Dinesh Mishra’s work for crores of people while Medha Patkar and Arundhati Roy’s for lakhs only!
A call in the morning from Dinesh Kr. Mishra –whether I had any information for the collapsed Koshi barrage in Nepal and water had entered into Birpur and Forbesganj, my hometown.
I gave him number of Prof. Nitya Nand Lal Das, who succeeded my father as the president, RSS of the town and was at the moment vice-president of the Anatarrashtriya Maithili Parishad ( AMP ). I also phoned him but his phone was out of order. I phoned Jethmal Jain who had a drug shop at Forbesganj JAIN PHARMACY in the same shop where in my early childhood I had seen my father practicing. The landlord did not give the pucca constructed shop to my father who had to shift sideways from there.
Jethmalji had been a fast friend of Dasji and had a good view for me all along. Even his daughter, an advocate in the Supreme Court had once represented my case in the Bar Council of India.
I phoned Jethmalji and he affirmed the news of the devastation by broken barrage at a place KUSHAHA in Nepali area of Koshi. The water had entered in Birpur but not so far in my town, Forbesganj.
I informed Dineshji who though lived at Jamshedpur his life was in the Koshi area. I asked him to talk to Jethmalji also.
Dinesh Kr. Mishra is a name now well known in the field of water and flood management. An alumnus of the IIT, Kanpur, he hailed from Azamgarh (UP) and remained a bachelor in search of solution to the perineal floods of Koshi and other rivers of Mithila and other parts of Bihar. He is a non-believer of Dams to which I too follow. I was reading Arundahti Roy’s article in Outlook written in 2000 where she had painted a picture of MNCs hobnobbing with the high dam manufacturers; she has painted pictures of several millions uprooted from their land after Narmada’s Sardar Sarovar Project.
Though I have every love with the Saurashtra and Gujarat regions people, I was never in favour of such project which uproots poor villagers and hence I had an admiration for Arundhati not because I agreed to her all writings but because she dared to speak against the Supreme Court, even at the cost of going jail for a night. I feel , the Hon’ble Court should not have gone to that extent not because she was a Booker awardees but because she spoke for the poor, even if it might be against many more poor of Gujarat; after all she was a lady and when the court cannot do anything against law breakers entering in the Cabinet..
Dineshji’s work is far greater than Arundhati, Medha Patkar or Rajendra Sachhar..He took up the work of flood devastated public in 1984 when I had gone to work on the other bank he was working on Koshi at Saharsa(I was at Koparia Ghat.. taken there by Swami Vivekananda, a student of the Darbhanga Medical College, so named by his parent school teachers from Khagaria, on the great sanyasi Vivekanada, the role model for all, To some extent Dr. Vivekananda is serving its people there still though I returned and merely wrote an editorial for starting a branch, CALAMITY MEDICINE which of course ids now well known as DISATER MEDICINE..
Dineshji had gone there to give a report for continuing or closing a project by OXFAM but seeing the unimaginable water south of Saharsa had recommended continuing work and was asked by a Marathi worker of Gandhi Shanti Pratishathan to delve deep of the problem which took the youth of Dineshji..
When I started Maithili work, I had made a Flood Control Committee and had a recall that somewhere in the magazine, Bagmati Damodar Times, Dineshji was mentioned as Gadhiraj delving deeper in the pages of the National Library, Kilkata’s books.
Dr. Jaykant Mishra of Allahabad sent me his address of Jamshedpur and when I went there in connection of seeing a groom for my sister instead I landed up in the book-filled room of Dineshji who used to live in the NML(National Metallurgical Laboratory) Campus where his elder brother was a Deputy Director. Guessing me close to Dineshji(though it was a first meet with him), his sister in law asked me to say him for marriage,”Who will look after him after me..?”
Dineshji told her that he had already married to Saptakoshis and would move to other place with his books. I told him that we revered Koshi as mother.
And that Dineshji who had first replied me in Hindi to my letter in Maithili that he belonged to UP and though can understand could not write Maithili became close to me.
He reproduced many books on Koshi( Barh se trast, sinchi se past), Abhishapt Gandak, Dui Patan ke beech me(Kamla –Balan as well as two banks of Koshi), Bandini Mahananda, Boya Per Babool ka, Ek Bhootahi Nadiki kahani, .. etc.
He addressed AMP’s Jamshedpur and Rourkela conferences. Every village of Mithila is on his fingertips!
He had worked for the people devastated by water while Medha and Arundhati for water deprived. Dinesh’s work was for crores of people while Medha Patkar and Arundhati’s for lakhs only!
Dinesh could not get media attention so much and thus awards but could arouse people of Mithila. I attended one such convention in April 1995 probably at Nirmaly on the 50th Anniversary of the inauguration of the Koshi Project and saw tere poor farmers around 2000! Again once I addressed for a few minute in a state level such conference at Patna ‘s Shstrinagar.
Today Dineshji is bothered much than me though I was born in Koshi sands!
Dineshji, an UPite is in fact is a friend of Mithila unparallel like George Grierson, an Irish was.
His concern that people in the Bandh area of Nepal saved by barrage braking and now if more rains in Bhadav what will happen to the Indian Maihtils till Koparia Ghat are genuine..
Again there will be air surveys. PM Dr. Manmohan Singh had assured for remeady. I read in the Hindustan today, CM, Neetish has asked the Central Govt. to talk to the Govt. Of Nepal.
Yes, there is now a Govt. of Nepal, PM Prachanda has just sworn in the name of PEOPLE..People of Nepal and India cannot be segregated he should know. There are apprehensions that he has been anti-Indian, anti-Hindi and even anti-Hindu though a Hindu but being a Marxist! Marx’s philosophy was universal and Indians had given the Maoists shelters when the head hunting was on.
Let us see what happens!