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NDA won in Bihar by reminding people of ‘Jungle Raj’. But data shows it’s a myth

No matter what Nitish Kumar or BJP says, analysis of crime data of Bihar reveals the truth about Lalu Prasad-era ‘Jungle Raj’.

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The Narendra Modi-led National Democratic Alliance, armed with its electoral catchphrase, “Jungle Raj ka Yuvraj”, hit the opposition led by Tejashwi Yadav where it hurts the most. The Bihar election results hint that the narratives of the ‘Jungle Raj’ succeeded in forcing people to recall the politics and governance that ended 15 years ago and which, according to the detractors, carried crime in its DNA. The NDA’s poll strategies may have ensured Nitish Kumar’s return by evoking the ghost of the Jungle Raj, but crime data tells a different story.

A simple analysis of the National Crime Records Bureau’s (NCRB) annual data on cognisable IPC crimes in major Hindi-belt states shows that, in the last 45 years, crime count was lowest in Bihar.

But since the 1990s, Bihar has been reduced to dark narratives and pejoratives such as BIMARU and Jungle Raj – the second one being the most damaging for the state’s development.

Bihar’s journey to Jungle Raj

The entire Jungle Raj narrative emanates from imaginations of poor law and order situation and high crime rates in the 1990s. The narrative, largely built and reinvented around sensational crime stories with graphic details in media, stocks of anecdotes, and electoral political narratives, turned Bihar into a dreaded place in people’s imaginations. It made such a deep impact on the psyche that even Biharis living in other states would avoid visiting their hometowns or villages, forget about outsiders.

The narrativehowever, is rejected by scholars such as Christophe Jaffrelot who refers to the period as a regime of social justice. It is said that with the advent of Lalu Prasad Yadav’s government in Bihar, the established political power hierarchies (well aligned with caste hierarchies) faced stiff challenges. The oppressed castes and minorities found a voice and raised it to a level uncomforting to certain sections of society holding key positions in each of the four pillars of democracy.

While as chief minister, Lalu Prasad, and a few of his kin and close aides, were found to be involved in crimes of varying degrees of intensity, it was, however, used as a peg to hang the entire government and administration. The Jungle Raj narrative, which had started around the criminal acts of ruling politicians, was solidified with the incrimination of Lalu Prasad in corruption cases. While the incidence of any crime is unjustifiable, it seems that the issue of crime in Bihar has been magnified with the lens of the Jungle Raj narrative. Lalu Prasad Yadav and the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) governments were held disproportionately more accountable for the same issues than any other ruling government in other states.

Also read: Tejashwi’s arrival, Nitish’s tenacity, Shah’s masterstroke — 5 takeaways from Bihar results

Crimes, facts, and fiction – what data tells 

The NCRB data on cognisable IPC crimes for the last 45 years shows that crime counts (both in terms of absolute figures and in proportion to the population, as seen in Figures 1 and 2) was the lowest in Bihar among all Hindi-belt states. The analyses certainly include RJD’s ‘misrule’ phase, on which the entire Jungle Raj narrative had been premised. Even in comparison to Gujarat (taken as ideal in terms of investment climate, post-reform economic growth, and development), Bihar performed better and consistently registered lower crime counts.

Data: NCRB | Rakesh Chandra | Ramandeep Kaur/ThePrint
Data: NCRB | Rakesh Chandra | Ramandeep Kaur/ThePrint

Bihar’s position in interstate crime statistics is counterintuitive and does not add up to the Jungle Raj stories. It, nevertheless, does not absolve the RJD from the popular opinion that it was the worst in terms of law and order and witnessed huge spikes in crime with every passing year.

A close look at data (crimes per 100,000 population), however, clears the air and gives us a diametrically opposite understanding (Figures 3 and 4). It shows that the phase of so-called misrule and Jungle Raj (1990-95) was, in fact, marked with the lowest crime rates in the last 45 years in Bihar. Moreover, a significant dip in crimes can be seen during the RJD’s rule in comparison to the preceding 15 years, whereas a sharp consistent rise in the same is seen with the arrival of the Janata Dal (United) or JD(U).

