society from ancient times. The advent of varn vyvastha or caste system have been one of the most inhuman, long and surprisingly supported by many sections of Indian society throughout centuries especially the medieval ages. Today after the establishment of Republic of India, the Constitutionalism and Rule of Law is the way through which all the outstanding disputes between society, state and power centers are to be resolved. Not only it is frustrating and painful, it is quiet slow because of all sorts of Machiavellian tricks, hurdles and connivance of various dominating sections in politics, academia, judiciary and all other economic, political and social power wielding procedures and centers. In order to tackle this in a democratic way, our founding fathers founded one of the most unique and complex constitution in order to establish Rule of Law in this nation which is not only capable of propelling the society forward in its evolution but also it does have the potential to transform and heal old historical and social wounds that various sections of societies have inflicted against each other.

Supreme_Court_of_India_-_Retouched.jpg
Supreme Court of India

          Strengthening Rule of Law through Constitutionalism is order of the day. This is fundamentally essential in order to not only address social and other evils in India but also in order to uproot them completely. This struggle towards social justice through constitutional means in politics, in society, in academia and all other aspects is AMBEDKARISM in practice and we while identifying serious hurdles in the path of social justice and empowerment of oppressed believe that the path shown by founding fathers of this nation i.e. Dr. Ambedkar, Mahatma Gandhi etc along with other practitioners of politics and law like Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther and Nelson Mandela is the best path to follow.

dr-ambedkar

Infact we, as ESYA, do have wide political and practical experience of the methods employed by other radical ideologies which are usually based on either some creed, race, religion or perhaps some political ideology (Stalinism/Maoism) which do prefer or perpetrate violence as the only tool against injustice. On the other hand not refuting completely the role of armed struggles in history we must understand that neither we are living in history nor this is some African dictatorship or Middle east theocratic State, we are Secular, Democratic, Socialist Republic of India and being that our responsibility to make it a successful democracy based on justice social and economic becomes much more important. The constitutional legal frameworks prepared by Dr. BR. Ambedkar, especially his vehement emphasis on the rights of oppressed and social justice has given Indian constitution a position much above esoterically and even in matters of constitutional jurisprudence much above the constitutions of Western Democracies whereby, their still awkward and backward attitude towards their own oppressed especially, the tribal people, the blacks, aboriginals etc. is quiet conspicuous. But on the other hand we would like to argue the superior potential of Indian constitution is expressed through its application in Article 16 and all the matters relating to reservation. Where, the spirit and intention of this particular article is derived from Ambedkar’s own philosophy that power sharing among all the sections of society is necessary in order to uplift the oppressed. Hence, the struggle and evolution of Article 16 commences in Indian political and legal scene, causing many dominating sections to often react violently and using all their tricks in order to do away with this provision. But various judgments of Supreme Court of India have infact strengthened this provision and also have highlighted the need of this provision to remain for long time and also to extend in certain more sectors.

Therefore, accepting Constitutionalism as basic tool and procedure of struggle we would like to discuss in details and point out the facts that have recently surfaced regarding the relevance, importance and extension of reservation especially reservation in promotion in government services. Even though it is clear that power sharing in all the power centers is essential in uplifting the oppressed, especially dalits of India, still somehow in academic circles and even among judiciary there is confusion and an uneasy reluctance to apply this principle fearlessly. We shall discuss the evolution of the concept of reservation in promotion and recent debates around it while supporting all the efforts, be it judicial or political in order to manifest the law regarding reservation in promotion and passage of 117th Amendment Bill.

On the last day of Indian parliament’s winter session in the year of 2012 due to ruckus created by member parliaments of BJP there was no meaningful discussion or debate on the issue of Reservation in Promotion which was introduced as 117th Amendment Bill. It is true that inadequacy of representation in higher echelons of administration has been quiet a fact yet no action has been taken. As per Article 16(4) of Constitution, reservations in direct recruitment and in promotions were admissible to SCs/STs in Centre/State government services in promotion to their population till 15/11/1992. On 16/11/1992 in the celebrated case of Indra Sawhney, a 9 judges bench of Hon’ble Supreme Court decided that Article 16(4) of Constitution did not provide for reservation in promotions to SCs/STs but ordered that since reservation in promotion were admissible to SCs/STs through various executive orders since 1954 , the same be continued for another period of 5 years only. This buffer period was provided to the executive to enable them to take appropriate measures to implement the Indra Sawhney order. In order to remove this anomaly, the parliament, through 77th amendment of the constitution, added a new clause 4(A) in Article 16 i.e. 16(4-A) and that the promotions must be given to the members of SC/ST from the back date of 17/06/1995.

BUT even after the parliament providing for reservation in promotion through the above mentioned amendment(77th ) with the aim of filling the gap in  the higher grade posts of Government Services because of the INADEQUATE REPRESETATION of SCs/STs; still the implementation of it went through considerable delay when Supreme Court itself introduced ‘CATCH UP PRINCIPLE’ and unfortunately gave its own definition of promotion by removing consequential seniority from it which prima facie goes against the principles of service jurisprudence and most importantly it devoid the 77th Amendment Bill from intended empowerment and giving administrative power  to historically deprived section i.e. SCs and STs.

