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Friday, November 25, 2005

Bihar : The Trendsetting Change

Shekhar Gupta sees the just concluded Bihar election as a forerunner of a major change about to happen in the polity of India . He writes that politics in India is in grave danger of being trivialised by yet another factor—psephology. If every electoral verdict were to be reduced to simple arithmetic, it would not only become dull and predictable, but also irrelevant. This Bihar election marks the arrival of an aspirational wave in the most backward Bharat where no more than 12 per cent of infants are immunised at birth, where birth rates are higher than the most backward countries of the world, and where per capita income is one-third of the national average and even one-sixth of some of the richer states of India. A resurgence of hope and aspiration in the Hindi heartland is an event to cherish and celebrate.The voter in Bihar is defining for all of us a welcome new notion of empowerment in India’s political heartland: social equality combined with religious tolerance, security, and economic upliftment and opportunity. Shouldn’t it be reasonable to believe that this very welcome infection will inevitably spread to UP as well?

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