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Bihar massacre on Holi day: Brahminical, casteist mindset behind 'uneasy' silence

Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar
By Vidya Bhushan Rawat* 
Several people were killed in Bihar amidst Holi festivities, but not much response has come in from the media. The silence of the government and the society as a whole is also appalling. We seek to romanticise these festivals, yet we forget that every year they take so many lives. This despite the fact that Holi appears to be the best time for 'avenging things'.
It should have been a big story. In village Mehmudpur, district Madhubani, five members of the Rajput community were massacred. The Brahmin-Bania dominated media in Patna and Delhi virtually killed the story. A google search about the story wouldn’t show much information. One of those killed was a BSF jawan, who had come home to spend his holidays.
Some people wanted to give the incident a communal colour, apparently because the village happens to be Mehmudpur. Bihar police said it wasn’t about caste. I am surprised. What stopped the police and the media to identify the murderers?
Media in this country is brutally casteist. It will easily vilify Dalits, Adivasis and Muslims. If any one from these communities are caught in some evil act, the entire community is targeted. Yet, there is no story from Bihar on this incident. Even the heroes of the secular-liberal elite in Delhi media are silent.
Ironically, the Karni Sena, which is know to have threatened to stop various films about the depiction of Rajputs in allegedly poor light, is also silent. No political party in Bihar has spoken about it. The BJP, which enjoys the biggest patronage of Rajputs in Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and elsewhere, has not uttered a single word about it. Human Rights activists have also remained silent as if it is not an important issue.
Madhubani is dominated by Maithil Brahmins. Village Mehmudpur belongs to Kshatriyas or Rajputs. The village temple had a Rajput Mahant, who was killed by a person belonging to the Brahmin community. As reported in social media, Brahmins were determined to take over this temple from the Rajputs, who were resisting such a move.
The names of the local BJP MLA and some Bajrang Dal leaders, who happen to be Brahmins, have been taking rounds as accused. But the police and the administration have not spoken anything about it except that it was not a 'caste war' but a war of two 'gangs'. How is it a war of two gangs, and how come that one family lost everything, including one son who was in BSF and was on his holidays. Was he a gang member?
A Karni Sena demonstration
Caste is the dirty reality in India. Brahmins and Rajputs are co-travellers these days in the BJP bandwagon run by the Banias. All the three savarna communities are united in their common aversion towards the Dalits, Adivasis and OBCs. It is also a fact that all these three powerful communities do not see eye to eye with each other. Their netas need a common 'villain' to survive in politics. But social realities are different.
Imagine if the Mehmudpur massacre accused were some Mohammad or Ali, the media would have gone berserk, seeking blood of all the Muslims. But if the accused is a Jha, a Maithil Brahmin, even 'secular' Brahmins seek to protect their own caste.
We do hear much from the 'liberal' Jhas sitting in Delhi speaking about 'fascism', but they are criminally silent on this incident. The Karni Sena neta shouts from housetops on every small incident, but he is refusing to name Brahmins as accused. They would have gone violent everywhere if the accused were Muslims or Dalits. It’s a dirty caste reality of how the 'powerful' Kshatriyas become 'powerless'.
It is time for the Rajput community to ponder whether they need rabble rouser netas who have no vision or sober leaders who have worked for all and talked with sanity and sense. Rajputs today are isolated. Their netas have turned arrogant and have completely isolated common people in the community. The netas might have become chief ministers, but they have failed to provide a vision.
This is the times when one should look for people like VP Singh, Chandrashekhar, Arjun Singh or Jaswant Singh, who spoke with sense and responsibility. It is time for the community to ponder seriously as to what kind of politicians it is supporting and why the parties and politicians have deserted them at this point of time when a family is butchered on a festival day.
---
*Human rights defender

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