  1. CATCH UP PRINCIPLE – On 10/10/1995 in the case of Virpal Singh Chauhan Supreme Court made a blunder. It introduced something called ‘catch up principle’ which means, that once a SC/ST candidate is given accelerated promotion (R.K. Sabharwal) in any government service he or she will not be able to maintain his/her Seniority on such promotions. That here it is evident that whole idea of giving accelerated promotion or of 77th Amendment is Empowerment of the deprived section through promoting them in higher echelons but what kind of empowerment is done when promotion is given without seniority ? It was gross violation of principle of equality, service jurisprudence and an act inconsistent with spirit of Indian constitution’s basic structure. Similarly same principle was upheld by Hon’ble Supreme Court in the case of Ajit Janjua that if catch up principle is not applied then principle of equality is violated. Because of this principle hundreds of members of the SC/ST community were not given consequential seniority and were deprived from being adequately represented in higher echelons of administration.
  2. 85th and 117th AMENDMENT:- Hence in order to remove this inconsistency, to dilute and repeal the catch up principle parliament of India again amended the constitution of India where the term consequential seniority was introduced in Article 16(4)A. In the Object and Reasons of the 85th Amendment parliament of India agreed and accepted that “ The judgements of Supreme Court in the case of Union of India Vs Virpal Singh Chauhan and Ajit Singh Janjhua Vs State of Punjab, which lead to the issuance of OM dated 30/01/1997, have adversely affected the interest of Government Servants belonging to Schedule castes and Schedule Tribes category in the matter of seniority on promotion to the next higher grade.” Hence parliament made sure that along with promotions consequential seniority is also given and catch up principle is repealed. The following is the data published by National Commission for Schedule Castes in its Seventh Report showing the percentage of the inadequacy of SCs/STs in Higher Posts of Administration-
Group Total SC Percentage  ST Percentage
A 98066 10998 11.21 3382 3.45
B 144145 17915 12.43 5020 3.48
C 2377895 386142 16.24 154314 6.49
D (excluding Sweepers) 956947 167947 17.55 64865 6.78
Sweepers 132102 79850 60.45 6456 4.89
Total (Excluding Sweepers) 3577053 583002 16.30 227581 6.36

 

 

 

  1. NAGRAJ & OTHERS VS UNION OF INDIA & OTHERS:-

To the much heartburning of right wing minded population in the country the repealing of the catch up principle was a hammer blow of parliament on the supremacy of the privileged on the higher echelons of the administration. Hence they challenged all the related amendments of the constitution. The constitutionality of 77th, 81st,  82nd  and 85th Amendments were challenged in the above mentioned case where the petitioners contended that consequential seniority cannot be given to the members of SCs and STs once the accelerated promotion is granted. Even after upholding the constitutional validity of all the amendments Hon’ble Court was of the point of view –“ Para 123:- However, in this case, as stated above, the main issue concerns the extent of reservation. In this regard the State concerned will have to show in each case the existence of compelling reasons, namely, backwardness, inadequacy of representation and over all administrative efficiency before making provision for reservation. As stated above, the impugned provision is an enabling provision. The state is not bound to make reservation for SCs/STs in matter of promotion however if they wish to exercise their discretion and make such provision, the state has to collect quantifiable date showing backwardness of the class and inadequacy of the representation of that class in public employment  in addition to compliance with article 335.

          Hence, the idea of quantifiable data, of every state proving the inadequacy of SCs/STs and backwardness is absurd, weird, bizarre as well as shockingly inconsistent with the spirit of the Amendments -77th, 81st, 82nd and 85th. . In opposition to this whole idea Parliament had introduced 85th Amendment and later on 117th Amendment as well.

  1. There is infact no need to collect data to show the inadequacy of representation of the communities in question especially when it is already established in Indra Sawhney’s case that it is not any empirical data which will show the backwardness but historical and sociological factors which are the reasons of backwardness of SCs/STs. This means that Judiciary must work in harmony with the social reality and political will of the people of India as is mentioned in the Objects and Reasons of the 85th and 117th Amendment Bill. The judgment of M.Nagraj in this respect is in contradiction with three major factors regarding the so called SCs/STs which has to be take into account are – 1. Backwardness 2. Inadequacy of representation 3.Administrative efficiency

Here we shall discuss these factors briefly to establish that no state is required to give some quantifiable data to prove the following –

  1. Backwardness of the SCs/STs for the purposes of reservation in promotion :-

There are large number of judicial findings to show that the backwardness of SCs/STs is not measured in individual cases but as a block or the community as a whole. A constitution bench of Hon’ble Supreme Court in E.V. chinnaiah Vs State of Andhra Pradesh and Others  in para 93 observed :-

 “ Schedule Castes; however is not a caste in terms of its definition as contained in Article 366(24) of the constitution. They are brought within the purview of the said category by reason of their abysmal backwardness. Schedule Castes consists of not only the people who belongs to some backward caste but also race or tribe or part of groups within castes, races or tribes.”

The judgment of Apex Court in M. Nagraj’s case asking for a basis for backwardness does not match with the provisions of Constitutions. As far as SCs and STs are concerned, it is clear that in terms of Article 341 and 342 of the constitution, ‘backwardness’ relates to castes and not persons but in the M. Nagraj case the Supreme Court has tried to define backwardness in relation to person/government servant, whereas in Indira Sawhney’s case the Apex Court in para 779 specifically observed that :-

Lowlier the occupation lowlier the social standing of the class in the graded hierarchy. In rural India occupation and caste nexus is true even today. A few members may have gone to cities and even abroad but when they return they barring a few exception go into the same fold again. It does  not matter if he has earned money. He may not follow a particular occupation but still the label remains. His identity is not changed for the purpose of marriage, death and all other social function. It is his social class that is still relevant.”

