Lalu and his cows
Ranchi, Oct. 1: Lalu Prasad, whose sense of humour was divine when times were good, may still find this string of bovine coincidences amusing.
Lalu’s present address after yesterday’s guilty verdict, the Birsa Munda Central Jail in Hotwar, has another devout cow worshipper inmate — Jamshedpur industrialist R.K. Agrawal, whose political ambitions were chewed like cud when he was implicated in the Rajya Sabha elections in March 2012.
Here’s a zinger of a coincidence. The CBI officer instrumental in putting behind both Lalu and Agrawal, DSP A.K. Jha, also a cow worshipper.
The probes led by DSP Jha got Lalu, and earlier Agrawal — his case is still under trial — to Birsa jail, the 40-acre Hotwar plot which in the Unified Bihar days was used by the animal husbandry department as a cattle farmhouse.
In one line, the upshot is that one bovine believer was instrumental in bringing two others to a jail that once was a place to breed cows.
All the three men, Lalu, Agrawal and Jha, take their cow worship seriously.
When Lalu was the Bihar chief minister, his sprawling official residence 1 Anne Marg was converted partially to an air-conditioned khatal. On Sunday, just before Lalu boarded his Ranchi flight for the CBI court verdict, he stopped at his air-conditioned khatal (cowshed) at Danapur to receive the blessings of his favourite cows. The court found him guilty.
Agrawal, also president of Jharkhand Pradesh Gaushala Sangh, a state outfit for cattle, had in March 2012 stopped at a Ratu Road gaushala to feed cows and seek their blessings before filing his nomination papers to the Rajya Sabha elections as an Independent.
Agrawal, who “constructed a shed for 10,000 cows and saved cattle from slaughterhouses” according to his friend and Jamshedpur resident Bharat Vasani, also projected his image as a bovine protector before polls. But the horse-trading scam changed his life.
CBI DSP Jha neither owns a dairy farm like Lalu nor has Agrawal’s crusading skills, but he religiously feeds roti to cows on all Thursdays and Saturdays.
“It is something I have been doing since the past two decades. It gives me great satisfaction,” he said.
For now, Jha seems to be the only favoured recipient of the bovine blessings.
Jha shrugged off the bovine coincidence with a laugh. So far, it looks like he’s the only one who is laughing.