Data: NCRB |Rakesh Chandra | Ramandeep Kaur/ThePrint
Data: NCRB |Rakesh Chandra | Ramandeep Kaur/ThePrint

The biggest irony is that the quinquennial crime growth rate – that is, the rate every five years – registered a fall of -18.32 per cent in the first term of Lalu Prasad (a perceived culprit in Bihar’s history) as against a rise of 17.34 per cent during the first term of Nitish Kumar (known for sushasan and development), which further went up to 33.25 per cent in his second term.

Also read: Modi brings up ‘Jungle Raj’ as BJP and JD(U) fall back on old line of attack on RJD

Economic impacts of the Jungle Raj story

The contradictions between data and Jungle Raj narratives are stark and seem to have served their political purpose well. However, they have been remarkably damaging for Bihar and its people.

While the JD(U)-led governments failed to make any significant change, Nitish Kumar could also barely dispel the spectres of the Jungle Raj. This along with other structural variables in effect kept innovators, investors, industrialists, and capital away from the state and subdued Nitish Kumar’s development agenda. A review of the FDI (foreign direct investment) inflows in Bihar gives important insights on the issue (Figure 5). While FDIs depend on a host of factors, they are very sensitive to the prevalent socio-political environment at investment locations. Bihar received only a paltry amount as FDI when other Hindi-belt states (even with higher crime rates) kept receiving investments in varying amounts in the post-reform period.

Rakesh Chandra | Ramandeep Kaur/ThePrint

In a transforming post-reform Indian economy, the market forces were expected to play a significant role in economic growth and generation of employment and other positive externalities. Bihar, however, overcast by the Jungle Raj story, failed to exude any positive vibes for market forces and therefore missed out on opportunities. It failed to attract investments, witnessed dismal levels of job creation, per capita production, and income. This led to economic inertia and caused a significant increase in the rate of out-migration from Bihar (Figure 6).

Rakesh Chandra | Ramandeep Kaur/ThePrint

In a period of two decades (1991-2011), Bihar’s net-migration rate has doubled. In only the last decade, more than 30 lakh people migrated from Bihar, which consisted primarily of the young population, also known as ‘demographic dividend’ in development debates.

In the post-reform period, when many states were making development strides, Bihar largely remained in a unique fix. Its complex political metamorphosis in the ’90s trapped it into something called ‘simultaneity’ in statistics (wherein X causes Y, and Y in return causes X, and so on). The narratives manufactured to replace the RJD-led ‘social transformation regime’ with a ‘pro-development political regime’ did irreparable damages to the image of the state. They turned Bihar into a no-no for market forces and development agents. And the JD(U), after its failures on sushasan and development agenda, kept refreshing and reinstating the Jungle Raj narrative for electoral gains. So, any positive sentiment and interest towards the state, germinating on the time-healed public memory, were diffused and Bihar remained stuck in the unique fix between Jungle Raj and underdevelopment.

Also read: Despite the sweet victory, Modi-Shah BJP has a Nitish Kumar-sized problem in Bihar

Time to get over Jungle Raj

For long, we have been witnessing Bihar and its people stuck under imposed identities. While the people seem desperate to shake off manufactured narratives from the past and make a fresh start, a large section of the state’s political leadership keeps harping on the past. However, as seen in the 2020 election campaigns, people want to hear about their real concerns – education, health, unemployment, development, and migration. So, this may be the best time to mainstream people’s questions in political narratives. If Bihar succeeds, it could be the beginning of a paradigm shift.

The author is Assistant Professor, Centre for Health Policy, Planning and Management, Tata Institute of Social Science. Views are personal.

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  1. What a giant boatload of crap. People like me have lived through those times and the author is trying to convince me its was all “perception” sitting in delhi by talking to some professor !!! I will give you few examples and i am sure plenty of people will have similar experiences.
    1> My family (dad/mom and myself) got off a train at Shiekhpura Jn on KG line of indian railways at 4 pm in evening. our village is a short 8 km drive from there. There was no public transport willing to venture out after dark. After 30 mins only people out were ones with guns sticking out of their cars. So, we spend the night at railway station and went to village next day.
    2> Patna city 7pm at pan shop. just me and my best friend out to grab a smoke because we have escort. His father is SP and we are in his dad’s Gypsey with red beacon.
    3> Darbhanga city: 7pm evening. entire city is dark with no power. the main city road is dirt track with no trace of asphalt. All you hear is “phat phat” of generators and shall shopkeepers with kerosene lamps.