Further in para 788 in Indira Sawhney Vs Union of India Justice B.P. Jeevan Reddy observed that :-

The Schedule Tribes and Schedule castes are without a doubt backward for the purpose of clause ; no one has suggested that they should satisfy the test of social and educational backwardness.”

          Again in para 796-797 it is observed that :-

It is not correct to say that the backward class contemplated by Article 16(4) is limited to the socially and educationally backward classes refered to in Article 15(4) and Article 340, it is much wider. The test of requirement of social and educational backwardness cannot be applied to SCs/STs, which indubitably falls within the expression ‘backward class citizens’.”

It is also very relevant to take note that Indira Sawheney case was decided by 9 judges Bench whereas M. Nagraj case was decided by 5 Judges bench only and, therefore, the decision in M. Nagraj case cannot supersede the decision taken in Indra Sawhney’s case. The decision was given as it was given in ignorance of earlier decisions taken by the larger bench which dealt with Indira Sawhney’s case. Therefore Indra Sawhney case is valid law of land which does not permit any further justification of backwardness of SCs and STs.

2. Inadequacy of Representation:- The idea of promotion in reservation stems from the idea of empowering a historically trampled community, it is more of an ideological application of the principle “ Unequals cannot be treated equally” an affirmative action in the purview of Article 16(4). And Article 16(4) clearly states that in the services of state, SCs are to be provided an opportunity where they are not adequately represented. Constitution commands the sate to make reservation for SCs. So far as education is concerned, reservation is provided to the members of SC/ST/OBC under the central educational institutions (Reservation in Admissions) Act 2006 laying down 15% reservation for SCs, the same yardstick is applicable for the SCs in services under Article 16(4). Therefore, if the state makes reservation in the services as well as in promotions subsequently upto 15% by specifically mentioning in the Statement of Objects and Reasons of 77th Amendment Act that members of SCs and STs in opinion of the Government are NOT adequately represented it is wrong interpretation of the Hon’ble Supreme Court whereby by giving its erroneous decisions in Ajit Janjhua and M. Nagraj it has not only muddled in the findings of Mandal Commission which was upheld further by Indra Sawhney’s Judgement, it has violated the cardinal principles of constitutional jurisprudence and intention of founding fathers, spirit of Article 16(4) as well as opinion of the State.

Further, it is not out of place to mention here that 15% reservation has been provided for the SCs in the services since the advent of the constitution in 1950 through various executive instructions issued by the Government of India and by the different States, but still the minimum prescribed percentage of reservation even in the direct recruitment has not been achieved. If adequate representation in direct recruitment i.e. 15% have not been achieved after 7 decades of independence then how can there be over representation of SCs and STs if reservation in promotion is even allowed ! There are always back logs and vacancies meant for SCs which remain vacant.

Moreover, above the data has been produced which says and proves the inadequacy of representation of SCs and STs. ( For more study of the detailed empirical data regarding the inadequacy of representation please visit website of National Commission of Schedule Castes). Hence, it is absolutely clear that the representation of SCs and STs in states, central government services, UTs have not even reached the minimum required level. Keeping in the view the inadequacy of the representation in direct recruitment constitutional provision for reservation in promotion is a must.

3. Efficiency in Administration:- While considering the validity of constitutional (77th , 81st, 82nd and 85th ) Amendments, the Hon’ble Supreme Court in M.Nagraj Vs Union of India upheld constitutionality of the provision which was inserted by the aforementioned amendments, but impose certain conditions before the benefit is passed on to eligible members of SCs. It was made mandatory for the state to justify promotion in each case. This is a strange philosophy in which one has to give justification for the exercise of one’s fundamental rights.

V.T. Rajshekhar in his book “Merit my Foot”(A reply to Anti Reservation racists), 1996 published by Dalit Sahitya Academy, Bangalore has stated –“ Nowhere in the world ‘merit and efficiency’ are given so much importance as in India, which is now pushed to the 120th position virtually the last among different countries in the world.”

On the same point and while Ridiculing the right wing slogan of ‘efficiency’ Justice O. Chinnappa Reddy, in K.C. Vasanth Kumar VS State of Karnataka observes :-

Efficiency is very much on the lips of the privileged whenever reservation is mentioned. Efficiency it seems will be impaired if the total reservation exceeds 50%; efficiency, it seems, will suffer if the, ‘carry forward rule’ is adopted; efficiency it seems will be injured if the rule of reservation is extended to promotional posts, From the protests against reservation exceeding 50% or extending to the promotional posts or against the carry forward rule, one would think that civil service is a heavenly paradise into which only archangels, the chosen elite, the very best may enter and may be allowed to go higher up the ladder. But the truth is otherwise. The truth is that the Civil Services is not paradise and the upper echelons belonging to the chosen classes are not necessarily models of efficiency. The underlining assumption that those belonging to the upper casts and classes , who are appointed to the non reserved posts will, because of their pre-assumed merit, ‘naturally’ perform better than those who have been appointed to the reserve posts that the clear stream of efficiency will be polluted by the infiltration of the latter into the sacred precincts is a vicious assumption, typical of superior approach of the elitists classes.”

