Hypocrisy at its best!

I always thought Nitish Kumar, like Mulayam Singh Yadav, had an ear to the ground. But I have grown sceptic after watching last week’s developments in Bihar.

It’s not because he ended his party’s 17-years-long relationship with the Bharatiya Janata Party at a time when the latter is better placed on the 2014 election scene.

It’s also not because he harbours the desire to rule the country one day or thinks he is a better performer or administrator when compared to Modi — he has the right to assess himself as a politician and also decide on the poll partners.

Advani was not talking through his hat when he had recently said in Madhya Pradesh, “Gujarat was always a progressive state. I congratulate Modi for the state’s further growth.”

Undoubtedly, when compared to Biharis or UPites, the Gujaratis (whether Hindus or Muslims) are certainly more business-minded people equipped with better entrepreneurial skills. Sadly the two northern states are known for their labour force more than the intelligence quotient.

What shocks me about Nitish is his belief that Advani would be more acceptable to the Muslims of Bihar than Modi.

As far as I know, the Muslims can’t stand both and Nitish’s public sympathy for Advani over ill-treatment meted out to him by the BJP is unlikely to go down well with them.

Just because Advani made a statement on Jinnah cannot dilute his role in whipping up Hindu frenzy in the early 1990’s. And whatever the media may speculate or say, the Muslims have not forgiven Advani for the demolition of the Babri Mosque in Ayodhya. Only the memories of 2002 Gujarat massacre are fresher than the demolition of 1992.

Agreed Atal and Advani had formed the NDA of which Nitish Kumar became a major beneficiary. But it amuses many like me when he says Atal-Advani era is over in the BJP and he cannot reconcile with the new era. Didn’t he know the Babri demolition occurred during Atal-Advani era?

Though Babri happened before the NDA came into existence, Godhra happened while he was an active partner in NDA. Why his secular sensibilities did not prod him to quit the arrangement with the BJP then.

I am sure Nitish was not so naïve not to know the ‘chola, chal and charitra’ of the RSS driven the BJP? Why this sudden volte face after Modi took over as party’s chief campaigner?

I am now convinced that politicians actually believe the public memory is ephemeral.

The fact is the JD (U) wanted a formula to checkmate its sliding popularity graph. Though Nitish has turned around Bihar in 10 years of his rule, he as a politician knew he will need some volatile poll issue to get another five years term.

He withdrew from NDA, condemned Modi driven BJP and shed some tears for Advani. If he believes the Muslims will go whole hog with him, he is in for a shock.

His political adventure may turn into a misadventure. That would be a sad day for the country as the country requires leaders of Nitish Kumar’s ilk.

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