By Manuwant Choudhary
The other evening my chief minister Nitish Kumar was on a CNN-IBN show since a survey indicated he has greater chances of being India's Prime Minister.
The interview went on for hours and at times it seemed the chief minister himself wanted to get up and leave.
But there were luminaries in the audience so how could he possibly do that.....
N.K. Singh..his agent in Delhi sat in the front row...and Abhishek Manu Singhvi..the Congress spokesperson..listened attentively...possibly for a clue on 2014.
But Nitish is a clever politician...he just talked about poverty and special status.
This was the same news channel that gave Nitish Kumar the `sarvshresth mukhya mantri' darja...(status)...just a few days after he became chief minister!
But when u hear our politicians on national TV...whether Nitish or Modi...you know for sure that they have nothing to offer India.
Nitish Kumar's biggest achievement is the bicycles he distributed to school children.
When asked about urbanisation he said his state does not need massive urbanisation..the fact is that Bihar doesn't even have a single city ! You heard that right...Patna is hardly even a town!
I took a train and arriving in Patna as I took an auto I noticed Patna does not have traffic lights..or even street lights.
So I got talking to the autowallah and to my surprise he spoke with more intelligence....
"Saheb, desh mein sirf teen mahanagar hain....dilli, bombai aur kalkatta...Patna mahanagar kaise banega....mahanagar kisi ke banane se nahin banta...uske andar shakti honee chahiye..."
(The counrty has just three cities..Delhi, Bombay and Calcutta...Patna cannot become a metro city with an announcement...Patna must have inner strengths to become a Metro..)
"Desh mein gareeb nahin hongen to sab ruk jayega...padha-likha engineer yahan nut-bolt bhee nahin choota hai..."
(If there were no poor in India the entire economy would have come to a halt..the educated engineers here don't like to use their hainds to fix anything..)
"Neta to sirf apne paise kee firak mein rehte hain..desh ke liye kaun sochta hai..Humar rajya bhee gareeb jai..dekhte nahin kaise mukhya mantri katora liye kendra ke paas jaate hain"
(The politicians are just after making money...who thinks about the country..My state is also poor. Our chief minister goes to the centre with a begging bowl."
Ofcourse, on national TV the same evening my chief minister talked about things like `Global Meltdown' and Bihar's growth story..while reprimanding the anchor for calling it a Model.
But Nitish was right..there is no Model..rather there is no policy..it is pure consumption.
The anchor also listed the consumption statistics of Narendra Modi and they were similar except the heads on which they were spent were different.
It hurts to see India being run this way.
I often wonder whether it is our policy to keep India poor !
A friend who lives abroad said India has become a laughing stock with its economic decline..(our foriegn exchange reserves can last just 7 months as of now.)
The country is desperate.
But what does the Congress Party do about this - they create one more state - Telengana. More governments, more chief ministers, more Governors.....more costs.
Let India burn.
Let Pakistan cross our borders whenever they feel like and shoot down the soldiers.
But we don't hear anything from loudmouths like Raj Thackeray when four Biharis and one Marathi together lay down their lives for India..fighting Pakistan.
At a time when even the US pulls out consulates from different countries..India sleeps.
We talk about peace talks.
They forget the ancient saying, "If you want peace prepare for war."
Before I became a journalist..rather the first interview of my life...was with Minoo Masani, India's great liberal...and it was just liberalising...but this is what Masani said, "This is liberalisation through bankruptcy, not intelligence..."
The latest slew of `opening up' decisions in Foriegn Direct Investments just shows how FDI is being used not as a policy decision but as a way to `Beg' for foreign money...(but its too late for some..one of India's best airlines Kingfisher was allowed to go to ruin..before the skies were opened up)
But why should the world invest when you say you are poor and desperate !
I really don't care about the Modi's and the Nitish's and the Rahul's.
The best Narendra Modi can offer is a nasal version of `Meren Doston...!(my friends)
But today I'd like to wish Narendra Modi a very happy Eid and offer him a skullcap Made In China sold at Patna's langartoli!