Lalu Prasad plays `kapdaphar’ Holi

March 22nd, 2008 - 4:51 pm ICT by admin  

Patna, March 22 (IANS) Railway Minister Lalu Prasad lived up to tradition, playing his trademark ‘kapdaphar’ (cloth-tearing) Holi with supporters to the singing of traditional Bhojpuri songs and drum beats at his residence here Saturday. Although initially reluctant, the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) chief was ultimately forced by his supporters and party workers to play kapdaphar Holi.

He was not ready to play the boisterous style of Holi, and had decided to keep the celebrations to only splashing of colours and singing songs.

But some enthusiastic supporters and party workers tore Lalu Prasad’s clothes and forced him play his trademark Holi.

“First, we tore his clothes and after that he tore the clothes of some of us, leading to the kapdaphar Holi,” said Mithlesh Kumar, a Lalu Prasad supporter.

In the morning, the RJD chief had firmly told his supporters that he would play Holi in a more subdued way this time, disappointing hundreds of his supporters as well as the dozen-odd TV newspersons gathered there to catch the scene.

“I will play Holi with all of you but not kapdaphar,” Lalu Prasad said at the 10, Circular Road, residence of his wife Rabri Devi, the Leader of Opposition in the Bihar assembly.

Hundreds of his supporters had gathered outside the iron gates of his house from the morning to play Holi with Lalu Prasad. Their wish was fulfilled when he ordered security officials to throw open the gate and invited everyone in.

Playing the good host, Lalu Prasad said in Hindi: “Sab ko khilao pilao” (Serve them food and drink).

Some of his supporters smeared his face with coloured powder. Then Lalu Prasad, who was clad in a white kurta and pyjama, was drenched in coloured water by his supporters. His hair turned red.

He was soon in high spirits and sang traditional Bhojpuri songs to drum beats. “Don’t put dry coloured power. Keep it away. These are not safe for the skin. Apply only herbal coloured powder,” he advised supporters and party workers.

Upbeat over his “historic Railway Budget”, Lalu did not miss the opportunity to say how a profit of Rs.250 billion for the Railways would contribute to the development of India.

“Lalu Prasad becomes a common man when he plays Holi. It is his rare quality,” said Shyam Rajak, RJD national spokesperson.

Rajak said no other leader except Lalu Prasad played Holi with everyone. “Some of his supporters and party workers eagerly wait for this day,” Rajak told IANS.

“It is Holi with a difference. Lalu met us like a friend, joined in the singing and loudly chatted with everybody,” said Khurshid Alam Siddiquee, another RJD leader.

Rabri Devi also joined in the revelry and served sweets and traditional dishes to the visitors. “We enjoyed thandai, bhang and sweets. It was a Lalu Holi,” said Nandu Singh, a businessman and Lalu supporter.

“We are happy that Lalu played kapdaphar Holi,” said Maheshwar Singh Yadav, a party worker, with a smile.

Like Diwali, the market on Holi too was flooded with popular Lalu water spray guns and other items.

The railway minister is known for tearing off clothes of party leaders, including ministers, officials and people who visit him on Holi day. He also used to enjoy ‘launda nach’ (men dancing in female attire) on the occasion.

During their 15 years’ rule in Bihar, Lalu Prasad and Rabri would host a big Holi party every year except in the year when he was in jail on charges of involvement in the multi-million rupees fodder scam in the late 90s.

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar did not celebrate Holi due to his wife’s death last year.

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