Monday, 20 March 2017

Another feather in metric mentor’s cap

By our Staff Reporter
GUWAHATI, March 7: Ageing and ailing metric mentor (chhondo guru) with ageless contribution in different genres of literature Brojendra Kumar Sinha has hit headlines, yet again. The first Dhirchandra Smriti Padak from Bangladesh is the latest feather in his cap.

The Dhirchandra Smriti Padak, 2017 was presented to the octogenarian poet, in absentia, at a function in Bangladesh on March 5, 2017. Dr. Krishnadas Shashtri received the award on behalf of the poet. Writer Dhirchandra was the first Bishnupriya Manipuri translator of the Bhagwat Geeta. 

Settled at Hailakandi, a sleepy town in Barak Valley in South Assam, poet Sinha created an oeuvre each in Bishnupriya Manipuri and Bengali literatures. His Bengali work Bhikhari Baloker Gan is fragrant with the scent from the soil of Hailakandi and the water of Dholeshwori (a tributary) that snakes its way to the Barak through the district, so are his around forty Bishnupriya Manipuri works that have put the literature of the community on a sound footing. His is a revered name among the literati, especially for the magic and music that the diction of his poetries is enriched with. His Bishnupriya Manipuri poetries have been translated into Assamese, Bengali and English. The translation works of this poet like Oedipus of Sophocles, Meghdoot of Kalidas, Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam, Anubad Kolpo etc., do add much to his priceless contribution to Bishnupriya Manipuri literature.

On the 79th birthday of poet Sinha celebrated by Soptashwo on February 12, 2016 at Hailakandi, noted poet-journalist Atin Das was on record saying that ‘Brojendro Kumar Sinha is a born poet’…The veteran journalist regretted: “Poet Sinha is writing even at this age, but there’s no recognition from the government.” (Masik Shadwol, Magh edition, February 12, 2016.)

Noted short story writer and Tezpur University’s Prof. Smriti Kumar Sinha said: “Brojendra Kumar Sinha is no longer the name of a person. It’s the name of an institution…He’s the Rabindranath Tagore in Bishnupriya Manipuri literature. He’s one amongst the greatest Bishnupriya Manipuri litterateurs who, with the infusion of elixir of life, have made their once-moribund language thrive.” (Masik Shadwol, Magh edition, February 12, 2016.)

Noted poet Champalal Sinha, on the other hand, said: “Modern poetry in Bishnupriya Manipuri literature dates back to Dhononjoy Rajkumar.” Dhononjoy Rajkumar is the pen name of poet Brojendra Kumar Sinha.

Poet Brojendra Kumar Sinha has received around 36 such felicitations from as many organizations. Some of them are – from the Nikhil Bharat Bongosahitya Sanmelan, Guwahati in 1975; Bhasha Shwahid Smarok, Silchar in 2011; Jugashankha Puraskar, Silchar in 2012; Bishnupriya Manipuri Writers’ Forum, Guwahati in 2012; Syed Mujtoba Ali Smoron Sahitya Utsav organized by Barak Upatyaka Bongosahitya O Sanskriti Sammelan in 2014; Anurupa Bishwas Smriti Sammanona organized by Barak Upatyaka Bongosahitya O Sanskriti Sammelan in 2015; Bishnupriya Manipuri Sahitya Sanskriti Academy, Agartala in 2008; Life-long Achievement Award from Pouri, Bangladesh; an award from Manipuri Theatre, Bangladesh; an award from Manipuri Yuva Kalyan Samiti, Bangladesh and one from Soptashwo, Hailakandi. 

Talking to this writer over telephone from Hailakandi, the poet said: “It’s my aching waist that’s out to hold me back from writing.”

Courtesy: The Sentinel

Wednesday, 25 January 2017

Academic lens on Bishnupriya Manipuris

By RK Rishikesh Sinha

On the auspicious day of Republic Day, let us know what is the status of Bishnupriya Manipuri, a Hindu jati, how it is being described in the academic circle and that too in India and abroad. 

 #1. relationship between the Bishnupriya and the Meetei necessarily depends on the recognition of the Bishnupriya identity by the Meeteis because identity requires others‟ recognition and cannot be formed in isolation. (Dr. Y. Monojit Singha, Research Scholar, Assam University, Silchar; IOSR Journal Of Humanities And Social Science ; 2016)

#2. The Meitei also consider the Bishnupriya to be the carriers of an inferior culture, although they say that the Meitei king at first mistook them to be a culturally superior group. When it was detected that the culture of the Bishnupriya was of inferior quality, they were allotted the work of foraging for the royal staff. (SITUATING CONFLICT AND POVERTY IN MANIPUR; Anand Kumar, Kamei Aphun, Khuraijam Bijoykumar Singh, Homen Thangjam; Indian Institute of Public Administration; 2011)

#3. (Bishnupriya) community has become a cause of tension in Assam in the recent years, with implications far beyond its borders since it is also found in certain neighbouring States. (Terrorism in India's North-east: A Gathering Storm, Volume 1; Col. Ved Prakash; Kalpaz Publications; 2008) 

Please visit the Jagrit Bishnupriya Manipuri site for more information.

