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JP to BJP: Bihar after Lalu and Nitish

Nominated | Book Awards 2021 | English Non-fiction

JP to BJP: Bihar after Lalu and Nitish

One day Green asked Saffron: What keeps you so vibrant? Saffron smiled: A lot of green inside me. Once upon a time, the eastern Indian State of Bihar provided space for socialism to take centre stage. As a new government takes office in Bihar, the book JP to BJP: Bihar after Lalu and Nitish looks closely at the process of saffronisation that has taken place in this landscape, more marked than any other by milestones of political shifts and movements. Author, journalist Santosh Singh tracks the important Socialists on the national stage for the last 75 years; traces the rise and fall of Socialist and coalition governments in Patna and New Delhi; defines for us the sifting sand of opportunistic politics and an invisible future. The book answers many burning questions such as: Why the man who had sought to counter Narendra Modi’s ‘Congress-mukt Bharat’ line with his vow of a ‘Sangh-mukt Bharat’ walk away from being the emerging nucleus of Opposition politics? Which top RJD leader did Prem Chand Gupta accompany to meet BJP leader Arun Jaitley in Delhi, and why?

Full Title: JP to BJP: Bihar after Lalu and Nitish

Author: Santosh Singh
Publisher: Sage Publications

Award Category: English Non-fiction
About the Book: 

One day Green asked Saffron: What keeps you so vibrant?
Saffron smiled: A lot of green inside me.

Once upon a time, the eastern Indian State of Bihar provided space for socialism to take centre stage.

As a new government takes office in Bihar, the book JP to BJP: Bihar after Lalu and Nitish looks closely at the process of saffronisation that has taken place in this landscape, more marked than any other by milestones of political shifts and movements. Author, journalist Santosh Singh tracks the important Socialists on the national stage for the last 75 years; traces the rise and fall of Socialist and coalition governments in Patna and New Delhi; defines for us the sifting sand of opportunistic politics and an invisible future.

The book answers many burning questions such as: Why the man who had sought to counter Narendra Modi’s ‘Congress-mukt Bharat’ line with his vow of a ‘Sangh-mukt Bharat’ walk away from being the emerging nucleus of Opposition politics? Which top RJD leader did Prem Chand Gupta accompany to meet BJP leader Arun Jaitley in Delhi, and why?


About the Author: 

Santosh Singh, Patna-based assistant editor with The Indian Express, is a senior journalist and political analyst covering Bihar for last 15 years. A Gold Medalist in Masters of Journalism and Mass Communication (MJMC), he also holds Post Graduate Diploma in Journalism from the prestigious Asian College of Journalism, Bangalore. In a career spanning over 22 years, Santosh has earlier worked with The Asian Age and The Statesman in New Delhi and Bhopal and The Telegraph in Patna. He is the author of 2015 widely-reviewed best-seller on Bihar politics, Ruled or Misruled, The Story and Destiny of Bihar (Bloomsbury). Santosh has won the KC Kulish International Award for Excellence in Print Journalism (2009), The Statesman Rural Reporting Award (first prize, 2010), Express Excellence Award (June, 2012), Press Council of India Award for Development Journalism (2013) and the RedInk Awards 2018 (Srijan scam) and 2019 (Muzaffarpur shelter abuse case) for his investigative and development stories. He was twice member of the Bihar Press Accreditation Committee and has taught at Makhanlal Chaturvedi National University of Journalism & Communication, Bhopal and Amity University, Patna.


Excerpt: 

The idea of JP to BJP!, the title and the underlying theme of the book, is to tell the story of conflict, confusion, and co-existence of the Socialist green and the BJP’s saffron. The untouchability of the Bharatiya Jana Sangh was first diluted in 1967, when it aligned with the Samyukta Socialist Party (SSP) to form the first non-Congress government in then-united Bihar under Mahamaya Prasad Sinha. Here again, a tall upper caste leader stalled the chance of Karpoori Thakur to become CM. Thakur still emerged as the original subaltern hero and went on to become CM twice. The Jana Sangh again became ‘acceptable’ during the JP Movement, which sought to bring people of all hues together.


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