No sushasan in Bihar

The Aditya Sachdeva murder has not only exposed the perversity of the unruly son of an unsavory politician couple but also, to some extent, substantiated the veracity of the Bharatiya Janata Party’s ‘jungle raj’ charge against the Nitish Kumar government in Bihar.

In fact, the most conspicuous feature of the tragic episode is the psyche of Rocky Yadav, son of Janata Dal-United legislator Manorama Devi and criminal-turned-politician Bindi Yadav. Shooting down the 19-year-old Aditya is indicative of an inveterately feudal mindset. It is indubitable that there is a section of Bihar’s political class that doesn’t regard the people of the state as citizens who enjoy certain rights, the most important being the right to life; for this group of leaders, their families, and their cronies, there are no freemen and freewomen in this country; there are only slaves who can be humiliated, thrashed, and even killed at will.

The feudal lord believes that others are supposed to bow to him and show him proper deference in every possible manner. How dare you overtake my car? You think you have a better vehicle than my high-end SUV, you think you can drive faster than I can. It’s time you knew what’s what; it’s time you were taught a lesson. This was the kind of thinking that infuriated Rocky; he didn’t cool down even after beating Aditya and his companions; he had to gun down the hapless teenager to make his point.

It needs to be emphasized that this mindset needs an enabling environment. This is the reason that Aditya Sachdeva’s murder stands out among other similar crimes. In Delhi, too, road rage is rampant; newspapers regularly carry reports about violent incidents following minor accidents. Crime too is not unknown in places outside Bihar. What is striking about Rocky’s alleged crime is, apart from his feudal psyche, his nonchalance. It was like Manu Sharma’s action years ago: you refuse me a drink, I kill you. You overtake me, I shoot you.

The nonchalance emanates from the belief that nobody can stop me from doing what I want to do. The cops? They can be managed—jaanta nahin mera baap kaun hai? The law? Well, it is an ass anyway.

The failure of the Nitish Kumar government is that it has had no impact on the feudal mindset of certain politicians, the JD-U’s claims regarding the rule of law and sushasan (good governance) notwithstanding.

But the Bihar government remains in a state of denial. Deputy Chief Minister Tejaswi Yadav said, “People who level allegations of Jungle Raj on Bihar, I just asked them to define jungle raj.” He went on to talk about the attack at the Pathankot air base, the raising of Pakistani flags in Kashmir, violence in Haryana during the Jat agitation, and the Vyapam scam in Madhya Pradesh. “In Madhya Pradesh, an officer was killed brutally by sand mafias. In Vyapam scam, witnesses were killed one by one… but this is not called a jungle raj,” he said.

Well, nobody has lauded the governments of Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, and other states for their failings. At any rate, it is not very convincing to claim excellence by point out the flaws of others. For instance, the Manohar Lal Khattar government in Haryana is certainly not the best to be benchmarked against.

Perhaps, the situation is not that bad in Bihar as the JD-U’s opponents made it out to be, but surely there is no sushasan in the state.