Dhanbad- Seat of wealth
When Mithilesh Jha asked me to come to Dhanbad, I agreed to visit there on 18th July 2010 as my several recent trips there had been not rewarding organisationally either for the medical(NMO) or Maithili(AMP) despite the fact that 17 times at least I had visited there since 1992, I joined Maithili work(and before that sometimes for the NMO work to the Patliputra Medical College).
Since 1992 after 9 such visits on 1-2 Feb.2003, X International Maithili Conference was held at Dhanbad which was successful.
Dhanbad is famous for coalfields nationally and Black Diamond and Coal Field Expresses are hence named. In the atmosphere of Dhanbad coaldust is common and anybody’s hander kerchief is bound to be black like his/her cloths. I feel if lungs of Dhanbad people are autopsied must be black instead of normal pink colour but they are generous enough ‘large hearted’ in every respect.
Some of my relatives have been there in the vicinity in coal fields – my late maternal uncle was a doctor at Sudamdih, my cousin retired from Bhuli who was initially at Golakdih, other cousin is still working there who live there in Kandra colliery’s abandoned office now used as residential purposes- they used to live initially near Gaushala more at Sindri where is Vidyapati Bhavan at saharpura and I had occasions to visit these all for several reasins.
I also got opportunities to visit BIT(Initially Bihar Institute of Technology, renamed later as Birsa Institute of Technology after Jharkhand was carved out in 2000). I had read in ‘The Hindu,’ some years back in an article by one of the director of IIT,Chennai that initially first IIT was planned in this place only but Dr. B.C.Roy, the Chief Minister of W.Bengal insisted that Bengal was most industrialized state in the country(then it was in fact) and hence that deserved IIT and it was hence placed at Khargapur but for long BIT was excelling like any IIT. Its glory has dampened in past decades but hopefully it will recover as I was informed by Dhirendra Jha, president,AMP, Dhanabad whose son has taken admission there though he was not satisfied and may change to any NIT in further rounds of counseling.
There is CFRI(Central Fuel Research Institute) and all is based on BCCL(Bharat Coking Coal Limited). The township of Jharia is said on fire underneath which may collapse anytime bit people are not vacating since they will loose their livelihood.
The prime institute there is the Indian School of Mines(ISM) where ince I had stayed overnight in the Hostel Emerald. In this visit a student who had done MBA from there(though primarily ISM is meant for the study of Coal and Petrochemicals) Satyjit Chandra informed me the hostels there are named on every types of gems viz. Diamond, Emerald, Topaz(I initially thought it a shaving blade commonly used in India!),sapphire, Amber, and for girls Ruby having Annexe 1,2,3 apart from Opel.
One of its entrance is famous as ‘Steelgate,’ nearto which is the Patliputra Medical College, named on ancient Patna’s name though has lost whatsoever relation it might had with Patna till 2000 AD when Dhanbad was in the state of Bihar. I feel its name better would be changed to Dhanbad Medical College as that name will remain significant always- Dhanbad is ‘the seat of wealth(Dhan)!’
Though this medical college has always remained in news for its recognition with the Medical council of India(MCI), it could get permanent principal after a many years, I read in newspaper when I turned the pages in way to Dhanbad in this visit.
I wished to catch early morning Howrah bound train to go to Dhanbad directly but I missed train despite I was awoke at 4 am due to morning rituals. Anyway I could get Patna Express and while I was waiting I listened to carefully talks of two Secretariat employess of Bihar and Jharkhand. Patna’s land value has a leap in Nitish regime but one of them replied me that corruption is as rampant and so officer’s approach that they do not comply with letters of even chief secretary . They also admitted that RTI was an effective tool but only if you have already correct information on which questions are framed intelligently otherwise an ambiguous reply is usually given .
In fact there were few passengers only and I slept in between. After Chandrapura, I did take my breakfast and asked a fellow passenger to explain ‘;Bhatkhai’ which he was telling to his family members. I felt6 it was like ‘Saujanya’ of Maithil bride’s father by groom’s father and after this only bride’s father takes ‘kachhi or build rice’.
However, the custom has been made complicated and then I explained them maithil’s marriage custom which was so simple till some decades before. Saurth Sabha or assembly of grooms was a convenient thing which initially was held in my village of samaul and was alter shifted to Saurath(related to Saurastra where probably actual Shivalingam of Somnath was brought by priests after Muslim invasion).
I feel that needs revival with an amendement- it should be held with the start of Shuddha rather in the fag end when data of service of groom are difficult to be verified.
I changed train at Netaji SubasChndra junction, Gom and again there was a rush in general compartment and in the same military compartment where I had traveled in June up to Mugalsarai entered. Initially a CRPF jawan resisted but knowing me a doctor did not resit. He was coming from Jammu and had his house at Dhanbad only who wanted to complete his 15 years of service and join some civil work. As per him Kashmir’s conditions were not good and Muslims there are lacking national feeling with India.
I reached Dhanbad and then to Mithileshji’s house in DS Colony and had a long talk on our days of 1980s at Darbhanga when he was a whole timer of the ABVP (like student wing of the RSS) and I was working for the National Medicos Organisation. It was Maithili worker that we again came on one boat where after a very successful meeting met one very old worker D Jha who asked by Prof. Vinay Choudhary of sahara who is currently prsendent of Mithila Vidyarthi Parishad of AMP. I was instrumental to meeting im on phone and both talked for a while about their families etc. D Jha was an incidental introduction with me when in March I had visited Alok Jha’s office and he was called by Mintu of Dhanbad. I had requested D Jha to be president of local AMP which he had accepted and had come to meeting though I did not recognize him initially. As the meeting was in durga mandap and I had no Prayer of Yatreeji I preferred to chant Dyrgamaiyas and Ambejik prayers which I had translated in maithili in the beginning and end. I found Maithils from Darbhanga, Madhubani, Banka, Begusari, Khagaria, Bhagaplur,Katihar, Munger and Sitamarhi districts among 17 who attended-they include from Jhandapur and Kuangarhi where I had gone for AMP camps. A small committee was formed for membership drive and follow up.
Two young persons (one Maithil and other Kannada) came to meet me- Maithil was from Dhanbad and both worked in Karnataka and had come for finding students for their institute. I talked with them – the Kannadaiga was in fact Tulu speaker (from which Engish is said to be developed) from Mangalore. We talked a lot. In fact colossal money is being drained out as Karnataka etc. have made education as industry which need checked.
Some deviation went on inter provincial marriages which I opposed as if Maithil grooms marry outside it was also a loss of a groom for any prospective bride as well as difficulty in maintaining culture. I feel nationalism has nothing to do with it rather it is for some materialistic gains of earning wives.
It was late and I ate food cooked by Chandan, son of Mithileshji and got a rickshaw for station in midnight- there were ups and downs but he pulled rickshaw on hand- I should have been down but I did not though thought for so.
At midnight I have waited many times for Ranchi bound train and I got a ceat in Patliputra Express - In the morning I read in jagaran following Vanachal was hit with a full speed express at Sainthia station- reckless driver and over 50 died!
Dr. Dhanakar Thakur
Antarrashtriya Maithili Parishad