20 years ago I passed I. Sc (+2 in science) from Langat Singh College (most famous college north to ganga in Bihar, at Muzaffarpur). I had a goal to become a doctor, a neurosurgeon. If some one would have seen me after May 1989, he would have felt easily that I am infected with the political bug. I was reading, but I knew that it was not adequate. A year before, Mr. Karpoori Thakur had died and Mr. Laloo Prasad was the leader of opposition in the assembly.
1989 August - September some time, opposition leaders inside muzaffarpur zail were beaten and there was a meeting in tilak maidan. Laloo Prasad was one of the members of the gamot on the dais. Even then he was passing vulgar comments about the collector (dont know if it was she). After parliament elections, future of congress government in Bihar was clear. It was January 1990, my father not happy with my preparation, 'instructed' me to go to Patna and get coaching for my pre medical test. At Patna I had my childhood friend, an active member of a Dalit organisation (dont know exactly but he behaved so). He helped me a lot; in exchange I had to listen to his stories of Dalit oppression and response by some people . . . sometime his abusing also . . . . My friendship continued . . . till date . . . he is an administrator, comes to receive me and is a big moral booster in this polarised world.
1990 assembly elections and laloo jee became the cm. Through kamandal and mandal he became stronger. But I remained in Patna . . . infected. 1991, January, poisoned air, I was going back from my teacher's house, saw people in line for human chain for communal harmony . . . I too joined. Suddenly laloo prasad came. . "line mat torana, line mat torana" . . . then I remembered, it was ramna road ( one of the muslim dominated areas- along Patna university, sushil modi was ruffled there) where I was standing. Got Pics. laloo prasad kept going. . . . rajeev gandhi died and I came home in my village. I got admission at BHU for BSc course. As the train crossed Ganga after Mugalsarai, I told my friend (not the above mentioned one) that the way laloo is going; it will take 20 years to get rid of him. My friend replied, if so, it will be all lost. I agreed but reaffirmed - we have no option. but will he do anything for Bihar? Even if he does not do anything . . . . by the other end of Ganga, we promised to each other, no more political discussion.
With number of massacres, many died, many became weak . . . .but one man, laloo prasad became stronger. He was doing no good for any one. His slogan of social justice (for that reason, slogan of many others as well), remained non functional. Many people were fighting for social justice earlier than laloo was physically born. His role was of a silent shrewd spectator (even in incidences of destruction of infrastructure of our basic fundamentals) as he made it free for all. Corruption was at its top - had to be - as one of my friends in administration (earlier a strong supporter of laloo) said - "ye samajik nyay kee sarkar kab chali jayegi pata nahin, so, try to earn as you can!). One memorable thing, charwaha vidyalaya. Which could not run . . . tain- tain- fiss! But laloo kept going. Slowly people understood . . . I passed my MBBS, got married. . . preparing for my pg . . I was staying at choudhury tola at Patna. It was election time; I had come out to call my wife from a STD booth. Laloo Prasad came in his popular bus- "hamen maloom hai ki yahan jyada bolane ki jaroorat nahin hai . . .ye vote ka raj hai, laloo ka raj hai, mane kee 'chhot ka raj hai, akaliyat ka raj hai" . . . laloo prasda kept going . . . .I thought of filing a proprietary case against him. This word "chhot", "chhotaka jaat", was my uncle's word, how can he copy that? And then it flashed in my mind how he was able to stay in power without doing anything! But I had to prepare for my pg. Came to Chennai. My brother got in to law studies. I kept saying him to come to Chennai but he did not.
Next elections and laloo was almost wiped out . . . . survived due to Sonia jee. One of his companions, master of changing colours, Shivananda Tiwari, was harassed at Patna book fair - he screamed "pandraha saal se kareja par daal ragar rahen hain aur aage bhee ragarenge!" An expression of over confidence! Strengthened by what? By my uncle's word- whose proprietery was stolen by laloo- "CHHOT JAAT"
Ultimately people gave clear verdict. Now, people keep worrying about activities of nitish kumar . . . worrying about revival of laloo . . .my brother has joined patna high court. . . . what will happen to laloo?
Last month one of my caste man, a student of Isc, hit on the vertex of a dusadh lady . . . village panchayat fined him with 25, 000. He (his father) refused to pay. With lot of difficulty dusadh was helped by some people (same people who used to help them before laloo came in to being) and he filed case in a district court. My brother filed a case in high court for arrest of the offender. Free of cost. (With us it halogens unconsciously - our tradition. Our family's tradition. My father had appeared for 10th exam of his friend who failed due to english for 8 times (those days - before karpoori - english was compulsary), got caught and fought the court case for 12 years to get acquited).
In last 11 years, I never charged a ingle paisa to any one who came for advice to me, even in the days of "KANGALI". My brother pleaded that in addition to this being an attempt to murder, because these people are poor, they are being troubled. Judges asked then how are you here? They must have spent few thousands. . I am doing social service. Judge laughed. "such people vanish at district level". Case was thrown to dustbin. My brother is a fool. "moorkh". He had appealed to human rights commission, they are yet to turn.
Did we learn anything over last 20 years? My uncle still uses "CHHOT JAAT". He neither attended any meeting of laloo, nor he is bothered, he is a farmer. I have to listen for him, as I come out of my village, of my state. My uncle does not even know what laoo did with his "WORD". He does not perceive the venomicity of the word.
I must tell you that its not problem of Bihar alone, has been proved by laloo being at the helm of the central cabinet for 5 years. Its a national problem as similar people exist in other parts of the country as well (both my uncle and my laloo uncle). Concerned people need to think the root cause.
And I forgot to say, my father's title is 'thakur' but he did not put the same for we both brothers.
Dr. Manish Kumar
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