The Unholy Politics in Jharkhand

 By Gladson Dungdung

30 December, 2009 

Sibu Soren taking oath as CM

Jharkhand Assembly Election is over. The people of Jharkhand did not give a clear mandate to any political party or alliance, which surprises many people across the country precisely because there was a hue and cry on corruption prior to the election and it was also an assumption that the people are fed up with the corruption, instability and uncertainty created by the unholy alliance, small parties and independent MLAs therefore the expectation was for a clear mandate. Unfortunately, everything went just the opposite. The corruption icon Madhu Koda’s wife Geeta Koda, Enos Ekka and many other corrupt and tainted candidates won the election. In fact, among 81 elected members, 59 of them (73 %) are tainted with pending criminal cases like murder, kidnapping and theft. Therefore, what kind of governance is expected from these people other than corruption, crime and corporate terror? 

The fact of the matter is the people did not give their mandates to the corrupt and tainted candidates but they got elected only because our democracy is on sale, which was clearly seen during the election. Now even the voters know that they can sell their votes at least once in five years. There is a major shift noticed in the villagers’ minds. The slogan “no development, no vote” has changed into “no money, no vote”, which the political parties have legitimated by openly distributing cash and kinds in the villages. According to Narottam Kumar of Dharampur village comes under the Mandu assembly constituency in Hazaribhagh district, a candidate of the national party gave Rs.50,000 to the villagers, carpets and Rs.10,000 to women group and provided liquor to men. Similarly, in Singhbhum region Rs.1000 packed in envelops distributed to each family and even the first time contesting independent candidates spent Rs. 5 to 10 lakh and secured 5 to 15 thousand votes. 

According to the latest report, the corporate houses have spent more than Rs.300 crore in Jharkhand Assemble Election by giving money to the political parties so that they can buy the votes and bring policies in favour of them. Interestingly, the fourth realm of the democracy -the Media also adopted the culture of “coverage package”, with the principle of “no money, no news”. The media houses had told to the candidates that if they want good election coverage, they must pay them in forms of ads. Now, it is socially accepted that a candidate can buy the votes, voters can sell their right to vote and the elected members are free to bargain for money generating miniseries. But the most shocking fact is the Adivasis who are known for their honesty are also involved in buying and selling the democratic rights and also favouring the corrupt politicians. 

Ironically, the holy priests are also in the part of unholy business of democracy. Will you be surprised if someone tells you that the corrupt politician Enos Ekka won the election and Benjamin Lakra with a clean image contested on the ticket of the Congress lost election only because the holy priests wanted that to happen? It is fact that the holy priests mobilized the people in favour of Enos Ekka on the basis of the work and benefits that he has ensured for the holy priests when he was minister before going to jail. Indeed, many Congress candidates lost the election only because the holy priests wanted to teach a lesion to the Congress. They believe that the Congress is the real culprit for Adivasis plight, which is of course not wrong. But the question is will they welcome the operation white hunt of Sangh Parivar against the Christians only because they hate the Congress? If the Christians are attacked in Jharkhand, they should not cry foul or pray to the almighty God to save them because they have handed over their houses to the devil for taking care of. 

However, the things in the state have gone extremely wrong despite the strong secular forces prevailing in the state; the communal forces could able to grab the power. In the Jharkhandi market of democracy, the Congress, JVM, AJSU and JMM are the gainers and the BJP, JDU and RJD are the losers but the biggest loser is the BJP, who has lost 12 seats despite having favourable climate for winning the election. Ironically, the BJP was not ready to concede the moral defeat and formed government with the JMM, AJSU and JD(U). The BJP has become shameless party, who can do anything for grabbing the power. The Congress-JVM alliance did not go for any kind of horse trading despite emerging as the biggest alliance with 25 seats. It seems that they are looking for the long term politics. If they could be able to maintain their alliance, they would be in the driving seat next time.   

