When Rabindra Narayan Pal alias Dara Singh began operating in the Keonjhar and Mayurbhanj districts, perhaps he himself had no idea that the myth created around him would reach such proportions one day. Now the myth has overtaken the man and a small-time thug extorting money from cattle traders has become an "upholder of the Hindu religion". And the organisations mushrooming in his shadow are already talking of fielding a candidate for chief ministership.
Fortunately all this is yet to be. The aura created around Dara owes much of its shine to the inefficiency of the state police and coverage in the national and local press, which faithfully report the outpourings of Mukesh Jain, founder-president of the Dara Singh Bachao Samiti. Jain claims that the so-called Dara Sena has 7,000 members. Also that Dara will stand for the next elections; that his 'party' will put up a candidate even for chief ministership - tall words. But with the arrest of Jain, Ranjan Sahu, secretary of the Dharma Rakhyaka Sri Dara Singh Surakhya Samiti and Dara's advocate Pradeep Choudhary in Keonjhar recently, the Dara bubble seems to have burst.