A Condolence for an Ordinarily Great Person

I wrote about Dasarath Manjhi of Bihar who became an icon in Bihar. A group of young men from Bihar published a book ‘Bihar ka Gaurav’ that has a large number of the great sons of Bihar. The book started with an essay on Dasarath Manjhi.

Dashrath Manjhi suffering septicemia or blood poisoning died at 4.30pm on Friday at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences. As reported in TOI, Dasarth had said, “When I became chief minister of Bihar for one day on July 24, 2006, Nitish Kumar asked me what my wishes were. I asked for my road to be made pukka. I also wished a hospital to be built beside this road, along the Gehlor Ghat, for my people. Both are almost ready. I will inaugurate it as soon as I am out of hospital.” Unfortunately Manjhi couldn’t inaugurate that himself.

Manjhi single-handedly carved out a 360-feet-long, 25-feet high and 30-feet-wide road by cutting a mountain for 22 years. But Majhi was these days battling his incurable cancer. Manjhi, the more popularly known as ‘sadhu baba’ was by no means a super hero. As the story goes “In 1967, his wife Phaguni Devi was crossing the mountain carrying his lunch, when she slipped and hurt herself. Agonised, Majhi decided overnight to create a metal road through the hill. Armed with a hammer and chisel, he didn’t stop for 22 years. Today the road is used by 1,000 people everyday, as it has reduced the distance between Atri and Vazirganj from 50 km to 8 km.”

I wish Nitish Kumar got built a model school in his name in his village, and the pass created by him is named Dasarath Manjhi.

Let me express my sincerest condolence for this ordinary person. I wish the young men of the state emulated his single-mindedness for a cause.

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