Why Prisons Continue To Harbour The Most Marginalised Citizens
GovernanceNow|July 31, 2017

A young researcher speaks up for some accused, finds himself hauled up by the cops

Rahul Ramagundam

A mosi is a tola of Khagariya district in Bihar. It is populated by some 300 musahar families; the musahar is a scheduled caste; at Amosi, they all live in thatched huts. one reaches the village after crossing the river Bagmati twice, so treacherous is its watery course. Amosi tola is some 5 km further up from Etuwa Dhalla, an embankment that contains a brimming Bagmati from inundating the human urban settlements. During the floods, which are an annual recurring phenomenon in the region, Etuwa Dhalla is where the people of submerged villages seek refuge.

Beyond Etuwa Dhalla lies urban chaos – undulated and potholed roads, naked red-brick houses (small and storied), a mass of squeaking people, scurrying poultry and cudding cattle. on the other side of it lie salubrious green fields, scattered thatched settlements and watery streams; people can occasionally be spotted but always in single silhouettes. Both sides exist in their respective worlds and Etuwa Dhalla is their dividing line; it is here that exchange between them is committed, garbs are donned, and a new language of communication is adopted.

Amosi’s claim to fame was its infamy: the village had come under the national spotlight when, in early October 2009, some of its wretched residents were accused of massacring 16 others from a nearby village. The media reported the massacre to be the doing of Naxals and called it an instance of land grabbing by the red insurgents, a possibility later discounted by chief minister Nitish Kumar. The police listed 37 male residents of Amosi tola as accused in the first information report (FIR). The names of the accused apparently were given to the police by the relatives of the victims. out of the 37 accused, a few had been arrested and put in jail; a few others were on the run. They were all Mahadalit, a social category newly christened by the Nitish Kumar government, such a christening being more political than constitutional.

On Christmas eve in 2009, I rode pillion on a motorbike with Varun choudhry, a grassroots activist with a Khagariya-based non-governmental organisation (NGO), to reach Amosi. my interest in Amosi was kindled not just by the october killing of backward caste people allegedly by dalits, but also by this recent political engineering over caste-mobilisation in Bihar. When we arrived, the village was in turmoil, yet overtly calm. A police party was in village to apprehend or enforce a kurki-jabti (attaching of property) against those absconding. It was going about breaking thatched huts of absconding accused, while the rest of the village mutely followed them in a procession.

Continue reading your story on the app

Continue reading your story in the magazine

MORE STORIES FROM GOVERNANCENOWView All

Pandit Jasraj

Born in a small village near Hisar in Haryana, Pandit Jasraj comes from a family of musicians of over four generations. Jasraj was initiated to music by his revered father, Pandit Motiram. Soon after his death, Jasraj went through intensive tutelage under his elder brother and guru, Pandit Maniram, and later under Maharaja Jaiwant Singh. He performed in the Mewati gharana style. Jasraj’s voice is known for its vocal range, extending over three-and-a-half octaves, perfect diction, clarity in sur and gayaki and command in all aspects of laya and rhythm. Jasraj has also trained young vocalists like Rattan Mohan Sharma and Kala Ramnath. He was awarded the Padma Bhushan in 1990 and the Padma Vibhushan in 2000. Recently, he sang ‘namami devi narmade’, the anthem of the Narmada Seva Mission of the Madhya Pradesh government.

3 mins read
GovernanceNow
August 15, 2017

Making The Cloud Industry-Friendly

The telecom regulator may soon propose a simple regulatory framework for cloud computing

5 mins read
GovernanceNow
August 15, 2017

The Wolf And The Lamb

Social injustice and the fate of the university

4 mins read
GovernanceNow
August 15, 2017

'How Can An Insurance Firm Promote Death?'

Dr Pankaj Chaturvedi, head and neck cancer surgeon at the Tata Memorial hospital in Mumbai, is a leading antitobacco activist. He joined hands with Sumitra Hooda Pednekar and others to file a PIL in the Bombay high court earlier this year, questioning the staterun insurance firm LIC’s investments in a leading cigarette-maker company. Edited excerpts from an interview with Geetanjali Minhas:

5 mins read
GovernanceNow
August 15, 2017

Light At The End Of The Tunnel

No doubt, the tobacco industry has proved the greatest stumbling block in promoting healthy lifestyles. But tobacco use is nevertheless falling

5 mins read
GovernanceNow
August 15, 2017

Deadly Smoke Signals

As India struggles to check tobacco use and the losses it inflicts, tobacco firms up the ante

4 mins read
GovernanceNow
August 15, 2017

Across The Threshold

A social media campaign aims to bridge gaps between communities by urging people to visit ‘people unlike us’

6 mins read
GovernanceNow
August 15, 2017

Why Prisons Continue To Harbour The Most Marginalised Citizens

A young researcher speaks up for some accused, finds himself hauled up by the cops

6 mins read
GovernanceNow
July 31, 2017

What India Needs No Do To Finally Become A Superpower

The formula is no secret: focus on four parameters – effective governance, rule of law, accountability and finally, economic growth.

6 mins read
GovernanceNow
July 31, 2017

Timely Delivery

A veteran bureaucrat explains how to complete government projects without time and cost overruns.

4 mins read
GovernanceNow
July 31, 2017
RELATED STORIES

Building Community Through Education

KIRAN BIR SETHI is changing the experience of childhood in Indian cities through her education curriculum and initiatives to build healthy relationships between students and their communities. Here she is interviewed by KASHISH KALWANI.

10+ mins read
Heartfulness eMagazine
September 2021

Granny Chic Galore!

A homeowner’s holiday décor is an homage to Christmas at her grandma’s house.

5 mins read
Cottages and Bungalows
FMD Christmas 21

MISSION CONTROL: APPLE HEALTH INSIGHTS ABOARD INSPIRATION4

Apple might be best known for its consumer electronics like iPhones and iPads, but behind the scenes, the Cupertino company is extending its interests far beyond.

6 mins read
AppleMagazine
September 10, 2021

LORETTA LYNN DEATH CURSES STRIKE AGAIN!

Ranch foreman drowned in flood is 5th tragic victim

3 mins read
Globe
September 13, 2021

APPLE EASES APP STORE RULES AGAIN, TO ALLOW OUTSIDE SIGNUPS

Apple is relaxing rules to allow some app developers such as Spotify, Netflix and digital publishers to include an outside link so users can sign up for paid subscription accounts.

1 min read
Techlife News
Techlife News #514

FTC ORDERS COMPANY TO QUIT SURVEILLANCE APP BUSINESS

The Federal Trade Commission has for the first time banned a company that makes so-called stalker were — software used to surreptitiously track a cellphone user’s activities and location — from continuing in the surveillance app business.

2 mins read
Techlife News
Techlife News #514

NATURAL FOOD: Sources Of Retinol

Retinol considered the queen in skin care as it increases collagen production, which is a very important aspect in delaying skin aging.

1 min read
Women Fitness
September 2021

Yoga Asanas To Practice before Retiring to Bed

Sleep is so important for our health, especially for our immunity and nervous system.

3 mins read
Women Fitness
September 2021

Your Best summer skin ever

Summer brings plenty of challenges for skin (hi, blazing sunshine and strong sea breezes). Thankfully, fresh, organic produce also ripens over the summer, and certain fruits and veggies can work some surprising wonders for your largest organ. Combine these foods with supplements that love your skin year-round, and you’ll have a solid skin health strategy

4 mins read
Natural Solutions
August 2021

Weekend in the Park

The 43rd annual Long’s Park Art Festival will include paintings, sculptures and more by over 200 juried artists.

1 min read
American Art Collector
August 2021