The best way to know the self is feeling oneself at the moments of reckoning. The feeling of being alone, just with your senses, may lead you to think more consciously. More and more of such moments may sensitize ‘you towards you’, towards others. We become regular with introspection and retrospection. We get ‘the’ gradual connect to the higher self we may name Spirituality or God or just a Humane Conscious. We tend to get a rhythm again in life. We need to learn the art of being lonely in crowd while being part of the crowd. A multitude of loneliness in mosaic of relations! One needs to feel it severally, with conscience, before making it a way of life. One needs to live several such lonely moments. One needs to live severallyalone.

Saturday, 28 February 2015

LIFE WAS STILL IN MAKING WHEN YOU WERE DYING

Life was still in making when you were dying
In the thriving and outgrown forest of thoughts
The rush of feelings was clear as well as confusing
Travelling inside with the silence you sought
To prepare for the journey upcoming
To the lands you didn't know if at all existed
But with a silent commitment
To embrace what the future might have held
A life to the realms only heard and read so far
The thoughts were perplexed
Why to leave all that has been so known
Why to stay when a new path is opening up
With a relevance that had seemed illogical so far
Life was still reading its text
To see through beyond this life, to the ride ahead

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey - http://severallyalone.blogspot.com/    

Friday, 27 February 2015

THE UNION BUDGET TO HAVE IMPRINT OF MODI’S POOL OF EXPERTS

The Union Budget tomorrow is going to be the second Budget of the National Democratic Alliance government led by Narendra Modi in nine months.

The first one was presented in July 2014 by the Finance Minister Arun Jaitley after the Modi government was inaugurated in May 2014. Then, the government was just one month into the office, nothing to look back to take steps forward.

Now, nine months into the office, there are developments in retrospect that are needed to be factored in while looking forward. And there will be an intensified level of scrutiny therefore.

In addition to the regular factors affecting the state of the Indian economy, another major element that is going to have its imprint on Budget, is the talent pool of the economists inducted by Narendra Modi in key policymaking functions of his government.

It was already visible in the Rail Budget that focused on consolidating on what is there than to engage in economically insane populism. Sources say the team of experts including the Ministry of Finance Advisor Arvind Subramanian, the NITI Aayog chief Arvind Panagariya and the NITI Aayog member Bibek Debroy and the senior officials of the prime minister’s office played a major role in spreading out the policy concepts on the paper.

They are seen as free market experts believing in the primacy of the market to drive the growth and they are expected to follow the suit with the Union Budget.

We should be ready for a no non-sense Budget that would give enough of talking points, to the proponents, and to the opponents. If there has to be some space for populism, it is expected to be in context of the upcoming Bihar assembly polls later this year and the West Bengal polls in the first half of the next year.

But overall, it is expected to be a balanced Budget intending to kick-start the Modi’s vision of making India a manufacturing hub which can meet its requirements internally and at the same can acts as a hub of the export oriented global financial system.

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey - http://severallyalone.blogspot.com/  

Thursday, 26 February 2015

THE BUZZ WORDS BEFORE THE RAIL BUDGET PRESENTATION

Railway's financial health: Indian Railways is in dire financial straits. It barely earns to sustain itself when it needs huge funds to modernize its ailing and ageing infrastructure. The high operational ratio, with expenditure being the 90% of the earning, will be discussed with deliberations on 'how the new Rail Minister will approach the problem'?

Tariff hike: Fares would be hiked or not? Will the freight tariff come down? Will the passenger fare go up? Will the subsidized segments of train fares see rationalization?

Cleanliness: With 'Clean India' campaign being one of the cornerstones of Narendra Modi's policymaking, the Rail Budget is expected to focus heavily on revamping the image of Indian Railways, a limping behemoth where even the A-class stations have questionable cleanliness record or where the catering of even the A-class trains like Rajdhani or Shatabdi cannot be relied on.

Clean energy/Alternative energy: Extending the cleanliness campaign, another big emphasis of the Modi government is to increase the share of clean/green energy in India's overall energy consumption to the global norms. Indian Railways being a major energy consuming outfit, the Rail Budget is expected to lay down vision on the same.