Jharkhand is really an unfortunate state, where an independent MLA can become the state head, any one can manipulate the public opinion for grabbing power and swallow the huge public money. Take the example of the BJP, who defended its tie-up with tainted JMM leader Shibu Soren though they had tirelessly criticized the Congress for giving him ministry in the UPA-I. The BJP president Nitin Gadkari defended the party’s decision of supporting JMM leader Shibu Soren to form the next Government in Jharkhand saying that stability and interests of the people of that state were the only concerns. Gadkari said it was Congress and not Soren who was responsible for corruption in politics. But he forgets that the JMM was the part of Madhu Koda government and not the Congress. It was supported from the outside but of course the Congress can not be given a clean chit. Both the parties – BJP and JMM seem to be the power hungry therefore they can justify everything. Another twist is Bandhu Turkey, who is supporting Sibu Soren to ensure that the investigation on purchase of games and sports materials for the national game halted. Most important question is will the BJP who tirelessly cries foul on the issue of corruption, shield Bandhu Turkey? 

Guruji Sibu Soren is also unique in many ways. In the Assembly election of 2005, he had ensured the defeat of the JMM by adopting the dynastic politics and now he became another Jai Prakash Narayan in giving secular certificate to the BJP, who was the key player in the demolition of Babri Mosque, Gujrat riots and Kandhmal violence. He repeatedly said, “BJP is not a communal party”. After joining hands with the BJP, now he knows that the BJP is a secular party at least better than the Congress. The question here would be if the BJP is a secular party why he was the part of the Congress alliance earlier and also did not go for the pre-poll alliance with the BJP? Can he be allowed to portray a lion as a lamb merely to grab the power? Most of the MoUs (54) are signed by Arjun Munda to sell forests, rivers and lands of Jharkhand in the hands of the MNCs and Sibu Soren fought to save these. Will he be able to save land, forest and water with the BJP supported government? Can he say that the BJP is not a capitalist party or only the Congress sold the Adivasis resources? How long Sibu Soren will carry on unholy politics for grabbing the power?                                                                                                     

Jharkhand has been victimized by unholy politics right from the beginning. The state has witnessed the unholy politics brought by the BJP, flourished during the regime of the UPA and supported by the JMM. In these circumstances, Jharkhand can be saved only through two ways – i) a new regional party emerges with the understanding of Jharkhandi culture, socio-economy and politics of the indigenous people and ii) the almighty God, who can throw light over the power hungry and corrupt politicians for resurrection of the state. The unholy politics must be stopped if the state has to address the people’s issues, engineer its destiny and grow with prosperity. Though Sibu Soren seems to be enjoying on his political move at this moment but he must be ready either to be jailed or leave the chair of the chief minister within next 6 months because he would be surely facing investigation agencies and one more Tamar test (election) as well and Jharkhand would be on sale, loot and robbery once again. Indeed, the future of Jharkhand seems to be dark under the unholy politics. 

Gladson Dungdung is a Human Rights Activist and Writer from Jharkhand. He can be reached at gladsonhractivist@gmail.com 



Categories: General

8 replies

  1. Hi Gladson,
    Your present article is through and through study on unholy politics in state of Jharkhand. Few mentioned points are clear by your explanations. One is the acceptance of distributed of money or kinds by villagers. Winning of corrupt and tainted candidates and last but not the least is communal party “BJP” role in whole election processes.
    No doubt there is dearth of “Adivasi leadership” with vision of Jharkhandi culture, socio-economic factor and Politics of Indigenous people. But I strongly feel that, by creating new regional party will not solve the ultimate purpose. In my opinion, most needed things for Adivasi people is cognizance in multiple spares. So that, one can understands situation and can act accordingly. Adivasi population also needs to be sensible of communal pulses of present coalition government. As we have witnessed several Communal tension in past by communal party in power.
    For that, Adivasi intellectuals have to come forward and lead in politics. Socially motivated people can take responsibility to aware community through education. I feel, “who will do for me, if I am not doing for myself”.
    With regards
    Kadey Soren

  2. Well , read you write up, but it seems you are more angry for no reasons.

    In a democratic system, people have to decide and in present scenario , if all those who were caught looting public funds can be elected, then why new regional party?

