Wednesday, December 6, 2006




By Manuwant Kumar Choudhary

In a shocking incident a dalit man Ram Prasad Das claiming to be a buried alive in village Karhaiya in Supaul, Bihar, India, on November 28. Fifteen days earlier its alleged he announced he would be taking a samadhi (an ancient Hindu way of taking one's own life)...and true to his claim he was buried alive with all festivities by his followers and for the first time ever the 'SAMADHI' is on video CD.
Shockingly, everyone including the Bihar government is aware of this social practice in Bihar's villages but do nothing to stop this man from ending his life or even prevent the villagers of committing murder.
All night the dalit man gives blessings to his bhaktas (followers) and by morning he is lifted and placed in a wooden box, the lid covered, and the box lowered into the open grave in full public view with followers seeking his personal blessings as he departs on his heavenly journey...
The video CD is taken by one of his followers and by some chance it falls into the hands of local stringers of TV news channels. Aaaj Tak carries the story...but two days later when their reporter Kumar Abhishek visits the Supaul village....angry villagers attack him and his crew including a CNN - IBN representative with bamboo sticks. The TV crew just about manage to escape.
What is shocking that a man buried alive does not make headline news in Bihar's newspapers or even national newspapers and such is the media competition these days that even other TV channels don't think its a story. Sahara TV a few days later carry the footage on the samadhi followed by footage on attacks on journalists.
Its said that after the first media leak of the samadhi the local police on orders from higher ups went to the village and threatened the villagers that if they did not give a signed undertaking that the dalit man died before he was buried they would all be charged with murder. So all the villagers did as the police asked them to....and when the media team visited to make full inquiries they were attacked in full presence of the police.
Later the District Magistrate of Supaul Mr. Shareef Alam instead of arresting the villagers..threatens the mediamen. Even the Bihar Home Commissioner Mr. Afzal Amanullah tells Aaj Tak that they would naturally be attacked if they do such stories.
And in Bihar most say journalists who do stories against the sentiments of villagers will naturally be attacked.
So far there is no condemnation of the samadhi from any political party and no word from Bihar's Chief Minister Mr. Nitish Kumar who perhaps only believes in image make-overs for Bihar.
A sad story for `samajik nyay' or social justice that when a dalit man is buried alive there are no protests. But when miscreants damage a B.R. Ambedkar statue in Uttar Pradesh....the Dalits burn the Deccan Queen train in Maharashtra.

1 comment:

JUPICON said...

congratulations Manu,
For choosing this important media for projecting your jounalistic skills. we know u for a long time and also know how u feel about the society at large. Keep on going buddy.