The conventional wisdom in Bihar’s political circles was that development did not win votes. Nitish Kumar challenged that assumption and changed the face of the state. Born into a humble family in Bakhtiyarpur; Nitish joined the Lohiaite Socialist ...
Party and built his constituency; literally day by day; forgoing a stable job to travel to distant villages; suffering both financial hardship and ridicule for the eight years it took him to win people’s confidence.
Veteran journalist Arun Sinha tells the story of Nitish Kumar’s rise against the larger canvas of social and political upheaval in Bihar; exploring the emergent desire for equality that drove progressive movements from late 1960s onwards and brought about a regime change by the 1990s. After an initial association with Lalu Prasad Yadav; Nitish Kumar rejected identity politics; recognizing that Bihar had to transcend caste if it was to grow. Nitish Kumar and the Rise of Bihar is a clear-sighted study of Indian electoral politics that unfolds with the pace of a political drama; offering hard facts and an incisive analysis of the state’s turbulent trajectory. Sinha steers the narrative deftly through the complex groupings of Bihar’s political arena to reveal Nitish Kumar’s acumen in bringing law and order; roads; education and health to the fore of governance. From feudal politics to caste identities; and finally to development—Bihar could prove to be the model for India’s post-Independence journey.
Number of pages: 400
Date of publication: 01/01/2011
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