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Monday, June 30, 2014

End of Misrule by Coterie: West Bengal in Political Cross-road? A K Biswas


End of Misrule by Coterie: West Bengal in Political Cross-road?

Part I
Caste Matters
Caste is perhaps comparable only to poison and/or cancer. Both are too dreadful until and unless urgently cured by strong intervention in time. But caste has no antidote. India is the home of caste, ordained by scriptures and preached by venerable sages and saints over ages, poisoning the mind and body of everybody—sufferer or beneficiary—professing Hinduism. A section of Goebblesian publicists and propa-gandists want the lay countrymen to believe that caste is dying out, if not already dead. Those who have fallen for such gimmicks have been deluded and the cost has been enormous in terms of social peace, happiness and self-esteem. Bengal has been in the frontline with high-decibel claim that caste has ceased to exist there. The propagandists, mainly drawn from a minority section, have ulterior motives to benefit politically as well as socially. Their approach, briefly, is mollifying, language refined and intonation dignified to deceive the illiterate, unsuspecting, and credulous masses.
The dynamics of caste has to be understood by demonstrating untouchability, deprivation and discrimination there alongside provinces, such as, Bihar and Orissa, which a section of Bengalis regard as caste-ridden. An ordinary Bihari or Oriya perhaps is unware that his blessed neighbour Bengal had, according to the 1911 census, returned a larger percentage of untouchables than in his own province. Further, the proportion of people denied access to Hindu temples was more in Bengal than in Bihar and Orissa. Table-1 shows the ground realities of caste dynamics in two provinces.1

With matchless nonchalance and cruelty, the Bengali upper caste Hindus trampled over the necks of the untouchables in complete disregrad for human dignity. Some of the victims did not surrender to their tormentors. The Census of India in 1901 declared that the descendants of Chandals (renamed Namasudras in 1911) and Pods who converted to Islam in Dacca and Chittagong Divisions [now in Bangladesh] aggregated at least nine million. Only the elite could asnwer who were the oppressors, forcing them to seek refuge under Islam for protection and liberation from the thraldom sanctified by the scriptures. It’s anybody’s guess. But the violators of the untouchables responsible for largescale conversion to Islam do not admit it. The bhadralok were the actual creators of East Pakistan by converting the province into a Muslim-majority province through mass conversion of untouchables into Islam.
Many across India are under the delusion that the birthplace of towering social reformers, educationists, religious leaders and winners of Nobel prizes cannot be characterised by caste hatred and discrimination. This is utterly wrong. Such belief, if at all, is solely the result of Goebbelsian propaganda. Example is better than precept. We take two recent instances:
First Example
Vikas Sardar completed due formalities, paying Rs 10,900 for admission of his daughter into Kishaloy, a nursery section of Jadavpur Vidya-peeth, Calcutta. The guardians, who were called for counselling, were supplied a four-page terms and conditions for admission of their wards. The Principal, Krishna Chakraborty, asked Vikas Sardar to read out the terms and conditions of admission. A surprised Vikas wanted to know why he was singled out when none of the others there was subjected to the test. “You are a Scheduled Caste,” shot back the insolent lady Principal. “I want to see and be sure your daughter is eligible for admission.” Vikas refused to be cowed down and to take the humiliation and discrimination unchallenged. He demanded refund of the fees, saying that he would not admit his daughter in the school that practised caste-based discrimination. The school not only did not refund the fees, the Principal set the school’s security guard on him to chase the Scheduled Caste man away. An assaulted and agrieved Vikas lodged a complaint to the Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate, Alipore who directed the Calcutta Police Commissioner to file a case u/s 156 Indian Penal Code 2 in Jadavpur Thana against 11 accused including Krishna Chakraborty and investigate the case. Notably, the ACJM did not direct the Police Commissioner to invoke provisions of the Sche-duled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act 1989, leaving a gaping hole for the accused to escape the charges which basi-cally are tantamount to practising untouc-hability and discrimination against a Scheduled Caste girl child seeking admission in a school of her choice.3
This case is of September 2013.
Second Example
The other case, equally illustrative, concerned a school teacher, Nakul Ruidas, of Sukanta Smriti Vidyamandir, Bankura district. A leather worker’s  son, he was recruited through competi-tive examinations held by the West Bengal School Service Commission. From day one, he faced all conceivable forms of harassment and humiliation from his colleagues. Obviously his caste was the target of insinuation in which the students perhaps did not lag behind to join Nakul’s colleagues.
