In past two days, I have been shocked to see the hue and cry of people paying homage to Brameshwar Singh who was slain by unknown assailants in Arrah yesterday. Any killing is bad and must be condemned but what surprises me is to see people glorifying this man as if he was a saint who has been crucified for the general benefit.
Who was Brahmeshwar Singh and what made him so famous? To know this, we should know about Ranveer Sena, a ruthless militia of Upper caste landlords and farmers which terrorized the hinterlands of Bihar in the dark ages of Laloo-Rabri era when the Naxal menace had started raising its head. Those were tough times, Bihar was going through a Social upheaval and the lower classes had started asserting their claim to the limited resources. However, the combination of poverty and dirt bad caste politics was wrecking havoc to the social fabric and what could have been a class struggle became an ugly caste war. The Bihari version of Naxals started targetting farmers based on their caste instead of landlords and there was a wide scale resentment and insecurity among the so-called upper caste farmers in Central Bihar. This is when parties like CPI-ML, MCC, Party Unity, Kunwar Sena, Brahamarshi Sena and finally Ranvir Sena started raising their head, some taking advantage of the resentment of a section of people and some in the garb of protecting the interests of some others.
Together, the Naxals and Ranvir Sena unleashed a reign of terror in parts of Central Bihar resulting in gruesome massacres of hundreds of women, men and children. Starting with Danwar Bihta, Senari, Bara .. the massacres brought shame to the whole of Bihar. However with time, the Naxals proved to be too strong and Ranvir Sena went into relative obscurity.
Although Ranvir Sena was formed, in the words of Brahmeshwar Singh, “to protect the honour of women folk and save the lives and property of farmers”, it did not limit itself to “protecting” villages; there were village defense committees in many areas already doing this job. Instead, Ranvir Sena went ahead and took a proactive stance, not by taking on the Naxals head on but by raiding villages in the dark of nights and butchering innocents. The ruthlessness of Ranvir Sena can be a chilling story especially when it came to the slaughter of women and children. Consider this :
“We kill children because they will grow up to become Naxalites. We kill women because they will give birth to Naxalites.”
This happened to be the official stand of Ranvir Sena after they massacred 61 men, women and children. Now since the context has been made clear, let it be known that this fragile looking Brahmeshwar Singh Mukhiya was the kingpin of this savage organization, accused of murder of 277 humans and Indians. No less savage than the Maoists they claimed to be fighting.
Today, there was large-scale arson by the hooligans who claimed to be running high on sentiments due to the killing of this leader. They vandalized public property and created nuisance. For two days, Bihar was pushed back into the Dark ages from where it came out with so much pain and effort.
The biggest hypocrisy comes from the so-called intellectual class of Bihar. Those who call Maoists ruthless killers (and rightly so) are comparing Brahmeshwar Singh with Bhagat Singh. I am not sure when did Bhagat Singh take pleasure in flinging young children into fire just because they were born in a different caste. I am not able to understand how we can condemn on killer and at the same time praise another. We are so blinded by our caste affiliations that even ruthless killers of our own castes seem saints to us.
So much so for a secular democracy…