ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Bihar : Class War Spreads to New Areas

A semi-feudal society like Bihar gives rise to ruthless oppression, violent revolts and resistance. Private senas flourish in the atmosphere of lawlessness. The cycle of violence and counterviolence continues.

The non-descript Miapur village of Aurangabad district in central Bihar suddenly came to global notice on June 18, 2000. The Ranvir Sena, the private militia of the upper caste bhumihars, massacred over 35 backward caste yadavs, most backward caste labourers and dalits. Among the victims, there are 19 women, 12 men and four children. Over a dozen who were seriously wounded are left battling for their lives in the Magadh Medical Hospital at Gaya. The relatives of the victims were still haunted by the slogans raised by the marauders, ‘Ranvir Sena zindabad, Senari ka badla le lia, Ranvir Baba zindabad, Afsar ka badla le lia’, that is, ‘Long live Ranvir Sena. We have avenged the Senari and Afsar killings’. Miapur massacre has once again brought carnage to central Bihar. The Sena and the radical left groups or the naxalite groups had been in a studied silence for over a year.

Over a year ago, on January 25, 1999 on the eve of the Republic Day, the Ranvir Sena massacred 22 dalits and backward castes in Shankarbigha village in Jehanabad district. They again struck on February 10 and killed 11 dalits in Narayanpur village in Jehanabad district. In retaliation, on March 18, 1999, the armed squad of the Maoist Communist Centre (MCC) massacred over 34 upper caste bhumihars in Senari village once again in Jehanabad. The Ranvir Sena in vengeance killed on April 21, 1999, 12 dalits in Sendani in the adjoining Gaya district. Till the Sendani massacre, the Ranvir Sena was confined only to Bhojpur and Jehanabad districts. Thus the Ranvir Sena established its presence in Gaya district too. After the Sendani massacre, the proverbial calm before the storm settled in the inevitable and inherent caste-class cycle of violence that has continued to haunt the semi-feudal central Bihar for the last three decades. But with the Miapur holocaust, the Ranvir Sena has extended its presence to Aurangabad district too. Thus, by expanding its area of operation, the Sena has sown the seeds of a protracted caste-class war with the radical peasant movements on the one hand and the defiant lower castes on the other. To comprehend the cycle of caste-class violence that goes on unabated in central Bihar, it is imperative that we focus on the emerging social scenario of Bihar. In this regard it is crucial that we examine the emergence of the sena culture in central Bihar.

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