In a country where the bloodthirsty rhetoric of ‘hang them, shoot them’, an ‘eye for an eye’ and ‘their heads for our heads’ is heard so regularly, and so loudly on prime time television, we were greeted by an odd and chilling silence in the course of this week. It wasn’t for a lack of noise, vendetta laced sound-bytes, storms in tea-cups, or of talking heads.
While every channel debated (at inordinate length) the consequences of the banal inevitability of a sportsman retiring from his game while the going was good, or continued to compare ‘Pappu’ and ‘Feku, a striking piece of news virtually failed to ‘break’ into our televised ‘national’ consciousness.
We heard from fasting politicians, approaching cyclones, (once more) about the mortal remains of Captain Saurabh Kalia, the shenanigans of Asaram Bapu’s son, about whether or not Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had set up a trap for Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, and most importantly, again and again, about the impending retirement of Sachin Tendulkar, who was also declared to be ‘God’.
On the 9th of October, two days before the day that Sachin Tendulkar retired from test Cricket (since that is how this country chooses to remember history, we might as well call days before October 11, 2013 as BGR – or ‘Before God Retired’) the honorable Patna High Court acquitted twenty six men belonging to the Ranveer Sena, an upper caste militia accused of butchering fifty eight dalit men, women and children in the course of what came to be known as the ‘Laxmanpur-Bathe‘ massacre in Bihar’s Arwal district in 1997. The youngest of those killed had been a one year old child.
Central Bihar has a long history of caste violence, and the brunt of this violence has largely been borne by lower castes, and groups allied to them. A chronology of caste motivated massacres in Bihar from 1976-2001 lists more than eighty massacres where the victims have been people of the lower castes, or members of political groups seen as being their partisans. Massacres of upper caste villagers hover around fifteen. In the case of the Bara Massacre, when MCC (Maoist Communist Centre) cadres killed several upper caste villagers known to have links with the Savarna Sena (a precursor to the Ranveer Sena) in February 1992, it led to the invocation of TADA by the then Lalu Prasad Yadav government in Bihar. In 2001, the special TADA court and the District and Sessions Court in Gaya awarded death sentences to several of the accused. Some of which were read down to life imprisonment by the Supreme Court in 2002. The very different destiny of the accused in the Bara Carnage case (where upper caste villagers were killed) and in all the significant carnages in Bihar where the victims belong to lower castes tell their own tale. In Bihar, if you are a lower caste villager who participates in the killing of upper caste militia men – you get a death sentence, or life imprisonment. If you are a upper caste militia man who participates in the killing of lower caste men, you walk free.
The Hindu in its report mentions that the then president of India, K.R. Narayanan, had called the Laxmanpur Bathe Massacre a ‘national shame’ in 1997. But ever since the 9th of October this year, the verdict itself seems to have rattled no significant nation wide television consciences. What Patliputra thinks today, Lutyens’ Delhi think tomorrow.
Newspaper correspondents and some news blog writers have been somewhat more alert, and at least one major television channel – NDTV, to my knowledge, has carried an ‘objective’ report of the acquittal.
However, although there were demonstrations in Patna, and even in Delhi – outside BIhar Bhavan in Chanakyapuri people stood in protest, signifying, yet again, that young people in Delhi do come out on to the streets when people in remote corners of the countryside feel that they have been denied justice, not a single television channel, thought it fit to report them.
(Some newspapers, such as the Times of India, did report the Patna demonstration, and the Hindu carried a photograph of a demonstration in Delhi nested within a report of the Aam Admi Party’s criticism of the Patna High Court Verdict)
Only three political parties – CPI(ML-Liberation), CPI(M) and Aam Aadmi Party have formally expressed criticism of the Patna High Court verdict. The news reportage of their criticism has been muted at best. Sharad Yadav, president of the JD(U), the party which rules Bihar, has been reported in the Business Standard as saying (characteristically) that the verdict called for higher reservations for lower castes in the Judiciary. He thought the verdict was ‘painful’. Which is somewhat surprising, since the government led by his party, under Nitish Kumar, did not choose to pursue the course that a robust prosecution would have. The Bihar Government has reportedly stated that it will contest the Patna High Court’s verdict. But given the way it has handled the prosecution so far, this contest is not likely to be more than a half-hearted formality.
It may be relevant to recall that Nitish Kumar ‘s government in Bihar (JD-U, at that time in coalition with the BJP) disbanded (in April 2006) the Justice Amir Das Commission of Enquiry set up to look into the links and the patronage that the Ranveer Sena militia had within the political parties in Bihar within six months of taking power in November 2005. This is perhaps one executive order that Nitish Kumar and Lalu Prasad Yadav would have been in agreement on, because the parties they led would both stand to lose were the Amir Das Commission’s findings on the links between the Ranveer Sena and political parties in Bihar to ever be made formally public. The Lalu Yadav-Rabri Devi regime, though it set up the Amir Das Commission under intense public pressure, was not averse to its findings being consigned to oblivion.
