Post 14, Sargana

3:00 p.m.: Shaymdev Mandal sits on his machaan sharing his chillam with Dayal Kumar Singh, the local contractor. Shyamdev wears his trademark white shirt and cream trousers. Dayal Singh is immaculately dressed: his pink shirt and grey trousers are well-ironed; and his slippers are squeaky clean. Dayal Singh is also on the Village Defence Committee and talks about his various responsibilities. Quite quickly, and without apparent provocation, he starts ranting against the present State government, especially its policy of affirmative action for the Extremely Backward Classes (a cluster of historically oppressed caste communities).

Shyamdev says his backache is worse today, and goes inside the house presumably to rest. Incidentally, he supports the Government precisely because it has continued the policy of affirmative action for EBCs, a category into which Shyamdev’s own Kevat community is included.