    This was the reality of the time. I don’t need the author to tell me if “jungle raj” was real or now. People who have lived through the times remember it vividly. But for the Leftist gang everything is justified in the name of “social justice” and “revolution”.

  2. This is a worst example of sold out journalism. This article narrates so called data on crime when the very question is what is the reliability and validity of this data. In jungle Raj when police was working for Lalu and His gang then who would have registered the cases and the data? This is nothing but an eyewash to defend the Jungle Raj. Shame on your journalism.

  3. Public memory is short. It’s shocking that despite the ‘Jungle Raj’, Laloo’s goons came close to winning! They must thank Rakesh Chandra and his ilk for white washing the bloody rule of Laloo. Data mining from NCRB is a cruel joke. Erase the FIRs , and the country will become crimefree!
    Mr Shekhar Gupta, I am a big fan of yours, but another article or two of such poor calibre, and I’ll be forced to review even your ‘unhyphenated’ brand of cutting through the clutter

  4. Statistics and lies! Lallu was projected as the best Railway Minister, gave lectures in Ivy League colleges in USA and much later, the real truth emerged! Now when this guy is in Jail for corruption, we get to read that crime was the lowest in the history of Bihar during Lallu regime! What next? This author may write, economic growth was the highest in Lallu time and cows & buffaloes were yielding maximum milk without fodder. Actually, Lallu was on to something very big – how to get maximum milk without feeding fodder to animals. The CBI mistook and jailed him. Ha ha. Keep writing such fantasy articles so that we can have some laughter in these gloomy times.

  5. The data quoted is official data….and who was in office during the Jungle raaj – Lalu Yadav….It was his rule, with cops refusing to register cases…..with most cases unregistered, the official data would OBVIOUSLY show low crime rate…..and if that was the TRUTH, WHY DID PEOPLE OF BIHAR VOTE OUT RJD GOVERNMENT DECISIVELY in 2005 and 2010…..The author should have ideally spent some time in Bihar….the days of armchair journalism are over.

  6. –>
    While as chief minister, Lalu Prasad, and a few of his kin and close aides, were found to be involved in crimes of varying degrees of intensity, it was, however, used as a peg to hang the entire government and administration.
    What !!!
    Did you read this again before posting ?

  7. What a display of utter waste data misrepreaentation….lack of data is only reason for Lalu era apperaing beautiful on paper….The print and the writer are hurting the feelings of every person feom bihar whose life was under every day threat under politically nurtured gunda raj. Shame on the writer and big thumbs down for The Print foe publishing such baseles mindless meaningless report by some data mining fool far away from reality.

  8. The analysis in this article is juvenile at best. Using National Crime Bureau data to drive conclusions is based on the premise that all cases for crime are being reported. That logic would similarly defeat the argument of many activists who claim that the number of rape cases in India is higher than what is reported. Surprised that a TISS professor should make such flimsy arguments.

    • Actually I am not surprised that a TISS professor is the author of such gobbledygook. That once-hallowed place of learning has become a hardcore Leftist citadel. So you can imagine the pain this chap is going through by seeing the NDA win.

  9. Why the author attaching description
    of “jungle raj” to law & order situation?
    The total misgovernance prevalent at
    that time can be ignored? One example
    of Lalu proclaiming his illeterate wife
    as C M after his conviction is enough
    for one to think Bihar as Jungle Raj
    And country’s media was not active
    then to report these things as they
    are hyper active now to report
    anything such under Mody’s regime!

  10. What data? Data becomes reality only when it is tabulated. No policeman would file FIR and those who complained would be hounded. I remember my schoolmates being kidnapped in daylight. Horrific stories galore. This is shameless whitewashing. Jungle Raj was a reality. You can’t change it for your academic CV at TISS. Empirical studies shouldn’t be done on an ill conceived data set. Those from Bihar who are reading this are laughing and there blood boiling at the same time. (I can vouch this for the majority)

  11. How much more can you stoop low? Modi s hate had made you blind. By the way, if you release articles such as this, it makes people want to support modi even more. How can you say jungle raaj was a myth?? Ask a person who had to grow up in bihar and then you will understand. Ask people how much they fear maruti omni. People have seen people being shot in front of their eyes but hey, its all a myth because the case was never registered. Erase those memories from bihari’s mind. Doesnt cheif editor shekhar gupta say fair journal needs to have a price? Stop selling propoganda first. THE JUNGLE RAAJ IS THE WORST MOMENTS OF SOME PEOPLE’S LIVES. GO ON GROUND AND SEE IT!!!