Observations on such views

There is a concrete commonality in all the above views.

#1. Use of Christian Eurocentric ‘so-called’ understanding and extending the same model and ideas to a Hindu jati (Bishnupriya Manipuris) by scholars.

#2. Ideas and models are created in the academic fields about Bishnupriya Manipuris much against the way person of the jati takes himself or herself. These ideas are pushed to the ‘wholesalers of ideas’ in the form of books and magazines for the mass consumption of consumers. Similar to western atrocity literature market, a complete demand and supply chain exist that are against us, the Bishnupriya Manipuris. And the list goes on, adding one after another that are against a Hindu jati (emphasis).

#3. A perception is build up and a narrative is whispered down the ears to home consumers (Meiteis), ‘other’ consumers (Bengalis, Assamese, and other Indians), and institutions (Government, academic, media) that we the Bishnupriya Manipuris are trouble makers in the state of Assam (this is one such example, there are many) etc. This is much against the Indic traditions and darshan. 

Visit the list of scholarship work done by academic scholars and their key points. Observe the year and the institution that has come up with weird representation of a Hindu jati and some observations go against the Bharatiya Sanskrit and Sanskriti.

Bishnupriya Manipuri Home Team

Like all Hindu jatis in India, we too don’t have a ‘home team’ defending Hinduism, and our jati. Among many reasons, one reason being that we are still colonized in our mind and all studies of India are carried out in European Universities. India is the only civilization, where Europeans ( their ideas and models) take control of it and define us. With the change in international/ national dynamics, there is a visible consciousness taking place in the Indian academic circles and in other institutions challenging and disrupting the Christian Eurocentric understanding of Hinduism, Indian traditions, its history and society that are sometimes anti-Hindu ideological stances. The fallout of the ‘change of guard’ is very much visible in the mainstream media and in social media.

What the Bishnupriya Manipuri Home Team would be doing? We all know Bishnupriya Manipuri carries a unique history of its own and the ‘identity’ struggle that it undertook is possibly not found in any part of Indian subcontinent. The Hindu jati was attacked politically, academically and socially using the lens of Christian Western framework of ideas related to its history, language, and culture. The assault is still taking place in front of our eyes.

There is ‘outside’ assault and there is ‘internal’ dissent very much visible with heavy intake of Christian-sponsored literature. And there is another grim issue that is of conversion to Christianity. Adding to it, there is a big population who are educated; they are with a Hindu body but their ideas and conception are very much ‘Christian’ 

In nutshell, the ‘Home Team’ would be using a Hindu Purva-Paksha and Uttara-Paksha tradition of debating. We would be studying deeply the thought and ideas of the opposite party and then khandan it.

Why a team is required? Please go through the list of myths. These myths are against us, against the understanding of Indic thought and beliefs. To bring down the century-old propaganda building is a herculean task. And nobody is going to do the job for us. And those who are pioneers are busy in their ‘war of ideas’ perpetrated by western institutions and scholars. Their work would guide us in our journey. These myths are nothing, but it surely works as an eye-opener.

On this revered day, we launch Jagrit Bishnupriya Manipuri site. It is going to be illuminating and refreshing.

Tuesday, 10 January 2017

Dr KP Sinha "Some subversive factors behind are at work"


The article is published on the birth anniversary of Dr KP Sinha.
By RK Rishikesh Sinha

I have read thousand times this article that was originally published in Kangla Online, a Manipur-based web portal. The article was one of the earliest pieces available in the Internet on Bishnupriya Manipuri. Today the original article is no more in the web world; however it is available here in this blog. I copied it knowing one day it will vanish.

The article is the short web version of the booklet “A Note on the Term Bishnupriya Manipuri” by Dr Kali Prasad Sinha. The first edition of the booklet was published in 25th May 1975. Its second edition appeared on 16 March 2014. 