Due to illness, once Nakul absented himself from the school under due intimation to the authorities. On recovery, when he reported to the school for duties, he was not allowed to join. Having exhausted all avenues open to him for relief, the distraught teacher moved the Calcutta High Court for redressal of his grievances and appropriate direction to the school. The High Court ordered the District Inspector of Schools to ensure that the petitoner joined the school; his salaries with arrears were paid within ten days and he did not face any harassment thereafter in his workplace. Notably what the petitioner’s advocate agitated before the Court was far more alarming as it exposed the tip of the iceberg. The Court was told that there were many others like Nakul who were subjected to similar caste-based discrimination and harass-ment.4 The whole case took at least half-a-decade to conclude with the High Court’s intervention. And this incident was reported in February 2010 under a regime that vociferously pretended to champion the cause of the Scheduled Castes and Tribes. Incidentally, year after year during the Left rule thousands of vacancies reserved for the Scheduled Castes and Tribes were not fulfilled on the plea that suitable candidates were not available.
Are further instances necessary to prove the ground realities obtaining in the cultural hea-ven? What else are the connotations and implications of the incidents cited above other than untouchability, discrimination and hatred against the underdogs? Such instances, regard-less of political hue, are not rare. The first instance cited above occured under the present regime. The rulers—Left, Right or Centre—make no difference to the deprived.
Nobody expects that the State administration would take in either of the cases appropriate and prompt action against the offenders to safeguard and uphold the rights and dignity of the underprivileged vactims, though sonorous chants of self-praise continue aloud saying the State is free from the vices of caste.
Caste in their Bone Marrow
Appointment of Sukumar Mallick, ICS as the Chief Secretary of West Bengal in the year 1970 was greeted with surpising protest demonstrations by unionised employees of the State. They were cheered by blistering Bengali media attacks against the top bureaucrat. A holy war was waged against Mallick. Prominent journalists like Vivekananda Mukherjee and Barun Seng-upta, to note only two, led the charge. S. Mallick, who joined as the Chief Secretary on April 23, was ultimately removed on November 3, 1970 after six months 11 days.5
The ICS officer was a Namasudra, a very populous caste of Bengal.
Deshapran Birendra Nath Sasmal (1881-1934), the son of a zamindar of Midnapur and a Bar-at-Law, was edcuated in England. Patriotic to the bone marrow, “Sasmal assisted C. R. Das (Chitta Ranjan Das) in organising the Bengal Provincial Swarajya Party and subsequently became its Secretary”. In the teeth of opposition of the Indian National Congress, he won the election to the Calcutta Corporation. “He (Sasmal) aspired to be the Chief Executive of the Calcutta Corporation. But Das feared to offer the post to Sasmal because he assumed that the choice would offend the Kayastha clique of Calcutta.”6 (Italicised by this writer)
In the circumstances, a younger Subhas Chandra Bose (1897-1945) became the CEO of the Calcutta Corporation with the blessings of C.R. Das, who was elected its Mayor in 1924.7 Subhas Bose had disdainfully commented: “What a joke! That Keot of Midnapur as CEO of Calcuttan Corporation?”8 Humiliated, hurt and angry, Sasmal left the Bengal Provincial Congress Committee and went back to his legal practice and took control of local politics in Midnapur.9 Evidently, an appeased clique, by hate-mongering, threats and blackmail, won the day.
Caste, either in the colonial era or after independence, is not anathema to the Bengali bhadralok who pretend to be liberal and unorthodox. It is the result of misinformation campaigns that drove the rest of India to believe that caste is non-existent in Bengal. Let us in the same breath admit that caste is avidly courted in Bengal in politics, literature and social life. We once again demonstrate how in a grim phase of history the bhadralok flaunted their caste tag with great bravado. The year 1905 was marked by partition of the province into East and West Bengal carried out by Governor-General Lord Curzon. A meeting, attended by a large body of prominent citizens, in the Town Hall, Calcutta, on March 4, 1905 denounced the British scheme of partition. A memorandum was submitted to the British authorities after the meeting. One of the pleas agitated therein was glorification of two of the bhadralok castes, though astounding, if not ridiculous to the core.
