The ghar-wapsi of Mr. Nitish Kumar and the rupture of the grand alliance in a ‘not-so-grand’ manner came as a major surprise to all. Political pundits have expressed much on it with views ranging from ‘credibility crisis and convenient conscience’ to ‘the anti corruption crusade’. Without getting into debate pertaining to the socio-political ramification of the step taken by Mr Kumar and the political perception generated in this regard, what interests us is the legal framework dealing with the issue. Although, there does not seem to exist definite legal provisions addressing the issue, the closest legislation in this regard is ‘Anti defection’ law. But for specific reasons, the anti-defection law does not seem to provide a remedy in such instances of ‘de facto defections’. Continue reading Politics of Convenience and the Anti-Defection Law: Anmolam and Farheen Ahmad→
The recent “Toppers” scam in Bihar has served as a breeding ground to denigrate Biharis for their alleged corruption and backwardness. This is not the first time that Bihari bashing has surfaced as a favourite pastime of the self-indulgent elites of India. In fact, it is a continuous process with its periodic shifts. Ironically, the people who abuse people for the belief that India has gone intolerant and the people who denigrate Bihar constitute largely the same set of people reflecting the illusory, self-satisfying belief of Indian superiority and the unsuitability, other-worldliness of Bihar to suit that image of India.
Most of the trending stereotypes about Bihar, thanks to social media, seek to gain its legitimacy under the cloak of backwardness in Bihar. What is missing in the entire brouhaha and the mockery of Biharis is an attempt to delve into the processes that operate beneath the backward nature of Bihar.
One of the stark reasons, which the article would focus upon, for the alleged backwardness is that Biharis have failed to forge a concrete sub-national identity which can infuse a sense of provincial ownership over the region. It is no surprise then that elites of Bihar often hate to be termed as Biharis and, in fact, actively take part in Bihar bashing. They even go to the extent of denying their roots and to vindicate that they come up with different kind of explanations and excuses to distance themselves from the ignominy of being a Bihari. They cower down to the societal pressures of conformity so that they can live a relatively comfortable though pride-less personal life. They use English or for that matter, Hindi – both hegemonic languages – to show their progressive nature. It is an index of the lack of sub-national identity that neither of the official languages of the state, Hindi or Urdu, is the mother-tongue of a single major population group. This is despite the fact that there were languages like Maithili, which had their own literary heritage – and this leads to isolation and disillusionment to the people who do not share the language of Hindi. Continue reading Bihari Bashing and ‘Backwardness’ – A Case for Bihari Sub-Nationalism: Mayank Labh→
The ‘Operation Black Rain’ film released by the web portal Cobrapost, based on secretly filmed boasts of the Ranveer Sena terrorists with detailed accounts of massacres of Dalit and oppressed caste labourers in the 1990s, has only confirmed public secrets that everyone in Bihar already knew.
Predictably enough, the Patna High Court has acquitted all the 26 persons convicted by the trial court in the Laxmanpur-Bathe massacre case. This is the fourth successive instance of wholesale acquittal of convicts by the Patna High Court in cases of massacre of the oppressed rural poor in Bihar. Once again eye witness accounts have been dismissed as being not fully credible and convicts granted acquittal on ‘benefit of doubt’. The judges could not however disprove the fact that 58 people had been killed and post-mortems done, and hence they asked the trial court to calculate the compensation payable to the nearest kin of the victims as per relevant provisions the Motor Vehicles Act on the basis of the minimum wage prevalent in the area at the time of the massacre. They of course did not forget to add that any ex gratia paid after the massacre should be deducted from the amount of compensation!
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.
मीना कुमारी पुलिस हिरासत में हैं.उन पर भारतीय दंड संहिता की धारा 302 और 120 के तहत मामला दर्ज किया गया है. यानी उन पर छपरा के गंडामन गाँव के नवसृजित प्राथमिक विद्यालय में पढने वाले तेईस बच्चों की ,जो स्कूल का मध्याह्न भोजन खाने के बाद मारे गए, इरादतन ह्त्या और उनकी ह्त्या के लिए आपराधिक षड्यंत्र का आरोप है.उन पर मुकदमा चलने और साक्ष्यों के स्थापित होने के पहले ही बिहार के मुख्यमंत्री ने अपने दल के कार्यकर्ताओं के समक्ष शिक्षा मंत्री के षड्यंत्र के सिद्धांत को दुहराया है. आज , जब मैं जनसत्ता में छपी अपनी टिप्पणी को देख रहा हूँ, मुख्यमंत्री ने इसे दुर्घटना मानने से इनकार किया है. लेकिन वे इसे बाहरी साजिश का नतीजा मानते हैं. पहले ही इशारे किए जा चुके हैं. मीना कुमारी के पति के राष्ट्रीय जनता दल से सम्बन्ध की बात बार-बार कही जा रही है. कहा जा रहा है कि दुर्घटना वाले दिन वह स्कूल आया था और यह भी कि भोजन सामग्री की खरीदारी वही किया करता था. पहले यह खबर लगातार चलाई गई कि भोजन-सामग्री उसकी दुकान से खरीदी जाती थी. सच यह है कि उसकी कोई दुकान नहीं है. यह भी कोई नहीं पूछ रहा कि आखिर मीना कुमारी का पति सामान न खरीदता तो और कौन था यह काम करने वाला? क्या यह काम भी मीना कुमारी को ही करना चाहिए था?
Let us recount some facts to understand the circumstances that led to the death of 23 children at a primary school at Gandaman, Chapra . First, some micro-facts :
The primary school struck by the tragedy is a NAV SRJIT VIDYALAYA, a newly created school. In fact, it is a break away from an earlier existing middle school in the village.
This school, if you care to call it by this name, is a single room structure with a floor full of potholes.
There is neither a kitchen nor a facility to store the raw food-items in the school.
There is no source of clean drinking water in the school. There is a hand pump there but you get hard water from it.
Meena Kumari was NOT the headmistress of the school . She was only the teacher –in-charge of the school.
The school has two women teachers including Meena Kumari. The other one was on maternity leave at the time of the incident. Meena Kumari was the only teacher left to look after more than 60 children, from class one to five who study there , a duty which includes teaching, supervising Mid-Day Meal (MDM) and other administrative duties. Continue reading The buck should not stop with Meena Kumari→