10, December, 2009
The Jharkhand Assembly Election is at its peak. The Congress promises for prosperous Jharkhand, the BJP assures for free lunch (rice and wheat at Rs.1per kg and salt at 25 paisa) and the JMM vows for overthrowing the fear, hunger and corruption into bay, the communists bat for better state and the other smaller parties dream of glorious Jharkhand. The film stars are engaged in the operation vote hunt, the security forces are deployed for ensuring the people’s democratic rights (only right to vote) and the Maoists are engaged (by their Netas) in the activities of disrupting it. However, Mr. Editor of a leading daily is also busy in his own invented media election campaigns. He writes in his special column, “If you miss the opportunity, you have to pay for it”. He goes on writing, “You have undergone through the painful experienced for last nine years therefore at least, vote for your children, family, society, Jharkhand and India, of course.”
I just laugh on the passionate aspiration of Mr. Editor. Precisely, because how can one expect any miraculous change for the state, from those corrupt politicians, who are born only to grab the public money. How can one suddenly forget about the corruption icon Madhu Kora, who was mines minister in Arju Munda (BJP) led NDA government and of course, he bagged huge public money in UPA term. Can you vote for those politicians who replaced Babulal Marandi with Arjun Munda (flag bearer of corruption) only because he did not allow them to grab the public money? The foundation stone of corruption was laid down in Jharkhand by the blackmailers (MLAs) of JD(U) and Samta Party (now all co-travelers of Nitish Kumar) supported by the BJP in 2003, now making lots of noises against corruption indeed.
What would you name them who had hijacked Jharkhand Party’s MLA, Enos Ekka by special chopper and later on transported to Jaipur by a chartered plane with other 4 Independents and 36 NDA MLAs in 2005 after the election results was declared? They decided about the fate of Jharkhand in the five-star Hotel in Jaipur. Similarly, how can we believe in the Congress, who betrayed the Jharkhand for many times, defeated its own supported Chief Minister (Sibu Soren) and engaged in doing all possible attempts to acquire power in the state? But when we have no option in the so-called democracy, we have to choose our leaders among bad and the worst leaders. Even if we boycott the election, the government will be formed in one or other way. Therefore, the voting is on and we are praying to the God, “Give us at least bad leaders not the worst, let win the less corrupt leaders not the most corrupted ones and let’s breathe peacefully for choosing small criminals not the Dons.
Most of the Jharkhandis (believe, talk and walk on the values of Jharkhandi culture) are afraid, anxious and worried about their destiny as the National Election Watch regularly reports us, “Your expected MLAs, whom you would be handing over your destiny for the next five years are Millionaires, Tainted and Criminals. However, the dance of democracy is underway. The percentage of the vote is overwhelming with 52 %, 54 % and 55 % in the first, second and third phases respectively, which seems to be resulting in favour of the Congress-JVM alliance. If the trend continues the congress-JVM alliance can get nearly 30 to 35 seats and form the government with the support of the JMM which is expected to bag nearly 10 to 15 seats.
If everything goes well, the JMM would like to join the Congress alliance for three obvious reasons – one to avoid further trouble of the investigation agencies, second, it would like to bring more central fund to Jharkhand with the holy relationship between the centre and state governments and third, to stop the operation green hunt as many Maoists have joined the democratic process through the JMM. In that case, the UPA’s unwelcome alliance partners – Lalu and Paswan will be marginalized once again. Obviously, there would be some impact of the Liberahan Commission’s Report in the election as some sort of polarization in the favour of the Congress alliance is well noticed and if it continues the JD(U)’s Muslim voters can desert the party which would be clear loss to the NDA.
However, if some quick changes take place in the polls of 4th and 5th phases, the BJP alliance can reverse back and change the game by winning nearly 25 to 30 seats, which would surely result in forming of the government with the support of the AJSU and the JMM. Don’t’ forget, the JMM will not hesitate in joining hands with any alliance for acquiring power in the state (apparently, now the party seems to become power grabbing party rather than the Jharkhandi party, which fights for the Jharkhandi identity, culture and ethos). Obviously, Guruji Sibu Soren would remember Madhu Kora’s recent jail journey (when the Congress was unable to digest the huge turn out in Madhu Kora’s election campaigns despite a hue and cry on misappropriation of 4000 crore and regular attack from the all corners).
Another factor needs to be mentioned here is, if the Maoist Bandh hit the state, the BJP will be in the driving seat. The history suggests, in the Lok Sabh election 2004, the BJP had won merely 1 seat despite it was ruling at the centre and the state as well. In the general election 2009, it won 8 seats despite losing many states. Apparently, it is not because the BJP is very popular in the state but the Maoists bandh worked in favour of the BJP. The rural voters did not turned out in the large numbers due to Maoist threat and the urban voters (mostly the business community) voted for the BJP. But let’s not forget, the situation has rapidly changed and despite the Maoist thereat, the rural people are voting and the urban voters are not very keen in casting their votes, which can shock to the BJP.
The BJP is also suffering from the leadership crisis, which is in the public domain. The congress is campaigning with Sonia, Manmohan and Rahul in the front page but BJP still wants the Vajpayee’s charisma. Its ads show Vajpayee as prominent leader followed by Advani and Rajnath. In that case, how can voters would be interested to vote for a person, whom they have not seen for such a long time? It is also very clear that Vajpayee was part of the Ayodhya movement, which Murli Manohar Joshi publicly revealed in Varanashi recently, which would surely cost the BJP and the NDA at large. It is also because the BJP sings the same song every time.
However, there is no hope for the Adivasis, in whose name the state was formed. The Adivasis would be the most suffers for another five years. If the Congress alliance forms the government, the operation green hunt will be started, where Adivasis would be humiliated, tortured, raped, jailed and killed in the name of the Maoists on the one hand and the corporate development model would be promoted under the shadow of the guns and the democratic people’s movement would be crashed on the other. Similarly, if the BJP alliance forms the government, there would be another operation white hunt against the Christian Adivasis operated by the RSS with the supported of the state government. The BJP would also make operational of 54 MoUs singed by Arjun Munda government with the support of operation green hunt. There would be more and more police firing, torture and brutality on the people’s democratic movements (it was seen during the last NDA regime). The natural resources of the state would be sold to the multinationals and people will remain the poor.
Unfortunately, the Jharkhand is treated merely like an economic and political state by both the national parties – the Congress and the BJP. Their leaders failed to understand that the Jharkhand was formed as a cultural state followed by political and economic bindings. Therefore, only the regional parties (who understand about the Jharkhandi identity, culture and ethos) can meet its aspirations. There is a thrust need of a regional party like DMK, who can engineer the destiny of the state. The JMM could have played that role but it has lost the track in capturing the power. Indeed, the national parties will lead the coalition government with the instructions of the Big Boss and the regional parties would not be in the position to form the government. Therefore, the mandate of the Assembly Election 2009 would not be for engineering the destiny of Jharkhand but it would be for the operation Jharkhand hunt, no matter whether it would be in the form of operation green, white or red hunt.
Gladson Dungdung is a Human Rights Activist and Writer from Jharkhand. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org