  12. All the people harping upon ‘crimes not being reported’, that is an easy argument to make but not valid.

    Is there any data to say that reporting went down in 90s as compared to 80s? If not then please shut up! True, 2000s was the time of social media and easy to highlight things, but compare Lalu era with pre-Lalu era, and the ‘jungle raj’ narrative falls flat.

    It is absurd to think the privileged upper castes were unable to lodge police complaints. While for decades they were used to bullying others, Lalu Raj was the time the bullies was getting a taste of their own medicine.

  13. Not all crimes are reported in official records. The only clear is how average people feel. Like all the official statistics would not convince women in Kerala that it is safer than Tamil nadu, Karnataka, Maharashtra or Gujarat. Even Mamata or Arvind Kejriwal will be able to convince women that West Bengal or Delhi is safer than these states.

    During jungle raj in Bihar women were afraid to venture out after dusk. People remember that. Statistics are for ideologically committed reporters ,to cherry pick to prove their points, not average people.

  14. A sham of an article.

    No one who existed in Bihar in the Laloo Raj, would believe a word of what you have said, Mr Chandra. And I have used the word ‘existed’, because there was hardly any life, in those times. Anyone could be a goon, could possess a ‘katta’, and shoot at will. You talk of records! The police and the administration were mere spectators, in many cases, perpetrators of crime, in those days! Let alone registering, they wouldn’t even acknowledge that a crime happened..and would harass the victim instead.
    Education, livelihood, business, public infrastructure and amenities, healthcare, etc..were all in shambles.

    It was a dread to live in Bihar in those times. People moved out at the first opportunity they got!
    There can be absolutely no comparison between Laloo-Rabri’s Jungle Raj and Nitish’s government in this regard, or for any sphere of governance and/or public life.

    You have done your reputation as a scholar at the TISS, Mr Chandra, a great deal of damage, by writing such a biased article. And so have you, Mr Shekhar Gupta, by allowing this article.

    That it was thus timed (just after the election results) clearly speaks of ulterior motives to influence public opinion. Likely it’s sponsored.. obviously by those who would benefit most out of it, and haven’t, in the current times.

  15. This is such a flawed research study. The author doesn’t provide any hygiene warning for the data which he builds his entire story. For example has the author considered the fact that jungle raj also meant that less people reporting crime to the local police station because of fear of the state and police apathy if not complicity with the criminals. Just as we counter the argument that India fairs better when it’s compared to the crime against women in USA, that it is because these instances are not reported as much as they get registered in USA

    • You hit the nail on the head of false analysis.
      Crimes were not reported during lalu rule because of nexus of police, criminals&politicians

      Parents used to pay kidnappers for releasing their children with out reporting crimes in police stations

  16. “Academia is to knowledge what prostitution is to love” : Nassim Nicholas Taleb
    This article and its writer perfectly exemplifies the quote.

  17. One of the most stupid and baseless articles ever written on Bihar and it’s politics. I have been to Bihar not once. But multiple times. Just because you and your media is sold out doesn’t mean that the people of country have to do the same. It’s good that Modi and Shah have won else you guys will rape and sell this country

  18. It is funny that you quote official data to support your claim. During the Lalu Raj police was not even registering the case. Just talk to people in bihar and you will know. I have personal experience on this count. Also it was big failure of Lalu in not invting private palyers, opening up the economy would have helped but he didn’t realise this.

  19. What a story by a blind and deaf person with a perfectly working eye and ears. He instead of whitewashing his house this diwali, Whitewashed the bitter truth.

  20. I thought this article is a joke…like a satire. Spent a part of my time during the jungle raj. Cases were not registered. Such articles only show the low standards of journalism or possibly a paid article to influence and brainwash. But it’s not possible to fool the public anymore. Shame on the author, Rakesh Chandra. Hope the money was worth the price of your journalism ethics.