The links between Ranveer Sena thugs and politicians that the Amir Das Commission investigated cut across party lines, and included patronage networks deep within the BJP, the RJD, JD(U) and the Congress. It is unlikely, given the JD(U)’s known links to the Ranveer Sena, that it will pursue the Laxmanpur Bathe case with any seriousness.
Piyush Pushpak and Prabhakar Kumar, in their story on CNN IBN (see link above) had listed the politicians that were to be named by the Justice Amir Das Committee Report. This list is a veritable ‘who’s-who’ of Bihar politics, and even includes influential outsiders like Murli Manohar Joshi, the national level BJP leader from neighbouring Uttar Pradesh. This story, based on the access that CNN-IBN had to the unpublished Amir Das Commission Report is worth quoting in some detail to get a sense of the Ranveer Sena’s reach in Bihar politics.
“…There’s Sushil Modi , Kanti Singh, Akhileshwar Singh, Murli Manohar Joshi, and CP Thakur, among others,” Lala Ramchandra Prasad Verma, Personal Assistant to Chairman of Aamir Das Commission says.
(Sushil) Modi ((Bihar state BJP chief and erstwhile coalition partner of Nitish Kumar) has been charged with having a nexus with the Ranvir Sena and seeking help from the outfit during elections. Murli Manohar Joshi, has been charged with threatening the officer-in-charge of Paliganj Police station against taking action in the Haibaspur massacre.
Another BJP bigwig, C P Thakur, has been named for attending meetings of the outfit in 1997 ahead of the Haibaspur massacre and being a close aide of Ranveer Sena’s supremo Brahmeshwar Mukhia.
Akhilesh Singh; Union Minister of State, RJD has been charged with seeking help from the banned outfit during elections and funding Sena’s activities; Kanti Singh, Minister of State, and a close associate of former Bihar CM Lalu Prasad Yadav has been charged with seeking help from Sunil Pandey, a prominent Sena leader, during 1996 Parliamentary elections.
Others named in the report are senior RJD leader Shivanand Tiwari, former president of the Bihar Congress Committee Ram Jatan Sinha, Nand Kishore Yadav, a minister with the Nitish government, Arun Kumar, Ex MP, JD(U) Mundrika Singh Yadav, Former RJD minister Raghunath Jha, Former president of Samta Party, Narendra Pandey alias Sunil Pandey, Nitish Kumar loyalist and JD(U) MLA [‘Sunil/Narendra Pande’ is the sitting MLA from Tarari – a constituency under which the village of Baithani Tola – the site of another massacre perpetrated by the Ranveer Sena falls – writer, thanks to Kavita Krishnan for this information.], Krishna Sardar, former MLA Akhlaque Ahmed, former MLA Jagdish Sharma, former MPs, late Chandradev Prasad Verma and late Ram Lakhan Singh Yadav…”
‘Caste Army Has Politician Friends’ by Piyush Pushpak and Prabhakar Kumar, CNN-IBN, April 29, 2006
Apart from the token noises made by Sharad Yadav, Bihar’s mainstream politicians (RJD, BJP, Congress, JD-U) have maintained a studied silence, No one seems to have thought it fit to ask these otherwise voluble gentlemen why they have suddenly lost the ability to speak on Laxmanpur Bathe.
Incidentally, Brahmeshwar Singh Mukhiya the head of the Ranveer Sena, was never tried for his role in the Laxmanpur-Bathe massacre. The case against him was closed as he was said to be ‘absconding’ and ‘untraceable’. The fact that he was ‘absconding’ and ‘untraceable’ through all these years in the secure environs of Ara Central Prison (where he was then undergoing detention in connection with another case since 2002), as reported by the Hindu, as far back as in 2010, seems to have been overlooked by the criminal justice system in Bihar.
Governments came and went in Bihar, coalitions formed and dissolved, but the prosecution of Laxmanpur Bathe, once it reached the High Court, stayed exactly where it was – nowhere. Eventually, Brahmeshwar Singh Mukhiya was released on bail, acquitted and went on to form an organization called Akhil Bharatiya Rashtravadi Kisan Sangathan (All India Nationalist Farmers Organization). He was murdered on the 1st of June, 2012 by six unknown assailants in a ‘drive-by’ killing from a motorcycle. Brahmeshwar Singh Mukhiya was never properly investigated for Laxmanpur Bathe (or for any other massacre) that he had been allegedly involved in.
The carnage at Laxmanpur Bathe did not lack eyewitnesses. Rahi Gaikwad, a reporter for the Hindu, has done excellent reporting on how the witnesses and survivors feel in the wake of the verdict. Here is an extract from her report.
