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Thursday, June 1, 2023

‘I Grew Up in Lalu’s Bihar’ – Tales of Lawlessness

Bihar and Lalu Prasad Yadav are inseparable terms. Bihar’s economic and social rankings went to lowest level as compared to other states of Bharat during his tenure as Chief Minister – his rule saw complete collapse of Bihar’s law and order, with Goonda Raj at its peak and mushrooming of private armies. Other crimes like Rangdari (extortion), Apharan (kidnapping), and rape were at an all time high, apart from routine corruption. Those who have lived during his tenure as CM, have tales of horror and lawlessness to tell.

Here is an article collated from tweets of @GabbbarSingh and other sources.

I grew up in Lalu’s Bihar

When Lalu’s daughter was getting married in Patna, Lalu’s brother-in-law Sadhu Yadav forcefully took away more than 100 cars from the car showrooms, to ferry wedding guests from the airport. Those who didn’t comply, their showrooms were damaged. Lalu spent 100 crores in the wedding (this was in 1999), all from state coffers, at a time when the state didn’t have enough money to even pay salaries to govt employees.

Immediately after Lalu took charge in 1989, his brother-in-laws Sadhu Yadav & Subhash Yadav became the epitome of crime & hooliganism. He gave clear passage to criminals like Shahabuddin, who first invoked fear & then joined politics to make him stronger by any means.

Every business owner had to pay this Rangdari tax to the local goons. ‘Rangdari tax’ meant that every time a person started a new business or bought property or a vehicle, it was mandatory for him to pay a certain amount to the local goons. If he didn’t, he was shot or his kid was kidnapped.

This was an era where CBI failed to take DNA sample of Sadhu Yadav while investigating the ‘Shilpi-Gautam’ gang rape & murder case – yes, even CBI could not mess with Lalu Yadav & his goons, this was the level of hooliganism in Bihar.

When Nepal released waters and entire North Bihar was flooded, with loss of life and property, Lalu quipped during an aerial survey: “It’s a good thing, now all the fish will come to their house which they can cook and eat happily.

If anyone accumulated any money, and showed signs of it, like buying even a Maruti 800, that person was on the list. His kid could be kidnapped or there could be a dacoity. Kids were freed only when ransom was paid.

To stay safe, you needed to get back home by 7 pm, shutting yourself from the outside world, chased out only by mosquitoes and power cuts. Every house had a “generator connection”.

Electricity was a luxury. So much so that when power used to be restored late at night, people cheered as if Bharat has won a cricket match against Pakistan. But then the voltage was so low that the fan just whirred, tubelight wouldn’t come to life, bulb so dim that kids couldn’t even finish their homework.

Before every monsoons, the open sewers and naalas were declogged and all the garbage and waste was laid on to the roads, that too on the busiest roads. So when it rained, the roads were like swamps. It seemed like a norm and one had to live with it.

There were hardly any jobs, so the only people who were rich sans any political connections were the doctors and corrupt engineers. So their kids were the prime target for kidnappings. Extortion was the most flourishing industry. One can go on and on in relation to Shahabuddin, the caste massacres, the state of education, the charwaha vidyalaya (schoolfor cattle grazers), the booth capturing etc.

As for nepotism, Lalu is second probably only to the Nehru-Gandhi dynasty when it comes to promoting his family. In 1997, when he had to resign as the Chief Minister following an arrest warrant issued against him on corruption charges, in an unprecedented move, he appointed his wife Rabri Devi as the new Bihar Chief Minister to hold onto power. When questioned by journalists as to why he had appointed his inexperienced wife as the state’s CM, Lalu replied “So should I make your wife the CM?”

So when one sees privileged journalists whitewashing Lalu’s rule and projecting him as a martyr being victimised by the Modi administration, it makes anyone’s, who has lived in Bihar during that period, blood boil.

The Lutyens’ media and secular-liberal journalists may paint a nice picture of Lalu Prasad Yadav using phrases like “earthy sense of humour”, “harmless jokes in Parliament”, “Kingmaker”, “social justice messiah”, but the truth remains that such horror stories are real and these privileged elites have opted to turn a blind eye towards them.

(Featured Image Source)

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