In 1999 when I was preparing for a few MBA campus interviews, which were scheduled at Mumbai, our Father at St. Xaviers College suggested me to mention that I come from Ranchi and have done my graduation from St. Xaviers College instead of mentioning Bihar. At first, I did not get the logic of mentioning Ranchi but I realized the impact of it when I was not rejected or penalized in interviews for my Bihar connections. I realized, I was given opportunity to present my case unlike other candidates who were not even given opportunity to present their case, forget getting selected. Those rejections were result of brand Bihar and status Jungle-Raj.
Yes, when I was student, Bihar was famous for ‘Jungle-Raj’. Those were the days of the rule of RJD Chief Lalu Prasad Yadav and his wife Rabri Devi. I believe that those were the darkest days of governance in Bihar. Bihar was governed by the nexus of politicians, government officials, businessmen and other powerful individuals.
In Bihar, Jungle-Raj always meant corruption, kidnapping, killing, and crime. It will not be wrong to say that Bihar was Mecca (if I may use the term) of sustained illegal activities. The situation at Bihar is back to the dark days of Lalu Prasad Yadav and his wife Rabri Devi. But CM Nitish Kumar thinks otherwise and I respect the audacity of Nitish Kumar when he claims that latest crime figures assert ‘Mangal Raj’ and ‘rule-of-law’ in the state.
I will not talk of kidnapping or killing of common man but will like to highlight a few of the high profile killings in Bihar.
In Bhojpur, the vice president of BJP in Bihar, Visheshwar Ojha was gunned down. In the same incident three of his associates also got injured. Visheshwar Ojha was shot dead in his SUV while returning from a wedding.
LJP functionary Brijnath Singh was gunned down by criminals firing from AK-47 assault rifles in Patna’s congested Kachchi Dargah locality.
In Siwan, a 42-year-old journalist, bureau chief of Hindi daily Hindustan, Rajdeo Ranjan was shot dead by criminals near the Siwan railway station.
In Gaya, suspected Maoists shot dead the district-level leader of LJP Sudesh Paswan and his cousin, who was a panchayat poll candidate, in Dumaria police station area of Gaya.
In Dumaria, Ex. CM Jitan Ram Manjhi’s convoy’s pilot vehicle was set on fire in Dumaria, Gaya. Manjhi was on his way to meet those agitating against LJP Sudesh Paswan’s murder.
In Bihar, it will be wrong to say that common man is safe when politicians, Journalists, and other powerful individual are not safe. It is important to mention that the situation in Bihar is so grim that Ex CM Jitan Ram Manjhi is also not safe.
These series of incidents confirm that there is return of ‘Jungle-Raj’ in Bihar and Nitish can only afford to deny it.