Water conservation: Open taps or leaking pipelines are a common feature of all stations. Also, huge amount of water is used in cleaning trains and stations and much of it is wasted. But there are no specific guidelines water usage. Water recycling is still not practiced by most of its wings. The budget is expected to come with plans for the same.

High speed corridors: The Rail Budget is expected to and should focus on the high speed corridors, preferably on introducing semi high-speed trains and increasing speed of the existing ones. India doesn't need a Bullet Train corridor now. Burdening its economy with huge-investment white elephants like Bullet Train projects, the one between Mumbai and Ahmedabad is expected to cost Rs. 60,000 crore, should be avoided. And we can expect this from the pragmatic professional in Suresh Prabhu, the Rail Minister.

Freight v passenger tariff trade off: What Indian Railways earns through freight is used to absorb the loss made by its passenger segment - the story of cross subsidy. It stands now at Rs. 24,000 crore. Indian freight tariff is among the highest in the world while its passenger tariff for suburban and sleeper is among the lowest. It is sort of a double whammy. The cross subsidy is eating into Indian Railway's financial health and the high freight subsidy is making it lose market share to the road transport operators. Balancing these is a tough task, given the sensitivity of electoral compulsions. It would be interesting to see how Mr. Prabhu reflects on the same.

Customer satisfaction: It is always the buzz word, improving on services and introducing amenities. Cleanliness, better booking options, cooking hygiene, cuisine quality, better options on trains, efficient information broadcasts, wi-fi expansion and so on. The fare dynamics is an important part of it. If the fares are increased, it will be to arrange the funds for better amenities. It the fare are not reduced, it will again be to meet the fund requirement to provide a better customer experience. And if the fare are reduced, what else can be said, it is always the most satisfying aspect for most of the customers.

Collaborations: Need to infused fund in Indian Railways and as the government cannot meet the requirement on its own, there should be collaborations on the card - within India, from abroad. Privatization is certainly a sensitive issue but collaborations with external agencies on PPP model can be practiced. Also, the state governments can be made partners in projects falling in their region.

Make in India: Make In India is prime minister Narendra Modi's flagship manufacturing initiative for India, intending to make India a production hub. But given the poor financial condition of Indian Railways, it should not be expected that the Rail Budget would come with new projects to produce its requirements in the country that it is currently importing.

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey - http://severallyalone.blogspot.com/  

Wednesday, 25 February 2015

TO HOLD ITS GROUND, NDA GOVERNMENT NEEDS THE LAND BILL ORDINANCE THROUGH

The hon. President has convened the Joint Sitting of both the Houses of Parliament under Article 108 of the Constitution in connection with discussing the configuration and implications of the Prevention of Terrorism Law and whether it should be passed or not? An anti-terrorism law already existed in America, yet they have brought a new law. The whole nation of United States was unanimous about it and when that law was brought before the Senate, only one vote was cast against it. After the attack on World Trade Centre which took a toll of about 3000 people, the President of America lost no time in declaring, `A war has been launched on the United States of America'. On the other hand, in our country this law was defeated in the Rajya Sabha and, paradoxically, the spokespersons of the parties went to extent of saying that they wanted to show to the world that this country was divided over this issue.

Arun Jaitley, the Minister of Law, Justice & Company Affairs, March 2002 (during a joint sitting of the Parliament to pass the Prevention of Terrorism Act, 2002 – POTA – to replace the Prevention of Terrorism Ordinance – POTO)

We need to get ready to listen to something like this when the National Democratic Alliance government led by Narendra Modi goes ahead with the Land Bill ordinance to get it passed in the joint sitting of the Parliament.

Narendra Modi has no other option.

He has promised the sky and he needs to deliver if he has to leave his legacy behind. And to leave a legacy worth talking about, he needs to come back in power in 2019.

He needs time.

One year is almost gone and the policy apparatus is still not in place, a  must before Modi embarks on the journey to realize his dreams, to deliver on his promises.

And if a five year term, i.e., the single term, is going to be the window available, Modi has started running out of time.

