Tuesday, February 14, 2006


This was Published in The Economic Times and Reporter seems to be a Bhumihar Brahmin who written this in context of then Lalu Rabri raj & Bhumihar . But in present there is a sentence in BIHAR , KURMI ko TAAJ and BHUMIHAR ko RAAJ
NEW DELHI: For the Bhumihars, a landowning upper caste localised mainly in Bihar, these are very difficult times. A community which played a glorious role in the freedom movement and the zamindari-abolition agitation is today fighting hard to maintain its identity. Having produced the first chief minister of the state in the post-independence era, the community, like the other upper castes, is now struggling to maintain its relevance in the political space. A community which delivered luminaries such as Dr Shrikrishna Sinha, Sir Ganesh Dutt, Chandrashekhar Singh, Ram Dayalu Singh, Shyam Nandan Mishra, Langat Singh in the field of politics, and Ram Dhari Singh `Dinkar,’ Rahul Sankrityayana, Rambriksha Benipuri and Gopal Singh `Nepali’ in the domain of Hindi literature, is in the throes of a major turmoil, with history-sheeters and criminals threatening to become role-models. The first attempt to rally the Bhumihars under a banner can be traced back to the 1880s, when Hathua Maharaj, one of the several members who had been assigned land revenue-collection rights by the British, and Rai Bahadur Ram Gopal Singh Chaudhary formed the `Akhil Bharatiya Bhumihar Brahmin Mahasabha.’ When Mahatama Gandhi launched the movement against the British indigo planters’ exploitation of the farmers of Motihari in north Bihar in 1917, intellectuals and educated persons, cutting across caste-lines, joined it in droves. Among the prominent Bhumihars who were lured into the movement were Dr Shrikrishna Sinha, Ram Dayalu Singh, Ramnandan Mishra, Shilbhadra Yaji, Karyanand Sharma as well as kisan movement leaders such as Swami Shahjanand Saraswati.
Two main streams gradually developed among the Bhumihars. While Sir Ganesh Dutt went on to represent the interests of the landed class, Swami Shahjanand took up cudgels on behalf of the farmers and instigated them to rise against the exploitation of the zamindars and the British administration. Inspired by Mahatama Gandhi’s call to all Indians to join the freedom movement, quite a few Bhumihars laid the foundations for educational institutions. Son a poor farmer hailing from north Bihar, Langat Singh set up the famous L S College in Muzaffarpur. Several other colleges and schools were set up in places like Muzaffarpur, Sitamarhi, Begusarai, Munger and Biharsharif. While a substantial number of Bhumihars joined the Congress heeding Gandhiji’s call, the socialist and communist movements also drew them in large numbers. Dr Shrikrishna Sinha went on become the first chief minister of undivided Bihar. Under his leadership, Bihar went on to become the first state after the attainment of independence to abolish the zamindari system. The socialist stream in the state too had its fair share of Bhumihars. Prominent among them were Ramnandan Mishra, Ganga Sharan Sinha, Basawan Singh and Kapildeo Singh.
A close associate of Loknayak Jai Prakash Narain, Ramnandan Mishra shot into fame when he, along with JP, scaled the walls of the Hazaribagh central jail during the Quit India movement to lead the underground movement against the British. The Communist movement in the state too drew a large number of Bhumihars. Leaders such as Karyanand Sharma, Chandrashekhar Singh, Kishori Prasanna Singh and Indradeep Sinha made a mark among the peasants and landless labourers. In the 1967 general election, the Communists joined hands with the socialists and the Bharatiya Jan Sangh to defeat the Congress party for the first time. They subsequently formed the first non-Congress United Front government in the state under the chief ministership of late Mahamaya Prasad Sinha. Chandrshekhar Singh, Indradeep Sinha and Kapildeo Singh went on to become cabinet ministers in the government. As per the 1930 census, Bhumihars comprised some 4 % of the total population of undivided Bihar. Districts such as Begusarai, Lakhisarai, Muzaffarpur, Jahanabad, Gaya, Vaishali, Patna, Khagaria, Sitamarhi, Gopalganj and Samastipur have a Bhumihar population ranging from 1.5 lakh to 4 lakh. The Bhumihars as a political force lost their clout in the post-Mandal era, ceding the space to the Yadavs and the other OBCs. In the Rabri Devi ministry, there is just one Bhumihar.

1 comment:

Ruchi Shrimali said...

We need to keep a strict vigil on Nitish ji so that he doesn't become so careless as Laluji did. A regular report of the works done by him publicised by the media will be a good idea to get the works finally moving. If Nitish ji works sincerely for five years for the welfare of Bihar, all he will be able to manage to bring Bihar at par with other states. Even that will be a great achievement. A regular report of his works and what he does to restart the several factories, sugarcane industries and small-scale industries that were closed, will give us a good idea of whether we have finally managed to elect a fruitful politician.