RJD supremo Lalu Yadav needs no introduction. One of the stalwarts of Bihar politics who continues to have a mass appeal even after the conviction says a lot about his statesmanship.
For the last seven years, he has been in jail pertaining to a case linked to a fodder scam. The court found him guilty in a case of fraudulent transactions of over crores from the Dumka treasury while he was the chief minister of Bihar.
After several rejected appeals by his lawyer, Kapil Sibal, he was finally granted bail by the Jharkhand High Court on Saturday.
Despite his ailments, the possibility that he would return to state and national politics cannot be ruled out. With Lalu back in the game, it is hard to tell what lies in the bag for BJP in the rest of their tenure.
Symbolic Importance of Lalu Yadav
Although the official reports state that he is extremely ill, which constitutes one of the technical grounds for the grant of his bail, there is no denying the fact that Lalu continues to live in the heart of voters despite several judicial indictments.
The RJD Twitter handle asked people not to indulge in any form of public celebration in light of the rising coronavirus cases in India. But the party workers and Lalu supporters were still seen celebrating in large numbers outside the party offices and other public places.
In the assembly elections last year, many of the voters were caught saying that they will elect Lalu, even though he was in jail. His pro-backward class politics in the 1990s still continue to hold ground in the rural hinterland of Bihar.
Therefore, his release from jail, even if it is temporary, has a huge parabolic significance attached to him. It will surely boost the party workers’ spirits to constitute a stronger opposition to the majoritarian government in the state.
Importance Of His Return In National Politics
While Lalu Yadav may not have the same charisma as Modi, he is no less of an able communicator. He is, in fact, one of the remaining mass leaders who rose to prominence because of a grassroots movement. Such an experience makes it easier for any politician to get back to back to the game.
And that is why even after he went to jail, his public image was hardly tarnished. People usually turn a sympathetic eye to the allegations that he was accused of during his tenure.
His politics still outweigh his failure to curb the corruption for the poor that is responsible for a paradigm shift in the rural landscape of Bihar.
Therefore the narrative that was created by Lalu sympathizers has him being a victim of political conspiracy. He did not compromise from his fundamental principles, and the political agenda of upliftment constitutes the popular memory amongst most people.
His contributions to grassroots politics make him a strong contender for the relatively new forces that are still trying to set the stage to fulfill their political vendetta.
The fact that he gave so many MLAs ministerial positions who, due to their caste and class marginalization, could not have thought of contesting the elections makes him stand out, particularly when supremacist Brahmanism is sowing the seeds for a return.
All of this gives him an upper hand over all other national leaders who do not live up to the expression ‘aaya ram gaya ram’ but use ‘divide and rule’ to save his seat.
Therefore, people do look up to him to build a new bastion in the country to strike back at the recent assault on democracy by the NDA alliance.
Of course, Lalu Yadav is not a saint. But whatever he is, we need it to fight the monstrosity of the current regime and that fact our democracy is slowly slipping into the hands of fascism.
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