Nitish Kumar plays the “Victim Card” to get special status for Bihar; wants “Adhikar” to get free doles!

In the past 10 years, no other state has been talked against – yes, the state, not just the leader – as much as Gujarat.  In many cases, the Central Government has gone out of the way to deny Gujarat its due.  Yet, it has moved on and been one of the most developed state.  Over those years, I haven’t really heard Narendra Modi ever asking the Center, to give it anything.  In fact, he has gone on the offensive and talked about how he would like to make Gujarat as great as Singapore.  And, in that development, Gujarat will contribute to India’s overall development.

Nitish Kumar, Bihar’s CM is often cited as the guy who has done “better work” than Modi as a leader.  Honestly, I haven’t really seen a whole lot of stuff on Bihar or Nitish and cannot fully comment on the development aspect of it.  But today when I read his comments from his speech at the “Adhikar Rally”, I was quite dismayed, to say the least.  He is asking for a “special status” for his state.

Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar today said that people were not begging but were asking for something they genuinely needed – ‘special status’ for the state.

Biharis are very hard working and yes, Bihar’s previous Governments have messed up the state like no other.  They have simply looted and plundered it to penury.  The Laloos and the Rabris are a curse on any continent where they would have lived on, forget the state that they might have ruled.  But state being given a “rough treatment”??  That is quite nonsensical.

All sorts of “red flags” are raised in my eyes, the moment any “leader” (better still, politician) starts harping on “Victimization” card and seeks “special status” for his people.

I remember a lecture by an economist long back, when I was in my undergrad days in Delhi University, back in late 1980s.  He laid out an interesting fact.  He said, – IF the all the hand pumps for which money has been given to Bihar over the last 50 years, INDEED been put up, not a square inch of land would have been left for people to live!

People get the Government and the state they deserve.  That is true of India and that is true of Bihar.

“If we get special status, we can also become one of the developed states. We have been told that we do not meet all qualifications for getting special status. Change the criteria then,” Kumar said.

There is no need to change the criteria.  There is a need to change your and people’s mindset, Nitish Kumar.  If this is the path you are leading your people to – doles, grants, statuses – then lets not even talk of leadership in your context.


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  • Ajit


    I think Nitish has sufficient reason and data to support that his claim is genuine and he is sincere about undoing the injustice of central govt. Criteria for special status is not based on economic ground, its more political in nature and doesn’t help the cause of equitable investment in states which deserves investment.

    His performance as CM has been the best ever and as the fastest growing Indian state in the last 5 years his approach is fairly objective and data driven. Likes of Meghnad Desai, Amartya Sen, RBI governor and Montek has acknowledged that Bihar has never been given its due.

    Bihar has been a victim of bad press, bad leadership and bad policy as its wealth has been systematically plundered. Bihar’s bifurcation was a political game for which today Bihar has payed dearly. All its industries, natural resources now is part of Jharkhand and Bihar never got the special economic package which was promised.With creation of Jharkhand, the truncated Bihar has suffered a revenue loss of Rs.2,000 crores annually, as the major contributor to the State Exchequer, mines and minerals, and a large chunk of the commercial taxes have gone to the new state. About 63 per cent of Bihar’s total revenue used comes from south and central Bihar which now is part of Jharkhand.

    I can provide many such details, but you may want to read this article on ” Economic Strangulation of Bihar” here. It has details of past policies and victimization which Bihar has suffered and never got any special attention it deserved.

    Now that Nitish is asking for his due its time for others to understand his point of view and support. Perhaps your special affection for Modi may have coloured your views about Bihar, but their is no doubt that today Bihar is a better governed and more progressive state than ever before and Nitish unlike Modi is more dedicated to the cause of Bihar than playing the PM card so his point needs to be understood.

    • admin

      Ajit – I have not commented on Nitish’s work record. I have said very clearly that I haven’t done the necessary research on what he has done. However, this Victim card is a tough thing for me to give an easy pass. If you look at each state – from Punjab to North Eastern to UP to others, quite honestly, each one of the them will have a sob story. If I throw enough research assistants at these stories, I can create as many credible “papers” you want me to.

      I am sick and bloody tired of the whiners in Indian states. We are where we are. If Center specifically selected Bihar for the shabby treatment, and the Bihari politicians were conniving with the Center in it, then you know what.. Biharis deserve their lot! Just as we Indians deserve our lot!

      Let us get the foundational argument clear. No pass for whining or sob stories. Either ALL are Victims or none is. Take what you have and build your state with it. If your guy has landed in soup then make living of Laloo and Rabri impossible in the state until they cough up the wealth. Otherwise, lets just shut up and work hard with grit.

      The fact that I like about Modi is just this. So much negativity has been brought out, but he has never hidden behind a Victim card. Has Gujarat and Gujaratis been abused.. yes! Has Modi’s every effort been abused? Yes. But has anyone made an issue of it?

      Just because Gujaratis make money in so many ways and places, and Biharis cannot, is NOT a strike against Gujjus, but against Biharis. To improve their lot, they need to get their priorities right. Fact is, they haven’t!

  • Ajit

    Desh, I think the basic premise of this argument is that Bihar’s economic due has been ignored for various reasons which includes the fact that Congress state govt always been subservient to Center and Lalu came to power with the plank to improve the condition.

    Nitish or for that matter anyone is not denying that Biharis leaders in the past have let the state down. If he has asked for the due which center has ignored and deliberately enforced policies to deny what the state ought to have received all these years, no one should question that argument. Why anyone should have a problem with Bihar’s new model of development and now that a Bihari leader is finally asserting Bihar’s position, why is it hurting you?

    When it comes to governance, Nitish has made impressive impact and a state which has changed the definition of development in the last 10 years by being one of the fastest growing region in the world does not needs any certificate of credibility from anyone.

    I am not sure if you have gone through the planning commission data and the systematic siphoning of funds which has happened in Bihar thanks to financial institutions which only believed in taking saving but never provided credit in Bihar. With policies like freight equalization and worst credit deposit ratio, Bihar has been ignored for way too long and its time people realize that it deserves the status to fulfill its true growth potential.

    I don’t want to get into comparisons between Gujrat and Bihar as the basis economic structure and model of growth is different. You may want to read the human development report etc to see why Bihar’s growth story is more impressive than Gujarat for many reasons. My point is why should Bihar be compared with anyone or Nitish with Modi?

    It’s funny that you believe that Gujaratis make more money than Biharis, perhaps you not aware that Bihar has one of the highest remittance rate and highest numbers of Doctors, Engineers and civil servants as compared to any other state.

    Bihar has set its priorities right and they have shown other states how a growth can be sustained and inclusive. Fact is that you are not aware of the changes which Bihar has seen so the assumption that Bihar’s priorities are not right is sheer imagination without facts and data.