Hindu Vivek Kendra
«« Back
HVK Archives: Like Banquo's ghost, Bihar's dead will haunt secular politicians

Like Banquo's ghost, Bihar's dead will haunt secular politicians - Rediff on the Net

Kanchan Gupta ()
March 22, 199

Title: Like Banquo's ghost, Bihar's dead will haunt secular politicians
Author: Kanchan Gupta
Publication: Rediff on the Net
Date: March 22, 199

Yet another massacre has been reported from Bihar's Jehanabad district.
The details are the same: The messengers of death descended on the
cursed village in the dead of night, slaughtered men, women and children
deep in sleep, and snuffed out 35 human lives. The only difference in
the details is that this time the victims belonged to "upper castes" and
the killers were Maoist revolutionaries. The latest bloodletting is
supposed to have been organised to avenge two earlier massacres in the
same district in which the victims were Dalits and the killers were
"upper caste" members of the Ranvir Sena.

In a sense, it is pointless trying to present the details and the
differences: The simple, brutal fact is that another mass killing has
taken place in the benighted state of Bihar. Once again it has been
established that the writ of the apology of a state government headed by
Rabri Devi, who spends her day cooking for husband Laloo Prasad Yadav
while he fixes official files and deals, does not run beyond derelict
Patna's Anne Marg.

Once again it has been established that 90 million hapless people who
comprise Bihar's population live in a lawless world where neither life
nor property is protected, a world where the Constitution of the
Republic of India means nothing. Be it the wretched landless Dalit who
toils in sunshine and rain for a fistful of grains, the Safari-driving
contractor who mints millions without paying taxes or the
moustache-twirling landowner who could be a Yadav, Kurmi or Rajput,
nobody is safe in Laloo Prasad Yadav's Bihar.

Worse, and tragically so, there is nothing that today's Union government
can do to protect the lives of a tenth of India's population. The only
recourse it had was to sack the Laloo-Rabri regime, clamp President's
rule and inject heavy doses of law and order through merciless
liquidation of those who hold Bihar to ransom. The BJP-led Union
government tried this option and badly burned its hands. Not due to
lack of purpose but because all our "secular" parties, ranging from the
Congress to the Communists, the Samajwadis to the Centrists, ganged up
to ensure a fresh lease of life for the discredited Laloo-Rabri regime
that presides over the destruction of Bihar.

Their defence: The BJP-led Union government's attempt to save Bihar from
total anarchy and lawlessness of a magnitude that was not witnessed even
during the bloodiest days of terrorism in Punjab was detrimental to
"secularism." Never mind the massacres, never mind the widespread loot
of public funds, never mind the collapse of the State, never mind the
rapid socio-economic decay. What is of utmost importance, they argued,
is to save the "secular" government of Rabri Devi.

The report of Sundar Singh Bhandari, then governor of Bihar,
recommending President's rule, was debunked as "RSS propaganda." The
Union government's appeal to the Opposition, that it should stand by the
people and not a regime that had lost its last vestige of legitimacy,
was rudely repudiated as lacking in substance. The callous indifference
and criminal inefficiency of the Laloo-Rabri regime were hailed as
sincere efforts.

In the end, Laloo Prasad Yadav's proxy rule in Bihar survived the day.
The people of Bihar paid the price.

It would, therefore, be in order to expose those who stood by Laloo
Prasad Yadav, ensuring that the rape of Bihar continues unabated. One
such person is Inder Kumar Gujral who voted against the motion seeking
to ratify the Presidential proclamation imposing Central rule in Bihar.
As prime minister of the self-declared and publicly-hailed "secular"
United Front government, he received a report from the then Union home
secretary on the terrible state of affairs in Bihar. He chose not to
act on the report merely because had he acted, he would have lost Laloo
Prasad Yadav's support, which in turn would have ended his tenancy at 3
Race Course Road.