“A Brahman or a Kayastha of one part of Bengal will not now object to form matrimonial connection with a Brahman or a Kayastha of the other. But, divided by two governments, they wil not have opportunities of associating with each other, and all social connections will in due course cease to exist between them.” (Paragraph 48)10
What a plea! Matrimonial alliance is central to human society all over the universe. In Bengal, Brahmans and Kayasthas pretended to soak in it in patriotic pretension and flaunted it as a naional agenda without any sense of shame or embarrassment. Why were the Baidyas, along with the populous depressed and untouchable castes, excluded? The anti-partition leaders cried hoarse that the scheme was calcu-lated to destroy Bengali culture, language and brotherhood. Their memorandum landed right inside the British Parliament. Sir Surendra Nath Banerjea had introduced the puerile idea in that document. His boastful claim, ”I had a large hand in drawing up.......” this memorandum11 is ringing and leaves none in doubt about his loyalty and affiliation. These are the very people and their descendants who now display a high decibel of allergy against the caste-tag. The historians tell us it was a patriotic movement directed against the British!
Anti-caste propaganda by the bhadralok serves two purposes: The lower social order is afraid to discuss as also disclose one’s caste in public under fear of inviting scornful condemnation as uncultured and brute, a common refrain inbhadralokdom and in their lexicon. The other is to drill a lasting sense of inferiority and fear into the minds of the low castes. So the feeling and sense of unlimited shame and vulnerability drove very large sections of the Hindus, particu-larly Bengali, to agitate before the colonial government for change of caste designation with a view to earning higher social status and respectability. The Baidyas and Kayasthas queued up before the colonial authorities along with untouchables, for example, Bagdi, Hari, Dom, Chandal, Sunri, Chamar, Rajbanshi, to note only a few, with memoranda to the Census authorities in 1911, 1921 and 1931 for improving their social standing in the eyes of the fellow countrymen. A prolonged movement, participa-ted in by the Kayastha landlords, civil servants (including ICS, holding offices as Divisional Commissioner, District Judge, Deputy Magis-trate etc.), legal practitioners, writers, journa-lists, clerks, businessmen etc., was launched to claim Kshatriyahood but without luck.12 The Census authorities turned down the cherished pleas of all castes (including Baidyas and Kayasthas)—save and except two—the Nama-sudras and Mahishyas! They craved before the authorities to raise barrages for protection against the cascading hatred flowing from the caste(s) above each of them. Indeed low status in the caste hierarchy is not only a fear factor, it’s terror (even now) for each and everyone. They are crushed without provocation publicly as well as privately with no remedy.
Public discussions on caste, moreover, have the potential for exposing the truth along with its grim ramifications plaguing every walk of life. Total monopolisation of opportunities in West Bengal by a microscopic minority has blocked all avenues to power and influence for the rest, irrespective of caste or creed. No other State has succeeded in blocking the upward mobility of the lower social strata for so long.
Part II
New Horizon in Bengali Politics to End Monopoly?
End Brahminical Monopoly in Politics
“It has been decided to expel Comrade Rezzak Mollah from the party for serious anti-party activity and for belittling the party’s image in public,” declared the State office of the Communist Party of India-Marxist in a cryptic statement. The Bengalis in West Bengal, barring a few ideologcal bigots and imbeciles, know, by and large, the reason is different. The statement is bereft of truth; it’s a bundle of white lies.
What have actually irked and upset his bosses are unpardonable utterances aimed at political profligacy of the rulers for over 34 years (1977-2011). The ousted comrade was quoted as saying: “My target is to fight the brahmanical order in the mainstream political parties, where the voice of the backward Hindus and Muslims are seldom heard.”13 Only with the exception of the Bengali rulers and ruling castes, none would feel hurt at Rezzak’s outburst,—long, long overdue. His further salvo was shriller still: “These people have been used by political parties while the Banerjees, Bhattacharjees, Chakra-bartis—the upper-caste brahmins—called the shots.”14 Unpalatable and bitter though, he can rarely be challenged by any sane observer of Bengali politics and administration. Outside the horizon of the myopic privileged class, everyone knows as to who have imperviously mono-polised power and authority. West Bengal is ruled by Brahmans, Baidyas and Kayasthas but they do nothing for the uplift of the rest. This is the genuine cause for the simmering resentment against them.
