Social Illusions In Bihar

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INTRODUCTION- Before I start talking by Dalits in Bihar, I would like to talk about Dalits in general, as to who the Dalits of India actually are. Normally the term “Dalit” comes from the Sanskrit word “dal” which means anything broken, downtrodden or oppressed.” In our country, it is an umbrella term used to describe those who were previously referred to as harijans, untouchables, outcastes- the ones who fall out of the four fold of the Indian Caste system consisting of the Brahmins, Kshatriya, Vaishya and the Shudras. They were restricted to doing menial chores and often considered impure and therefore excluded and treated as untouchable by the rest of the society and such exclusion also prevent them from enjoying even the basic human rights…show more content…
For instance, in Madhubani district of Bihar, Dalits and Mahadalits are not allowed to share temples, bathing gaths, or any public space for that matter with the upper caste Hindus, whereas, in Nawada district, social exclusion is comparatively limited in nature in public spaces, however, the upper caste Hindus like the Rajput or the Bhumihars preferred maintaining some level of casteist attitude towards the Dalits. Similarly in Rohtas, untouchability is still practiced to some extent. In many instances, Dalit children are denied admissions to school and in case anyone has been admitted, he/ she are made to seat separately from the children belonging to the upper castes. Such ongoing exclusions were prevalent even after Independence and often went unreported. However, it was during the period of Karpoori Thakur’s tenure as the state’s CM that marked the beginning of a major upsurge in the number of crimes and atrocities against the Dalits. Not only this, following this period Bihar witnessed nine continuous carnages from 1977 to 1997 and several other caste based lynching in the recent times. All these slaughtering are nothing but testimonies to caste based discrimination, oppression and exploitations resulting from the mindset of the dominant castes of the landed gentry that continues to provide basis for the oppressive and repressive…show more content…
As a matter of fact, 1962-90s could be termed as a transition period in Bihar’s political history. This was the period when Bihar witnessed the chief minister ship of three leaders from the Dalit communities, namely, Bhola Paswan Shastry, Ram Sunder Das and Jitan Ram Manjhi. Bhola Paswan became the first dalit chief minister and joined office thrice during 1968-1971. Shastri thrice served as chief minister during 22.03.1968 - 29.06.1968, 22.06.1969-04.07.1969, and 02.06.1971 -09.01.1971. Paswan succeeded Deep Narayan Singh, Binodanand Jha, K.B. Sahay, Mahamaya Prasad Sinha, SatishPrasad Singh, and B. P. Mandal as chief ministers. Secondly, Ram Sunder Das became the second dalit chief minister and served the CM’s office from 21.04.1979 - 17.02.1980. He was also perceived as a choice without people’s mandate led to reemergence of Indira Gandhi led Congress (I). Thirdly and most recently, Jitan Ram Manjhi served as the State’s CM but for a very short tenure just like the Paswan and Das. He succeeded during the period when the formidable alliance of JD-U & BJP broke after the success of Narendra Modi in the parliamentary elections in 2014. Jitan Ram Manjhi may not symbolize neo dalit uprising however; he succeeded in coining the issue of a dalit chief minister in Bihar politics. Therefore, one could say that dalit chief ministers in Bihar are so far

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