(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)
June 17, 2012
BRAHMESWAR Singh is dead. In fact, justice is not served to all those who were killed by the Ranvir Sena, which he had headed, with this murder. Whoever thought that by killing this individual, atrocities and discrimination perpetuated in the name of caste would be ended, is grossly mistaken. The events subsequent to the murder, prove this fact.
Immediately after the murder and during the funeral procession, followers of Brahmeswar Singh went on a violent spree. A hostel in which nearly 200 dalit students were staying was attacked and all of them were forced out of the hostel. Till date, they are not yet back in the hostel. Apart from this, government and private property was damaged and even people were assaulted. The 'incidents', in terms of number may be small, but they were carried out with a sinister design. The murder, together with the post-murder violence had 'succeeded' in 'instilling' fear among the dalits. Dalits across the state, particularly in those areas where the Ranvir Sena treaded earlier and had witnessed massacres during its 'active' days are once again living with an intense sense of fear. They are afraid of 'retaliation' by the upper-caste landlords, who support the Ranvir Sena and fear they would be targeted once again for no fault of theirs.
Some of the political parties are trying to 'shine their hay' through reaping political dividends from this gruesome murder. They are trying to further vitiate the atmosphere and polarise the society by widening the caste divide. The state president of the BJP is on record, praising the slain Brahmeswar Singh as 'Gandhi'. Nothing can get more ironical than this. A man who was involved in more than 277 cases of gruesome assaults on dalits and other downtrodden sections of the society, is called 'Gandhi'. Perhaps, this is the BJP's understanding of Gandhi! More than the irony, the crucial point is the idea to use the murder to rally all the upper-caste sections in the state under its banner and consolidate its political space. To serve this purpose, it does not even shy away from calling Brahmeswar Singh as 'Gandhi' and a 'martyr'.
Another point that needs to be noted is the role played by the Nitish Kumar's government. The chief minister, who is actively promoting himself and his administration as 'messiah' of development and prosperity, has been once again thoroughly exposed. The way they had handled the prosecution of Brahmeswar Singh, the acquittals of the 23 accused in the Bathani Tola massacre case, and now in the way in which the police remained mute spectators when the violence was unleashed after the murder, expose their hollow claims. All the claims of the government, which states that it is working hard for the upliftment of 'mahadalits' and other downtrodden sections of the society are proved false. The spineless manner in which the administration behaved also establishes the fact that the government is clearly on the side of the rich and the upper-caste. Moreover, it is failing to even establish the rule of the law of the land.
What is happening in
The ruling classes in
According to a recent
government report (2009), in the
state, 66 per cent of the total land is owned by 96.5 per cent
of marginal or
small farmers. On the other hand, medium and large farmers who
3.5 per cent of the landowning community, own roughly 33 per
cent of the total
land. The landlords in
Brahmeshwar Singh was clear in his philosophy and this was reflected in the Bathani Tola massacre. Eight children, 12 women and one man, most of them landless agricultural labourers belonging to dalit and muslim families, were killed in Bathani Tola – because it is the women who give birth to children, who in turn proliferate these movements for land and equality. This philosophy is also reflected in the gruesome manner in which the massacre was carried out – the womb of a pregnant women was ripped, foetus slashed, nine-month-old child tossed into the air and chopped. This was repeated in Laxmanpur Bathe, Shankarbigha, Miyapur and many other villages that shook the entire state in the 1990s.
Brahmeshwar Singh, remodelled himself and his organisation to suit the 'sensibilities' of the 21st century. He started leading the 'nationalist', Akhil Bharatiya Rashtriya Kisan Sangathan. Though the 'organisation' was remodelled and its working made more 'sophisticated', its core philosophy remained the same – opposition to landless, dalits, Muslims, communists and to all the policies of land reform and redistribution. His acquittal, the handling of the Bathani Tola massacre, the manner in which the violence was organised in the state after the murder of Brahmeshwar Singh and the muted reaction of the state administration – all reflect the class character of the 'State' – the State is to protect the interests of the upper-caste and the landlords.
The personal violence
and vendetta indulged by the
Maoists failed to help the cause of the landless dalits and
Muslims in the
state. Of course, the forces/persons behind the murder of
Brahmeshwar Singh are
not yet known. According to some reports the murder is the
'handiwork of some
insiders'. Whoever has committed it, had not helped the cause
of the dalits, Muslims
and landless either, as we witness the violence aftermath of
the murder. What
it had succeeded in doing is to rake up once again the 'old'
It is upon the progressive and democratic minded people of the state to thwart all these attempts to inflame the state with sectarian passions. If these kinds of politics are allowed full play, they would break the unity of the exploited and marginalised sections and weaken their fight against the social oppression and economic exploitation. This should not be allowed to happen at any cost and resisted with all the might.