Random Thoughts

A town called Ghosi

This is just another small town in Uttar Pradesh. A town that makes its presence felt only once during elections. It had lost its voice of protest many years back. Ghosi remains wrinkled in its senile decay. The people here remain poor, the roads and streets had seen better days and gun toting youngsters discuss the price of their equipment with an air of pride. Original hai, daactar sahab.

Mau is a district in southern eastern Uttar Pradesh. It is part of Azamgarh surrounded by Ghazipur, Balia and the Ghagra River. Ghosi is situated in the Mau district. They are popularly known as Eastern Badlands of Uttar Pradesh after mafia war lords like Abu Salem, Mukhtar Ansari, Brajesh Singh emerged from these places.

Mafia-turned independent MLA Mukhtar Ansari was elected to UP legislative assembly from Mau assembly constituency in 2007. Mukhtar Ansari, along with his brother, is in the jail on the charge of the murder of BJP MLA Krishnanad Rai in 2005.

Not only does it have a long notorious history, the area is also a flood-prone region, where every year, 300 to 500 patients die of Japanese Encephalitis.

Atul Kumar Anjan, a poet and a communist leader had been trying his luck for a parliamentary seat from this town. He had failed repeatedly. I saw Atul just before the elections on NDTV discussing vehemently the fate of Congress I. He spoke with confidence about the left front repeating its spectacular success.

Atul Anjan lost miserably having received only 21947 votes in comparison to Bahujan Samaj Party’s Dara Singh Chauhan who got 220695 votes and was declared elected.
The seat was wrested from Chandradev Prasad of the Samajwadi Party who had fared well in the 2004 elections.

Caste, Cash, Communalism and Criminalisation dominates the politics of Eastern Uttar Pradesh Badlands. Atul Kumar Anjan later admitted that the left has lost its ground in this politically important state with the rise of casteism and communualism.

But Atul has been wrong. The poor run of the Left parties could be gauged from the fact that in the last general elections held in 2004 as many as 18 candidates including six of CPI, 10 of CPI-M and two of CPI-M(L) contested from UP, but none of them were able to win confidence and support of the electorate.

Only in 1962, 1967 and 1971, the Communist Party of India candidates Jai Bahadur Singh and Jharkhand Rai won from Ghosi. Jharkhand Rai won this seat again in 1980.

The constituency that had returned Mr Kalpnath Rai four times since 1989 without fail on different party tickets, is dominated by Bhumihars, a caste to which he belonged. Kalpanath Rai was actually called by his friends as Kalpanath Rai Ghosi. His wife Sudha Rai has failed to win this seat as a Congress I candidate. She has been basking on the so called glory of late Kalpanath Rai.

Atul Kumar Anjan speaks charismatically and offers a dream that the common man has rejected long back.
Ghosi remains a ghost town as night descends. One hears sometimes a stray gunshot and the ruffle of sparrows who take to the skies.
Anna Hazare remains largely unknown, just a strange feeling that might have crept in but largely repelled by its dwellers.


More by :  Dr. Amitabh Mitra

Top | Random Thoughts

Views: 3345      Comments: 6

Comment Thanks a lot Gopal Singhji
I am sure that the change we have perceived would finally flow even if it takes some time

02-Sep-2011 02:15 AM

Comment Do not be that disheartened Dr. Mitra!

With Anna’s movement a ray of hope emerged in the middle of the despair of un-checkable corruption. Nobody really seriously believed that it was possible. There are still many doubters. We still have a long way to go. Jan Lokpal is not a panacea for all the corruption problems, but it is a start. Anna is not the ultimate answer to all our problems, but he showed us that we are not helpless objects for exploitation by corrupt and arrogant politicians. He showed us the way. He taught us that as citizens of India we should be full participants in the democracy –not just vote casters once every five years. He has awakened the so called middle-class.

In our village, in Jaunpur, our school carried out peaceful marches on two occasions in support of Anna. We held meetings with the villagers and briefed them about the Government Lokpal Bill and Jan Lokpal Bill and what Anna’s fast meant to the oppressed and un-empowered villagers. They understood it. We have to do more than intellectual analysis of what is wrong with us. We need to get involved in whatever small ways we can. In the words of Mahatma Gandhi “Be the change that you want to see in the world”.

I stay optimistic that Ghosi and Jaunpur and hundreds of villages throughout India will see better days ahead.

01-Sep-2011 12:24 PM

Comment Thanks a lot, Dr. Gopal Singhji. The Gangetic plains which we were once proud of and are sacred in our hearts have become haven for criminals, i really dont believe that Anna's words can reach here. Crime here is a way of life.

01-Sep-2011 10:55 AM

Comment Very nicely portrayed. I come from eastern U.P as well. I spend a lot of time in a village in Jaunpur. It is a carbon copy of Ghosi. I wonder how many villages across India are "Ghosi"? May I paraphrase you when I say "Most of the villages in eastern U.P. remain a ghost town as night descends. One hears sometimes a stray gunshot and the ruffle of sparrows who take to the skies."

What a sad commentary for this fertile delta of Ganges that was once the birth place of our civilization and proud history. Why have we descended to these depths? What is fundamentally wrong with us?

We need to introspect and ponder on creative solutions. How can each one of us turn this decline in our system of living around and reclaim our glory and heritage?

31-Aug-2011 21:16 PM

Comment Thanks a lot, Manke Sahab, Yes we do have a Ghosipura at Gwalior

31-Aug-2011 10:52 AM

Comment dear amitabh
initially i thought u have in u r mind about ghosipura a narrow gauge railway station or ghosis who are the traditionally small dairy owners of the lanes of gwalior so to say. i do read news about some prominat sorry not the correct word stories of adventures and gimmicks adopted by the candidates which is almost predominant in our election system so this inside story of urs about ghosi is well informed.
with love and regards
manke sir

vijay manke amitabh's former school teacher
31-Aug-2011 03:43 AM

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