This ridiculing of that casteist mentality that consciously and unconsciously revolves in the collective consciousness of the people in India is apt and accurate. This phobia that reservation will somehow reduce the efficiency of the administration in itself is deliberately made and built up by certain sections of society for their ulterior motives or because of their undemocratic attitude. Hence further Justice Reddy writes –

“ ..Why not ask ourselves after 35 years of independence the position of SCs, etc has not greatly improved ? Is it not a legitimate question to ask whether things might have been different, had the district Administrators and the State and Central Bureaucrats drawing larger numbers from these classes? Courts are not equipped to answer these questions, but the courts may not interfere with the honest endeavours of the government to find the answer and solution.”

Hence, this is how the argument of M.Nagraj’s self made idea of collecting a ‘quantifiable data’ and Ajit Singh Janjua’s removing of consequential seniority from the concept of promotion in order to deny reservation in promotion fails miserably in view of Hon’ble Supreme Court’s earlier findings again and again. Moreover, how evident it is to observe that this attitude/notion that persons appointed or promoted through reservation will not be efficient, this in itself is a sophisticated form of castesim as well as the main reason and factor of maintaining the backwardness of the concerned communities in question. And in order to fight this notion reservation is given under Article 16(4) !

Need to consider change in the Statement of Objects and Reasons of 117th Amendment Bill :-

          We, in brief have tried to highlight the major aberrations and blunders in various interpretations made by Hon’ble Supreme Court. We are of the humble point of view that the efforts made by Parliament sooner or later are bound to be victorious. Yet, as we have expressed that there is already enough empirical proof regarding the inadequacy of the representation of SCs and STs in the Government services, moreover, conceptually and in accordance with the principles of Indian constitutional jurisprudence the demand of proof regarding the backwardness of already trampled and exploited community for hundreds of years is not justified. Hence, we are of opinion that changes must be made in the third paragraph of the Statement of Objects and Reasons of 117th Amendment Bill which is reproduced here as under:-

It has been observed that there is difficulty in collection of quantifiable date, showing backwardness of the class and inadequacy of representation of that class in public employment. Moreover, here is uncertainty on the methodology of this exercise.”

          According to this paragraph mentioned in the bill the reason for not producing the empirical data is been mentioned as some practical problem and infact the real question at hand, the real philosophy and inherent mistake of the idea of proving the backwardness of SCs and STs is no dealt properly. Rather it seems it is been swept under carpet. We, on the other hand would like to deal the bull by its horns and the fact that the whole idea of proving the backwardness of the SC and ST community and proving its inadequacy is wrong interpretation of ‘equality before law’ (Article-14), it is individual specific, this is interpretation more in the light of Lockean individual equality than Indian version of equality which is only to be interpreted under the light of socialist character of our preamble.

Hence, we would propose that instead of shying away from the problem of collecting the quantifiable data it must be mentioned boldly that where class is backward as accepted again and again by Hon’ble Supreme Court in Indra Sawhney, individuals cannot be treated separately from that class in case of SCs and STs.

CONCLUSION:-

          It is quiet conspicuous and clear that struggle against all that is unconstitutional, undemocratic and non-progressive is duty of every enlightened citizen of India. The struggle of founding fathers and framers of Constitution in favour of the oppressed, deprived and destitute is self evident. Hence, it becomes imperative for us as students, as youth and as fellow citizens to sharpen the struggle inside and outside the parliament of India in favour of the passage of 117th Amendment Bill.

          We, Eklavya Sudents and Youth Association have made a humble effort and have tried to form an argument trying to cover the major principles of constitutional jurisprudence, interpretation of  our founding fathers and have tried to highlight the anomalies and aberrations in the judgments of Ajit Janjua, Virpal Singh Chauhan and eventually M. Nagraj which have adversely affected the interest of members of SC and ST communities.

          Therefore, we would like to present a powerful argument before the people of India in order to expose the conscious silence maintained by so called ‘progressive’ academicians, ‘secular’ media houses and especially the so called ‘liberal’ left. The fact that all these hegemonic sections of Indian society having deep roots in legislation, in judiciary and executive, they always brush aside these matters derailing the process of empowerment of the dalits of India affectively. We appeal to all sensitive and real progressive sections of India to favour and support the passage of 117th Amendment Bill while giving deep consideration on the changes in the language of 117th Amendment Bill so that it does not run again into some legal challenge as to its constitutionality, which has been done by various dominating sections from past 25 years. And we as ESYA also appeal to all the political parties of this nation to act unanimously and speedily in order pass this Bill.

-Advocate Sawinder Singh
Chairman ESYA

           

Citation & Credits:-

National Commission of SCs/STs

Indra Sawhney Vs Union of India

M.Nagraj Vs Union of India

117th Amendment Bill

 

Bihar Assembly Election 2015: Can ‘Modi Wave’ save the ‘holy alliance’ NDA from losing Patliputra to Grand alliance- Lalu & Nitish? (by Amandeep Singh on August 9, 2015)

This entry was posted in Activity and tagged assembly election 2015 Bihar Bihar Assembly election Bihar election Bihar election 2015 Bihar Politics BJP Grand Alliance holy alliance Janta Dal politics Janta Pariwar Lalu-Nitish Lalu-Nitish alliance Modi wave RJD-JDU alliance RJD-JDU-INC-NCP unholy alliance on August 9, 2015 by Amandeep Singh

Will Lalu-Nitish beat up the polarizing Ghosts haunting over the entire country?