He has promised jobs.  He has promised increased income. He promised better amenities to live with. He has promised smarter living with smart cities. He has promised faster living with increased connectivity and reduced run time.

To say in one sentence - he has promised good times for a good life.

And the government cannot do so on its own. It needs collaborators, primarily from the industry, from within, and from abroad.

It needs capital and ways to invest that capital - in industries, in infrastructure - generating revenue, creating employment.

And land is an imperative in achieving this.

Delay in land acquisition has stalled projects worth over Rs. 3.5 Lakh Crore. There are reports that take this cost to Rs. 20 Lakh Crore. A CMIE report puts the worth of the stalled projects to some 14 Trillion US$. The industrial corridors of Delhi-Mumbai and Mumbai-Chennai and over 60 national highways are stalled due to delay in acquiring land.

Land is needed to create industrial corridors, new residential hubs and the associated infrastructure. Land is needed to connect India better to move faster.

Land is the key to unlock what Modi is aspiring for. And it is the key reason behind the Land Bill ordinance that diluted the provisions of the previous Bill passed by the Manmohan Singh led United Progressive Alliance government. Broadly, more categories have been exempted where owners' consent is not necessary. Also, the provisions related to Social Impact Analysis have been diluted as well.

With mounting opposition and criticism, not just from the political opposition, but from his own allies, as well as civil society movements like the one launched by Anna Hazare, the 'consensus' that was always elusive, has gone beyond reach, with the present form of the Bill.

And to have his way ahead, Modi needs the Bill cleared in this form.

So, expect justifications, all of which are not invalid with some having mandatory relevance for spurring growth in India, during the joint session that is to be called to get the Land Bill ordinance cleared.

Would it be Arun Jaitley this time to initiate the debate of the joint sitting, the Minister of Finance and Information & Broadcasting now, one of the most eloquent NDA ministers? Last time, in 2002, it was the then Home Minister L K Advani.

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey - http://severallyalone.blogspot.com/  

Tuesday, 24 February 2015

THE UNHINGED FRINGE ELEMENTS: THE PATH AHEAD LOOKS EVEN MORE ENTANGLED

Now, that is a problem, already accentuated.

And even after that, the elements are not ready to take stock of the situation.

Narendra Modi was eloquent with confidence when he had said back in May 2014 that he was there for two terms and the 2019 general elections were already won.

It followed the streak for some time, with Modi looking invincible electorally.

The letdown of the two major rounds of the bye-elections was mopped by BJP's victory in three assembly polls with the added bonus of the party emerging as the second largest party in Jammu & Kashmir.

But, after almost nine months in the prime minister's office, that eloquence is getting some shattering reality check.

And an 'unbridled run' of the fringe elements furthering the communal agenda is one of the reasons behind it.

The communal elements that have long been associated with the BJP's politics started sounding victorious from the day one as if the victory of Narendra Modi and BJP had given them a safe haven.

Initially the BJP dismissed reactions on their acts.

The dismissive attitude was helped by victories in assembly polls. But in all those states, the BJP was the main opposition voice contesting the polls, against the anti-incumbency of the ruling governments.

But with no effective checks on these voices, they soon started going berserk, sounding and acting unhinged. Vitriolic statements were delivered and practiced. Religious conversions, saffronization of education and making India a Hindu nation started getting frequent visibility.

And this frequent visibility soon started getting traction.

It forced the BJP to come in a defensive mode, distancing itself from the voices, once the cracks started appearing, with the opposition attacking the government in the Parliament, with the people expressing their displeasure on social media and other platforms and with the media outfits debating and discussing the issue with rightly oriented critical coverage.

But the final bolt came with the humiliating loss in the Delhi polls, the first avenue where the BJP was seen ruling the National Capital Territory through the Central rule.

The many factors that contributed to the BJP's drubbing in Delhi had in the 'fringe communal elements running amok' a principal collaborator.

The agenda of these fringe elements generally doesn't go down well with the voters from the middle classes, the youth, the aspiring and job-seeking population segments and the education and peace-loving lot from every class of the society.