These are the undeniable facts and factors leading to the expulsion of Rezzak Mollah. By targeting them, he committed blasphemy in the Bengali heartland. Such volcanic erruption from a public forum aiming at the narcissisticHerrenvolks, who have subjugated the majority comprising the Bengali Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes, backward classes and minorities is without parallel in the post-colonial era. But did he warrant to be kicked out? A sitting MLA, Abdur Rezzak Mollah (born in 1945) might not be a leader of all-India stature but he has been representing one of its rural constituencies for a pretty long period from 1977 uninterruptedly in the West Bengal Legislative Assembly and was a Minister since 1981 to 2011. Son of a peasant, Rezzak is definitely popular among his constituents, if victory in all elections held since 1977 is at all any indicator.
He voiced grievances which, though widely prevalent, are never aknowledged by the Bengali aristocratic and elite ruling class of any hue. Rezzak is known to speak out his mind without beating about the bush. The occasion of his outburst against his party was offered by the nomination of a candidate for election to the Rajya Sabha in 2014. The party’s favours fell on a kulin Brahmin; such kulin Brahmins are overrated in public esteem and furiously courted by political parties in Bengal, nay, everywhere in India. The outgoing MP, also a Brahman, recommended the said kulin for the slot vacated by him for nomination. This brings to mind the caste syndrome Nirod C. Chaudhuri pejoratively portrayed: “Don’t you know that a Banerjee takes in Chatterjee and a Bose a Mitra?”15 He underlined how a Brahman favours another Brahman only, a Kayastha another Kayastha and so on, for cornering any opportunities. In their estimation, none else other than themselves is suitable for the office of trust and confidence to hold. Thanks to nepotism, Nirod Babu landed a job in Defence Accounts Departmet, Calcutta in the 1920s even without submitting an application during the colonial era.
Hence Rezzak’s accusation against the Communist Party-Marxist of being trapped in Brahminical appeasement just cannot be ques-tioned or slighted. His declaration to form a political party comprising the marginalised Dalit, tribal, backward classes and minorities in West Bengal to fight the Assembly election in 2016 is the most unexpected and unwelcome challenge essentially for thebhadralok. If elected to power, he further asserted, the Chief Minister would be a Dalit and the Deputy Chief Minister from a minority, who have never been trusted with any portfolio of importance. In fact, one would be at pains to recall any discussion on Dalit and tribal issues in the West Bengal Assembly in about the last four decades.
A London-based journalist and author, himself a bhadralok, defined his class with down-to-earth realism. ”The bhadralok (civilised gentleman) in Calcutta is the most assiduously complex city man in the world. He can be both saturnine and generously hospitable, intellectual and barbaric, civil and outrageously uncouth in the same human frame.”16 To the bhadralok, the world extends right upto the boundaries of Calcutta. So reaction of the privileged club is predictable. The underdogs are, without doubt, familiar with their saturnine, barbaric and outrageously uncouth personality.
A popular leader though, Rezzak incurred displeasure of the appartchik in the high-end of his party’s hierarchy. The leader has not just embarassed his erstwhile comrades and follo-wers, he has provoked utter dismay in thebhadralok circles while the educated sections in the marginalised communities have justifiable reasons to cheer him. A widely circulated Bengali daily insinuated that Rezzak, by his accusation, indulged in caste politics. Speaking unassailable truth is derided as caste politics! No adverse notice of caste, however, is taken against the bhadralok by the said media for indulgence if and when their own fortunes, political, social or economic, are promoted! They become euphoric if and when favours blindly fall on the upper castes and the stigma of casteism is forgotten. The Bengali media, not long ago, burst into wild and protracted songs and dances over his caste as the Brahmin of Keernahar, referring to a village in Birbhum district, when the first ever Bengali was elected to the highest office as the President of India.
Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee, for instance, did not entrust any tribal leade with a Cabinet rank as Minister. Out of 33 Ministers he had 16 Brahmans, who, though three per cent of the State’s population, grabbed 48 per cent of his Cabinet berths—16-times more than its share of population could justify. As high as 69 per cent of the Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee Cabinet was packed with Brahmans, Baidyas and Kayasthas, who formed 6.5 per cent of the population of West Bengal. His Cabinet boasted of two junior tribal Ministers though they accounted for six per cent of the population. The bhadralok see no wrong in such blind monopo-lisation of power in a minority and they don’t paint themselves as casteist.
