The hunting hounds: Jail killings in Bihar

Prison, a painting by Vincet van Gogh

NK SINGH

Published in Frontier, 28 August 1971

Bihar is closely following the pattern set up by West Bengal; jail-killings have started here too. But, thank God, the iron has not yet entered the soul of Biharis.

There was much hue and cry — termed by a local newspaper as “wide public resentment” over the firing in Patna Jail on July 7 and in Hazaribagh Jail on July 25 in which 2 and 17 prisoners were killed respectively.

At both these places the killings were attributed to alleged “jail-breaking” attempts by Naxalite prisoners. Continue reading “The hunting hounds: Jail killings in Bihar”

दिल की लालटेन तो हर हाल में जलेगी: जीते या हारें, लालू नेता नहीं स्टाइल हैं

Caricature of Laloo Yadav by KV Gautam

Secret behind Laloo Yadav’s success, and failure

NK SINGH

Published in Aha Zindagi, March 2005

अहा! जिंदगी के लिए पटना में लालू प्रसाद यादव के साथ नरेन्द्र कुमार सिंह

बिहार के गांवों में ‘छोटी‘ जाति के गरीब-गुरबों में मनोरंजन के दो सबसे लोकप्रिय साधन हैं. एक है बिदेसिया जो गीत-संगीत और नाच-गाने से भरपूर नौटंकी का एक फार्म है. दूसरा है लौंडा नाच, जिसमें बाईजी की जगह लड़कियों की वेष-भूषा में – कमसिन लड़के पेट्रोमेक्स की रोशनी में नाचते हैं।

पर वह बिदेसिया हो या लौंडा नाच, एक चरित्र उसमें अनिवार्यतः रहता है – लबरा, विकटा या नकटा।

नकटे की भले ही नाक कटी हो, चेहरा आड़ा-टेढ़ा हो, पर बड़ों-बड़ों पर अपना मसखरापन आजमाने से वह बाज नहीं आता।

जब विकटा स्वागत शैली में क्रूर, कंजूस जमींदार पर अपने व्यंग्यबाण छोड़ता है तो उसकी बोली न केवल लोगों को गुदगुदाती है बल्कि कही अंदर गहराई तक छू भी जाती है।

पारदर्शी धूर्तता से भरपूर नकटा बुरी ताकतों से लड़ता है और हीरो की अनुपस्थिति में बीच-बीच में नाचकर भी लोगों का मनोरंजन करता है।

भारतीय राजनीतिक रंगमंच पर एक हीरो की लगातार चल रही अनुपस्थिति का लालू यादव भरपूर फायदा उठा रहे हैं। वे अपना और अपनी विकटा शैली का महत्व अच्छी तरह पहचान गए हैं। Continue reading “दिल की लालटेन तो हर हाल में जलेगी: जीते या हारें, लालू नेता नहीं स्टाइल हैं”

Death on doorstep: Floods may cause famine in Bihar

Credit – Public Resource Org

NK SINGH

Published in Young Indian, 19 August 1971

DEATH in the form of dreadful floods, which is bound to be followed by large-scale famine, is knocking at the doorsteps of Bihar populace.

In its SOS to New Delhi, the Bihar Government has revealed that about 10 million people have been affected by severe floods in 5989 villages in 13 out of 17 districts of the State in an area of 12,331 square miles.

This has broken the backbone of the much-expected Green Revolution.

A little over 90 percent of bhadai crop have been lost in the affected areas, districts of Patna, Gaya, Shahabad, Santhal Parganas, and Palamu in South Bihar and Bhagalpur, Munger, Purnea, Saharsa, Muzaffarpur, Darbhanga, Saran and Champaran in North Bihar.

The mighty flood is likely to cause more havoc in the coming days. Continue reading “Death on doorstep: Floods may cause famine in Bihar”

Fifty shades of Red : Ideological struggle among Naxalite groups in Bihar

Busts of Lenin, Stalin, Mao, Lin Piao and Charu Mazumdar outside a Naxalbari school. Pic courtesy Indian Express

NK SINGH

Frontier, 14 August 1971

An ideological struggle is on in Bihar. Mr. S. N. Singh, the State Secretary of the CPI (ML), has declared a virtual war against party theoretician, Mr. Charu Mazumdar. The State Secretary has “expelled” many of the followers of Mr. Mazumdar, while he himself has been disowned by the Mazumdar camp.

The war is on. But it is being fought on a purely ideological level.

Ideological differences are not new for the Marxist-Leninist — to be more precise, Maoist — ranks in Bihar. From the very beginning, say from the days of the “Naxalbari Sahayata Samiti’ and the ‘Coordination Committee of Communist Revolutionaries’, there have been many groups, popularly known as ‘Naxalites’, claiming faith in the Maoist dictum of armed revolution. Continue reading “Fifty shades of Red : Ideological struggle among Naxalite groups in Bihar”