  21. Jungle raj ka yahi to matlab hai, crime register hi nhi hota tha, kuch decade pehle rape register ka number desh me kam hota tha to kya iska matlab rape kam hote they kya, dalito par atyachar pehle jyada hote the par register aaj jyada hote hai,

  22. Dude.. what a trashy piece. The crimes registered is low because of jungle raj. They were simply not reported due to fear or not registered by police. What nonsense

  23. The biggest fallacy here is that the entire article is based on the crime statistics by NRCB during the jungle raj administration which was called so because it facilitated crimes to such an extent that it became the rule of the state.So the argument is that jungle raj did not exist because the so calleda jungle raj administration did not report any crimes.The author seems to forget what the term jungle raj itself means and I personally feel the comments makes more sense.Sir if you want redemption show us data collected from people of the crimes that they faced during that era and now or something even better.More crime rates shows the sensitivity of the system and improved governance.

  24. Seriously, I don’t like bjp government a bit but you can’t the fact the lawlessness under lalu ruined bihar. Print as a media organisation truth is your job. Don’t go for stupid argument like data. Have you tried to file an fir in UP bihar or Haryana you will get your answer.

  25. People were afraid to buy new goods, fear to roam in the evening. The conditions of roads and infra was such that, I have to travel for 8 hours for mere 30 km distance to reach my hometown. It’s the easiest job to sit in AC cabins and write BS articles like this. I mean seriously , I have firsthand experienced those dark times, even movies are made on it which also show tone downed versions of reality.
    The writer is glorifying those dark period when things like infra, computers didn’t existed in Bihar, forget about the ridiculous data.

  26. Methodology used for the study itself is biased. This is like wearings lenses of a a particullar color to paint the whole world they way you want to see it. I guess, as researchers, such biases should be avoided.

    Hope the author corrects the methodology used for the study and provides proper definitions for measuring crime.

  27. My father had a roaring practice and had to leave it all behind and flee bihar as he used to get continuous demands for payments for NOT kidnapping his kids or killing his family.
    Me at 8 years of age saw a man fall down with a bullet hole on his forehead in the middle of durga puja celebrations ( a visual which i can never erase from my mind)
    Had my classmates and schoolmates kidnapped for ransom.
    All these are a myth… right!

  28. Now this is a case of data blind. In Bihar, people unhappy with Modi / Nitish could not vote for RJD fearing the return of days when RJD strongmen can come and change the name plate of their house. It was jungle raj and that played a big role in people not voting for RJD.

  29. Seriously, this is the problem with data scientists. Use data to bring credibility to your point. This is the worst message that there was no crime in Bihar. I have friends from Bihar, who grew up at that time in Patna. It was definitely a jungle Raj. Whatever they showed in movie Apaharan is not fiction. Kidnapping was an industry..

  30. I’m seriously worried about the prospects of educational institutions in this country. A teacher who doesn’t understand the basic fact that bad law and order means low registration of cases teach in so-called “higher” education institutions. No manipulation of data can change the lived reality of its population.

  31. Respected Author.

    Why don’t you have a debate with me. I’m a Bihari & a Data Scientist. Will help you in breaking all your myths.

    This article has nothing to do with reality.

  32. What an idiot! Forget making this politician an assistant professor, his PhD should be recalled. We have lived that period in Bihar. Marwari businessmen had to transfer their shops and businesses at gunpoint. Kidnapping and extortion was the only business in the state.

    This joker says Nitish did not provide sushasan and there was no jungle raaj under Lalu. Even Lalu’s son did not use his photo in elections. He got it. But, this idiot does not get it.
    I am from Bihar and an academician.

    • I agree – lots of data based on official records are suspect in places of severe repression. An indicator could be how journalists were treated and active.

  33. This guy is disapproving jungle raaj theory on the basis of the data. Well the data doesn’t paint the true picture because “FIR couldn’t get registered”. And this guy is assistant professor smh.

  34. He can show all the DATA
    Statistics is like a prostitute who wears cloths what customer wants
    So is this
    I remember going to my ancestral home s in this period
    Advices to return home before evening
    Never take a new car on the road. They will take it n force you sign the transfer the car
    And he thinks it was a joke
    Good luck to TISS
    You have dumb asstitants
    P s I belong to Bihar

  35. 1)The crime rate also depends on reporting. You don’t report crime then data shows less crime. Data should be taken & interpreted carefully.
    2) Leftist are biased…if Kerala’s crime rate is high that means reporting is good. If Bihar crime rate is high now that means crime is actually high. Very convenient.
    3) If Gujarat was doing economically well because it was a progressive state not because of Narendra Modi. If Bihar is not doing economically well then it is because of bad government not because it is a backward state. Very convenient for leftist.
    4) May be they cannot digest the fact that right wing ppl can do good work and win elections.

