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For Bihar village haunted by memories of ’97 bloodbath, boy cracking civil services is face of change

Gaurav Kumar has brought a ray of hope to his village. He has cracked the country’s premier civil services examination, conducted by the Union Public Service Commission

education Updated: Jun 05, 2017 18:20 IST
Gaurav Kumar of  Laxmanpur Bathe has secured rank 789 in UPSC’s civil service exam.
Gaurav Kumar of Laxmanpur Bathe has secured rank 789 in UPSC’s civil service exam. (Sourced)

Laxmanpur Bathe is a name associated with a horrific bloodbath. This village in Arwal district, 110 kms south of Patna, on the banks of river Sone, is infamous for the massacre of 62 Dalits on the night of December 1, 1997, allegedly by the Ranvir Sena, a private army of landlords.

Two decades after the incident, Gaurav Kumar has brought a ray of hope to his village. He has cracked the country’s premier civil services examination, conducted by the Union Public Service Examination.

Kumar, who bagged rank 789, is the second candidate in the last four years from Arwal district to qualify the civil services.

Born in a family of farmers in 1994, Kumar may not remember the bloody agrarian conflicts in Bihar in the 1990s, but he has heard about the gory tales of massacre from his father, Sanjeev Kumar.

Asked about the history of his village, Kumar said, “The tales of my village, narrated by my father, are horrendous. Dalits and people of other communities were killed in bitter rivalries. But now things have changed.”

Kumar moved to Patna after his primary education at Bathe. After completing his matriculation from Devi Dayal High School with 70% marks in 2008, Kumar did his intermediate from TPS College and scored 78% marks in science. This was enough to get him admission to the geology department in Patna’s premier Science College. He scored 63% marks at the graduation level.

“In Patna, I developed a fascination for civil services and cracked the exams in my second attempt,” said Kumar. Six hours of hard work every day helped him achieve this objective.

Given his rank — 789 out of 1,099 successful candidates — in the general category, Kumar knows he will not get absorbed in the Indian Administration Service (IAS). However, his achievement cannot be undermined considering the fact that Arwal, a small district, created in August 2001, has just four degree colleges and two affiliated colleges.

“I may get Group B services and might make one more attempt at the exams to improve my rankings, as I want to serve the people (as a bureaucrat),” he said.

As him about his advice to students preparing for the civil services, and he says, “Make goals daily and achieve them. If you cannot achieve your daily goals, you cannot plan a future.”

Kumar’s achievement has certainly eclipsed horrific memories of death and devastation at Laxmanpur Bathe. At least for now.