Veteran singer (Bhagta), freedom fighter and dedicated social worker ‘Munnar Babu’ passed away at the age of 103.

His actor son Renu told that a film will be made on his life!

The “Bhagat Gaan” style is one of the oldest musical notes associated with our culture, which is slowly disappearing. This singing is now heard somewhere in Mithilanchal, Nepal and West Bengal only. The pioneer singer of this singing style was Muneshwar Prasad Yadav alias Munnar Babu in his home place Koshli Patti (Supaul-Bihar) in the last days (on 27 November 2021). ) died. On the death of this supreme devotee of Dharmaraja, freedom fighter and singer who played a leading role in the fight for social balance, his fans and followers of Bhagait tradition have been shocked. After his death, his younger son Ram Bahadur Renu (Sudama of TV serial ‘Dwarkadhish’), who is a well-known artist of Bollywood films and TV serials, has expressed his desire that an artistic film will be made on Babuji.

People of Mithila society used to call Bhagat singer Muneshwar Yadav by the name of ‘Munnar Babu’. Born in 1918, Munnar Babu was known not only for his Bhagat Gaikki (Bhagata) but also for leading Mithila in the freedom struggle, as the Dharma protector of Mithila and the Messiah of the poor. He was one of the five sons of late Chaualal Yadav ji. It was the moral obligation of Munnar Babu to satisfy the political-social concerns in the entire Kosi area with the responsibility of getting the brothers educated and cultivating 300 acres of land. He along with his younger brother Chhatradhari were in the middle of the dam along with hundreds of cows, buffaloes and oxen in the great earthquake of 1934 AD. The earth was torn apart, there was an uproar even among the animals. The noise started making rounds, everyone was running to save their lives. He too had reached his home safely by rescuing the people by sitting on his shoulder.

After him, all the animals had also reached his door like a follower. It all felt like a wonderful Leela. Many such miracles are associated with his life. An example of his struggles is still in the village of Koshli Patti – Middle School. It was a very backward village then. There was no school far away. I didn’t even think about studies. Munnar Babu managed to open a school with a lot of hard work and running. From where the people of the area get education at least up to class VIII. Munnar Babu is known as the founder of Koshali Patti Middle School. But, see his nobility, he did not let his name come to the fore. Taking time out from his singing, he used to fully engage in the work of public interest. There is another similar incident. Bihar’s educationist Madaneshwar Jha says that in 1957 he was made the head master of a school in Koshli Patti.

The school did not have money to pay his salary, then Munnar Babu had loaded 1500 bricks kept in the bullock cart for construction in the school and got them to Ramnagar at Madan Babu’s house. Testifies to honesty. Later, writing the story of Munnar Babu’s dedication and honesty in a memoir, former Railway Minister Late Lalit Narayan Mishra had told that he had given Rs 25000 for the construction of Middle School- Koshli Patti due to the loyalty of Munnar Babu who did not give up. Munnar Babu had got 13 bighas of land for the construction of the school by insisting on his father Chaualal. To start this school, he had to fight with which political leaders of the Kosi region. Today the name of the school would have been Muneshwar Yadav.

A payment was passed by the HRD Ministry to conduct research on Munnar Babu. His son Ram Bahadur Renu who turned from journalist to actor was part of this research. He is maintaining a report of many interesting facts related to the life of this singer, which he heard from his contemporaries. The creative mind Munnar Babu started a fair around 1950 which included wrestling competitions during the day and theatrical performances and singing programs at night. Even today this fair is a symbol of the culture and intellectual prosperity of this area. He was elected the head of Ramnagar Koshli Patti and from 2078 to 2001. He had done a lot of work in the field by staying in this post. His colleagues of that time count the works done by him, which he did on foot by connecting the people of Tilabe, Pipra, Saharsa, Supaul, Madhepura with him. Simple clothes, used to run for people wearing thongs in their feet. Never used to drink food from someone’s house or even tea away. Munnar Babu, who built thatch for schools, hospitals, panchayat buildings and others, used to forget his own house.

In the midst of all this, their musical meeting continued. Bhagat singing is a unique style of bhajan singing tradition in Maithili language. In this the singer is called ‘Bhagta’ who becomes divine like God for the listeners. In this, there is no talk of caste, religion, high or low. Munnar Babu has given a new style to this singing. He is now recognized as a pioneer singer of this style of singing. Both his sons are also associated with the art world. Elder son Lal Bahadur Yadav (former teacher, drama car, pioneer of rural theatre) and younger son Ram Bahadur Renu are actors of films, theaters and serials. Ram Bahadur Renu, who was the umbrella of NSD, has done memorable roles in many films and serials. His role of Sudama in the serial ‘Dwarkadhish’ was well liked. He says – “It is my dream to make a film on the life of Munnar Babu. Soon the audience will be able to see Bhagat singer Munnar Babu on the screen of the cinema.

Shivam Bangwal

Shivam Bangwal is an India-based Entrepreneur. He is the Founder of Successful Startups like Youthistaan, People News Chronicle, Hitchhike TV & Branding Panther. Shivam has done his Master's in Computer Applications.

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