“No Son ….Not a traitor to your country. Much worse. A traitor to your soul.
-Ruta Sepetys, Salt to the Sea
I do have an interest in novels and literary documentaries dating to the First and Second World Wars. That is how I hit upon this quote from Ruta Sepetys novel (Salt to the Sea). This quote hits the nail on its head when I read about the dalliances of Mr. Sharad Yadav, the erstwhile President of Janta Dal (United) with the RJD and INC.
For general information to the readers, Mr. Sharad Yadav is a senior leader of JD(U) who till recently was a senior figure in the so called Mahagathbandhan or coalition government with INC and RJD, both the latter parties who spared no efforts in elevating the levels of corruption in public service. The ill fame of the RJD could only be matched by the magnitude of the scams committed by the INC during the course of decades (Bofors, Commonwealth and the list goes on if you care to read). Hence, the partnership between the 2 political parties was like between fish and water or between scotch and ice.
However, the 3rd party sandwiched between these unscrupulous warhorses was JD(U). The de-facto leader Mr. Nitish Kumar, is a person of clean image and of professed probity in public life. His administration in previous stances though had a lot of maneuvering left to be desired but that was largely due to unfriendly governments at the Center (read UPA) and less on the State government machinery as a whole. Compared to devilish crap that was served to the public during the course of free run by RJD for decades, Nitish Kumar first won by a thumping majority with able support from BJP. However, as it happens with the very best of people with heavy accomplishments and embellishments, he was probably drawn to the idea that he be projected as the PM of NDA since at that time BJP was toying with the idea of Mr. Narendra Modi as the PM candidate. We all know how history accorded the status of the Prime Minister to Mr. Modi in view of his thumping majority in 2014 Lok Sabha elections. The results were a setback to JD(U) who after a long story cut short, entered into a coalition government comprising of INC/RJD notwithstanding the fact that JD(U) was warming the benches for like 2 decades with BJP.
As Mr. Sushil Modi said, the JD(U) is a natural partner of BJP and should leave the company of unholy alliances, the JD(U) led by Mr. Nitish Kumar first left the coalition and then shook hands with the BJP forming the NDA government in Bihar after 20 months. However, the protagonist of the story is neither Mr. Nitish Kumar nor Mr. Sushil Modi. The protagonist as well as the antagonist of the story is Mr. Sharad Yadav who could not digest the alliance between the old NDA partners due to reasons hitherto unknown or to be precise, shoddy.
As a consequence of this, followed a series of disparaging tweets from his Twitter handle which expressed displeasure at the fresh pacts formed between the old partners. This was followed by statements in the media asserting and confirming the cracks which by now was ripped apart from its seams and the wounds were now wide open. This in turn was followed by statements from Mr. Tyagi, the spokesperson of JD(U) and later by Mr. Nitish Kumar himself that Mr. Sharad Yadav can take a walk if he is not satisfied. Like an old tiger licking its wound but never taking its eyes from its prey, Mr. Sharad Yadav is on a spree to various constituencies to gather support for his ill-founded and lame idea that he actually is a vote garner for JD(U).
There are no doubts that Mr. Sharad Yadav is still a potent crowd-puller but that is limited to the areas like Madhepura where he had been winning continuously until he was routed in the 2014 elections. Hence, he was elected on a Rajya Sabha seat as a parliamentarian as a face-saving exercise. But for purposes of publicity and enchantment overall, it is Mr. Nitish Kumar who has actually carved a niche for himself. His image and reputation spoke volumes of the man even when he was not in the NDA fold and his association with the certified scamsters of Bihar was a sort of thorn in the foot for him. Hence, it had become necessary for the CM to disassociate himself from their ungraceful coalition since they had now started to make fun of him in public forums.
However, Mr. Sharad Yadav, still scorned and rankled by the loss of 2014 elections, continued to be on the rough side of the fence even though he was taken into confidence during the party meeting regarding the future course of action. Clout and influence, the 2 most desired virtues in a politician seem to have evaporated over the course of dogged and pursuant years. Probably the feeling that Mr. J.P. Narayan had named him as the first candidate to fight elections against Congress still was young in his mind. The icing on the cake was Mr. J.P. Narayan fought tooth and nail against the imperialistic and corrupt nature of the Congress before leaving the mortal world as a consequence of maltreatment at jails during Emergency.
Mr. Sharad Yadav, the disciple as he is, is touring various places in the state of Bihar to protect and enforce his brand of coalition politics with the tainted Mr. Laloo Yadav and the Congress President forever Mrs. Sonia Gandhi under the garb of phony secularism (read: anti-Hinduism). He however, had no qualms, lying in the same bed with NDA for 17 years when it suited his purpose. This, my dear readers, is called a first rate and a sublime example of hypocrisy.
The chorus is audible for Mr. Sharad Yadav.
On one hand, you have Mr. Laloo Yadav, exhorting him to be on his side and on the other side, it is Mr. Nitish Kumar who has given him a free pass to move on if he so desires.
Sharad Yadav believed that throwing tantrums would make Bihar CM make a U-Turn and go back to the Mahagathbandhan fold, but he overrated himself and his abiities. While he was ranting against Nitish Kumar, Nitish Kumar simply removed Sharad Yadav as JD(U) leader in Rajya Sabha, and named RCP Singh in his place.
The fulcrum rested on Mr. Sharad Yadav’s shoulders and as the physiotherapists say it is important to stretch your muscles but it is also equally important to know, understand and gauge your limits. In this case, Mr. Sharad Yadav, should have got it knocked into his head that promises made should be kept though not at the cost of scrupulousness. Mr. Laloo Yadav and lately his family, going by the accusations made, is legendary in the annals of political history for his appetite. Even Shri Krishna advised Bhisma to leave the path of sin hidden under the garb of promises and don the hat of “kartavya”.
I had witnessed an interview of Mr. Amit Shah post 2014 elections in which he said that winning and losing are a part of a bygone era, now is the time of winning and learning. Mr. Yadav is neither winning nor learning. What astounds me, is the fact that, Mr. Sharad Yadav, is on a bed of roses at the juncture and he is throwing the petals to the ground in search of the elusive elixir only to be greeted by the thorns. I can only wish that he regains his astuteness before it is too late.