From the desk of Chairman ESYA

Amandeep Singh

lalu and nitish

“And now our government
a bird with two right wings
flies on from zone to zone
while we go on having our little fun & games
at each election
as if it really mattered who the pilot is” 

Lawrence Ferlinghetti

The rise of Modi wave, occupying the anti-corruption space invented by Anna’s movement, has begun with series of promises in 2014. However, the appropriate environment for broadcasting of this so called Modi wave through electronic and social media had been prepared much earlier. This wave inspired a large chunk of Indian youth especially middle class youth assuring employment to them. The fanatic ideas of Industrial development attracted the corporate world and local big business houses to invest in Modi wave.  Aggressive attempts to facilitate Land Acquisition ordinance have shown extreme tendency of PM Modi to maintain perception of his decisive leadership. But as it is believed just obsession or will power does not work. Finally, P.M. Modi has been entrapped into the number game inside Rajaya Sabha irrespective of majority in Lok Sabha house. Hence, he has become soft on the issue of land bill to neutralize anger in farmers of Bihar. Today, just after one year, Modi wave has collapsed into the colossal gap of promises and performance.

For winning the game of numbers, pushing the reforms that government wanted, this upcoming Bihar election is very vital and crucial for PM Modi. On the other side, new alliances have emerged between innate rival JDU and RJD- major factions of the Grand alliance in Bihar. It marks the reunion of surviving factions to revive Janta Dal politics. Many speculations about this merger prevail in political spheres but it seems very political decision from the side of Lalu Prasad Yadav.

Modi wave immediately strengthened in Maharashtra and Haryana after achieving big mandate in Lok Sabha. But this wave has been shaken by Aam Aadmi Party in Delhi just before Modi government completed its honeymoon period.  Now the Bihari people would tell that whether there is any revival of same Modi wave in Bihar or not.  Let’s have a glance over the Bihar’s politics and history to explore the possibilities to which people of Bihar may manifest.

Lalu’s ideas of Social justice Vs  RSS backed BJP’s communal prejudice :-

With the fabulous victory of Janta Dal led by Lalu Yadav in 1990, Lalu Yadav came into limelight as hero of weaker sections like Dalits, Muslim, EBC and OBC. This was first time in history of Bihar, when his party claimed more OBC MLA seats in Vidhan Sabha leaving behind so called upper caste MLA numbers. No doubt Lalu had understanding of the semi-feudal social order of rural Bihar and tried to gain the votes of lower caste/dalits sections by targeting landlords in his speeches. Many political thinkers claims that this was the moment when Lalu Yadav fought for dignity of dalits and backward classes who were under threat of upper caste violence perpetuated by their Senas. Moreover Lalu successfully exploited the votes of Dalit sections which were mobilized by Naxalites/Moaists against Upper Caste dominance.

At that time, Lalu Yadav was the politician who used to adhere with the philosophy of social justice instead of development in infrastructure or industrial sector. Lalu followed the principle that ‘development does not bring votes’. BUT the clear cut mandate in 1995 proved as referendum in favour of Lalu Yadav. Hence Lalu Yadav captured successfully the imagination of lower masses that made him accepted in the eyes these people.

This was dynamic phase in Bihar which changed the social compositions strengthening the political representations of poor backward classes and to some extent upper section of dalits. No doubt Bihar did not achieve exactly the position of social justice that was claimed by Lalu Yadav, though he had been in power, because dalits started to get alienated gradually whereas OBC especially Yadav (landowning caste) were at forefront in RJD party. Hence Lalu’s party became a Yadav centric party but still RJD is most acceptable in rural Bihar.

Rural Bihar was fully dependent on agriculture till end of 20th century. Therefore, no one can neglect the importance of economic development in form of infrastructure and industry. The social justice could have prevailed effectively if economic prosperity, educational and employment opportunities among poor classes (especially landless peasantry and labor classes) might have materialized. Hence, in 2000, however he won a majority in state election but after that he began to lose some the influence on Bihar’s politics. Now in present scenario, whatever doubts one may bear in mind but it is very fact that Lalu is still having dominated influence over Yadav-Muslim population (14+16.5=30.5%). Also, Lalu is somewhat popular among poor Dalits masses maintaining the pro-dalit perception.    

In 1991, it was Mr. Lalu who stopped Advani’s Rath in Bihar and arrested him. Without any hesitation it can be alleged that Lalu’s image defamed to very extent when he was convicted under corruption charges. But Lalu is one of the prominent leaders who is known for his secular ideology and he has never stood in favour of Hindutva of RSS or BJP. He never allied with BJP. He immediately supported Nitish’s JDU in making government in Bhiar the moment Nitish Kumar broke his 17 year old alliance with NDA (in 2013) while opposing Narendra Modi as PM face of BJP in 2014 Lok Sabha election. This is major reason why Muslims confer their support to RJD.