    It shows that people dont care for any one elected there..they know that every one who comes there will loot without even thinking about their duties.

    If a person who sold Jharkhand movement for 3 crore can rethink about building Jharkhand and take some better measures , lets wait.

    I am sure about one thing though, Any stable govt would have been very bad for people’s movement. They would have crushed it like in Chhattisgarh or Orrissa and taken away all mineral rights….

    R.P.Shahi

  3. Dear Mr Gladson,

    Sir, well written & very convincing. no doubt jharkhand is in the hands of GOD, if there is miracle, jharkhand can be saved. Or the people like you should come forward with cause, associate good people, form a good party & become a savior of jharkhand.

    We feel that we are not doing anything for jharkhand, which is giving us bread & butter. We are mute spectator to the happenings around us. With so much poverty, it should be of little surprise that villagers sell their votes for money.

    I am a voter in chaibasa, moved to a new locality, although much before election date, i was surprised when the representative of different political parties failed to trace myself & my wife names in the voters list. i saw 95% people voting of below poverty line, (i may be wrong as i have made my opinion on how shabbily they were dressed) they constitute the maximum percentage of voters, hence little surprise that we got a fractured verdict & this trend will continue, if thing are not changed at the bottom level.

    I have found in you a like minded people after reading your post, come forward sir, for the sake of prosperous Jharkhand & its citizen.

    Thanking you once again.

    sanjeev k mallik
    chaibasa.

  4. Dear Gladson
    KUDOS for your article “Unholy Politics in JHARKHAND”.

    I differ to your remedies suggested.

    1.Emergence of new political oufit.(Pl study the history of JHARKHAND from JAIPAL SINGH ERA BEFORE INDPENDACE . N.E. HORO. JMM. ETC and many more un-sung hero’s.)The development of Chotanagpur has virtually stopped from eighty’s. Every party is corrupted and leaders co-opted. We are lacking in , honesty, truthfulness and righteousness .

    Regards

    P.V. TOPPO

  5. The reason that people of Jharkhand didn’t give a clear mandate to any political party or alliance is owing to the fact that our state is also very diverse demographically. Although tribals constitute 28% the state’s population,there are other communities too like Mahtos/Kurmis,Dalits and other backward communities.Also in cities there is a big population of migrants.People of our state don’t have a common language which shows that we are also linguistically diverse.Even tribals are divided into several sub tribes.Each community in Jharkhand has several issues with every other community in the state like reservation in jobs,state’s official languages etc.Every political party has its base on some of the selected communities like JMM has strong influence among Santhals and Mahtos,BJP is favourite of upper caste communities and migrants and congress is the only hope of Christians and Muslims .If the communities themselves favour different parities how could you expect to have a clear mandate.

    Secondly Jharkhand can be saved if we stop blaming the politicians and start doing the rescue operation.The system is run by bureaucracy and if we have more and more Jharkhandi people in bureaucracy only then can we expect some change. You reside in Ranchi and know the pathetic condition of our youth.They have nothing to do with the current on-goings in Jharkhand politics.They just need a bike and a girlfriend and monthly pocket money to spend time in some cafeteria or restaurant.Our people have now access to education ,thanks to Missionaries ,yet they haven’t realized the value of education. They don’t see it as a means to change our society and state.See our Adivasi youth have now access to education ,libraries and even we have reservation…what more should we ask from God……..God has provided has everything so that our youth can change not only society or state but also our country….on the contrary look at Meenas…how they have used the reservation and flooded in IITs/IIMs and even in IAS/IPS….now they have become one of the strongest communities of India….Difference between Adivasis and Meenas is that a Meena doesn’t forget his/her roots but we Adivasi do……WE DON’T GIVE BACK TO OUR SOCIETY…..if one Adivasi becomes engineer/IAS/IPS he should help atleast 5 of our Adivasi children become the same…in this way we can change our society and ultimately change our state.

    The solution of the current plight is “LET’S GIVE BACK TO OUR SOCIETY WHAT IT HAS GIVEN TO US”.