  36. Views are personal to Author but sponsored by someone. I can tell you the dark history of that time as I have seen those times. It was nothing sort of all good criminal activities like any other state and/or overstated by any means. It was horrendous times for the people of Bihar, who were literally afraid to go outside their home especially in urban areas. Kidnapping was the most common thing. The ‘data’ shown here would not tell you the sense of security people are getting now after those 15 yrs.

    You can exploit data in any way to suit your own understanding but understating the criminal injustices happening at that time is really an act of malicious intent. The “Jungle Raaj” termed was coined by Hon’l Supreme Court of India for describing the unprecedented level of crime rate in Bihar.

  37. While I do not want to comment on the economic development portion, the ‘Jungle Raj’ analysis seems to be totally theoretical and in complete ignorance of the fact that a lot of cases could have gone unreported in the Jungle Raj fearing repurcussions.

  38. One of the most baseless article even seen in print media!! Statistics when tortured can be made to accept whatever one wants to prove. In a jungle Raj, not one victim repeat not one victim has the courage to approach police to file FIR or complaint because police is part of the same Raj!! Those who suffered jungle Raj till today shudders to even think of those days and here a bhadralok offers unavailable and unreliable data to prove jungle Raj was actually good for Bihar!! Laughable to say the least. It should have been dated 01 April to allow people to laugh out loud!!

  39. I was expecting the author would conclude by saying Lalu Rabri’s 15 year regime of “social justice” was akin to Ram Rajya!

    Even a casual visitor travelling during the Lalu era and Nitish Kumar would note the fantastic state of the roads (much better than Maharashtra), linking every village, near 24 hour power supply and frenetic economy activity without fear of extortion or kidnap during NK’s rule.

    Shop and showrooms proudly displaying their wares instead of cowering in fear from RJD extortion mafia. The kidnapping industry alas under NK has fallen on hard times compared to the 1990s golden age.

    This is how history is whitewashed.

    • Yes, You are dot on point. During Jungle Raj, crime rate shows decline because Lalu was so corrupt as not to let police record the crime so that statistic is on his side.

  40. Prestitute like Rakesh Chandra can write anything in praise of their masters due to anti Modi stand.
    Absurd report a blatant lie.

  41. So much energy spent trying to lure Hindus

    Try working so minutely on reasons why Hindus despite knowing failures of Modi still prefer him and you will realise the seeds were sown in pdeuso secularism and selective outrage and appeasement.

    Y’ll dont realise, there is growing belief in rectifying 1947 and Hindus cant carry the burden of decisions Gandhi had taken to please Nehru. Fact that major section of the media turned blind eye to misdeeds of one community and line of suckulars defending them did not go unnoticed.

    So if Biharis remember Jungle Raj the entire Hindu community remembers 1000 year of slavery and the biggest oppurtunity missed by gandhi and nehru in 1947 which could have ensured new beginning.

    Billion strong community is waiting for the no nonsense leader who can create another Isreal for Hindus and its not just lower and middle class Hindus supporting this idea….with the great Migration Scam from Arab to Europe and results of open arm shown by Europe has assured the entire community that there are bigger issues to be sorted to ensure safety and respect of the entire Hindu community.


  43. This article is stupidest, u don’t need to look at data. Go and ask anyone who youth during Lalu raaj , no one excepts goons dared to step out of home after 8:00 PM ..Salary of state employees was not paid for months.. All little business man were scared of being kidnapped themselves or their family..

  44. Never knew a person could turn so retarded by modi hate. By her logic Kerala which btw has the highest crime rate in India is a criminal infested state. But when it is used to bash commies ruling Kerala they say it’s cuz reporting is better in Kerala where cases are registered and acted upon rather than brushed under the carpet. Why not use the Kerala logic in Bihar?? Personal agendas I guess.