The home secretary had been despatched to report on the ground situation
in Bihar after the grisly Lakshmanpur-Bathe massacre on September 1,
1997. On December 5, 1997, he submitted his report to the home minister
and the prime minister. What he had to say in 1997 was no different
from what was said in the report recommending President's rule two years

"...It was quite evident that the law and order situation in Bihar has
sharply deteriorated over the years and the unabated Sena-Naxalite
violence has, in particular, been a slur on the governance in the

"...The morale of senior civil and police officials in Bihar is
extremely low...(there is) widespread fear and terror created by the
Left wing extremist groups and the Senas of the rich landlords... In
some districts, even SPs and DMs do not stir out of their houses after

These are only two extracts from that damning report that was quietly
shelved by Inder Gujral and his Communist Home Minister, Indrajit
Gupta. They did not lift a small finger to even admonish the Bihar
government, leave alone consider the imposition of President's rule.
Yet, both were willing conspirators in the conspiracy to sack Kalyan
Singh's government in Uttar Pradesh, not once but twice, on charges that
were admitted as fictitious and frivolous even by the BJP's foes.
Propping up the Laloo-Rabri regime was, and remains, the test of their
commitment to "secularism." Sacking Kalyan Singh's government on
fictitious, frivolous charges was demonstration of their "secularism" in

Inder Gujral and Indrajit Gupta are not alone; they are in the hallowed
company of Congress stalwarts, including Congress president Sonia Gandhi
who, after declaring that her party would adopt a pro-Dalit platform,
wholeheartedly backed the Laloo-Rabri regime which has presided over the
murder, rape and loot of Dalits. If only Inder Gujral and his
government had acted on the then home secretary's report, Bihar would
have been spared from its unending nightmare.

The lot could have redeemed themselves by backing the sacking of the
Laloo-Rabri regime. But they chose not to, ignoring the facts to
support the fiction called the government of Bihar. The Central team
that had been despatched to study the situation in Bihar after the
BJP-led Union government came to power, merely reiterated what the then
home secretary had said in his report in 1997.

"...In Bihar, it is the state that harbours and patronises criminals
instead of protecting people from them. Not only that, even persons
with criminal background are functioning as ministers in the state

"Apart from keeping their own criminal gangs, RJD leaders are also
actively patronising criminal groups. Such patronisation is learnt to
have been extended by Shri Laloo Prasad Yadav through his close
relatives, namely his brother-in-law, Anirudh aka Sadhu Yadav..."

"Apart from the nexus with the criminals, Shri Laloo Prasad Yadav and
his party members are also learnt to be maintaining links with the
MCC...There has been a spurt in the killing of important political
leaders... The state government has not been in a position to check
extremist violence..."

"The situation in Bihar is extremely bad. The people, by and large, are
living in a state of fear and in a sense of insecurity... The situation
in Bihar is really alarming and it does call for intervention by the

The authors of this report are officers from the Intelligence Bureau and
the home ministry, officers of the highest integrity and irrevocably
wedded to upholding the constitutional rule of law.

And what did the Laloo-Rabri regime have to say in self-defence? It is
there in the very same report.

"The ruling RJD feels that there is total peace and tranquillity in the
state. According to its leaders, the hue and cry in the press about
their performance is largely because of the fact that it is a government
of the poor, for the poor and by the poor..."

And what about the other parties, apart from the ruling party of
hoodlums? Once again, the report provides a clue to their assessment of
the situation in Bihar.

"However, the fact of the matter is that leaving aside the RJD, no
political party in Bihar feels that the law and order situation in the
state is good. Even the representatives of the Congress, Samajwadi
Party, Bahujan Samaj Party and CPI-M... had no good words about the
functioning of the state government, especially in maintaining law and

That was, of course, before the filing of the report and the subsequent
imposition of President's rule. Once the BJP-led Union government had
acted decisively to extend the rule of law to the state of Bihar, these
worthies changed their tune and chose to accept the Laloo Prasad Yadav
version of the situation, that "there is total peace and tranquillity in

And now the latest massacre of 35 people. Peace? Tranquillity? Did
Sonia Gandhi sleep well after hearing the news? Did Inder Gujral
compose an Urdu couplet? Did Comrade Somnath Chatterjee call up Comrade
Indrajit Gupta to plot the next move to strengthen the Third Front with
Laloo Prasad Yadav's help?

The blood of those who continue to be slaughtered under Laloo raj will
stick the most on the heads of those who rule Bihar. But some of it
will also stick on the heads of those who have ensured, in the guise of
upholding "secularism," that Laloo Prasad Yadav continues to preside
over the killing fields of Bihar.

Like Banquo's ghost, the innocent victims of killers who stalk Bihar,
indulging in unchecked, unhindered pillage and murder, will come to
haunt our "secular" politicians, if not today, then tomorrow, if not
tomorrow, then the day after. Let there be no mistake about that.

Back                          Top

«« Back
  Search Articles
  Special Annoucements