Laxman Rajvanshi is a survivor and eyewitness who testified in court. “Give us justice or drown us,” he said.Asked about the High Court’s observation that witnesses were unreliable, he said: “How could I not have recognised them? We stay in the same village and I see them about 10 times a day! We worked on their fields. We had no inkling of this attack, otherwise we would have been alert. The Nitish Kumar government is hand in glove with the feudal elements. He slotted us into the Mahadalit category, collected our votes and then cut our throats.”
‘After Acquittals, Fear Haunts Dalit Hamlet‘ by Rahi Gaikwad, Hindu, October 11, 2013
Deepu Sebastian Edmond, writes in from Arwal in the Indian Express –
…”I remember everything,” declared Munni Rajbansi, who was witness number 12. Munni watched as his wife, daughter-in-law, granddaughter and grandson, the infant Chhotelal, were murdered. “I saw them all clearly – they were carrying five-cell torches. I remember every detail,” he said.
The high court thought his evidence was “quite improbable” as it was unlikely he would have left his hiding place and also because there was no light. The court also junked the testimony of Binod Paswan, on whose complaint the whole case is based. Binod, the only witness to identify all 26 acquitted, lost seven of his family…
‘Acquittals Kindle New Fear in Bihar’s Caste Battleground’ by Deepu Sebastian Edmond, Indian Express, October 11, 2013
In FirstPost, too, we get a good report on survivors by Manoj Kumar.
…The villagers waiting for justice for more than a generation are in a shock after the verdict. “There is no law to protect us because we are poor,” said 67-year-old Laxman Rajvanshi who lost three members of his family in the brutal attack, allegedly by the Ranvir Sena, the militia of the upper castes. “We have been denied justice,” rues another villager Baudh Paswan, 70, saying, “Sarkar, judge, collector aur thana ne bata diya ki garib ki aukat bakari ki hoti hai (Everyone in the system has made us believe we are rubbish)”.The villagers are not wholly wrong. This is the fourth time in quick succession that all the accused in massacre cases have been acquitted by the court for “lack of evidence”. Earlier in July this year, nine of the 10 persons convicted for killing 34 Dalit villagers at Miyanpur village in Aurangabad district were acquitted by the Patna High Court, six years after they were convicted by a special district court. The massacre was carried out on June 16, 2000 by Ranvir Sena men in retaliation to the killing of upper caste people at Senari village in neighbouring Jehanabad district earlier that year.Again in March this year, all the 11 accused convicted by a lower court for the massacre of 10 CPI-ML sympathisers at Nagari village in Bhojpur district in November 1998 were acquitted by the high court. It was a similar verdict in case of the infamous Bathani Tola massacre in which all the 23 convicts declared guilty by a lower court for the cold-blooded killing of 21 dalit villagers were acquitted by the high court last year. The Bathani Tola massacre had taken place in Bhojpur district in July 1996. In all the incidents, Ranvir Sena men were allegedly involved but all walked free ultimately….
‘Laxmanpur Bathe Massacre: no one killed 58 Dalits’ by Manoj Kumar, First Post, October 11, 2013
Four massacres, Miyanpur, Nagari, Baithani Tola, Laxmanpur Bathe – 113 people killed, 48 accused acquitted, by the same high court in a very short span of time. Perhaps we should be looking for a pattern here.
The Court also directed the State to pay compensation to the next of kin of the 58 deceased and 4 injured of Laxmanpur Bathe from its fund. The Court ordered the trial court to calculate the amount of compensation after taking into account the age, income of the deceased and the injured in the light of the provisions of Section 163-A and II Schedule of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988. [State of Bihar v. Girja Singh, Death Reference No.5 of 2010, Decided on 9/10/2013] -SCC
Given the care with which it has read the relevant provisions of the Motor Vehicles Act, as opposed to attending to the statements of the witnesses and the circumstances of the case, perhaps, the learned judges of the Patna High Court had come to the conclusion that the Laxmanpur Bathe Massacre was something in the nature of a rather unfortunate automobile accident.
I do not, now, or ever will, support the awarding of the death penalty, not even to those guilty of the Laxmanpur Bathe massacre, or for that matter to those accused of murderous rape or acts of terror. Not because I am indifferent to these crimes and to their consequences, but because I believe that the death penalty institutionalizes and sanitizes the violence of state power in society in a way that I find unacceptable. But being opposed, in principle, to the death penalty does not mean, and cannot under any circumstances be read to mean, tacit complicity or agreement with a blatantly unjust acquittal. Had Justices V.N. Sinha and A.K. Lal of division bench of the Patna High Court chosen to apply their minds adequately to the matter before them they could have found many choices other than the simple awarding of death penalties available to them. These possibilities included the option of awarding sentences of rigorous life imprisonment and other penalties that would have fit the gravity of the crime, and at the same time could have effectively raised the bar of judicial sentencing in Indian courts by refusing to automatically go the ‘death penalty’ route in such circumstances. That they refused to do so, means that the justice system in Bihar, and by extension in India has undergone a serious setback.
