Prem Sankar Singh, is a performer of the first order. Amazingly articulate, and entrancingly theatrical, he held us rapt, in the grip of his agitation about Kala Pani. He agonized, energetically, about the pains and travails, the Sugar Factory brought to the people of his land, as it spewed its poisonous waste into the water-logged lands around in the Runni Saidpur block.
Prem Sankar Singh, promised a ‘jail bharo’ agitation in January. The People were at the end of the tether, he said. To this, Ram Sevak Singh piped up “jail bharne se kya hoga …? pehle bhi kuch nahin hua hai, aur abhi bhi kuch nahin hoga…” meaning what will happen with this? nothing has happened before and nothing will happen now. “Bihariyon ka khoon garm nahin hai…“, he disparaged at the helplessness of the people.
Prem Sankar rose fittingly to the occasion. “Hum madhya-wadi hain …“, he continued. The people of this land are moderates, and have always walked the middle path, he defended. Look at Ram. He didn’t go off at the deep end. He stood at the shores of the ocean, and tried negotiating with Ravan. Give back my Sita and we will go away, he had said. And Krishna? What did he do? He went to the Kauravas, on behalf of the Pandavas. Give us 5 villages, he said. And we shall not fight. And Buddha was of course from here. He attained his enlightenment at Bodh Gaya…. So how can we fight? It is in our nature to seek compromise.
Hmmm. Had never thought of Bihar to be madhya-wadis … especially considering the tales one gets to hear of the rule of the gun. But then, one learns new things every day.