Here are the concluding sentences of the booklet:

If the Meiteis consider these factors with a liberal and sympathetic heart, they will find that the, Bishnupriyas love for the term 'Manipuri' is quite reasonable and that it is not a mere emotion. The Bishnupriyas have every right to use the term 'Manipuri'. If they are not allowed to do so, we shall have reasons to think that some subversive factors behind are at work. I think that if the Meitei intelligentsia comes forward with a considerate attitude, the problem will certainly be solved, and the brotherly feeling between the two sections will be regained.

Please read again the sentence: If they are not allowed to do so, we shall have reasons to think that some subversive factors behind are at work.

Recently with the volume of works that has come up by Rajiv Malhotra and reading all his books (1), I am proud that Dr KP Sinha was able to smell something fishy in the whole ‘Manipuri’ affair, but he was not able to diagnose and identify behind-the-scene work that was taking place. Today fortunately a circle of Indian academicians, Sanskrit scholars, Indologist, government, media and public intellectuals have come to know those nefarious designs and they are working endlessly to defeat this design. The infrastructure that went into building Dravidian and Dalit identity, the same was/is used to build ‘Manipuri’ chaos.

The question is: what are the subversive activities that Dr KP Sinha is mentioning in the booklet. Rajiv Malhotra in his books and in his lectures has very well elucidated this seditious plans. Let us see what KP Sinha was actually doing.

  • that he was not only claiming the use of ‘Manipuri’ by Bishnupriya Manipuris; in doing so, he was against the monopoly and copyright use of ‘Manipuri’. In the Indic tradition, there is no copyright holder/ center of any cultural stuff. It is open, shareable, and for the benefit of humanity.
  • he was fighting against the Western framework of understanding the Eastern culture and communities and dharma (read Indian civilization). The very notion of ‘real/ pure/ impure/ fake/ genuine/ high/ low Manipuris’, amounts to Islamic/ Western thought. The idea is not from the Hindu dharmic land. The cultural and spiritual matrix of Indian civilization is distinct from that of the West. 
  • He fought against a strand of western history writers/ researchers who go by written records and don’t consider any oral/ embodied knowledge in culture and custom as history. Indian jatis and institutions have never been history-centric due to the concept of divine metaphysics of Sanatana Dharma—it is beyond time and space -- but it is not the case with Islamic/ Christian practitioners (his or her understanding is history-based). One can observe how a Hindu describe Hindu Dharma and Christian/ Muslim discusses their religion. KP Sinha’s opponents might have been Hindus but they carried a Christian/ Islamic memory chip with ideology, frameworks, time and space.
However, understanding the gravity of the ‘Manipuri’ logjam, like a kshatriya he played the same game in accordance to the western understanding of any language. And he came out with the book ‘An Etymological Dictionary of Bishnupriya Manipuri, 1982’, it is to be noted that few decades ago in 1966 ‘A Dravidian Etymological Dictionary’ was published. For any identity assertion, the Etymological Dictionary comes as an indispensable guide, tool, and authority for every member of a community.

Today when there is a new awakening in India that is challenging the ongoing westernization of the discourse about India and the intellectual machinery that produces it, the very field of Dr KP Sinha, the study of Sanskrit, has long been intruded, distorted, hijacked, poisoned by Sanskrit scholars since the days of Sir William Jones to the present time by Wendy Doniger and Sheldon Pollock. The research and study of Sanskrit has long been outsourced to western universities in America and Germany. 

The battle for Sanskrit is taking place right in front of us. In the decades to come, in order to achieve its rightful stage in the world India as being the cradle of civilization, Sanskrit has to be asserted since the language has been the heartbeat of Indian civilization for several thousand years. It could even be said that sanskriti, the culture that arose from India, has Sanskrit embedded in its DNA. Put another way, Sanskrit provides the vocabulary in which the Indian civilization is encoded. Even those who do not explicitly use Sanskrit often draw upon its knowledge through means, such as philosophy, bhakti or meditation, or use another Indian language based on Sanskrit structures.

In the days to come, how we Bishnupriya Manipuris remember Dr KP Sinha’s life and work. More than by organising lectures and holding meetings and writing run-of-the-mill articles, it will happen by learning and mastering the Sanskrit language and reading the books written by Dr KP Sinha. In the days to come, like Yoga is cool today, the learning of Sanskrit would be considered cool and trendy. The Second Sanskrit Commission, appearances of Sanskrit news and discussion in Doordarshan, national/ international meetings on Sanskrit are some of the few visible direction to take India into a new world: India being the mother of civilization. And going through the list of works done by Dr KP Sinha, it is very easy to conclude that though he was well equipped with the modern tools his shraddha, bhakti and dhristi was rooted to this land of Sanskrit traditions and philosophies. To conclude, "some subversive factors behind are at work" mentioned by Dr KP Sinha was actually the use of Western/ Christian model of ideas and structures applied by Meitei Manipuri jati (supported by Government-Academic-Intellectuals-Media nexus) to the Bishnupriya Manipuri jati.