The people of Laxmanpur Bathe will live in the knowledge that the men who butchered their kin and neighbors will now walk in the halo of impunity. Ordinarily, this would have concerned us all.
But then, we live in extraordinary times. Sachin Tendulkar has retired, and on Friday evening, as the week closed in TV land, Arnab Goswami, and the ‘nation’ simply did not want to know about much else. The nation certainly did not want to have its grip over geography challenged. It neither knew, nor wanted to know, where Laxmanpur Bathe was.
The next time this hyperventilating, televised, smug ‘nation’ wants to know ‘why X, Y, or Z is not being hanged’ for something that they did or did not commit, or why we are not slitting throats at the border in retaliation (as if we don’t), anyone with a single ethical bone in their body should simply refuse to heed its call.
55 thoughts on “The Nation did not want to know about Laxmanpur Bathe and that is why Sachin Tendulkar is ‘God’”
My dear sir…
Why this frustration over the retirement of Tendulkar? Of course the Bathe massacre was utterly unfortunate, but still, you will have to acknowledge that the contribution of Tendulkar towards this society is really huge, larger than any communist revolution or any blood thirsty Sena raised to oppose it.
You might have been in Bihar for a few days, for reporting or any socio-cultural activity of yours…but sir, you are not from Bihar. You have not lived in Bihar of 1997 and all those years of tyranny. But I have. I have witnessed the Bihar in front of my own eyes of which you have read news and seen clippings. I am talking of a Bihar in which after 6.30 pm of evening, no public conveyance would be available…and if you dared to venture out on the roads, this you would be doing at the risk of your life. And to tell you, I belong to the same caste of which the Sena claimed the affiliations. But then there was this one man Sachin Tendulkar. I remember myself watching the Sharjah innings at my nana’s place, on a black and white television running on tractor batteries ( for power naver came back then). And I remember whole village cheering up for this young lad….the Bhumihars, Brahmans and the Dalits alike, on that single television screen available ….you cant deny his impact, how ever your socialist intellect might force you…you just cant.
I dont talk theories… I live in reality, and i say what i see. If we need anything, we need more Tendulkars. More Tendulkars to dissolve the boundaries between North and South, Hindus and Muslims, the forwards and dalits…
Your intellect will deny this fact for the sake of argument…but deep within your heart, you know, that what i have written here, is true.
“the Bathe massacre was utterly unfortunate”
Traffic accidents are unfortunate, not systematic, cold blooded murder. Justice for the marginalized was one of the promises of the Constitutional Republic of India, and clearly, now that the ‘nation’ are more concerned about a retiring cricketer than a gross miscarriage of justice, these promises are all fake. Meaning that the Constitutional Republic of India is fake.
Perhaps we should tear up the Constitution and get ‘God’ to write us a new one.
First of all you have not read the article carefully. Next, you havent read my reply carefully either. Moreover, you have answered me in rage. Cool down brother.
I once again repeat for you that the injustice, the partiality you are talking about, i have spent my childhood watching those things in front of my eyes, for i have lived right in the eye of the storm. Every coin has two sides. Do you know about the killing of Bhumihars by the People’s War Group? The caste used to be asked and people were shot dead once it was revealed that they belonged to the upper caste. Was justice delivered in that case? You talk of social security? In Chapra, the constituency of you know who, we did not turn on the bulb in front of our houses in night lest the house comes in attention. Every day. in every examination, despite scoring excellent marks, we get excluded and someone incompetent gets selected…we are suffering for a crime we did not commit, our ancestors did a few centuries back. Injustice is every where and in every form. This is not the first time, or the last time that people have rose against each other. The need is to forget all that has happened and to move on. The reason why people like Tendulkar, Lata, Amitabh bind this nation, lies in the very definition of the word nation…wish you knew it.
But then, you are one of those frustrated lot who believe that this nation has failed and nothing can be done….the apostles of pessimism. This republic is not fake. And even if it is fake, i will like to see what solution do you propose. I know you have none. People like you have none…you have only have the problems, not the solutions.
Constitution is not a child’s primer that every tom and dick can suggest to tear and throw away. Once you go through it, you will get to know how much great are the principles laid in it. How much effort was taken in compiling it…and how it runs this nation which will break into fragment even for an hour that constitution stops to act.