  45. If crime registration rate of of a state by NCRB is take as indicator of law and order, highest crime rate is in the state of kerala. Do the author view kerala as the worst crime rate in kerala. Simply to register case is a good indictor of law and order in the state. People can without fear register report at police station. If there is fear in people how they can register complaint?. In lalus time people may be afraid of even registering cases or police refuse to register cases.

  46. Wow. Absolute trash of an analysis. I cannot believe that people are capable of STOOPING SO LOW. I guess the author never heard about Mohammed Shahabuddin or the infamous extortion industry that thrived during the jungle raj. Such was the lawlessness of the era that nobody dared to travel to Bihar and the fear still continues.

    The thing with secondary data is that it can always be manipulated to suit the optics hence primary data is most reliable.

  47. Precisely why it was referred to as ” jungle raj”!!nobody maintains data of who shot whom and who killed whom in the jungle.the learned professor “hangs”his argument on a very weak “peg”of unreliable official data!ive heard horror stories anecdotal of course,from biharis living outside of bihar about the law and order (rather lack of it)during the lalu prasad regime.the same friends acknowledge the positive changes witnessed during the nitish kumar administration.lets respect the verdict of the people and their choice.

  48. Don’t make fun of people who have suffered. I recall times when doctors would be scared to buy a maruti otherwise they will get a letter. Kidnapping of eminent people in town was no big deal. People were afraid to buy a honda bike as chances were it will be stolen or be taken away at gun point. I have seen talented people migrating out of the state for good. Look at Bhagalpur and the migration of traders to Bengaluru and Howrah. It enraging that you would cite data to think Laloo period was the same as Nitish’s period. Police would not file FIR, many issues were not reported- please remember there was no social media . Please have heart and don’t invent facts. I appreciate Print for their journalism , don’t do a republic to such a good site.. Now people drive BMW and are not worries about robbed in broad day light. Entering a jewelry store during Laloo days was like entering a high security we have the town teeming with brands like Tanishq , PC Jewelers etc. Look at property being sold and bought. In laloo days, if they got a whiff of a property transactions, you would start worrying about getting a “chitthi”.. People would not register or even paint their houses . Talk to Biharis who grew up then ..Another empirical data – Look at number of property registrations that have happened of late.. don’t cite data selectively and humiliate an entire generation that grew up terrorized…

  49. The author builds his narrative on the premise of data conveniently ignoring the fact that data which was unflattering for the dispensation was not allowed to germinate by Laloo raj. It is like saying that North Korea has the lowest crime rate and happiest people in the world and the North Korean ruler has the highest approval ratings.
    Police stations simply refused to register FIRs against the perpetrators who belonged to the caste occupying the corridors of power. People who lived through that rule don’t need dry statistics to remind themselves of the torture and nightmare they went through.
    Such stupid columnists should keep their ill conceived opinions to themselves so as to not insult the intelligence of the voters.

  50. Such a waste of time analysing NCRB data when even a child can tell you that a huge amount of crimes went unreported in Bihar during jungle Raj. When a RJD bahubali picked new cars from a showroom for marriage celebration, do you think police was ready to file a Complaint ?

  51. This is called typical white-washing the lived experience. This is the kind of lies spread by left and social justice apologists that, has filled majority in country with contempt for left and liberals.
    Shekha Gupta this was expected from you. How have you allowed absolute lie to be published in your publication in name of contrary view. Shame on you. Bihar’s junjal raj a myth not supported by data. The publisher of the article is professor. OMG.

  52. Typical theoretical mishmash from an armchair analyst, a professor stuck in his classroom theories and clueless about ground realities. All the data and statistics cited along with analysis of questionable veracity are only good for class room lectures. Adding to this is the typical tendency to quote some gora ‘scholar’ who probably hasn’t lived for any extended period in India, makes this write up not worth the paper in which it is written. The writer needs to get out of his classroom and live in Bihar, to see if his government quoted statistics match reality.

  53. The author lives in another planet. People of Bihar are not fools to reject Laloo Raj for more than 15 years.

  54. Does this writer expect the public and politicians to speak based on NCRB statistics? He is being naive at best. It is a matter perception. Emergence of criminals-turned-politicians like Mhd.Shahabuddin, Pappu Yadav, news of shootings, burning of villages, Ranvir Sena gave the State of Bihar image, it could not shake off. Fodder scam of Lallu did not help improve the image. Perhsps, now U.P. wears this crown.

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