Breaking India: Western Interventions in Dravidian and Dalit Faultlines; 
Being Different: An Indian Challenge to Western Universalism; 
Indra's Net: Defending Hinduism's Philosophical Unity; 
Battle for Sanskrit: Dead or Alive, Oppressive or Liberating, Political or Sacred?;  
Academic Hinduphobia: A Critique of Wendy Doniger's Erotic School of Indology

Saturday, 7 January 2017

Bishnupriya Manipuri writer Dr Kali Prasad Sinha remembered

Special Correspondent

Silchar, Jan 6: The well known Bishnupriya Manipuri litterateur and a doyen of the community, Dr. Kali Prasad Sinha, was fondly remembered by his admirers on his 81st birth anniversary organized by Dr. Kali Prasad Memorial Divyashram Sanskriti Kendra, West Kachudaram, 5 km from here, last Tuesday. In fact, the name of Dr. Kali Prasad has become a household name of the Bishnupriya Manipuri community. Besides being a scholar of Sanskrit, he was a researcher, critic, grammar-specialist, poet, dictionary writer and social activist.

Dr. Kali Prasad Sinha was in the forefront of the movement for protection of the identity, language and culture of Bishnupriya Manipuri community and his contributions could hardly be forgotten. Highlighting these various qualities of his versatile genius, his birthday was observed by holding a discussion, participated by the eminent personalities. The discussion session was presided over by Birendra Sinha, a retired headmaster. All the speakers touched upon the various aspects of his brilliant academic and educational career. He was described as a man of rare talent, dedicated to creative works.

Manimohan Sinha, the chief-speaker, described him as a genius for whom the only devotion and dedication was study and delve deep into the subject and to explore the unexplored fathom of knowledge. Other distinguished speakers to unfold his many sided personality included poet Narendra Chandra Sinha, Shyamananda Sinha, secretary of the celebration committee, Gaurav Rajkumar, president, Nikhil Bishnupriya Manipuri Students’ Union, Rajkumar Anilkrishna, chief advisor, Purnendu Sinha, Gopidas Sinha, advisors, and social activist Manidhwaj Sinha.

The service life of Dr. Kali Prasad Sinha began as a teacher of Sanskrit in Cachar College. After that, he taught in Gauhati University and Tripura University. In 1982, he obtained D.Litt degree in “The Concept of Absolute in Indian Philosophy” from Burdwan University. At the fag end of his academic life, he was appointed as the Head of the Department of Sanskrit in Assam University. His contributions in the literary field were marked by the publication of a number of books in Bishnupriya Manipuri language which have become a treasure-trove for the students, teachers and research scholars.

In order to commemorate his memory, life and achievements and to convey the right message to the younger generation, in particular, ‘Dr. Kali Prasad Samman’ has been conferred on distinguished scholars from 2015. This year the honour has been bestowed on Gopidas Sinha for his contributions to society, Dr. Manas Sinha for his remarkable works in educational field and too talented students, Bikash Sinha and Priyanka Sinha. To make the anniversary memorable and remarkable, all those present on the occasion paid their glowing floral tributes to the portrait of Dr. Kali Prasad Sinha.

Courtesy: The Sentienl

Bishnupriya Manipuri bodies resolve to work together


Silchar, Jan 1: The annual conference of Nikhil Bishnupriya Manipuri Students’ Union (NBMSU) and Bishnupriya Manipuri Ganasangram Parishad (BMGSP) which was held recently in Dr. Kaliprasad Memorial Divyashram Sanskriti Kendra, West Kachudaram, 30 km from here, took up for discussion a number of issues. The conference was conducted by acting president Gourav Rajkumar of NBMSU and acting president Dibakar Sinha of BMGSP. The general secretary of NBMSU Manoj Sinha took up the agenda and presented the annual report before the assembly.

The report was assented to and approved by the members present. A slew of resolutions adopted at this crucial annual conference included among others the formation of ‘Bishnupriya Manipuri International Students’ Development and Welfare Fund’. This fund would be utilized to extend adequate financial help to poor but meritorious students, besides offering grant to the poor students of talent as well as to the educated and unemployed youths in general in order to help them in their studies.