Grow up dude…get a life. Mahatma Gandhi said that if you want change, you should be the change…so please, dont be the problem…be the solution.
hope you might like to read this…written by me..
we are just suggesting the true application of that constitution.. and ur comments are far to personal and in one way you are saying that because of the atrocities of PWG towards upper caste who throughout the history have exploited the dalits was wrong then this unfortunate incident where justice was denied is not a bigger issue, and also because this is a “common” incident in this country (whose constitution was designed by not any tom, dick and harry) hence is it of lesser importance than sachin’s retirement…and dear it is definitely not you fault to be born in an upper caste..and as a true believer of egalitarianism you should fight for more colleges, more jobs, more opportunities so that no one is excluded.
Bhai…you also live on the same earth on which i live…
As far as i can see, a common indian student does not come to know about the intensity of this caste system until he comes to the 12th standard and he starts giving competitive exams….aage aap swayam samjhdaar ho..
I didnt justify the killing…a life lost is a life lost…i have seen people die.
I just justify the relevance of Tendulkar…in these hours of crisis, we need people like these.
@aryanzzblog U r also frustrated abt reservation. reservation is not an alm being given to low caste people. The injustice n systematic exploitation was such that it can never heal the slavish mentality inflicted on dalits, who along with ST are original inhabitants of this country. Many upper castes r taking reservation benefit meant for dalits through devious ways. Upper caste teachers in colleges, schools and universities r ruining dalit students by failing them and awarding low marks. Even the education system in the country is superfluous.Majority of upper caste students from CBSE board get more marks because the pattern comprises very less total marks of 500-600 marks and more objective questions, whereas the state boards where majority of dailit students study has more than 1000 total marks and subjective questions that making scoring difficult. It is deliberate ploy to systematically oppress lower caste people.
@aryanzzblog I must compliment you on a very honest comment.
The article is laced with frustration and I can relate to that, but making the public ashamed of getting emotional at Sachin’s retirement serves no purpose. Sachin does not represent an individual but a feeling of nostalgia for the country.
Taking nothing away from a what is a very well-written article, I wish it did not start with brow-beating the nation. Do we stop celebrating an event that brings us together?
This manner of opening the article just distracts us from the real content.
I for myself did not know about the ‘Laxmanpur Bathe’ acquittal, and am glad to have come across this.
Sports has its place in our culture, in every nation’s culture. I can’t understand how Sachin could be more important. He is important to Indians – not to Australians, Brits (even in Sports). India’s males need this memory, this personality. The last 25% of Sachin’s carreer (also coinciding with India’s ascendancy on the cricket arena) has also coincided with a major decline in interest in cricket **outside** of India (meaning Australia, Windies, SA). Competition is much weaker now. Long story short – Sachin is over-rated. No olympic golds, played only by about 10 countries, 5 of which are weak performers.
So, yes, Sachin pales in comparison in front of atrocities. Sachin is a form of escapism, just like Bollywood is. It has its importance, but don’t make it bigger than it needs to be.
It is shocking how you are mixing up Tendulkar’s ‘preeminence’ with such an in human act as that of Laxmanpur Bathe! Tendulkar may be a hero, nay, god to his fans but that number is minuscule compared to those who are outside the opiate of cricket. If television debate is all about a mere game like cricket and the retirement of one of its very able practitioners in preference to unimaginable human rights violation and other ills having a direct bearing on the citizens of the country then the society where this happens cannot be termed as matured. People forget their identities in cinema halls or when they are engaged in revelries too, momentary loss of identity brought about by a revelrous situation cannot be seen as a kind of awakening that will thoroughly dismantle the deep seated divisions along caste lines.
God bless you if you think so….
What i learnt from history was that the likes of Garibaldi and Mazzini used folktales and songs to awaken the people in the Europian revolution, and the interesting fact is that the people rose.
So i dared to think that we can use cinema and sport to bind people together…but now i think i was wrong…i think history is wrong…
@arryanzblogg- this piece of article i guess is not written against sachin tendulkar, it is just to point out that there was such a huge miscarriage of justice in this country which is not only against the ethos of humanity but also against the essence of the constitution of this country, and still the media choose to neglect it and precisely because it was not as catchy and TRP gainer event as compared to sachin’s retirement. But i would like to know what are the contributions of sachin tendulkat towards this society as u have mentioned that its far more important than communist revolution and some blood thirsty sena, and i think that there is no event far more important and great than, when humans beings are denied justice that too in plain sight. It is the inherent problem of indian society that its members identify nationalism with cricket and other things which places india on the world stage but choose to forget or repress those incidents which are shameful and indicates that this country is not as great as we assume it to be. And i guess even GOD will approve of this that the dennial of justice in Batthe massacre was more important than his retirement.
are you justifying the cold blooded murder of 58 people and the patna high court decision of acquitting all the accused? May be because nobody from your family was involved. had there been any, then I could have accepted your justification that the news of Tendulkar’s retirement has got greater response than the denial of justice to laxmanpur bathe massacre.
Of all, i will like to reply you first….
