Bihar CM explodes at rally after `hate' message A flimsy piece of paper has done what volleys of flying shoes and chappals, and the odd hail of stones couldnâ€™t:it has made Nitish Kumar an angry man. So angry he is willing, out of character,to display it on the public stage.â€œYou want to kill me, kill me,â€ he cried out in an unlikely dais outburst at a college ground in Supaul this morning, â€œI would prefer to die fighting for your rights than dying in bed. I want to remind those who have set out to assault me physically,Iam not giving up this battle come what may. â€ The truth is, it is not the apprehension of injury to his person on his â€œA dhikar Yatraâ€ outing that has stirred the rage in Nitish; it is the abrupt and anonymous imposition of insult. Passing a brimstone alley in Khagaria two days ago,Nitish Kumarâ€™s armoured SUV took two hits from rocks the size of a palm. A third rock pummelled through the pane of a following car in which a senior officer sat. The cavalcade passed the pelting, but worse awaited it down the road. One among a small clutch of protesters was able to dodge the bandobast cordon and slip a greasy pamphlet though the chief ministerâ€™s lowered car window. It extolled a besmirched and discarded menagerie of Bihari leaders, including Pappu Yadav, currently serving a life term for murder. It amused Nitish as he trawled the hyperbole that has long ceased to attach to those flagged for praise â€” mahaan (great), maha karmath (hugely devoted), adwitiya (incomparable), asaadhaaran (extraordinary). Then the smile died on his face. The eulogy ended with a cryptic epilogue on him: Nitish Kumar, ghrina ke prateek, it said, Figure of Hate.He hovered on the judgement a few moments and then passed it to water resources minister Vijay Chaudhary,seated at the back, with a sardonic recommendation: â€œPadh lijiye, dekhiye kya kah rahe hain hamare baare mein, Pappu Yadav mahaan karmath neta, aur hum (Read it, see what it says about me,Pappu Yadav is a great leader,and I)?â€ He chewed over the slur two days as he barnstormed the remote,a nd often floodravaged, Kosi plains with a call to rise and shake New Delhi into granting special status to Bihar.He raved and remonstrated from podium after podium about why Bihar should be deprived of what it deserved. But each time he re paired into privacy, for lunch or for dinner or for post-prandial chats with colleagues on the trail, he resumed his indignations about what he hadn't deserved. â€œHate figure? They called me a hate figure! By what measure?â€œ How could they say that of one of the country's most applauded chief ministers, and decidedly its most frequently awarded over the past decade? Did praise from such a venerated one as Amartya Sen matter nothing? What was the meaning of the landslide victory of 2010, a loud pro-incumbency endorsement? Hate figure? Nitish Kumar did not say it out but if there was an unspoken sense to his retort it was this: how dare they? At Supaul this morning, he finally spat out what he had been chewing on. â€œShoes and stones and all kinds of insults are being thrown about, but why? Is that what you do in a democracy, maar-peet (violence)? And they are doing it against a man who has set out to get Bihar its legitimate rights. They will suffer the wrath of people, let me remind them.â€œ Applause broke from the thousands gathered under a mammoth marquee.That was the moment Nitish vented his affronted sense like he never has: â€œKill me,Iam ready to die, better to die fighting for Bihar than dying in bedâ€¦.â€ More applause rippled. Such a journey Nitish has not taken in a while.Over his years in power he has become used to being feted by fancrowds wherever he has gone â€” a chief minister who has made such an ethic of mass contact, his office is on camp location half the time,in districts away from Patna, such as this one. But since the â€œA dhikar Yatraâ€ began from Motihari on September 19, anger,spontaneous or inspired, has erupted on the fringes of his gatherings.Arashly flung shoe,a n outcrop of black flags, a flurry of pebbles.M uch of the demonstrating has been down to casual teachers â€” a burgeoned league of two lakh plus â€” demanding permanent government placement. It is nothing the government can grant, but is nothing Nitish is shying away from. â€œTheir delegations have met me,I am seized of their demands, such demands and protests happen in a democracy,â€œ Nitish told The Telegraph during today's road run 400 kilometres northeast of Patna, â€œThis is nothing to cry crisis over, we will deal with these demands as governments do.â€œ What has left the chief minister rankled is the Khagaria protest whose arrowhead had neither signature to it nor ascribed purpose. â€œI do not understand this opposing for the sake of opposing,â€œ he said, â€œand opposing what? A campaign to get Bihar its rights?â€œ Nitish is not taking names or fixing blame yet. But his camp is. â€œIt is clearly the work of Lalu (Prasad) and his cohorts,â€œ said a close political aide of Nitish's. â€œHe has no programme, he is frustrated, physical and verbal violence is his desperate way of politicking. He is directing all this on the phone from Delhi.â€œ If the frequent outbreak of trouble during the â€œAdhikar Yatraâ€œ has ruffled the chief minister's party, it has put the administration on edge. It is nervous to a degree that it is imagining trouble where none exists. An excited elder, running to catch a glimpse of Nitish Kumar in Araria, broken chappals in hand, was prevented just because his footwear was not where it should have been. No amount of prayer on his part got him through. Cordons around meeting venues have become iron-cast, police and plainclothesmen are the only ones with access to peripheries around the stage.They have orders to follow and each behaves as if his job is on the line. We swept due north and east across the Kosi plains from Supaul to Araria and finally Kishanganj, the chickenâ€™s neck township at the junction of Nepal and Bengal with Bangladesh just a twist in the map away.T he landâ€™s lush with paddy courtesy a late but vigorous monsoon, and all along the chief minister's route we saw local traffic stalled at roadheads and villagers herded behind barriers. â€œCanâ€™t take chances after what has been happening,â€ a divisional head of police said, â€œIf the CM canâ€™t move securely, who can?â€ But concerns for his safety are not what has left Nitish angry,it is that pamphlet slap on his dignity.No cordons are going to block a floating piece of paper. Paper cuts Nitish deep *************************** Poor man. Wnats to do good for the much maligned Bihar and chaps are showing their love for the ways of the past!