It was also decided that the International Welfare Fund so created would help the Bishnupriya Manipuri students in their pursue of studies and enable them to pass UPSC and APSC examinations in first class. Another development of significance was the unanimous selection of Gourav Rajkumar as the president of central committee of NBMSU. Dipu Sinha, former president of the students central committee, was expelled from the primary membership of the student body for his anti-organizational activities. The Government of Assam was thanked for including Bishnupriya Manipuri as MIL in the curriculum of SEBA and AHSEC.

Similarly, Assam University and Gauhati University were complimented for inducting Bishnupriya Manipuri as MIL in their courses of higher studies. The higher secondary education wing of the Assam Government was particularly complimented for incorporating Bishnupriya Manipuri language in the curriculum of Assam University and Gauhati University. In order to press the Centre for including Bishnupriya Manipuri as OBC and also for starting separate cell of Bishnupriya Manipuri language in AIR and DDK, both the Union and Parishad will have no alternative than to go for long drawn agitation.

Kripa Nath Malah, MLA of Ratabari, was specially thanked for extending all possible help in the broader interest of the community. A resolution was adopted in the conference to constitute ‘Bishnupriya Manipuri Talent Search Examination Board’ for holding Bishnupriya Manipuri talent search examination for the talented students from this year of 2017. The conference has been considered significant and well attended with 500 representatives and delegates from different places of Barak Valley. It has also been claimed apart from these delegates, more than hundred students turned up from different educational institutions of the valley.

In the open session of the conference were present senior most litterateur and the general secretary of Bishnupriya Manipuri Sahitya Sabha, Nabendra Chandra Sinha, editor of ‘Abhiman’ news paper, Tambak Sena Sinha, social activist, Subal Sinha, former chairman of Ganasangram Parishad, Rajlakshmi Sinha, working president of the women wing, Mahendra Sinha, president, Primary Teachers Association, and Bimal Sinha, vice president, Bishnupriya Manipuri Language Teaching, Training, Diploma Holders Association, among others.

The resolutions adopted in the open session which were widely supported aimed at promoting the interests of the students and youths of the community. The help and cooperation of all sections people of the society were sought. Rajkumar Anilkrishna, chief advisor, presided over the open session. The one day open session concluded on a positive note, impressing upon the members of both the Union and the Parishad to work in close coordination and in the larger interest of the community.

Courtesy: The Sentinel

Friday, 23 December 2016

DILS Lakshmindra Sinha’s Hindi poetry book ‘Mitti ki Chaaya’

DILS Lakshmindra Sinha being felicitated by Rastriya Kavi Sangam

We the people of the Indian subcontinent share a common civilization framework, and DILS Lakshmindra Sinha’s Hindi poetry book ‘Mitti ki Chaaya’ is one such attempt deepening and widening the cultural unity of all the people. The collection of poems by him is an attempt to share the same oneness that sprout in this great land called Bharat.

Beginning with the poem, ‘Mein Brahmaputra hoon’, ‘Is Mahan Desh ke’, ‘Atmagat ki Chitthi’, DILS Lakshmindra Sinha has penned his thought to the far and wide civil war that took place in Somalia in 1998. In the same breathe, how a serial bomb blast that rocked Guwahati years ago would go unnoticed by the poet. The poems ‘Somalia 1998’ and ‘October 30: Ek Mrit Yuvti’ find expression of the pain and anguish.

DILS Lakshmindra Sinha in the introductory page ‘Mere Anubhav’ echoes with countless voice unheard in the modern democratic India that being a linguistic minority has become a curse.

“यह तो सच हैं की इस देश में भाषिक संख्यालघु होना एक अभिशाप है.”

The soul of true democracy in India is missing; it has become more of a number game of votes. In the individual level, however, the same curse comes as a blessing to learn a lot of languages, the poet writes. 

“यह मेरे सौभाग्य हें की मुझे अंग्रेजी, हिंदी, असमिया और बांगला  इत्यादि शीखने के साथ साथ इन भाषाओ के साहित्य और संस्कृति से परिचय होने का अवसर मिला हैं”

The poem “आत्मघात की चिट्ठी” very well narrates the suicidal path that we are treading towards leaving behinds Raslila, Rakhowal, Manglarti, Firaal, Joydeb, Haribola, Holi. And the quality of life that we will be leading in future, DILS Lakshmindra Sinha writes:

सूखा होगा हमारा जीवन-रस,
रहेंगे नहीं नाड़ी की गति और ह्रदय जैसा कुछ 
आहिस्ते आहिस्ते हो जायेंगे सब 
चट्टान, नहीं तो यन्त्र 
नहीं तो हिम-बर्फ 
यह सब समझते हुए भी हम जा रहे हैं 
भविष्य के आत्मघात के रास्ते पर

The collection of poems by DILS Lakshmindra Sinha is definitely the outcome of many peoples’ effort, and the poet has mentioned many well-renowned personalities. Ashok Verma from Silchar, Kishor Kumar Jain, Hindi Sentinel Editor Dinkar Kumar, Hemraj Meena, Director Kendriya Hindi Sansthan.

