17 June, 2021

DNA Beckons

Seven generations of a family have held firm to the baton. Will the chain be finally broken?

Prashant Ravi
DNA Beckons
For over 17 decades, seven generations of the Singh family, the proud descendants of a line of Rajput warriors settled near the Shahabad range in Kesupur village, Bihar, have been redefining the art of passing the baton. The current deputy superintendent of police, Patna, Ram Kumar Singh, is the seventh generation that has made serving and protecting a family business since 1832.

The rugged terrain of Shahabad is best known for bamboo, mangoes, and as the birthplace of Babu Veer Kunwar Singh—a renowned freedom fighter during the 1857 Sepoy Mutiny. The Mutiny also saw the retirement of the first of the Singh policemen, Subedar Major Sheo Charan Singh, who'd joined the paramilitary police in 1832, fought for the British in gruelling campaigns in Afghanistan and Nepal and even won British gallantry awards, inaugurating a tradition of loyalty, courage and honour that the Singhs have spent their lives upholding.

A brief insight into Sheo Charan Singh's personal life might help explain why family traditions still reign in a changing world. For one, he broke up a marriage...

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