MM Joshi called it a ‘Theatre of the absurd’ after failed attempts to control Shibu Shoren- the flip-flop CM of Jharkhand. An array of seven chief ministers and two President’s rule in a history of 10 years is the fate of a state which is called Jharkhand. The drama which it has witnessed in the past ten years of its inception there is no apt expression then that of Mr. Joshi.
A state which is the richest in minerals and natural resources is going nowhere. Making Ranchi look beautiful is not something which people are living for. Yellow flowers along with long eucalyptus are also not what people dreamt when the movement to make it a separate state ended! It had its political ambitions which the people wanted to be fulfilled. A state, a governance, a machinery which could and which would utilise the ample resources for the betterment of the neglected districts; a state which would work together with the people and for the people to ensure a decent living which they were denied…
But that never happened! People still live in areas where there is no electricity even when Damodar Valley Corporation has a series of dams going through the state. People still are hopeless as they were! People still live in mud houses knowing nothing of a brick! They still use lamps which contains oil from oil seeds!
The political uncertainty and the games which the leaders played with this state have made it a stock of laughter. A total of 1,511 candidates contested for these 81 seats contested for elections last time which makes roughly 19 candidates per seat and 62 per district! There can never be a clear majority and it never was. BJP came to the power thrice with Babulal Marandi and Arjun Munda (twice) as the CM. JMM formed the government thrice with Shibu Soren as the CM thrice and one Independent candidate Madhu Koda made it to the chair once.
Whether to call it a victory of democracy or cry over it’s fate that an independent candidate becomes CM of a state, is a big question! None of the chief ministers survived a full term nor did they survive limitless controversies! The hung house and notorious behaviour of leaders of almost all the state parties made sure that the state goes in ruptures. Unable to control illegal mining, naxal attacks, bomb blasts, scams etc. the government had been struggling since birth.
There seems to be no solution at this moment. With so many parties and so many wannabes in the assembly it is unlikely that any single party or even a coalition will ever complete a full term in the state. Anyone with even five MLAs becomes a big headache to manage in such a small majority. MLAs are bought and swapped like stocks and government falls like Sensex.
The centre will have to device a mechanism for coalition and flip-floppers. India seriously needs a mechanism for party switchers as well as alliances. If there is some law to limit the freedom of forming and leaving an alliance at will it might help states like Jharkhand. Unless there is a check and precondition on the formation of coalition government and a forced completion of tenure, it is unlikely to see a stable rule.
Elections in India not only involve a lot of money officially for election duties but a large sum is wasted during campaigns and bargains as well. Apart from the money, whole state machinery like teachers and other government employees are engaged for a week for election duty. These all amounts to a regress and a future which is bleak and black and perhaps blue for the green Jharkhand- A theatre of the absurd!