The news of children dying after having mid-day meal in Chapra is extremely unfortunate. The toll of dead children has risen to 22. This is not for the first time that children have died after having mid-day meal in Bihar or India. Unfortunately our government has not learned from past experiences, otherwise precious lives could have been saved. The children belonged to economically marginalized families; for them mid-day meals meant a lot. It was the responsibilityof people in-charge to make sure that their faith in the system remained intact.
The opposition in Bihar, including BJP, came together to target Nitish Kumar and demand his resignation. Few remarks from BJP leaders were extremely unfortunate. Giriraj Singh said in Bihar you die and get 2 Lakh Rupees. I wonder what any other government or his government would do in such a situation. Even before the bodies of these children could reach hospitals there were voices demanding Nitish Kumar’s resignation. Evidentl,y there are people in Bihar looking forward to unfortunate events so that they can readily ask for Nitish’s resignation. What a sorry state of politics we have!
I am not trying to defend Nitish, but I am afraid the second unfortunate event in the month (first being serial bomb blasts in Bodh Gaya) will tarnish his image and will give an impression of his government being incompetent. Whereas, we know he has proved to be a good leader in the past. After the alliance with BJP was given a full stop, Nitish found himself surrounded by criticism. Unfortunately, all this will indirectly help RJD in Bihar. If we look deeper into the polity, we do not have any other option than Lalu Prasad if Nitish loses the next election. Can Bihar really afford that? A big no!
How has Nitish Kumar been criticized in the present case? Giving 2 Lakh Rupees to the families of those who died? That Nitish did not visit the hospital to see the condition of those children? All this holds ground and are valid criticisms. But what the critics mean is not to give a better suggestion but only to defame the Bihar CM. Our leaders have lowered their moral to such an extent that every time any unfortunate event takes place they convert it into an opportunity to create a way for their political motives. We call this insensitive, right?
I have no intention of romanticizing Nitish’s government which has its own loopholes, but I don’t think that there could have been no conspiracy in the Chapra incident. Let us wait for the forensic lab reports and see if there was any amount of poison in the food served or not, or was it just bad food which resulted in such a ‘massacre’.
This article was first published in Youth Ki Awaaz on July 17, 2013