01 December, 2020

Pinned Lynch

Anand Mohan's sentence is due if delayed justice, but will it end the caste wars?

Pinned Lynch

In the badlands of Bihar, caste does not just decide politics; it also drives the gang wars, as militias of rival castes battle it out for turf. The first major 'bhoomi senas' surfaced in the late '70s as an upper-caste landlord response to the growing strength of Left extremist groups, a period that coincided with the Janata Party government headed by Karpoori Thakur, the first backward CM of the state. But they flourished—virulently—through the '90s, and continue to do so. An unbroken run of OBC CMs since 1990—first, the RJD's Laloo Prasad Yadav followed by wife Rabri, and then the JD(U)'s Nitish Kumar—has ensured that the upper castes, the traditional rulers, continue to play second fiddle in Bihar. Thus, the quest for control is played out in the shadowy realm that joins crime and politics in the state, via the land armies of competing castes.

It is against this bloody backdrop that the brutal lynching and gunning down on December 5, 1994, of G. Krishnaiah, the young district magistrate of Gopalganj, needs to be revisited, now...



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