The BJP's first test on this parameter was in Delhi and it failed here miserably.

Narendra Modi is well aware and he has tried to distance his government away from any radical or communal agenda. Though his silence has been questioned at times, he has come out and spoken clearly to strengthen the secular fabric of the country by voicing full support to the religious freedom, like he did during an church event in Delhi this month. He has been expressing his views in different ways and on different platforms.

But his efforts have failed so far.

And with the RSS, the BJP's ideological mentor, getting more vocal about its 'Hindu Nation' theory and 'religious conversion and re-conversion' debate, with statements questioning even a Mother Teresa, alleging her to be involved in religious conversion in the garb of charity, the path ahead looks even more entangled.

To continue..

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey - http://severallyalone.blogspot.com/ 

Monday, 23 February 2015

THE BRIEF FOR CONGRESS SPOKESPERSONS POST DELHI ROUT (AND POST RAHUL GANDHI'S SABBATICAL)

Expecting questions on the first family, the party’s top leadership, after the complete rout of the Congress party in the Delhi assembly polls, sources say the party came up with up with a new brief for its spokespersons.

Thanks to a recently shunned spokesperson, who helped with a copy of the brief, here is what it said:  

On the Delhi debacle: Party is looking into it and will bounce back soon. There was no anger against the party. In fact, Congress is content that the communal BJP has been shown the door. The increasing fringe voices from the RSS and its affiliate organizations on making India a Hindu nation or the radical agenda like religion conversions have shown the real character of the BJP.

On the Gandhi family: The Congress spokespersons are to follow the same line on the first family of the party, the Gandhis (including Robert Vadra) the way it has been. Its sanctity is not to be touched. But, in the changed circumstances, it is expected from the spokespersons that they follow the line in a way that they must not sound doing so.

On increasing voices of dissent: Though the party follows internal democracy, the liberty to speak out has valid restrictions as propounded by our top leadership of Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi. If anyone has any grievance, the person needs to approach the top leadership. Party discipline must be respected.

On future strategy: Organizational polls will be held for party positions as per the ‘democratic norms’ of the party’s constitution. It goes with the ‘fact’ that positions like vice-president do not come in the poll ambit. Also, Congress believes in developing consensus and the current president Sonia Gandhi is a world figure and one of the tallest mass leaders whose acceptability transcends party lines.

And with today's controversy on Rahul Gandhi going on leave (or the sabbatical) during the Budget session of the Parliament, that acquired stormy propositions by the late evening with discussions themed on a possible 'Sonia-Rahul discord', the party had to add another one to the list, in a quickly called meeting of the party's apex communication cell.

And thanks again to the same source, the shunned spokesperson, the addition to the brief was:  

On Rahul Gandhi's sabbatical during the Budget session of the Parliament: It has to be referred to as sabbatical only, nothing else. Party is gearing up to bounce back under the leadership of Sonia ji and Rahul ji. Rahul Gandhi is our leader and he has been practicing innovative politics ever since he got active in politics. He is a leader with out of the box thinking and has taken a well thought sabbatical to reflect on the developments so far to work on the further course of action. He will soon join us to launch a comprehensive protest against the anti-people policies of the Narendra Modi government.   

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey - http://severallyalone.blogspot.com/ 

Sunday, 22 February 2015

NITISH KUMAR 'MAKES' A COMEBACK

The stage was set for the final showdown on February 20, but then one of the principal protagonists suddenly left the arena, giving walk over to his opponent.

And the opponent, the three-term chief minister of Bihar, was inaugurated for the fourth term today.

Nitish Kumar is the chief minister of Bihar again. And as he says - that his predecessor, Jitan Ram Manjhi, who was handpicked by him last May, had derailed the state from the path of progress - he has some eight months, as the current Bihar assembly is completing its term on November 29, 2015,
to bring the state back to the growth trajectory that he claims he had achieved for the state.  

Nitish has been apologising for leaving the office of Bihar's chief minister last year and letting Bihar on a negative growth spiral and his 'Kejriwal act' is being much talked about and discussed.