Many local leaders Sadhavi Prachi, MPs like Yogi Aditya Nath, Giri Raj, Sakshi Maharaj, Uma Bharti (Cabinet Minister) etc do not lose any chance to polarize the country by their hate statements/speeches like “ramjade aur hramjade, hindu 4 bache paida karen na ki 40 pille jo lav jehad karte hain, emergency lga kar musalmano ki nasbandi honi chahihe” etc . It is well said that it is wise to nip the evil in the bud. But on contrary BJP’s senior most and top leadership including PM Modi has never tried to condemn these statements in public domain. This indicates how ‘hidden agenda’ of BJP is to divide the country by initiating a new debate across religious line. Besides these hot speeches, Love Jehad and Ghar Vapsi are the two stupid phenomena that successfully punctured the secular fabric of country. Interestingly, BJP did all these shameful things immediately after it came in power in May, 2014. And this campaign of hate politics is continuing till now making minorities insecure and demoralizing.

Today, Modi government has become exposed before the Indian masses especially Muslims losing the promise of Sabka Saath Sabka Vikas.  Hence, in such atmosphere, Mr. Lalu observed very pragmatically and firmly that Muslim votes would go to party/coalition which could be strong enough to defeat BJP. Consequently, Lalu did not want to lose any possibility to defeat BJP that couldn’t happened in 2014 Lok Sabha election as secular opposition was fragmented before the ‘secular developmental model’ sold by OBC PM candidate Narendra Modi.  That is why Lalu have become ready to drink poison to smash down the cobra of communalism.

Now, BJP will hardly get any Muslim vote in Bihar and shall have to rely upon 18% Upper caste bastion. Although BJP has infiltrated Yadav vote base yet it is unlikely to woo large backward caste voters by BJP. Mr. Ram Vilas Paswan and Mr. Manjhi are two dalit faces in NDA. They will snatch definitely appropriate votes of Maha-dalits and Dalits but Lalu seems more offensive against NDA/BJP as BJP did not disclose Caste based census. Lalu is trying to propagate himself again as safeguard of lower castes by exposing BJP’s casteist attitude. It may neutralize the damage (caused by Mr. Ram Vilas Paswan and Mr. Manjhi) to little extent. If this struggle of caste census and secularism in the background of BJP’s anti-peasantry attitude continues enthusiastically, it will be the big reason of BJP’s Ghar Wapsi.

Face to Face: Current C.M. Nitish Kumar Vs P.M. Modi:-

Since long Nitish Kumar broke his alliance with BJP on the issue of making Narendra Modi a chairman of campaign committee, Nitish Kumar projected successfully himself in contrast to Modi expressing his potential and compatibility. Whenever he was in NDA, many BJP leaders like Shatrughan Sinha called Nitish as PM material. Hence Nitish Kumar is no less than a prime-ministerial candidate in the eyes of some political spheres and rightly so.

Many surveys and reports of present Bihar revel that the popularity of CM Nitish is much more than PM Modi in Bihar. Interestingly, after continuous 10 years rule in Bihar, CM Nitish has successfully handled the anti-incumbency tendencies among people by providing his relatively good administration. On contrary BJP has multiple CM contenders claiming themselves as more competent. Moreover, Ram Vilas Paswan (Lok Janshakti party), Upendra Khushwaha (Chairman, Rashtriya Lok Samata Party) and Jtitn Manjhi(Hindustani Aawam Morcha) are also NDA’s faction who are  worried for CM chair. But reality is that BJP’s no candidate is able to stand against Nitish. This situation forced BJP-NDA to bring PM Modi against CM Nitish Kumar in upcoming Bihar assembly election.

All pro-BJP thinkers argue for being Modi a face of campaign that it was recent successful strategy which was applied in Maharashtra and Haryana. But, they become silent and uncomfortable when it is asked why they [BJP] do fear in fighting independently in Bihar as was done in Maharashtra and Haryana. This clearly explains how BJP is showing defensive attitude in Bihar that was not in case of Maharashtra and Haryana. Furthermore, Delhi assembly election has surfaced a severe doubt on future of Modi wave in February, 2015. Now, the matter of great enthusiasm is that whether BJP would really fight under the face of Modi till last day or announce CM face just before election, while anticipating a sweeping defeat like Delhi.   

Bihar’s development: Nitish’s ten years Su-shasan Vs Modi’s ‘Achhe Din’ :-

BJP wants to overstep JDU by claiming that whole development of Bihar has been achieved under JDU-BJP coalition. BJP wishes to attack on Nitish (whose JDU came into existence against Lalu’s RJD) for an opportunist alliance with Lalu’RJD to bring back Jungle Raaj in Bihar. The jungle raaj card seems not more effective in Bihar as CM face is Nitish (that was very beloved to BJP) not Lalu. And it is also necessary to note down that Nitish Kumar is only CM face for Bihar in the absence of BJP’s candidate. Everyone knows politics is more or less the game of immediate perceptions because ideological-seeping into basic masses goes very slow and takes decades to become a consolidated perception. On the other hand, NDA is also full of such strange political combinations to possess power in assembly. It would be very hard to have credit of Bihar’s development by BJP alone because in both cases whether be it BJP or RJD, Nitish was/is Chief Minister. Infact, Nitish Kumar has brought a better law and order situation and industrial projects which led to (average) 10% plus GDP in Bihar. Although, in past two years the business class has somewhat got frightened due to JDU-RJD combination, fearing the return of ‘lawlessness’ as this class perceived RJD a dominating force. The autocratic nature of Modi’s government in center and upper caste dominance (generally pro-BJP) in Business are also strong reason for declining level of Business projects. Being little bit pragmatic, one can see that 80% population lives in rural Bihar. Therefore the peasant classes, landless dalits and muslims are decesive factors. And survey shows more than two-third people are satisfied with Nitish Governance especially with issues of safety, electricity and law and order.  

