Nitish Kumar, once touted as Prime Minister candidate is emerging out to be chink in the armour for the National democratic alliance. His constant Muslim appeasement is now becoming too much to bear for the people supporting him.
Nitish Kumar is again in discord with NDA
This time, Mr Nitish Kumar has created a hurdle in renaming the Bakhtiyarpur station. The firebrand Hindutva icon of Bihar BJP, MLA Haribhushan Thakur, had suggested renaming Bakhtiyarpur as Nitish Nagar (as a tribute to the current chief minister of Bihar, Mr Nitish Kumar). Thakur, the MLA from the Bisfi assembly said- “If Allahabad can be renamed Prayagraj, why not Bakhtiyarpur? It should be renamed, Nitish Nagar. This place has had a close association with Nitish Kumar since his childhood. He is a Vikaspurush (development king) and this would be a small gesture”.
Nitish Kumar refused to endorse the proposed renaming of the Bakhtiyarpur. Addressing the media after a ‘Janatadarbar’, the chief minister said– “What rubbish!” said the chief minister when a reporter asked him about renaming Bakhtiyarpur. “Why will the name be changed? It is my birthplace.”
Nitish Kumar had worked meticulously for 15 years to make a dent in the Yadav-Muslim (also known as M-Y equation) vote bank of Lalu Yadav. After coming to the power in 2005, Nitish launched various schemes and incentives to appease the Muslim population. These included:
- Grant-in-aid for Muslim students,
- Residential training schools for boys and girls,
- Hazrat Fatima skill development programs,
- MukhyaMantriShram Shakti scheme for minorities.
To cater to Muslims in Bihar, once Nitish Kumar had refused to accept flood aid of Rs 5 crores from the Narendra Modi-led BJP government of Gujarat. As soon as it was confirmed that Narendra Modi will be the Prime Minister candidate for the BJP led NDA in the 2014 general elections, Nitish Kumar dissociated from the alliance.
The dissociation had a catastrophic impact on the people of Bihar. Bihar, which was fast shedding its image of “Jungle Raj” under Lalu Prasad Yadav, soon turned into a den for mafias and goons. Just to maintain his secular image, Nitish Kumar entered into a coalition with the same Lalu Yadav who had destroyed Bihar during 1990-2005.
The demand to rename Bakhtiyarpur is not new. In 2018, senior BJP leader Giriraj Singh had proposed to rename various cities which have been named after Muslim invaders. Bakhtiyarpur was one of them. Gopal Narayan Singh, another BJP Rajya Sabha MP, had raised this issue in Rajya Sabha. Singh had said that “it was a matter of concern that oppressor BakhtiyarKhilji who had destroyed Nalanda University was still being glorified. Khilji had destroyed the world-renowned educational institute and killed 2,000 to 3,000 Buddhist monks and the new name could be after Nalanda or Rajgir”.
What’s in the name argument is not valid anymore.
Bakhtiyar Khilji was a general who is infamous for his destructive invasion of Bengal and Bihar. Killing thousands of people en route, he destroyed the Buddhist establishments at Odantapuri and Vikramashila. He is particularly known for one of the fiercest attempts to destroy Indian culture. Nalanda University, which was the biggest university in the world in the 12th, was set on fire by Bakhtiyar Khilji and his men. The library of the university kept burning for three months.
Naming a city or a place holds a lot of significance in our history and culture. When we name a place, we express our gratitude to the people who have helped in bettering that place. However, the name Bakhtiyarpur is in total conflict with it. It is now time for Nitish Kumar to shed his obsession with secularism and Muslim appeasement.