We are passing through a phase when often political rhetoric is more prominent and concrete action is less visible, and then Lalu Prasad Yadav comes forward as a ray of hope and change for the Bahujans of this country. This is the period when people are constantly kneeling before Brahminism and capitalism. When we see every part of the system failing and then the entire system being handed over to capitalism, we also have to remember the people who fought for social justice, equality, and the rights of the marginalised.
The Dalit-backward people of this country were silenced for centuries by the Brahminist and Manuvadis. Dalits could not dare to sit, speaking was a long way off. When Lalu Prasad Yadav says that "I could not give heaven to Bihar but gave voice", it is not just a political statement made just like that. With his unwavering commitment, Lalu Prasad Yadav has left an indelible mark on the Bahujan political scene in Bihar and across the country. From his early days in politics until today, Lalu Prasad Yadav has consistently championed the rights of the marginalized and been their voice. His dedication to the upliftment of Dalits and backward castes has been the essence of his entire political life.
But this country has a cruel history; whenever any voice is raised for the Bahujan population, the Brahminical forces first try to suppress that voice. Tried to discredit that voice because of a poor shepherd who had become the Chief Minister, Railway Minister, and even the one who decided the direction and condition of the politics of this country. For those who did not even have the right to sit and speak in front of the Brahminists, Lalu Prasad Yadav opened a school for the shepherds so that those children who graze cows and buffaloes and who did not get a chance to go to school or who are not capable can also study. He opened the way to the school for such children, whom the Manuwadis had never allowed to come to the school gate. Such a person who becomes the mouthpiece of the Bahujans always gets in the eyes of the Manuwadis. Baba Saheb Bhim Rao Ambedkar, who gave the constitution of this country, revolutionary mother Savitri Bai Phule and heroic Phoolan Devi, who challenged the patriarchy, have always remained in the eyes of the Manuwadis.
In 1990, when the VP Singh government called for the implementation of a recommendation of the Mandal Commission for the backward people of this country, the Brahmanical forces started protesting against it. He took out the Rath Yatra of Kamandal against Mandal. Because of this, riots started happening in many places across the country. With the decision taken by Lalu Prasad Yadav during his initial tenure as Chief Minister, hardly any leader would have dared to do so. By arresting LK Advani, who wanted to bury Mandal under the debris of Babri Masjid, he did the work of saving a secular state given in the constitution by Babasaheb Dr. Bhim Rao Ambedkar. The decision was a tremendous challenge, as Advani's party, the BJP, was an important support base for VP Singh's government at the Centre. And then his speech: "If there is no human being left in the interest of the country, then who will ring the bell in the temple and who will go to offer prayers in the mosque? The life of a common man is worth as much as the lives of a leader and a prime minister. Whether my government stays or goes, I will not allow riots to happen in my state." This infused a spirit among the backward to fight against Kamandal. His efforts resonated deeply with those who were historically oppressed and neglected.
Till date, there is no policy for paid menstrual leave in all the so-called developed countries around the world, but Lalu Prasad Yadav issued a notification for paid menstrual leave during his tenure itself. Bihar became the first state to launch such affirmative action for women. But at that time, the entire media, which was occupied only by the dominant castes, was engaged in setting fire against the Mandal Commission and inciting the youth of the upper castes. No media outlet covered such a progressive decision as paid menstrual leave.
Lalu Prasad Yadav's tenure as Railway Minister in the UPA government from 2004 to 2009 was marked by historic achievements. He pioneered initiatives that made rail travel accessible to the poor and turned the railways into a profitable entity. Implemented an innovative management system to get Railways out of the debt trap as per modern market understanding and got Railways out of debt when its cash balance had reached a low of 259 crores and its operating cost had reached a low of 98 percent. Lalu Prasad Yadav's contribution as Railway Minister will always be remembered.
It is disheartening to see that despite remarkable achievements, Lalu Prasad Yadav has to face undue harassment. Former Karnataka DGP and Chief Investigating Officer of the Fodder Scam AP Durai IPS has highlighted the conspiracy to falsely implicate Lalu Prasad Yadav in his autobiography "Pursuit of Law and Order". This unfair treatment not only questions the principles of justice but also exposes the nexus of Manuwadi media and Sangh without proper evidence and favoritism in the judicial system.