• Laloo Prasad Conviction: Fodder for Thought

    Pramod Ranjan (see profile)
    Political Philosophy & Theory
    Dalits--Political activity, Hinduism and politics, Identity politics, Social classes--Public opinion, Caste, Yadav, Laloo Prasad, Rashtriya Janata Dal, India--Bihar
    Item Type:
    Fodder Scam, Mandal Commission, Bahujan movement, Samajvadi, Manmathnath Gupta, Justice, Social justice--India, obc
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    The case in which Laloo has been convicted is popularly known as the Fodder Scam. A brief recapitulation of the scam would be in order. The scam first began unfolding in Bihar in 1975-76, when the state was under Congress rule and Jagannath Mishra was the chief minister. The scam continued to flourish for the entire decade. The scam continued even after Laloo Prasad took over as the chief minister in 1990 because, basically, it involved siphoning off government funds. It seems that the rulers were in the know of these things but it was not as if politicians of only one party or of a particular caste were involved. It was an all-party scam involving elected leaders, bureaucrats and businessmen. Those who were in power must have been getting a bigger share in the loot, those out of power, a smaller one. But all were partners in the scam – whether the ruling party leaders or the opposition ones. We would only like to dwell on the socio-political implications of the case. Dalits and OBCs have been repeatedly insisting that courts are neither ready to hear nor understand their pleas. As a corollary, the question may be asked: Does the upper-caste dominated judiciary want to suppress the voice of the Dalits and OBCs?
    Laloo Prasad is not as guilty of scripting a scam as he is of keeping bad company. It is unfortunate that the accused and convicts of the Fodder and Alaktara scams still surround him. There is a clear message here not only for Laloo Prasad but also for other politicians: Refrain from extending political patronage to people with questionable credentials. Beware neta, you may be judged by the company you keep!
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    Last Updated:
    2 years ago


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