Bhola Paswan Shastri is one of the revolutionaries who had a major share in the freedom struggle of India. He was better known as the chief minister of the state of Bihar, thrice from 1968 to 1971. He was born in 1914 in Bairgacchi, in the district of Purnea, Bihar. His family belonged to the Pasi community. This community, at the time of his birth and even before was considered as an untouchable community. But since birth, he was a dynamic person, full of zest, love for his motherland and keen interest in politics and social issues.
His original name was Bhola Paswan. What added Shastri to his name was due to his intellect and educational charisma. In spite of belonging to a community which was the most oppressed, he took his degree from Kashi Vidyapeeth. He gave the ‘Shastri’ exam, which considered as the highest honor at that time, and hence the title ‘Shastri’ was conferred upon him.
A brief history of Bhola Paswan Shastri’s birthplace:
Anciently known as Vihar, Bihar was the first empire of the Maurya dynasty. Once the Mauryas conquered it, they changed it to Magadha, which was their capital. It was the centre of learning, economy, cultural heritage and power for more than 1000 years. This place came under the reign of the British Dynasty in 18th century and since then this small separate British province struggled all the time to release itself from the shackles of the British. Bhola Paswan had a lion’s share in this struggle.
The Pasi community:
The Pasi community was a Dalit community. It was a community which was considered as an untouchable community by those belonging to the upper castes. As per India’s positive discrimination of castes, this caste is now classified as Scheduled caste. As the Pasi community’s people were also known as Chaudhary, Bhola Paswan Shastri’s father, too, was addressed to as Chaudhary. They were traditionally into toddy tapping. But in spite of a lot atrocities and a low status being inferred upon them by the society, he still was a bright student. He earned himself a respectable position by educating himself from Kashi University.
From Toddy making to being a Chief Minister:
After being educated, Bhola Paswan Shastri openly expressed his objection to the caste system and the atrocities being inflicted upon the members who belonged to the Dalit community. He was active during a lot of struggles which were instrumental in uplifting the people of this community. He later on actively involved himself into political activities, which had been his area of interest right since school days. Paswan was an active member of a lot political movements in India’s freedom struggle. His contribution to the field of politics made him the Chief Minister of the state of Bihar in 1968.
A college called Bhola Paswan Shastri agricultural college has been established in his birthplace, Purnea, in the year 2011. He was definitely one of the most successful and dynamic personality in the history of India.