Of the 294 MLAs in the West Bengal Assembly, 64 were Kayasthas, as against 58 Brahmans during Jyoti Basu’s last term. The trend, however, got reversed during Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee’s tenure. In passing, it is noted that the present Cabinet also boasts of 16 Brahman Ministers and a solitary tribal leader. An oppressive minority has colonised West Bengal, converting democracy into their obliging beast of burden. They have been doing what is most essential for perpetuating themselves in positions of power and authority. Brazilian philosopher and educationist Paulo Friere correctly diagnosed the attitude and strategy of such minority with down-to-earth vision: “As the oppressive minority subordinates and dominates the majority, it must divide in order to remain in power. The minority cannot allow the luxury of tolerating the unification of the people, which would undoubtedly signify a serious threat to their own hegemony........ Concepts such as unity, organisation and struggle are immediately lebelled as dangerous.”17
The masses, reposing their faith and confi-dence in their leaders, have ultimately dscovered that they have actually been used as ladders and exploited in keeping them in power perpetually with no benefits accruing to them. More importantly, the masses not only stand badly divided but they fight dangerously also amongst themselves leading often to bloodbath, which has become the hallmark of political engineering in the bhadralokdom. The strategy behind politically engineered killings ensures that a member of the minority community kills fellow community member(s), giving the rulers huge space to claim with great elan that the State is free from the communal virus and violence thanks to their enlightened rule. The Scheduled Castes similarly kill Scheduled Castes and tribals kill tribals. Rarely, if ever, a bhadralok gets involved in such strifes and is even bruised; the consequence is predictable: the whole admi-nistration, political machinery and bhadralok media become supersensitive and hyper-active in ensuring justice to the victim with alacrity. Most, if not all, victims of police bullets, lathi charges and custodial murders in the State belong to the people who are subordinated and subjugated by the ruling elite. Of course, this is, by and large, an all-India feature. No all-India study has been carried out to ascertain the extent of abuse of administrative powers and violation of human rights by communtiy, caste or tribes. However, a limited survey undertaken by a UN Working Group on Human Rights and a Working Group on Human Rights in India covering “47 districts over a period of more than two years shows that on an average 1.8 million people are victims of police torture and violence in India every year”.18 The majority of the victims, if we carefully look at occasional media reports, appear to belong to the Dalits, tribals, and minorities who have no protectors nor well-wishers in high places to intervene in the highhandedness against them. According to the Asian Centre for Human Rights, West Bengal has captured the fifth position in deaths in police custody. “During 2001-2010, Maharashtra recorded the highest number of deaths in police custody with 250 deaths; followed by Uttar Pradesh (174); Gujarat (134); Andhra Pradesh (109); West Bengal (98); Tamil Nadu (95)..........”19  During 2001-2010, 12,727 deaths in judicial custody took place. Uttar Pradesh recorded the highest number of deaths in judicial custody with 2171 deaths, followed by Bihar (1512); Maharashtra (1176); Andhra Pradesh (1037); Tamil Nadu (744); Punjab (739); West Bengal (601).20 Police brutalities perpetrated on hapless victims do not jell with the angelical image the Bengali ruling elite claims. Neither do all cases trek to official records.
Long ago, the shape of things obtaining in West Bengal today was predicted by Lord Ripon, the Governor-General of India, in his Convo-cation address to the Calcutta University in 1882. “It is not desirable in any country to have a small highly educated class brought into contact with large uneducated masses (...............) and that there should be no sharp line drawn between the educated few and the ignorant and untrained many.”21 The socio-political conse-quences and costs of a small highly educated, self-serving and scheming class in commanding heights are enormous for those—the illiterate, ill-educated and credulous masses—under them. West Bengal under bhadralok domination is a shining example and eye-opener. The rulers since 1947 in general and in the last three-and-a-half decades in particular have brazenly proved that they have brought the entire population under their feet, crushing them mercilessly. This is a fascist attitude and proclivity.
How Feasible a Political Revolution
for Replacing the Minority Rule?