Probably, after seeing the brilliant success of Kejriwal's apology act, Nitish thought he could do the same to deflect questions on his last year rhetoric that he would not come back to the office unless he gets a fresh mandate from Bihar's voters.

Another pretext that he is speaking about is Manjhi's misrule. Nitish says he was forced to come back as people were disappointed and angry with governance of the day in Bihar.

Now that he is back, he has to come out with 100% on his performance amid intense media and opposition scrutiny that would run along with a union government headed by his bitter political rival Narendra Modi.

While the good will go in mitigating the 'bad' of his 'emotional decision' last year, any bad will have amplified repercussions on his chances to score positively.

Can Nitish deliver when he has just eight months, given the fact that he was 'forced' to come back as Manjhi had brought bad days back?

The 'bad days' that he is also responsible for as bringing in Manjhi was his unilateral decision.

Now, the BJP may not ask this question to milk the better prospect of wooing the Mahadalit voters in the name of 'Nitish insulting a Mahadalit leader and chief minister', the young and educated voter would certainly think about it.  

Also, the realpolitik of the day is different. The good governance days of Bihar under Nitish Kumar were from a coalition government with the BJP as an equal partner. It was in fact widely analysed that the BJP ministers were better performers.

Now Nitish is dependent on Lalu Yadav and his Rashtriya Janata Dal. Lalu is convicted in the fodder scam and is barred from contesting polls. The Bihar of his days, either under him or his wife's rule, was seen as a failed state, a state where development politics had become a 'forbidden political paradigm'.

Nitish changed that. He rode to the power promising development and delivered. But all this while, he was with the BJP.

Now as he is with Lalu Yadav and Bihar is heading for polls in few months, his political rivals will ask this question day and night. Now, only time will tell (and polls will tell) how effectively Nitish will be able to counter this question.

Nitish-Modi rivalry to surge: Though Narendra Modi tweeted to congratulate Nitish Kumar after his swearing-in ceremony and Nitish Kumar said the differences he had with Modi were ideological in nature and there was nothing personal, the history of Nitish-Modi rivalry says another episode is in making with the upcoming assembly polls in Bihar.

And we saw its first signs today when, after taking oath, Nitish told everyone that the mandate of 2010 was in his name only.

Now, Bihar is a make or break electoral proposition for both, the BJP and the JD(U).

After the humiliating loss in Delhi, the BJP must win Bihar to bounce back in the race of becoming a major political force and that cannot happen without having a winning or a major presence in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, the two state that count for 120 Lok Sabha seats and 37 Rajya Sabha members.

For Nitish, who had tied his political future with Modi's political prospects, he is already on the back foot, retracting on his 'quit rhetoric' of last year.

With Modi having the advantage of the general elections win, a loss to Modi in Bihar polls would throw Nitish on the political periphery of Bihar and he would find in the similar situation Lalu Yadav is in.

Both, Modi and Nitish have their 'make or break' reasons to take on each other in the Bihar polls and each of them will try all to outdo the other.

And for Jitan Ram Manjhi, the chief minister till February 21, he was always a non-entity in Bihar's politics before his sudden elevation. But his acts soon made it clear that Nitish had miscalculated in reading him. The 'perceived yes man' soon started spreading out, undoing moves by Nitish Kumar, transferring officials, installing his family members and making overtures to reach out to others including the BJP. It was soon going to be 'enough is enough' for Nitish Kumar to digest any further.  His 'yes man' was working to dig his master's grounds and the master was feeling increasingly unsettled. And it was just a matter of days.

Now, how much relevant Manjhi is going to remain will be gauged by the outcome of the polls only.

Though the BJP was seen in a tight spot on its decision to support Manjhi in the trust vote, that it could take only a day before, on February 19, after Manjhi's equally sudden demotion on February 20, the day of the floor test when Manjhi resigned to flunk the test, the party breathed easy.

Supporting Manjhi had the inherent risk of alienating many caste blocks in the caste-ridden politics of Bihar. Also, going with someone like Manjhi, who is perceived as an inefficient leader with a  trail of corruption and nepotism to talk about, could have alienated the young and the educated voters from the middle class.