Nowadays, both Parliamentary houses Lok Sabha and Rajaya Sabha has been disrupted by opposition (led by Congress) to force Modi government for resignations of Foreign Minister Smt. Sushma Swaraj and Rajasthan CM Vasundhra Raje for  Lalit-Gate issue. CM Shivraj Chuahan’s resignation is also under the target of opposition over Vyapam Scam matter. It is well known fact that the last session of parliament was most efficient session as whole opposition was fully cooperative. But what happened in just one year that opposition is so aggressive to expose Modi’s Achhe Din of one year. Opposition especially Indian National Congress has challenged Modi’s promise of ‘Na khaaunga Na khaane doonga’ while fighting on Lalit case and Vyapam Scam.

Beside these issues, CM Nitish Kumar raised a question on return of Black Money in very sarcastic way by saying that PM Modi compelled millions of Indian people to open accounts in banks but these accounts are still waiting for 15 laakh per account which was promised by Modi before being PM. Also he added Bihar is demanding special sate status that was central slogan of Lok Sabha election 2014, which is not yet fulfilled by PM Modi in one year.

Modi government has been facing much resistance against saffron-ization of education, killing of ideological diversity in higher management offices of prestigious institutions like IITs, IIMs and FTII. Modi’s nationalism has exposed by ex- military men for not fulfilling the promise of one rank one pension.  Next to the national scenario, if one looks into only Bihar, Modi government did not give anything special to Bihar as if Modi government has completed more than one year. In Delhi election, majority of non-resident Biharis/ migrated Biharis supported to AAP party instead of BJP. This indicates how much tough is Bihar to win by BJP.

 

Caste equations:  Chances of Caste dominance over vote casting :-

Though, it is fact that two plus two may not equal four in political arithmetic yet caste and minority equations along ideological line of any politics may help in better understanding of Bihar election 2015. The vote share on which BJP depends is majority of the Upper caste and Baniyas (18+7 =25%). Lok Janshakti Party (NDA’s faction) seeks votes of a Dalit communities like Paswans and Dusadh making 6% vote share. Hence total dominant vote share of NDA along the ideological line is 31%.

Whereas at the peak of the Modi wave, when BJP’s propaganda of ‘development agenda’ was on full swing NDA got 38% vote share (BJP had 29% share) in 2014. Despite this small vote share, BJP scored more MP seats taking advantage of fragmentation of opposition. Interestingly, RJD-JDU-Congress combine got 43.5% vote share in Lok Sabha election (2014) against NDA’s 38%. This clears the picture of Bihar how NDA hardly made the difference of 7% vote share from its strategic vote base of 31% even when Modi wave was being preached like shocking wave,

If anybody sees the general arithmetic of state election, the caste and minority equations suggest that an enough vote share of 55% is inclined to JDU-RJD-Congress alliance, with a 38-40% in favor of the NDA. RJD has a dominance over 31% of vote share (16% Muslims + 15% Yadavs), JDU ~18-20% and Congress at 8-9%. Now, it is to observe that whether the revival of ‘Modi wave’ of higher fanaticism than 2014 is possible? If it is, then whether it will resonate with youth or not, under such dismaying national political scene of rising unemployment and ordinances, Delhi defeat followed by parliamentary disruption. Moreover, BJP/NDA seeks the diversion of 3-4% Yadav votes by Papu Yadav to weaken the Lalu’s vote share. Also Manjhi factor may favour BJP to woo Mahadalits. Instead of all NDA/BJP efforts and distortions, this caste and minority equation does not seem to favour NDA/BJP.

Now the question comes in mind that to what extent caste and minority arithmetic will dominate Bihar election. The answer comes better from the nature of State and Lok Sabha Election. The common trend of Indian polity is that the state assembly election is more localized and candidate based. Hence caste/community influences in state election are deeper than in case of Lok Sabha election (which is more National party/Alliance /PM candidate oriented). In a very pragmatic manner it can be said that as per the Bihar election is concerned the caste equation would be prominent over the magic of ‘development agenda’. If last Lok Sabha campaign of Modi’s development model couldn’t bring a big swing of votes in favour of BJP, then it is difficult to say that in state election the magic of development would work in favour of BJP. If it works to some extent, it is not wrong to say Nitish may neutralize the ‘Modi wave’.

 

Seat Sharing: NDA’s weakness Vs experienced JDU-INC-RJD:-

Instead of all above factors, the seat sharing and candidate selection is most critical stage for both political poles. JDU-RJD-INC, the grand alliance, seems more confident about the objective of current coalition though it is facing some problems in having proper harmony and management among lower leadership.