DILS Lakshmindra Sinha was recently felicitated by the Rastriya Kavi Sangam with the title of ‘Sahitya Shree Samman’ in Jhunjhunu, Rajasthan.

Thursday, 22 December 2016

Breaking Manipur : Western Interventions in Manipuri Faultines

By RK Rishikesh Sinha

Thanks to Rajiv Malhotra’s path breaking book “Breaking India – Western Interventions in Dravidian and Dalit Faultlines”, that shook people like me out of their comfort zone. He is the rarest breed of Indian intellectual who has disrupted the whole Indian narrative of our history, Indology, sociology, anthropology, Sanskrit, South Asian Studies and other related fields.

After reading the book, I am assured that there are lot of forces working in Manipur, and Hinduism is at receiving end. The Hindu Meitei are in siege. The practitioners of the Hindu Dharma are fighting a war against a well orchestrated enemy of US and European churches, academics, think-tanks, foundations, governments and human rights groups. The script followed in Dravidian and Dalit chauvinism has been photocopied in Manipur.

It is impossible to study done by Rajiv Malhotra in his fatty 626-page book ‘Breaking India’ to be narrated here. The body of work (in the form of books) done by the author has not been done in India since centuries. The West starting with colonialism and till today is studying India at various capacities. And we Indians never studied them. We accepted every western-originated stuff without an iota of doubt and happily implemented it in India. As all this stuff are God-given.

Here is the summary of the book that is carried in the jacket of the book.

India’s integrity is being undermined by three global networks that have well-established operating bases inside India: (i) Islamic radicalism linked with Pakistan; (ii) Maoists and Marxist radicals supported by China via intermediaries such as Nepal; and (iii) Dravidian and Dalit identity separatism being fostered by the West in the name of human rights. The book focuses on the third: the role of the US and European churches, academics, think-tanks, foundations, governments and human rights groups in fostering separation of the identities of Dravidian and Dalit communities from the rest of India. […] The book reveals how outdated racial theories continue to provide academic frameworks and fuel the rhetoric that can trigger civil wars and genocides. The Dravidian movement’s 200-year history has such worrying origins.

Western Academic Construction of Aryan Race

The book beautifully traces back the circumstances in which the Aryan/ Aryan Race was invented in western academic circles and its implication in Europe, India, Sri Lanka, and Africa. The book gives a death blow to all those who are riding in the Aryan Race bandwagon.

In the case of Europe

In the eighteenth century, when the traditional religious belief of be Europe was threatened by the Enlightenment, Europeans looked for a golden past. Many hoped they could find it in India, which had been the source of much of Europe’s imports for centuries. In this search for identity, they began to hypothesise and construct an idealized ‘Aryan race’ through distorted reading of Indian scriptures. Fed by virulent German nationalism, anti-Semitism and Race Science, this manipulation ultimately led to the Nazism and the Holocaust.

In case of India

In the late eighteenth century, the Indologist Max Muller proposed the Aryan category strictly as a linguistic group, but it soon got transformed into the Aryan race by colonial administrators who used Race Science to make a taxonomical division of traditional Indian communities. The castes designated as ‘non-Aryan’ were marginalized or excluded in depictions of Hindu society. In parallel, the Church evangelists working in South India constructed a Dravidian race identity. They de-linked Tamil Culture from its pan-Indian cultural matrix, and claimed that its spirituality was closer to Christianity than to the Aryan North Indian culture

Applying the same in Manipur, we find the same script. There has been and it is going on to delink Manipuri culture from pan Indian Hindu cultural matrix by Church evangelist and ethnic identity sympathizers. In this separation process, Hinduism has been sidelined; consequently the Hindu meitei population is falling to Christianity like the Dravidians. And those who are following the native religion like Sanamahism, it is very visibly written on the wall that once Hindu dharmic thought gets demised, in no time the local faith will be presented in state museum. Since only the Hindu thought can accommodate any localized religious faith. Neither Islam nor Christianity can accommodate localized religion.

A must-read book for every Indian shows how in the study of India, the Aryan race that was actually the creation for the European Identity politics took its path. The role played by the colonial Indologists, European Romanticists, German-identity crisis, Race Science gave the grand shape of Aryans, and later transforming it into the Aryan Race.

