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Krishna Kumar Singh, also known among friend circles KK and among close relative Krishna; Matriculation from Mithila High School Balour, Darbhanga in 1959, Graduated in Political Science Honours from C M College, Darbhanga, Bihar University in 1963; Joined post-graduate in Political Science the same year but dropped; joined Naxal movement under Charu Mazumdar, Kanu Sanyal, Satya Narayan Singh and Umadhar Singh in between but circumstances compelled to join literary work, clerk, proof readers etc in different publishing houses for livelihood; Finally joined journalism as career in different English newspapers and before my retirement from active journalism, I worked in The Times of India for about 19 years and retired as Chief Reporter  a few years back; continuing in journalism-reading more and more, writing more and more and praying to Almighty more and more-currently writing for different national English and Hindi dailies and magazines..

Saturday, 23 June 2012

BIHAR IS KNOWN FOR BITTER FEUDAL-COMMUNAL MASSACRES IN INDIA!

In the wake of the killing of  known Rashtriya Swaymsewak Sangh supporter and the founder of dreaded Ranvir Sena, private militia of upper caste specially Bhumihars, Brahmeshwar Nath Singh alias Mukhiya in the Ara town by unknown assailants recently and subsequent violence in most of the districts in central Bihar and in Patna town areas  by majority sections of Bhumihar caste men,if  one remembers the conservatism and feudalism mindset  in Bihar, right from the days of the British Raj to independent India, he will shiver how gruesome murders, atrocities, injustices etc have been inflicted on  Dalits, backwards, Muslims, poor among forward caste etc in the last several years, specially after independence and in 1990s with rising backward caste movements as well as for their assertions of right under the Indian Constitution against the conventional feudal orders!
Organised violence and crimes by upper caste landlords are very common in Bihar. And it became a fashion in 1990s to eliminate as much of Dalits, Muslims, backwards and poor among upper caste in 1990s in Bihar! All these started when upper caste people felt threatened by the assertion of Dalits, Muslims, backwards, and poor during the regime of the Laloo-Rabari in Bihar, initially know pro-poor government, which gave voices to dalits, Muslims , backwards and poor etc. As these sections of deprived society started  asserting for their rights and have raised voices against their suppression for long, the upper caste landlords raised their ugly heads to silence them for retaining their age-old supremacy in Bihar.
 All these nefarious activities including a number of massacres  and subsequently communal pogroms else where in the state were carried in Bihar under Ranvir Sena, militia organisation and saffron brigades under the patronage of Barhmeshwar Singh and the RSS leadership respectively .Most  of them were taken place in 1990s, attracting the attention of countrymen and also the global community.
To make the point straight, I must point it out that land have remained moot point of all these massacres Apart from that wages and social dignity to dalits as well as mobilisation of radical  groups on these issues under constitutional frameworks have started giving agonising moments to feudal classes and they want to deprive the deprived lots from all these things to keep their hegemony intact! Prof Anand Chakarvarty , retired professor of the Delhi School of Economics in a   a lecture on Bathani tola massacre accused acquittal by the Patna High court in New Delhi  felt  that real "reason for the massacre was the assertion of the under class was viewed as an act of defiance against the hierarchical class and caste order.". Prof Chakravarty is of the opinion that Bihar government today, for all its rhetoric, was actually deeply inimical to the economic, social and political entitlement of the oppressed classes that that there, the prospects of justice for the latter were quite bleak.".
.Land owing feudal  upper caste do not want to leave their land and the dalits want genuine shares in the land for at least for their home!Anand Chakravarty,, has also spoken about deep divergence between the rule of law and justice at a convention held against Bathani tola judgement of the Patna High court.( All the accused were acquitted by the Patna high court upsetting the judgement of the Ara district and session judge, who had awarded death sentences  and life imprisonment  to all the accused for killing 21 persons, most of them children and women in Bathani tola village of Ara district in 1996). Prof Chakravartay has stated that justice should" be understood not just in a judicial sense but in wider sense of economic, social and political justice."
While voicing concern over instances of judicial injustices against dalits \and adivasis agrarian labourers, Prof Chakravarty  cited the Tamil Nadi High Court verdict in Keezhavanmani massacre of 1969, which had found it "astonishing" and  " difficult to believe", one whom even "possessed a car" could be guilty of burning alive 42 dalits. In the context of Rupaspur in Purnia district of Bihar carnage, massacre of 14 adivasis sharecroppers in 1971, he quoted the words of a well-known advocate, who had justified the massacres:"it is because of me ( that is, the landlords) that he had the land, it is because of me that he had a livelihood......Now he is violating that relationship by refusing to share the crops; this is breach of a trust which cannot be tolerated." Prof Chakravarty thus spoke about principal social contradictions of Bihar that resulted in the massacres by Ranvir Sena in the 1990s.
Reminiscences of massacres' lists of dalits, adivasis, Muslims and poor are long at different places, mainly in the central Bihar districts including Gaya, Jahanabad, Arwal, Aurangabad, Rohtas, and also at few districts of north and east Bihar.It all started in village Rupaspur under united Purnia district in 1971 where 14 adivasis sharecroppers were burnt alive by feudal Rajput landlord. No one knew the fate of cases and all accused persons were perhaps let off because of lack of substantial evidences.The 1990s massacres galore began with the mobilisation of upper caste under Ranvir sena and various other  upper caste militia of in the central Bihar under Brahmeshwar Singh. After Bathani tola massacre, the upper caste militia went on rampage, killing people in Laxamanpur -Bathe, Shankarbgha and MIapur and many other villages. Finally the massacres ended with the arrest of Brahmshwar Singh in 2002.But  incidents of violence against dalits and muslims continue even after that fearful days of worse massacres.