My family has lost people in all this mister…dont you utter a word about that. we know what is the worth of blood, whether it be of a forward or a dalit. My point is, why only laxmanpur bathe….why cant i find any article on this particular blog on the incident on Dantewada, Chattisgarh in which 76 sleeping CRPF jawans were killed in clod blood, why dont i find an article on how explosives were stuffed in bodies…
Have you ever seen a man whose face was attacked with an axe…a gandaasa? I have seen….there is a scar running down his skull, from between his eyes splitting his nose in two and upto the chin…its horrible.
No murder can be justified on any grounds…but we need to forget…and to move on….and for that, i need tendulkar..
Excuse me, you don’t live in reality – tendulkar’s cricket does not feed the one third of India’s population that lives below poverty line – in fact it squeezes millions of Rupees from necessities to luxuries. There are only a few who can have ethical backbones and see across their own caste and class interests.
Keep out madam….or say something sensible.
The question raised by the writer of this article or the lady here, is not a matter to make fun of. You claim that you live in reality (juxtaposed to the author), but do you know that Tendulakar, is no more than a poster boy of this system that survives on creating the structural inequalities due to which states like Bihar remain backward (eg. without power so that you watched the man on TV by tractor-batteries!). Did Tendulakar – your icon of integrity – ever speak about these inequalities? Never. On the contrary, his talent merely serves the system by creating myths of integrity and national pride. You can move on from all this because of your privileges and nothing else. After all, you or your children will never die of malnutrition. So who cares! Just like Tendulkar who has been raised like God by bankrupt minds.
Thanks. CPI-ML never fought for agrarian crisis in Magadh. In Bihar cultivater mostly holding medium size land. They characterized them landlords for their political gain. When CPI active in this region never create bitterness among farmers and agriculture labour. But after 1970 some pseudo communist starts caste politics for electroal gain, and away from real issue. Such forces strengthen the BJP &CASTE based political parties in BIHAR .Very shameful for remembering those days both CPI-ML & RANVEER SENA blood thirsty for each other. Make struggle not based on caste indentity but crisis of agrarian issue.BIHAR GOVERNMENT SHOULD APPEAL SC & REVIEW ALL THE SAME RELATED CASE SO THAT INJUSTICE NOT MEET TO ANY COMMUNITY.
If one Tendulkar can’t eradicate the boundry than many tendulkar will also can’t eradicate this boundry. The leaders use the common people for their gain and people like you support them to make the wall between all the religion. Shame on you. Due respect to Tendulkar, political parties and leaders want this common people get engaged in this kind of activities so that they never know the real issues which are making people’e life miserable.
The point that is being made in this article is that how the mainstream media led by corporate motives chooses to stay silent over something as outrageous as this, that how the space that could be used for conscience building is used to instil consumerism through events like IPL. Do you have any explanation for the fact that even though more than 70% of the Indian people are still dependent on agriculture, still the news about rural India and functioning of the schemes there like NREGA,PDS etc. do not even cover 30% of that space ? The mainstream media remains mainstream because certain issues and events have made been made the conscience of the nation through proper propaganda, while issues of caste, class, gender , structural violence by state etc. never find a place in this stupid media..
Well, reading your reply i dare not comment on your intellect or rather the lack of it. You are comparing apples and oranges MR. Enlightened the article centrally talks about the way such an important event was overshadowed by the media for something else which was no where as important. I am a Sachin fan to the heart, and dont take slightest offence in the way the article is written. Its not Sachin the article is targetted to but the media. I hope you start eating a bit of Chavanprash or whatever you consider increases intellect according to you. Hope your next reply will be more enriching
Yes.. i think we need more tendulkars and if that is not enough to numb us then we need opium and after we develop tolerance to that heroine and cocaine..
Cause addicts don’t think.. they just enjoy the addiction
Thank you for bringing it to the notice. I guess it has happened a million times. When ever the convict is associated with politicians, rich gang of Indians or politicians themselves such incidents take place. Probably this again highlights that media should be independent and paid media is not a small issue as it is thought to be.
In the comment section some individuals have shown discomfort at the reference to Tendulkar. But why this discomfort? I too love Tendulkar’s game. But that doesn’t make me uneasy to the writer’s position. The writer is not creating the contrast between the massacare and Sachin. This binary exists in the media and in the nation it uphelds. How can one, otherwise, explain the gross under-reporting of the judgement? And for the argument that we need more and more Tendulkars to overcome all the divisions, one can only say that it’s a very funny and naive idea. In fact, while Tendulkar has been driving balls to the boundary for quite a long time and, indeed, fans from various communities have been applauding him all through it, yet here and there people are getting killed, trampled, burnt in the name of religion, community, for the sake of nation’s integrity, and to pave the way for capital. I know that ‘more and more Tendulkar’-kind of argument is part of the logic that we need more and more artist, players, actors, singers etc etc to overcome the nation’s plight. I, really, don’t mind having them. But, many of them end up foolishly supporting or giving pose with a mass-killer here and hriday-samrat there.
