Is it PM Narendra Modi? Is it the master strategist Amit Shah? Or is it Sonia Gandhi or Mamata Banerjee, who want a larger slice of the pie in the laughable INDI alliance?
But, in a surprising twist, it’s none of these political heavyweights who seem to have Nitish Kumar on edge. Instead, it’s a YouTuber named Manish Kashyap, who has been languishing behind bars for over five months.
So, what is it about Manish Kashyap that has the Nitish Kumar administration quaking in their boots? Well, it all began when this fearless YouTuber cum journalist decided to shed light on the plight of Bihari laborers in Tamil Nadu. He didn’t mince his words and accused the incumbent Bihar administration of being utterly indifferent and callous towards the suffering of these laborers.
Since then, Manish Kashyap has been treated as if he were a dreaded criminal, someone more ‘dangerous’ than even the likes of Afzal Guru or Sharjeel Imam, at least in the eyes of the Nitish administration.
A recent court hearing only serves to highlight the lengths to which the administration seems willing to go. Another case has been slapped on Manish Kashyap, who has been incarcerated since May this year. His ‘crime’? Well, he had the audacity to speak out against the Bihar administration, especially the Deputy Chief Minister Tejashwi Yadav in a viral video.
In that video, Manish Kashyap pulled no punches. He criticized Rashtriya Janata Dal supremo and former Bihar Chief Minister Lalu Prasad Yadav and his son, Tejashwi Yadav. Outside the Patna Court, he boldly declared, “I am the son of a soldier, not a fodder thief [Lalu Yadav]. I will die, but I will not bow down before these people.” He even raised his fist in a defiant manner reminiscent of George Fernandes, whose iconic photo in shackles continues to intrigue political enthusiasts to this day.
Following this fiery speech, Patna Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Rajeev Mishra confirmed that the administration had suspended five policemen and sought clarification from the team responsible for escorting the YouTuber from Beur jail to the court. He made it clear that the matter was under investigation.
Now, it’s worth noting that in the past, even prominent figures like Stalin and YouTuber Maridhas didn’t evoke this level of insecurity from the powers that be. And let’s not forget the case of Mohammad Zubair, who is facing far more serious charges that could lead to a life sentence. Yet, the Tejashwi Yadav-led Bihar government, with Nitish Kumar as the administrator in name, appears to be gripped by an extraordinary fear of Manish Kashyap.
This fear speaks volumes about Manish Kashyap’s influence in Bihar, an influence that hasn’t diminished despite the oppressive attempts by the Bihar government to crush it. In a political landscape where speaking truth to power can have dire consequences, Manish Kashyap’s unwavering courage serves as a reminder that even the mightiest can be humbled by the voice of the people. As his story continues to unfold, it remains a testament to the enduring power of free speech and the determination of individuals to stand up against injustice, no matter the odds.
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