  6. Dear Mr. Gladson,
    Read your article on Jharkhand politics.
    the politics of Jharkhand politicians are similar to all other states politics.
    Here in AP as well the politics are not different.
    infact now the issue of Telangana is going on, In Jharkhand the tribals resources etc are misused, sold off etc, same is the situation here with Telanganas, Andhras have sold off their lands, resources, grabbed all the employment and other oppurtunities etc.
    Any how no state is free of these kinds of politicians, whether they may be of congress or BJP, every party and its candidates are corrupt and criminals.
    Only god can save India from such people.
    but it is our responsibility to aware common people of such politicians.
    wonderful article. i myself came to know many facts.

    Iam also a civil rights activist based at Hyderabad.
    I work with Civil Liberities Monitoring Committee India.
    Please go through our website: http://www.civillibertiesindia.org
    We also run a magazine. please write an article for our magazine, we will be glad to publish your article in our magazine.

    With Regards
    Kaneez Fathima

  7. It is always enlightening to read your posts and the latest one is no exception.
    India’s ‘democracy’ is a joke – as you say: money buys votes. It was shocking to read that “among 81 elected members, 59 of them (73 %) are tainted with pending criminal cases like murder, kidnapping and theft.”
    So why doesn’t the police arrest them? What is old man Manmohan Singh and his boss Sonya Gandhi doing about corrupt voting practices?
    Ordinary people put up with injustices for so long and there seems to be no end in sight. You take so much trouble to point out the corrupt politics at work but the chief minister or police chief take no notice. Amazing!
    Big business as usual exercises control though money while the media too doesn’t do its duty of reporting all the news. This is disgraceful.
    The whole Indian politcial system is rotten and Delhi seems helples to do anything about it.
    In the face of much injusitces, I am surprised that you continue to work to point what’s going on for the uplift of the poor and oppressed people. It was sad to hear that the Adivasis too are succumbing to the prevailing corrupt ckimate.

    Wish you al the best in 2010. and hope you find the faith and strength to continue the good work
    Edsa

  8. The reason that people of Jharkhand didn’t give a clear mandate to any political party or alliance is owing to the fact that our state is also very diverse demographically. Although tribals constitute 28% the state’s population,there are other communities too like Mahtos/Kurmis,Dalits and other backward communities.Also in cities there is a big population of migrants.People of our state don’t have a common language which shows that we are also linguistically diverse.Even tribals are divided into several sub tribes.Each community in Jharkhand has several issues with every other community in the state like reservation in jobs,state’s official languages etc.Every political party has its base on some of the selected communities like JMM has strong influence among Santhals and Mahtos,BJP is favourite of upper caste communities and migrants and congress is the only hope of Muslims .If the communities themselves favour different parities how could you expect to have a clear mandate.

    Secondly Jharkhand can be saved if we stop blaming the politicians and start doing the rescue operation.The system is run by bureaucracy and if we have more and more Jharkhandi people in bureaucracy only then can we expect some change. You reside in Ranchi and know the pathetic condition of our youth.They have nothing to do with the current on-goings in Jharkhand politics.They just need a bike and a girlfriend and monthly pocket money to spend time in some cafeteria or restaurant.Our people have now access to education ,thanks to Missionaries ,yet they haven’t realized the value of education. They don’t see it as a means to change our society and state.See our Adivasi youth have now access to education ,libraries and even we have reservation…what more should we ask from God……..God has provided has everything so that our youth can change not only society or state but also our country….on the contrary look at Meenas…how they have used the reservation and flooded in IITs/IIMs and even in IAS/IPS….now they have become one of the strongest communities of India….Difference between Adivasis and Meenas is that a Meena doesn’t forget his/her roots but we Adivasi do……WE DON’T GIVE BACK TO OUR SOCIETY…..if one Adivasi becomes engineer/IAS/IPS he should help atleast 5 of our Adivasi children become the same…in this way we can change our society and ultimately change our state.

    The solution of the current plight is “LET’S GIVE BACK TO OUR SOCIETY WHAT IT HAS GIVEN TO US”.

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