Now, with the relief from Manjhi's volte-face, the BJP, in fact, can expect to gain some good political mileage. With the Lok Janshakti Party and Ram Vilas Paswan, the BJP is already in comfortable position on Dalit votes with Paswans forming some 31% of Bihar's Dalits.

Now, through Manjhi, the BJP would try to alienate another chunk of the Dalit voters away from Nitish Kumar. And Manjhi as a humiliated Dalit leader leading a front against Nitish Kumar would be a perfect beginning.

Bihar is heading for interesting, colourful political events in the run-up to the assembly polls.

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey - http://severallyalone.blogspot.com/  

Saturday, 21 February 2015

THE END’S RELEVANCE LIES IN ITS IRRELEVANCE

My reflections on life – in quotes (XCVII)

“The end is as near as the next breath.
Yet, its relevance lies in irrelevance of that ‘next’.
The end is always privy to its beginning.
Yet it doesn’t seek its ‘being’ in that ‘next’.
The end begins, some day, with that ‘next’ written.
Yet it finds its relevance rooted in ‘now’.


THE END’S RELEVANCE LIES IN ITS IRRELEVANCE

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey - http://severallyalone.blogspot.com/ 

Friday, 20 February 2015

KIM NATION’S INTELLIGENT MISSILE JACK AFTER THE SONY HACK

The ‘Kim Nation’ under the efficient leadership of the third Kim, Kim Jong-un, extending the legacies of his grandfather, Kim Il-sung and father, Kim Jong-il, has fired another shot at its arch-enemy, the United States of America, with the successful test of ‘an intelligent cutting edge’ missile.

On February 8, the elite nation of the elite ‘Rogue League’ of the selected world nations, North Korea, test fired an ‘ultra-precision’ anti-ship missile of highest technological sophistication. The third Kim was personally monitoring the exercise, timed before the annual joint military exercise of South Korea and the US, and commended his team for the ‘zero error’ technological expertise, and thus for sending a befitting warning to his rivals.

As expected, it pushed the international media including the US into an overdrive, aimed at undermining the North Korean achievement by spinning stories on the ‘Russian design’ of the missile.

Almost two weeks now, reports and analyses are still continuing, carrying pictures of a beaming Kim Jong-un after the successful test. It has extended the celebrations of the achievement in the hermit kingdom. The North Korean elite believe any sustained negative international media coverage is acceptance of their country’s increasing might. At the same time, the North Koreans also find the hollow rhetoric of the frustrated global forces including the US a good source of funny points to laugh over. 

Hitting on the jack provided by this yet another lethal addition in the North Korean arsenal, the official North Korean media declared that Barack Obama was feeling so low with the beaming images of Kim Jong-un that he tried to hide his irritation by indulging in a senseless and gaudy ‘selfie act’. 

KCNA, the North Korean state media reported, “Though the partisan US and international media are publicizing the exercise as a promotional event for Obamacare, a health programme, the always credible North Korean intelligence sources say it was a diversion prescribed by Obama’s psychiatrist seeing his heightened level of frustration over the latest North Korean achievement. Now, as the US has no might to take on the supreme forces of North Korea militarily, its leaders are indulging in propaganda acts like this, where they vent their frustration by making gestures as if they are targeting out Supreme Leader, the Commander of the all powerful North Korean forces. Pity them.”

A beaming Kim Jong-un after the anti-ship missile test (image credit: KCNA)
Barack Obama in his ‘selfie act’ (image credit: Buzz Feed)

The next success of the mighty third Dear Leader comes soon after the spectacularly successful blitzkrieg of the ‘Sony Hack’ saga, believed to be a North Korean design. The November 24, 2014 cyber-attack on the Sony Pictures had forced the company to pull out 'The Interview', a satirical movie on the third supreme 'Kim'. 

‘Sony Hack’ had become a prestige point for the US forcing Barack Obama, John Kerry and Pentagon to react. But beyond browbeating, like they always do, they failed to achieve anything. In fact, as a face-saving exercise, the US forced the company to release the movie later.

