'I have been waiting for a job for three years.'
'How long will we wait?'
'Only a jobless person can understand his pain, his struggle and misery.'
Anisur Rahman was beaten mercilessly during a protest by aspirant teachers in Patna on Monday, August 22, 2022.
During the assault, which saw Rahman fall to the ground, he ensured that the dignity of the Tricolour was maintained despite sustained injuries in the assault.
Rahman, who is in his mid 20s, was one of hundreds of aspirant teachers who took to Patna's streets on Monday to appeal to Nitish Kumar's government for jobs.
Unexpectedly, the police first stopped the protesters and lathi-charged them when they tried to cross the barricade.
While recovering from his injuries, Rahman spoke to Rediff.com Senior Contributor M I Khan about why he travelled from his home in Darbhanga district to demand that the state goverment commence recruitment of teachers soon.
You were lying on the ground holding the national flag even as you were being mercilessly beaten.
It was unbelievable for me and the others the way I was beaten. Even the national flag in my hands was not given respect.
I am not a criminal. I was beaten for demanding a job.
My crime was that I was protesting against the government's delay to recruit us.
I, like hundreds of job aspirants, was part of a protest march when the police suddenly stopped us, followed by a lathi-charge.
I was attacked and fell on the ground holding the national flag. An officer started beating me with a stick, but I decided to hold onto the flag.
I can only imagine how the British police brutally beat freedom fighters holding flags in their hands during the Independence movement.
Why did this officer beat you despite the fact that you were holding the national flag?
A jobless youth being beaten for demanding a job is not a big thing, but it was an insult to the national flag.
The officer insulted the Tricolour, a symbol of national pride.
I or any citizen of the country will not tolerate such insult to the national flag.
The officer should have cared for the flag, if not for me.
You have been praised not only in Bihar, but across the country for holding onto the national flag while you were being beaten.
I have no words to say thanks to people's support. I salute the countrymen for their support to me.
I will always keep the national flag flying high, come what may.
I am ready to die for the national flag.
What do you want from the government now?
I have a simple demand. The government should issue a notification in the next four to five days for appointment of all those who have passed BTET (Bihar Teachers Eligibility Test) or CTET (Central Teachers Eligibility Test) as teachers in government-run schools.
Delay on the government's part will frustrate us and make us unhappy and angry.
There is no meaning of assurances and promises to provide government jobs to youth if aspirant teachers are forced to protest on the streets demanding a job.
It is a well reported fact that there is a huge vacancy of teachers in government-run schools in the state.
Many schools are without a single teacher.
Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Tejashwi Yadav has ordered an inquiry into the police action and directed that action be taken against ADM K K Singh who beat you.
We are thankful to him for showing concern for us. The officer should be punished for insulting the national flag.
Tejashwi has also appealed to job aspirants to have patience as all vacancies will be filled in the state.
We are all jobless for years despite clearing the BTET or CTET. I myself have been waiting for a job for the last three years.
How long will we wait? The government should recruit us soon.
Only a jobless person can understand his pain, his struggle and misery.
Feature Presentation: Aslam Hunani/Rediff.com