Yeh…its a funny idea…
But based on this very funny idea, Olympics are held…
Perfect headline. This is basic nature of this castist country.
Though Sachin has been a great champion,the comparison,i suppose,lends a stark perspective to the story,a perspective that cannot be missed.
Let us see when and with how much detail have Kafila.org covered the stuffing of explosives in bodies of injured soldiers by the freedom fighter naxalites and its implications on “human rights”.
I find it incorrigible that kafila takes a high moral ground on selective issues without having to apply the same standards to itself.
All this aricle in whole, and at least the headline could have been as effective without dragging Sachin Tendulkar into this matter.
Request to editors: Please do not be drowned by sycophancy and looking to pick lower hanging fruits at the cost of diminishing the reputation of kafila.org.
In Rome poor people didn’t have enough to eat. But they were kept entertained by
shows in the Colosseum by gladiators fighting animals and each other. It kept people distracted from their misery. Both rich and poor enjoyed the shows. I don’t think it signified any deep unity in their intrinsically unjust society.
Appreciation of sports or arts by rich and poor alike is no substitute for justice and does not signify much. So if someone says both Dalits and Brahmins enjoyed watching Tendulkar ….so what?
Very well put Mr. Balachandran.
The IPL as we continue to see, is the entertainment industry’s croneyism at work. All the management types, including Bollywood stars, who see this as harmless, and cite the football leagues of Spain and Italy as hallmarks of professionalism, ought to bear in mind that both were instituted and supported by fascist dictators.
Here this translates into keeping the growing middle class happy and distract everyone from the real problems facing the poor of this country…
Wish it away! Have fun! Shop, Eat, Celebrate!
This shit on the side is just collateral damage, a few million dying here, a few there, some this side, some that side. It’s part of the process once you free the market and let the dogs out. Then everything steadies itself, and poverty eventually disappears, you clear away the have-nots and put in place have at various stages of the ladder above basic poverty.
On Sachin: I stopped watching Sachin Tendulkar after he swallowed the media hype of chasing his 100th century. That was sad. But then I remembered his cockiness at 17 against a damn good pace attack, and said, hey, he’s Sachin, you got to give him another chance.
So I waited for him to reach his 99th century and waited for the words I wanted to hear him say in a widely attended.press conference attended by the world and its mother. He would say this in three languages, Hindi, Marathi and English, and do this with great style.
See, he would say in his rising falsetto, I am sure I can get my century of centuries, but I am sorry to inform you that I am retiring – and, he will add, laughing, I am doing this, unlike Sir Donald Bradman who I admire and respect, without scoring a duck.
While the oohs and aahs erupt in a chorus of noise and mayhem, twenty mikes shoved in front of his nose, cameras flashing, he will treat them like he did the bouncers and worse. He will put his hand up, stare unblinkingly down the pitch and they will all retreat.
He will smile again, his voice will rise a full octave in excitement. I dedicate my retirement to the young people of this country, girls or boys, below the age of 17. I want one of you to make that century of centuries for me.
This call would have been heard. Overnight, there would have been at least several million young Indian wanting to reach a century of centuries…
Sorry, no disrespect intended but I retired that guy long ago…
How many times do you want him to say that….?
He already has…several times…many boys already have listened to him… Virat Kohli.
Sachins never retire…
Good points in the article, and thank you for bringing this crucial issue to light. However I can’t help but feel that as much as TV channels focus on Sachin for TRPs, Sachin has been used in this article only to get hits.
9 PM news (and Times in particular) as everyone knows only represents a small subsection of “pop” news items that are big ticket and that gather eyeballs. But a quick search on Laxmanpur on google news reveals that this incident has in fact been reported upon by all of the credible print media – The Hindu, Hindustan Times, Indian Express, Economic Times, Business Standard, Deccan Chronicle including even Times of India.
Of course it would be great to see more focus on these issues on our 9 PM news. But that’s like expecting all Bollywood movies to be intelligent gripping dramas like Ship of Theseus. I feel Sachin’s name has been dragged into this article and its headline just to make people click on it.
This Mr. Sengupta always write about issues standing above everyone else on moral ground and looks like he has a PR follow up planned for everything he writes. Like Modi, he has people who start defending him, does not matter how bad his argument is and in his own replies, he always try to tell others how much more he knows than everyone else and points at grammatical mistakes of others, but keep quite on his own mistakes,
if someone points it out.
Mr. sengupta, if you are really concerned about all the issues you write about. Why don’t you for some time at-least take time away from the luxurious practice of making and selling Art globally and start working on the the issues you always raise for the conscious of others. Believe me, it’s not easy to work on these issues and large part of society does not even want to know about it and elites likes you by writing about them with a dis-connect do it to be on a morally high ground to talk about this stuff while having expensive lac hola every evening sitting somewhere in the world. People like us who work to change gets really annoyed by your mind less writings. Kindly restrain from doing such writings. thanks!!