The author joins the dots of the works done by Sir William Jones (explained the relationship between Sanskrit and European languages through the Biblical story of the Tower of Babel. This myth became the blueprint for the racist interpretation of Indian society; justified British rule in India as a civilizing mission to rescue the Indians, who had corrupted the ‘original Biblical truth’), Franz Bopp (he coined ‘Indo European’ to end the schism between Germanic and non-Germanic European), Johann Gottfried (claimed Sanskrit belonged to his Indo-European ‘Aryan’ past; the discovery of India was the re-discovery of Europe); Karl Wilhelm Friedrich Schlegel (claimed modern Germans had migrated from India); Ernest Renan (hypothesized Aryans were more creative because of their mythology and the proliferation of gods); Friedrich Max Muller (a functionary for the colonialists and for Christian evangelist, he saw Indian civilization, especially its multiple gods, as a corrupt form of ancient glory); Adolphe Pictet (claimed ancient Indians had primitive monotheism, later fell into polytheism in order to explain natural phenomena); Rudolph Friedrich Grau (his books were used by missionaries to embed Vedic thought within Christian symbols for the Hindu people conversion); Joseph Arthur Comte de Gobineau (claimed European Aryans got debased by mixing with darker native races); Houston Stewart Chamberlain (his book linked Indian caste with race), Herbert Hope Risley (his research classified Indians into seven major races with Aryans and Dravidians as the two opposite poles, and morphs Jati-Varna into race), Sheldon Pollock (he is a Padmashri awardee Government of India, Sanskrit scholar, he claims Sanskrit/ Ramayana/ Mahabharata is political, oppressive, dead; Valimiki Ramayan came after Buddhist influence).

It is unfortunate that still we Indians are carrying the baggage of Aryan and Aryan race description that was developed by Christianized Eurocentric people to understand the Indian society.

Inventing the Dravidian Race/ Dravidian Christianity

The book then goes into describing how the Dravidian Race is invented by Reverend John Stevenson, who was sent by the Scottish Missionary Society, and Brian Houghton Hodgson. It goes further stating how the conspiracy is born that is of cunning Aryan Brahmins exploited innocent Dravidians. In the section ‘De-Indianizing the Tamil traditions’, the author writes : since colonial days, there has been an ongoing attempt to construct an ethnic-religious Tamil identity separate from the rest of India, and to find Christian roots for this so-called ‘Tamil Religion’.

Social Institutional Control of Social Discourse in India

The West axis with Academy, Funding Agencies, Churches, Government influence Indian intellectuals, academic institutions in the academy, media and NGOs. For example, the US government uses USAID to channel funds through transnational evangelical organisations such as World Vision. Funding Agencies: Infemit, a transnational network of evangelicals targeting India, is funded by Crowell Trust, a US-based Christian fundamentalist funding agency. Academy: the academic study of India overlaps with a type of activism that encourages centrifugal forces in India. Churches: the US-based evangelical movement launched Dalit Freedom Network, which is in turn has an Indian associate called All India Christian Council (AICC). Church backed institutional networks in India have considerable influence and support of Western government organisations. Media: there is an extensive Christian evangelical media network in India aligned with 'secular' media. 


Today the Hindu Meitei in particular and Hindus all over India are oblivious of the danger we have been engulfed. Our so-called secular media/ academicians/ politicians / intellectuals are corrupt and are anti-Hindu. Manipur has been turned into a laboratory to convert Hindus by Christians. The community has been targeted by notorious Christian organization Joshua Project. Like the Tamil / Dravidian identity separatism that has been constructed with the backing of western government-church-academic-think tanks nexus, Manipur and Hindu Meitei are under siege from this forces. The million dollar question is when Hindu Meitei would turn their gaze towards the Christian forces in Manipur and come out with a book similar to Rajiv Malhotra book with the title “Breaking Manipur- Western Interventions in Manipuri Faultines”.

Tuesday, 20 December 2016

Christian Bishnupriya Manipuri vs Hindu Bishnupriya Manipuri

By RK Rishikesh Sinha
Here is a hypothetical conversation between Hindu Bishnupriya Manipuri and newly converted, anti Hindu, colonised, western, Church-dictated Christian Bishnupriya Manipuri. It is a caricature to understand basically Hindu Dharma and Christianity, inspired from the Rajiv Malhotra-authored book Being Different - An Indian challenge to Western Universalism.