And here also, the ‘Kim effect’ proved effective, earning brilliant collections for a movie that was panned by the critics for a being a dumb product. The critics were unanimous that had it not been for the ‘Sony Hack’, the movie would have bombed at the box office. 

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey - http://severallyalone.blogspot.com/  

Thursday, 19 February 2015

BIHAR: THE STAGE IS SET FOR TOMORROW

The stage is set for Friday. 

The BJP has finally opened up on its stand and is going to support Jitan Ram Manjhi in the floor test tomorrow, though dilly-dallying on the issue has put BJP in a tight spot, irrespective of what the party strategists feel.

The effective strength in the 243 member Bihar assembly is 233 with 10 vacant seats that include eight MLAs barred from voting by the Patna High Court. Manjhi needs support of 117 MLAs to sail through. But, going by the reports (and not by his claims that he has the number), Manjhi’s count is not going beyond 104, 87 of the BJP, 12 of the JD(U) and 5 others. Nitish, on the other hand is claiming support of 130 MLAs, including the RJD, Congress and others.

Politics of 'no friends or foes' has no room for ethical practices. The one in position to squeeze in the maximum ground, even if by adopting unethical practices, goes about doing so openly.

And it is on open display again and Bihar is theatre this time.

So, Manjhi, the chief minister of Bihar, who was installed by Nitish Kumar post the Lok Sabha polls, is taking on Nitish Kumar to keep him from coming back. He is making tall promises, unabashedly populist and burdening to the state exchequer, to lure voters. He is making open offers to MLAs to make them ministers. He is openly attacking Nitish Kumar. 

And so, Nitish Kumar, the Janata Dal (United) leader and the former chief minister, who resigned after taking moral responsibility of party's humiliating loss in the Lok Sabha polls, got comfortably the post of the 'Leader of Opposition' for his party today with the Bihar assembly Speaker being from his party, on his side. 

Before it, Nitish had another political realization that Jitanram Manjhi, a leader with a controversial past, corruption and misappropriation taints and allegations and having no mass base out of his constituency, was doing irreversible damage to the state of Bihar. The realization dawned upon Nitish within only nine months of meticulously choosing Manjhi to run the state. Also, within nine months only, Nitish had a rethink of his ethical call to vacate the office as he tried to barge in the chief-ministerial office after Manjhi refused to accept his 'marching orders'. But Nitish's inner call was aborted mid-way by the High Court paving the way for the floor test.  

And so, the Bhartiya Janata Party, the long-term partner of the JD(U) which took separate ways before the Lok Sabha polls after Nitish didn't accept Narendra Modi's projection as the prime-ministerial nominee of the National Democratic Alliance, courted Manjhi and propped up avenues and support for him to take on Nitish and the JD(U).

It can be said what could have been a smooth comeback for Nitish after the 'rethink realization' to lead his party in the assembly polls due in the last months of this year, has been made a political spectacle that has had the whole country glued.

So, we have Manjhi claiming and luring Mahadalits asking them to practice Gandhigiri come what may. He is making desperate pleas, statements and propositions to remain politically relevant. He has been camping in Delhi and Patna to request BJP to come to his aid.

We have Nitish Kumar serving ultimatum to the Bihar Governor and taking his MLAs to New Delhi to parade them before President Pranab Mukherjee. His spokespersons are on duty round the clock to take on Manjhi and BJP. He first claimed chief minster's chair but after the High Court intervention, settled with the LoP one, hoping to corner tomorrow what he has been eyeing.

We have BJP that has muddled the Nitish's comeback plan. The party that crafted and enjoyed the internal ramblings in the JD(U) was consistently in verbal war with the later. And is now crying hoarse and taking the legal route to reclaim its LoP position.  

Another colour in all this is an MP from the Rashtriya Janata Dal, an ally of Nitish Kumar, who has taken a hostile line against the JD(U). He is supporting Manjhi not only vocally, but is also active in trying bringing in MLAs to his camp.

Interestingly, we have not heard much of Lalu Yadav all through this.

The clarity on what colour of this political kaleidoscope will prevail  will emerge tomorrow.

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey - http://severallyalone.blogspot.com/