PATNA: Kanhaiya Kumar belongs to the backwaters of Bihar but his village is no ordinary example of poverty and backwardness. Politics is in the DNA of Bihat, the revolutionary village in Begusarai district, whose fatal ideological clashes have created many “political widows”.
An old Communist bastion, attracting the sobriquet as acute as “Leningrad of East”, Bihat has produced many prominent Left leaders like Chandra Shekhar Singh, who was minister in first non-Congress government in the state in 1967. His father, Ram Charita Singh was in the Cabinet of Krishna Singh, the first chief minister of the state. Former Union home secretary and Sikkim governor B P Singh also belongs to this village of more than 40,000 people.
Kanhaiya, the JNUSU leader facing the charges of sedition and drawing the attention of media for more than a week now, comes from a family of Left-leaning ideology. Jaishankar Singh, the father of JNUSU president, is suffering from paralysis and is bedridden for the last couple of years while mother Meena Devi runs the family with a monthly salary of `3,000 as an anganwadi worker. But the low income could never stop the education of Kanhaiya, who is pursuing his Ph.D. in African studies at the School of International Studies of JNU.
A bright student at school, Kanhaiya took part in Indian People’s Theater Association activities. He became involved in student politics while in the College of Commerce in Patna, by joining AISF, the students wing of the Communist Party of India. He got elected as the president of the JNU Student Union last year.
“Bihat is politically conscious. The village has contributed a lot during the struggle of Independence and it has gone down in the pages of history as ‘Bardoli of Bihar’ for its rebellion against British imperialism,” Pushpraj, a local resident, said. “The village has been a battle ground of political tussles between the Communist Party and Congress after the Independence too,” he added.