On the other hand, BJP is forced to project PM Modi as ‘armor’ of all caste factions to impress multifarious caste groups so as each group would imagine that CM would be from its own community/caste in the absence of formal CM candidate. But as it is known very well, politics is double faced sword. The above strategy of BJP may also create a doubt in the mind of self-claimed CM candidate like Paswan, Kushwaha, Manjhi etc that BJP would make CM of own party if NDA gets majority. Hence seat sharing becomes more important and critical occasion because if BJP wants to convince all allied faction over its own CM candidate (may not be announced publically but off the record) then it will raise the negotiating capacity of other allied parties and therefore they would demand more seats. If BJP will agree for making CM candidate from dalit and Mahadalit or even from OBC then RSS/ Hindu fundamentalists/ other castiest groups and upper caste workers will be unhappy and election campaign will be adversely affected.

This fierce and dismaying situation may lead to disintegration of NDA because opposition under the very clever leader Lalu Prasad Yadav would like “to kill two birds with one stone”. On the one hand, in the public speeches and rallies Lalu is preaching among common people BJP/NDA is not disclosing CM candidate to cheat the people as BJP would make upper caste CM if it wins. And on the other hand, he will try to convince the lower caste leaders like Paswan and Manjhi to take them out from NDA by assuring that BJP’s CM would be from higher caste according to its ideological discourse and history. If anyone will be unhappy with seat sharing ratio at that time, definitely NDA will go to disintegrate under such circumstances. In addition to this, BJP has many self-claimed CM candidates like Shushil Modi, Buxar Ashwani Choubey, C P Thakur and many more. If anyone among these ambitious persons senses the biasness towards other for making CM candidate, he may become rebel openly or passively which has been clear from the statements of these self-claimed CM candidates.  Hence, it is anticipated that BJP itself has many centrifugal tendencies and may lead to break up on issue of CM candidateship.

Modi-Shah duo has killed dissents with party. All the senior leaders like LK Advani, Arun Shourie, Yashwant Sinha, Govinda Charya, Shanta Kumar, Shatrughan Sinha and Murli Manohar Joshi have been marginalized by putting them into the dustbin of so called Marag Darshak. It seems that these Darshak are waiting for deafeat of Modi-Shah duo so that they can regain a freedom to speak up. This is not good sign for BJP.

Ahead to BJP, the grand alliance appears more in ideological harmony, of course pursuing similar goal for sake of power. All allied parties among Grand Alliance are on the prima facie secular and centrist or have centre-left traces. Hence these factions are relatively more trustworthy and have history of coalition politics though it is also true this alliance may end with collapse of ‘Modi Wave’ era. The experienced leaders like Sharad Yadav, K.C.Tayagi are like accommodators and buffers in grand alliance who can manage any tough contradictions. This alliance seems as revival of ideological blend of both Ram Manohar Lohia and J.P.Narayan that might have lost to very extent. Accounting these characteristics, Grand Alliance seems to handle the seat sharing problem, to which enemy wants to exploit if misalignment occurs in JDU-RJD of Grand Alliance. After end August this sharing process will be completed hopefully. And this sharing process is very decisive in making government in Bihar.

Bihar election 2015: A historic turn in political history of India :-

Bihar election is going to represent a historic turn in the timeline of Indian polity. Many parties like JDU (Janta Dal United), RJD (Rashtriya Janta Dal), INC (Indian National Congress) and NCP (National Congress Party) are directly partaking in Grand Alliance against NDA-the ‘holy alliance’. There are some ‘passive actor’ like SP (Smajwadi Party) and AAP (Aam Admi Party) in the theatre of Bihar election. The question arises why such Grand Alliance has emerged! Is this fortification against BJP? Or something beneath the carpet is different!

This is, no doubt, a misfortune in the modern democracies, that  the ruling polity with backing of  power hungry nexus of fundamentalist (with false medieval hangover) always has tendencies to consolidate in few hands or in one man army often curtailing or killing the ideological diversities in democratic and educational institutions, raising the level of confrontation against resistance politics.  And that ‘ruling party’ may become gradually arrogant and autocratic while dividing the whole nation across the line of majority and minority in cultural/religious/racial background, and ‘nationalist’ and ‘anti-nation’ or ‘pro-development’ and ‘anti-development’. Moral policing, extreme power hunger and manipulation of history are symptoms of these forces.

The Anti-Indra front was the spark in Indian democracy when whole country had been in deep despair. This front gave new dimension to Indian democracy. All factions irrespective of political line gathered to encounter the autocratic attitude of Smt. Indra Gandhi. Today, Bihar election 2015 is a occasion when all faction like JDU, RJD, NCP, INC, SP and AAP (internalizing the legacy of JP Narayan) are going to make the front against Modi Wave. If it is observed on platform of National Politics, it can be deduced that this front is more anti-‘Modi wave’ and lesser anti-BJP. Hence it is true that history repeats itself.

Now, what will happen to Modi Wave in Bihar? Will Grand Alliance wipe out this wave? Or this secular combination- Grand Alliance, will have to fight again in UP, Assam and Punjab against this Modi Wave. If Modi Wave will be defeated in Bihar, then what will be about the arrogance of BJP or Modi-Shah duo? But, if somehow BJP secures the majority in Bihar assembly, then Modi wave through TV or Radio waves will be preached in Media with high frequency. Now, this is upto Bihar’s people as if they want to stop the polarizing ghosts which are haunting over India since May, 2014. Now, it is in hands of Bihar whether it recognizes the pulse of Indian heartland- Delhi or not? Like Delhi’s people, Will Bihar follow? :-

“You can fool all the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time, But you cannot fool all the people all the time.”  –Abraham Lincoln