The demography of West Bengal is most suitable for the idea propagated by the ousted Communist leader, Rezzak, to bring down political domination by the clique in place since 1947. Where does exactly lie the intrinsic strength for forming a political party of the deprived and discriminated communities? Does a party of the Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes, backward castes and minorities seem feasible, if formed to contest the next elections? Is such a mobilisation viable at all? West Bengal has India’s largest concentration of Muslims, 23.6 per cent. The Scheduled Castes account for the second largest (23.6 per cent), next only to Punjab (28 per cent) and tribal communities are six per cent. They are wontonly neglected and discriminated against. With a staggering 53.2 per cent population, who are stakeholders and aggrieved against the State Government, a new dawn is the most feasible political proposition. The backward castes are neither closely integrated in sharing political power and auhtority mono-polised by the elite. Therefore theHerrenvolks holding monopoly of power can all be thrown out in future if the idea can be pursued avidly. Deprived and aggrieved citizens have every right to fight for self-determination, for bringing an end to monopoly of power by theHerrenvolks and for ameliorating their fate in a democratic manner. What actually is in place in West Bengal is the antithesis of democracy. The self-service of a small class under pretension for public service thereby has to come to an end for the greater good.
1.  A.K. Biswas, Understanding Bihar, Blumoon Books, Delhi, Secod edition, 2001, p. 218.
2.  Section 156 in The Indian Penal Code, 1860 reads: “Liability of agent of owner or occupier for whose benefit riot is committed.— Whenever a riot is committed for the benefit or on behalf of any person who is the owner or occupier of any land respecting which such riot takes place, or who claims any interest in such land, or in the subject of any dispute which gave rise to the riot, or who has accepted or derived any benefit therefrom, the agent or manager of such person shall be punishable with fine, if such agent or manager, having reason to believe that such riot was likely to be committed, or that the unlawful assembly by which such riot was committed was likely to be held, shall not use all lawful means in his power to prevent such riot or assembly from taking place and for suppressing and dispersing the same.”
3.  Khabor 365 Days, a Bengali daily, Kolikata, Friday September 20, 2013. p. 3.
4. Ananda Bazar Patrika, February 4, 2010.
5.  The State was under Preident’s Rule during this period. This information has been gathered through the good offices of a retired IAS officer of the West Bengal cadre who declined to disclose his name.
The clique had campaigned against Birendra Nath Sasmal and conviced Basanti Devi, the wife of Chittaranjan Das, against his appointment as the CEO. She influenced her husband and the Mahisya was eased out of the arena despite all his qualities and sacrifices for patriotic causes.
8. In 1992, Asok Mitra, ICS, who was a prolific writer and scholar, disclosed this at a seminar on education to mark the Ambedkar Centenary Celebrations in Mahabodhi Society Hall, Calcutta. This essayist was present there. All those present were shocked at the disclosure by an unassailable authority of Mitra’s stature who was inter alia the Census Commissioner of India in 1961.
10.  Nityapriya Ghosh and Ashoke Kumar Mukherjee, Partition of Bengal, 1905-1911, Sahitya Samsad, Calcutta, February 2005, Calcutta, p. 37.
11.  S.N. Banerjea, A Nation in Making, OUP, 1925, p. 163.
12.  In the 1911 Census, the number of memoranda by various castes including Baidyas and Kayasthas of Bengal and Babhans (now called Bhumihars) of Bihar were so large that its total weight was no less than one-and-a-half maund.
13.  The Times of India, January 5, 2014, news under caption, “Abdur Rezzak Mollah’s distance with CPM grows”.
14. Ibid.
15. Nirode C. Chaudhuri, Desh, a popular Bengali magazine, Sharadiya Special 1400, p. 67.
16.  Sasthi Brata (Chakravarti), India: The Perpetual Paradox, Rupa & Co., 1986 p. 98.
17. Paulo Friere, Pedagogy of the Oppressed, Penguin Books, 1972, p. 111.
18. The Times of India, June 28, 2012, news captioned, “43 die in police custody daily: UN Study”.
19.  Asian Centre for Human Rights, press release of November 21, 2011.
20. Ibid.
21.  Speeches and Unpublished Resolutions of Lord Ripon, edited by Ramachandra Palit, Calcutta, 1882, p. 286.
The author is a former Divisional Commissioner and Vice-Chancellor, B.R. Ambedkar University, Muzaffarpur, Bihar. He can be contacted

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