Thursday, November 24, 2005

Laloo and Samosa

Even as there is no Laloo at the helm in Bihar, Samosa still has that quintessential Aloo. People of Bihar, both natives and expatriates, must have breathed a collective sigh of relief.

But the big question is whether Nitish's regime can bring about the change of fortune in Bihar?

Answer is no. Not immediately, I mean. It's only plain to see that a fifteen years of relentless misrule, unthwarted corruption, and state sponsored criminalisation of the society can't be weed out in five years.

In these five years, with supreme political will, the current inertia can only be slowed down, next five years wheels of change can be set rolling in opposite but forward direction, and another five years are needed for the momentum to gain.

But Nitish doesn't have fifteen years. Almost certainly, Laloo will be back after five years. And it will be back to looting days and nights.

I am not too sure about political will either. In order to defeat the criminals from RJD, many candidates of criminal antecedent have been contested by NDA. They will be a huge nuisance for Nitish when he will try to deal with law and order.

Approximately 30% of Bihari men live outside their home state. This number is not expected to come down significantly in near future even if the law and order is improved because investment just won't come for next fifteen years.

Good examples are the still-grappling-for-the-investment states of Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Orissa. Barring a few urban pockets, investment is just in trickles despite of the fact that they are fastly reforming, and infrastructure has been improving at good pace. The bad old BIMARU tag is taking a way long time to shake off.

But one thing is sure. Bihar won't sink any further into a pit. Parasites are gone for a while and host can breathe easy. My worries are for the Railways now. Laloo - the parasite - will change host now. From Bihar to Railways.

Let's see how Manmohan Singh's team can stem this damage. All the best to Bihar.

Labels: ,