PS. (Like you do google before writing a reply or a new piece. I did it it this time to know what all you have done in life and who are the kind of mostly young and few mature people in your PR machine)
Consider that perhaps the High Court Judges who acquitted the guilty may themselves have been under threats of death to themselves or their families.
All High cort Judges are hindus they are saving there Hindu cousins
Just wanted to add one fact to this excellent article that expresses what so many of us are feeling: Sunil Pande named in the list of netas with Ranveer Sena links is also a JDU MLA from Tarari – the constituency in which Bathani Tola falls.
Many thanks for your comment, and thank you for the information on Sunil/Narendra Pande, the post has been updated with this information,
I am guilty of silence on this massacre as well as the verdict. The funny part is I am anti-persecution and yet I have let mere ignorance be the reason for me to not comment on the matter. The case has so many people to track to understand properly, that I gave it a cursory reading and moved on to subjects I know more about. I, of all people should realize what we “know” is made available largely due to what people are willing to give voice to.
Ignorance is no excuse and what has happened is an atrocity and one we would have hoped was left behind in the transition from Lalu to Nitish. The courts have a responsibility toward all people and if people can get away with murder, it makes the country that much worse for all. Regardless of religion or caste.
Missed one important Bindu:
Your banal texts are read by people who already knows about the issue you write about after spending evenings with theme mostly in Delhi not while selling the banal Art you do all the time. You can research this aspect by going to the Facebook accounts of few of your followers/ friends. Kafila, Sarai Readerlist, Your Facebook is your readership. Try writing outside your PR group and your own small little community of 63! You may get more than 3000 hits, but people open it multiple times, they click the link on the mail they receive and feel sad about you every time without even reading your it, they forward it to a friend to ask when will you stop writing this or to make jokes about you. Even your critics are the same from last decade. Everything is as banal about your writing as the content on prime time television you watch to listen to people you know and the news you know.
“Two eyes for an eye begets justice” –Kanshiram
Dalits should sell there TV sets and buy Arms –Kanshi Ram
Precisely the same shame in which 8000 sikhs were killed in India, over 3k in Delhi alone, and the way the government shielded the accused and the lowest possible rate of conviction. It is also a pity that such high profile cases such as that of Lalu and even the 2G scam where Raja is accused (not upper caste) took over 17 years in fodder scam, it took almost 15 years for this unfateful conclusion It makes me wonder whether does it matters whether someone is from upper caste or lower caste, but it is all dirty dance of politics to keep people divided.
Any type of hegemony will have awkward repercussions and collateral damage.
Ambedkar demanded Independence, not Reservations to 300 million India’s Untouchable People in 4th August 1932 Round Table Conference.
Bania Gandhi betrayed them.
Google “Independent Nation For 300 Million India’s Untouchable People”.
Who are you ? I have seen you on every news item regarding Dalit Killings.
Jai Bhim !! Jai Hind !!
Afraid to take your Merit and your Caste share of land as per 4th August 1932 Round Table Conference Resolution (Communal Award) and build your own nation?
Police & our Judiciary both are corrupt. CM Nitish Kumar must explain the reasons of winding up of enquiry commission. There is no justice to Dalits in India. That is the major reason why they join Naxalism. India can never become a Super-power as long as any section of society like Dalits is suppressed.
1. The article mentions in the start that since 1976 there were 80 massacares of Dalits against 15 massaceres of upper caste populations.
2. It mentions that the in 1992, Dalit Groups masscaring Bhumihar were convicted. It can be understood in today’s context of exoneration of Bhumihars in case of Dalit Massacre.
3. Court has questioned the trustability of the eyewitness belonging to the village as Rahi Reports it. Therefore, clearly signifying the institutional biasness towards Dalits. It stays in the minds of few commenting here as well. They are blind to what they see regularly at the same time frustrated to see them rising.
4. The referene here is made about the polits of Media where they have chosen to discuss Sachin over Bathe. It could have happenned that both the things could have got attention as required.
5. People drawing inference, “Sachin is being criticized” should first understand that the article talks of choices being made by media being the “fourth Pillar” of democracy.
6. Complete disagreement with the proclamation that “1997” was dreadful or the whole 15 years were dreadful for that matter. Fear comes in from the very fact that you expect a reaction to any wrongs you have done. I being from that same period hardly felt or experienced anything of that sort. Complete exxageration. I can also explain the whole situation that moreover is like a planned governance failure for a reason than governance failure. I can get you as many people who would give you excellent bites for the tenure with really clean background.
Some of you might like to read Ramchandra Guha’s reply on this
I think he sums up our requirements brilliantly.