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JNU row: Kanhaiya Kumar and the indestructible Bihari DNA

Vikram Kilpady
Vikram KilpadyFeb 17, 2016 | 18:18

JNU row: Kanhaiya Kumar and the indestructible Bihari DNA

The Bihari DNA has done it again. In 2015, it beat the shine out of the NDA campaign spearheaded by the double-cannon Modi-Shah attack team into smithereens, pieces of which are still being hunted for by anxious Bihar BJP workers who hailed their victory in Patna on November 8 a tad too prematurely by distributing laddoos and then retreated into PTSD.

In 2016, the son of a poor Begusarai working class man with very strong communist leanings has forced the Modi-Shah twins to let loose their black-cloaked members against anyone within swinging distance of Patiala House Courts.

After the November 2015 verdict, the Bihari DNA had not retreated into hibernation. It was alive and kicking in the shapes of Shatrughan Sinha and Kirti Azad. Shatrughan, the Advani worshipper, has been at the Modi government with hammer and tongs ceaselessly even if his mentor has fallen into precious silence with the busy schedule of the Margadarshak Mandal. There are murmurs the veteran makes but nothing gets the goat of the Modi-Shah team like Shatrughan Sinha who keeps faulting the government for every mistake, from the micro detail to the giga gorilla.

Then there is Kirti Azad, who has blown soft, good and hard at the edifice that Arun Jaitley occupies. This is the key Modi minister who will not let the end consumer enjoy the benefits of the lowest price of oil in recent history while he's busy tossing to decide whether service tax is to be raised to 14.5 per cent or 15 per cent in a year that will see state assembly elections this year. Despite several stares from the party president, Kirti Azad is still at it - thanks to that DNA.

It's not that all of Bihar has anti-BJP DNA, there's the venerable Giriraj Singh whose claim to fame is not for being the minister of state for micro, small and medium enterprises. He specialises in the killer quote, the one that kills his party, a self-inflicted wound, like the threat to send anyone who opposes Modi to Pakistan. Modi himself dropped in to wish Pakistan PM Nawaz Sharif a happy birthday on Christmas 2015 in an unscheduled halt that didn't move beyond the front pages and TV bites.

In his rousing speech (yes, yes, the same one which got him arrested since the Delhi Police still doesn't know if he committed sedition himself), Kanhaiya Kumar defends JNU and the right to speech while condemning the pro-Pakistan slogans. His shrill voice speaks of things which every campus should have, instead of colluding with the establishment and state to count the credits by keeping mum and going with the grain. That Bihari DNA.

The comrades, who didn't rush to Rohith Vemula's help when he felt the bias within the SFI and joined the ASA in the University of Hyderabad, have reason to rejoice. The JNU campus has got the country's attention even if it is of those who want to shut it or put blinkers on it. They are popular and are on prime time TV, though in multi-panel windows instead of one's social media feed.

The Left along with the visibly battle-ready Congress, rid of the escape velocity of Jupiter's satellites, and a firm commitment to stand up for basic democratic values can change things. Instead of mob deals be it over beef, love jihad or whatever.

Like the Beatles song Come Together, like the old foes of Bihar did in 2015 but this time for a longer, sustained and larger campaign. It was in their DNA.

PS: The writer is not of Bihari descent nor has he been to Bihar, but lives among Biharis.

Last updated: February 18, 2016 | 14:43
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