Monday, December 29, 2008

Handicapping politics of Amar- Akbar – Anthony (part 2)

(Continued from part one)

I went to Patna from Delhi to attend the Book Fair. I resided in a hotel next to Gandhi Maidan so that it’s easy to commute between hotel and Gandhi Maidan. From Golghar to B.N. College, the roads were so clamped and congested that it seemed as if the whole city was on roads. As I walked out of the college, I saw the college result pasted on the wall.

I was to go to the Book Fair, hence left from there only. On the way to my hotel, I came across the traffic police office; a structure almost in ruins. The roof was shattered and tattered with dark green algae grown all over the walls. A part was broken. And just opposite to this office was a street with vehicles in bulk. Scooter, motorcycle, tempos and cars were all covered in dust and dirt as if no one had seen them since ages. This filthy bulk of vehicles resting adjacent to Gandhi maidan seemed to have turn into shady public toilet.

Around 25 years back, when the CM of Bihar inaugurated the Traffic Police office, it also gave police the responsibility to teach civic sense to the public. However, the very word ‘civic sense’ outweighed the police. In hurry to attend the book fair or may be amidst the colour of Bihar I realized that on my way to the fair I confronted a rally. They were singing songs shaped up in bollywood music and hence were raising their demands for the basic minimum. The tempo which had the loudspeaker in it carried four ladies and one man. Two ladies carried infants alongside and raised slogans. We reached the hotel somehow crawling with the rally and left for the Book Fair from there as soon as possible. The program was that of a Media Leader and on Saturday, I was the media leader. After describing my all these years in media, the question answer round began. A majority 80% of total audiences were the youth of age group 15 to 35. There questions were mainly regarding the anxiousness, increasing issues and lack of options in Bihar. For the first time in a public meeting in Patna I ever realized that the whole Bihar is silent on the issue of lack of options and opportunities. Before this the reflection of JP’s movement came up as a debate. However, the generation that is facing grave conditions and is striving to create favourable circumstances for it, is totally different from the Bihar till 1990s.

The biggest challenge in front of this new generation is financial security which ensures everything from employment to development and helps meeting the bare minimum. A youth on threshold of life wants to become a part of mainstream; shall only confront lack of options in Bihar. Pretending to be a successful person in spite of being a failure is an art of the big cities. Discarding that, the question of lack of options which comes up in meetings and seminars in Patna is because of the present situations. New situations are placing themselves as options and this has very clearly come up.


How is it possible that keeping Bihar at stake, the Central Govt. keeps itself in power? Not only this, also the politicians of Bihar project that without Central’s help, nothing can happen in Bihar. The older generation has questioned this many times. The present governance is deliberately creating a bad picture of the scene post its term or is it that their presence has brought the society on the verge of extinction.


The righteousness has definitely clashed. The new generation has clearly indicated that the new definition of righteousness and justice will be written with changing time. The questions in front of the younger generation will never be faced by the older ones. Hence new questions will be answered in a newer fashion. The ways will be defined by the governance or politics. Also, keeping the needs of majority section in mind, a social agitation is required.

After the meeting, while checking out the Book Fair, I came across a number of questions from the book lovers. Questions like, why is the number of books in fair declining? Why is the fair culture taking shape? The organizer of Book Fair, Amit Jha, had his own reasons. The craze of book fairs which was prevalent till 2004 has come down a bit now, but Bihar has witnessed a change. Bihar’s circumstances have broken the common man from inside. During Lalu’s time people anticipated better options, which motivated them to struggle. The period of Nitish Kumar completely negated the awareness of options and struggle became a dream. Choosing the best book in a fair is similar to choosing the best couple; which is happening on a same platform. The filmy version of music and dramatization of plays looks similar everywhere. Black magic and painting competition are happening in the same event and venue. What has Bihar become? This was a question that kept me occupied throughout the book fair.

At night, while boarding train for Delhi, I came across various people belonging to different cities, who questioned there regions and didn’t even spare Delhi. While I was leaving the fair, I came across Sudhir Kumar Singh who eagerly asked, “If the police administration, court or the Chief Minister refuses to listen to the masses, what should one do?” I suddenly replied, “Kill them.” He asked me, “Where and when?” I took him along to the railway station.


On the way he told that he belongs to Navada. After his father died, his land was snatched away by the powerful Ramchandra Prasad Singh and Awadh Kishore Singh of the village. The land was taken away by Ramchandra Prasad on the name of distribution and when Sudhir went back asking for his land, he and his brother Balmukund were beaten. Also, a police complaint was made against them. They were fed excreta and even his wife wasn’t spared. I mentioned police and law. Sudhir could not control his tears. He told that no FIR was lodged from his side; the SP and Collector of Navada threatened him to leave as soon as possible. Also, DM Pankaj Kumar and SP Vinod Kumar sounded helpless. Police tore the letter by Human Rights Commission in front of his eyes. He appealed to Nitish Kumar not once or twice but seven times. A promise to take action was made but every time he returned to his village; he was beaten and tortured. Sudhir told that he has three children and he secretly stays with them in Dhanbad as he wants to teach them.

It was time for the arrival of my train and Sudhir was giving details one after another. He told me when he submitted his application to the Patna High Court’s Judge and about his appeal to the CM. He also mentioned how he was threatened to leave Bihar by the SP and DM. Obviously I assured Sudhir that we’ll do something. I still stand by my conviction that we’ll definitely do something but for the first time I realize that the game of changing powers is a game in itself and that the Democracy is at stake here.

1 comment:

gautam said...

Yes! Bihar has become the worst place to live. Nothing is there to feed your stomach. Most of the sane people, who is aware of the conditions of Bihar, discuss at length " how it happened, who is responsible, Caste-politics is the root cause and so on.....But no one ever says how can we change it. The spirit is lacking.The adjective of Bihar- BIHARI has become a sarcastic word. People laugh,enjoy and dig a hole at the identity of BIHARI. The real tragedy is the people who can change it is ignorant and the beggars, who have nothing to offer, have taken the responsibilities to change it.