Bihar: After Communal Frenzy and Violence Fails, BJP Falls Back on ‘Miracle’ Flinging Baba
by Kumar Parwez

In Bihar, the crisis hit BJP is desperate after being ousted from power. This land of socialist and communist movement has become a big challenge for it, where its designs have faced obstacles. All its game plans have been exposed, be it the attempt to create disturbances on Ram Navami in Biharsharif or at Sasaram. In the Sasaram violence case, ex-MLA of BJP, Jawahar Prasad has been arrested. In Biharsharif, the sword is dangling on local BJP MLA Sunil Singh. Days before the Ramnavami violence, BJP supported youtuber Manish Kashyap was arrested for spreading rumours of attacks on Bihari migrant workers in Tamil Nadu, on which BJP was trying to play politics.

On the one hand BJP is trying to spread communal riots and hate, while on the other it is trying to garner Hindu votes through the sermons of godmen. Recently, a five-day Hanumant Katha was organized by a religious leader from Bageshwar Dham, Pandit Dhirendra Shastri at Tarte Pali, Naubatpur, close to Patna.  More than a religious event it became an attempt to create political flutter. Last year such a programme was held in Shahabad. Sermons of religious leaders from Kashi, Mathura, Banaras have been held where Union ministers and governors of several states have participated.

Pandit Dhirendra Shastri is being presented as a ‘miracle’ causing baba.  It is being claimed that the 28-year-old godman has supernatural powers, with which he is able to read the minds of anyone and offer cures for their sorrows. He sings his own promotional songs also to claim his abilities to read people’s mind and predict their future. Ordinary people have given up hope from Narendra Modi for miracles long ago. In the 9 years of BJP rule they have only seen destruction and have been suffering its consequences.  As hopes shatter miracle babas arrive to take charge of the political front. In the name of religious sermons, superstitions and hanumant kathas, the frenzy becomes a ground for creating political advantage for BJP.  In the land of social justice and secularism, BJP is trying to navigate its way with these charlatans. If Bajrang Bali did not support BJP in Karnataka, Bihar is going to be even less of a success with its progressive consciousness.

It is not surprising that this pretense in religious robes is being highlighted by BJP and the media. The newspapers carried stories even before the arrival of the baba, while BJP leaders laid out the red carpet for his arrival. BJP MP Manoj Tiwari drove him from Patna to Naubatpur, even as all the big leaders of BJP fell on his feet. Union Minister Giriraj Singh, Bihar BJP President Samrat Choudhary, Patliputra MP  Ramkripal Yadav, Patna Saheb MP Ravishankar Prasad, BJP leader of the opposition in the Assembly  Vijay Kumar Sinha  attended the durbar of the preacher.

How is it that when the preacher came to Patna, only BJP leaders were with him? That becomes clear from his sermons where he spelt out two things that are indicative.  First, he declared that India is on its way to become a Hindu rashtra and that would happen when 5 crore of the 13 crore Bihari population wears the tilak and hoists the saffron flag. Second that one has to free from casteism to become a Hindu rashtra.

Clearly with kalash yatras, and sermons for Hindu rashtra, BJP is trying to advance itself by polarizing Hindus and Muslims before the coming elections. The godman is doing what BJP wants. All the constituents of the grand alliance condemned the statements of the preacher and called it anti-constitutional. Despite invitations to join the Hanumant katha, none of the leaders of Mahagathbandhan attended the event.

The call against casteism has to be seen in the light of Supreme Court orders for halting the caste census, on which BJP has got exposed. It is emerging that the appeal against caste census was filed by BJP backed forces which led to the Court giving the orders to stay the process. It is being claimed by BJP that with caste census, animosity will rise, while the Mahagathbandhan is wanting to know the social economic status of Dalits and backwards to make welfare plans.

The dalit poor have long suffered brutal feudal communal attacks of upper caste groups. It is an irony that these feudal forces now set the narrative of casteism. No doubt, when they say casteism they are referring to assertion by the Dalits and backwards, when in reality they are the true bearers of Brahmanism and casteism. It is true that in Taret Pali, the rumours of the miracles of the baba had drawn unemployed and those suffering from ill health, but in its core were the hardcore social base of BJP, who tried to draw the Dalit poor towards them with the sermons.

In Bihar, for five days there was a flurry over the preacher, however people quickly got to know the reality of the charlatan. The preacher remained silent as the bodyguards of the baba misbehaved with Kishore Kunal, the Secretary of the Mahavir Temple Trust at Patna, an incident that was widely condemned by Bihari people.

A few hours after Hindu rashtra was being exhorted from the stage by the godman, 6 kilometers from the venue at Sarasat village, the statue of the founder of the Constitution BR Ambedkar was vandalized. The residents of the dalit Paswan community at Sarasat were silenced by the dominant BJP supporters of the village.  It was only when a fact-finding team led by CPIML Phulwari Sharif MLA, Gopal Ravidas reached the village that true sequence of events emerged. The attackers had come from Taret Pali. The accused include the BJP President of Naubatpur block and people from his caste in Sarasat village.

BJP knows very well that the Constitution drafted by BR Ambedkar is the biggest hurdle in the way of their Hindu rashtra. Hence vandalizing the Ambedkar statues is no ordinary event. Infact it is an attack on the secular vision of the country. This is the reason that the supporters of the BJP godman declare that they would change the Constitution if need be for the Hindu rashtra!

It is also true that the bureaucracy of Bihar is still controlled by BJP.  An example of this is the destruction of the platform made for installing Ambedkar statue by the BDO of Daruali in Siwan. The MLAs of CPIML held a two day fast in Siwan on this issue. A show cause was issued by the DM to the BDO.

People will ask Modi government on what it has done in ten years and the Hindu rashtra frenzy drummed up by BJP will fall flat. People’s anger cannot be settled by godmen and charlatans. The struggle for equality that Ambedkar fought for will be advanced in Bihar.

BJP Falls Back on ‘Miracle’ Flinging Baba