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

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Politics of Massacres and Resistance

This article advances an understanding of the social and political basis of dalit massacres in Bihar by putting atrocities like Laxmanpur Bathe, Bathani Tola and others in the historical context of caste and class struggles as well as the anti-feudal struggle in Bihar. The role of the state in colluding with feudal and upper caste interests is also emphasised.

The Sone river has continued to remain incessantly cruel. There have been so many massacres of the poor and the landless on both the banks of this river that its water would have turned red. But even then, it kept flowing nonchalantly. This was not a mere indifference of the river; rather it took sides with the feudal forces, irrigating their agricultural lands and adding to their muscle! Neither the hundreds of women, youth and children who were slaughtered nor their wailing families could wield any influence over the river. It is very similar to how the middle classes of our country have remained indifferent towards the massacres, rapes and plight of the oppressed masses. On the contrary, they believe the governmental agencies are doing a commendable job for the sake of national security!

This river which originates in Rinhad in Uttar Pradesh flows through various regions where feudal dominance is very strong and has witnessed hundreds of massacres. Laxmanpur Bathe, a village situated at the banks of Sone, suddenly popped up on the world map in 1997. Similarly, Arwal which is located around 10-12 kms away from this village also emerged on the world map in 1986. On 1 December 1997, some butchers of Ranvir Sena (upper caste private militia), who came from Sahar, brutally slaughtered 61 people among whom 56 were members of a peasant organisation called Mazdoor Kisan Sangrami Parishad (currently a Maoist organisation) and three were the members of Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninst) (CPI(ML)) Liberation. All the persons killed were of dalit community.

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