Sadly people still remember the open admission of Barhmeshwar Singh, who had during his underground days , had openly told different media persons that Ranvir Senas kill children  and women of  Dalits , Muslims, backwards and poor because children after growing youth will become naxalites and women will give births to children, who will become naxalites.
According to a report published in the Frontline, a fortnightly; in order to understand the Bathani Tola massacre, a brief account of the history of Bihar is necessary. Land has been the crucial issue in the politics of Bihar. Because of fertile land irrigated by Ganga, Sone river system, the districts of Bhojpur, Gaya, Patna and Arwal in central Bihar have historically been a hub of political movements. During the colonial era, Bihar was the heart of the zamindari system, which drove deep wedges between dalits and backwards classes and upper castes, who had a major share of the zamindari. Even after it  abolition in 1950 and the introduction of the Land Ceiling Act in 1961, the landlords worked their way up in politics to retain most of their lands, to the extent that Bihar has the worst record in the implementation of land reforms.
According to a 2009 report, among the landowners in the state, 96.5 percent are marginal farmers poor small farmers. They own about  66 percent of total land..Medium and large farmers comprise just 3.5 percent of the land owing community, but they own roughly 33 percent of the total land..Northern Bihar has bigger landlords, but the value of their land is much lower than that in southern Bihar because northern Bihar is flood plain. It is because of this that the landlords of southern Bihar are much more aggressive about possessing land. Most of the upper caste leaders come from southern Bihar. In 1971,Bihar witnessed its first feudal massacre when 16 santhals were killed in Rupaspur  village in PURNIA  district. In the years to come, private armies such as Kunwar sena of Rajputs, the Brahmarishi sena, Savarn Liberation Front, Pandav gang and Sun Light Sena emerged to fight for upper caste landlords.
 Encouraged by this trend,, a few backward castes landlords also formed private armies such as the Bhumi Sena, the Kisan Kranti Sena and Lorik Sena run either by yadavas  or kurmis.In 1995, the politically powerful Bhumihar caste landlords brought all the upper caste armies under theRranvir Sena umbrella. They declared that the Ranvir Sena was formed to wipe out communists from Bihar so that the tradition of feudalism, given to them by their ancestors, was maintained. The Ranvir Sena under the leadership of Brahmeshwar Singh organised youths among upper caste including minors and   created violence to a new height against dalits, Muslims and backwards , and poors. And the first case of a big massacre was given by Ranvir Sena in Bathani tola village of Bhojpur district.
More over , the upper caste organised violence started increasing by leaps and bound eliminated over 500 dalits, Muslims, backwards and poors from other  caste and community by 1995, the ultra-left militants under the banner of CPI-ML killed 93 upper caste landlords between 1994 to 2000. CPI-ML activists killed eight ranvir sena members at Nadhi village in Bhojpur district. In 1997 and 1999 CPI-ML had also raided Jahanabad district and kjilled 16 landlords. The biggest such attack was conducted by Maoist coordination centre (MCC), which along with other naxalite outfits, merged into CPI(Maoist) in 1999, emerged forces in south Bihar, and apart from killing about 50 Rajput landlords in Aurangabad district  in its previous MCC form in 1987, killed 35 Bhumihars in Senari village in Jahanabad not only to show its strength but also revenging the killings of dalits, Muslims etc by Ranvir Sena men in different districts of the south Bihar.
I exactly remembers before that, first naxal operation was carried in Musahari village of Muzaffarpur district against upper caste landlords  in early 1970s by the then naxal organisation of Charu Mazumdar and Kanu Sanyal of Naxalwari fame and pro ponders of  the first left ultra forces to  end exploitation of weaker sections of society. Three landolrds were killed at that time besides two in Darbhanga town itself! Before that some socialist leaders of north Bihar led by Socialist leader Suraj Narayan Singh  and CPI leader Bhogendra Jha had also launched movement of land grabbing of big landlords in the old Darbhana district comprising Madhubani and Samastipur. The agitation succeeded to some extent and landless poor grabbed lands of landlords in Pandoul and different places in Madhubani and Samstipur and Darbhanga areas and at least constructed their huts on the lands of landlords.
Even after all these developments, feudal mindsets of land owing classes, particularly ex-landlords have not changed and they continue to create reign of terror against dalits, adivasis, Muslims, backwards and poor among forward caste. Land continues to be the bone of contention and the successive Bihar governments did not bother to implement land reform measures although first land reform measures like abolition of zamindari system had started in Bihar under the chief minister ship of Dr Sri Krishna Sinha. His revenue minister later chief minister of Bihar Krishna Ballabh Sayay  had played pivotal in implementing land reforms including abolition of zamindari system for nationalising their lands to give them to landless in Bihar. Even the matter as challenged  right from l C lower court to Supreme court, which upturn the decision of the then Bihar government on the ground of Right to Property in the Fundamental Rights , guaranteed under the Constitution. Later the Jawahar Lal Nehru government in Del;hi carried first amendment ton the Constitution and Zamanidari system of holding huge land was abolished  The ACT subsequently put in the 10th schedule so that matter could not be challenged in any court of Law!

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