Christian Bishnupriya Manipuri : Mine is the only one true religion and everyone should convert to it.
Hindu Bishnupriya Manipuri: This attitude stems from your ‘exclusivism’ of your religion. My Hindu dharma not only allows religious pluralism but it is built on it. I don’t have to convert you. I have respect for you, but it is ‘mutual’. By the way Bishnupriya Manipuri is a Hindu jati. We have varna and jati, and there is no 'caste'.
Christian Bishnupriya Manipuri : ‘Religious tolerance’ shows how good we are towards your Hindu religion.
Hindu Bishnupriya Manipuri: 'Tolerance' is a patronizing way to say that my Hindu dharma is bogus. It is a posture of condescension and an accommodation due to political pressures. We need ‘mutual respect’. To respect someone’s faith implies that it is seen as legitimate for that person.
Christian Bishnupriya Manipuri : Inculturation shows respect for your dharmic culture.
Hindu Bishnupriya Manipuri: It is a deception used to gain easy entry to my jati and dharma. The strategy is to subvert my dharma.
Christian Bishnupriya Manipuri : Your Dharma is incomprehensible to me, hence useless and ignorable. 
Hindu Bishnupriya Manipuri: This is a false assumption means to retain your domination in philosophy.
Christian Bishnupriya Manipuri : Equality demands that we erase difference.
Hindu Bishnupriya Manipuri: Only by respecting difference can there be true equality. If I mimic your western culture, it does not bring equality but servility.
Christian Bishnupriya Manipuri : Remaining different would isolate you from globalization.
Hindu Bishnupriya Manipuri: We can be different and yet be positively engaged, only in office, bus, shops. You are not welcomed in my home and in my social space. Why don't you understand, your understanding of Jesus and Christian theology is very different to my dharma.
Abrahamic Bishnupriya Manipuri : Difference causes tensions, so we must become the same in order to end tensions.
Hindu Bishnupriya Manipuri: Difference that is based on supremacy does cause tensions, but difference built on unity-in-diversity and harmony does not.
Christian Bishnupriya Manipuri : Cross-cultural fertilization is good and that is why ‘fusion’ into a single global culture is natural.
Hindu Bishnupriya Manipuri: ‘Diversity’ brings deeper cross-cultural fertilization which is sustainable in the long run. Erasing difference will relocate my jati and dharma in museums, ending the cross cultural fertilization, as has happened in the case of native Americans.
Christian Bishnupriya Manipuri : Advaita Vedanta says that everything is One, so why bother with difference.
Hindu Bishnupriya Manipuri:  It is a misrepresentation of Vedanta to say that, since the existence of our world is only relative and not absolute , no worldly outcomes should matter. In truth, no school of dharma calls for the abandonment of the relative world, and every school of dharma encourages responsible action without attachments to the rewards. If difference did not exist in the relative reality, there would be no ethics, because dharma and adharma would be viewed with indifference.
Christian Bishnupriya Manipuri : Western liberalism has already embraced difference.
Hindu Bishnupriya Manipuri: In western liberalism, religious diversity does not enjoy the same place as racial and gender diversity. ‘Religious tolerance’ is disrespectful of difference. The other common policy is the sameness of all faiths, which dilutes their difference.
Christian Bishnupriya Manipuri : Secularism represents progress as defined by the trajectory of western history.
Hindu Bishnupriya Manipuri: The West’s historical experience is not universal. Forcing all civilizations to follow the west does not bring humanity the benefits of others experiences.
Christian Bishnupriya Manipuri : Hindutva ideology asserts difference the Indian way. 
Hindu Bishnupriya Manipuri: It is too political and reactionary, and has adopted some western approaches to difference such as emphasis on a 'unique history'. 

Monday, 12 December 2016

How to define Hindu Dharma?

By RK Rishikesh Sinha

Our Sanatan Hindu Dharma has always been misunderstood with myths and misconceptions. Unfortunately, these have gone deep into the Hindu psyche through the western academia, mass media, and due to the lack of knowledge about our Dharma. Supported by western academia, these myths and wrong notions have been accepted unfortunately by westernised / colonised / christianised / liberalised Hindus of contemporary India. Their entire mission is to destroy everything that qualifies Hindu Dharma. Therefore, we Hindus are not able to define what the Hindu Dharma is.

Rajiv Malhotra’s book Indra’s Net, traces back the main source that are rooted in the western academia. And gives a befitting reply to each of the myths. In doing so, the author brilliantly defines Hinduism using the ‘forest’, the ‘computer industry’ and the ‘banyan tree’ as metaphors. He analyses step by step the various aspects, facets and constituents of the Hindu Dharma and establishes its unity which manifests itself in diversity and vice versa. It makes a very important point that there is an integral unity that exists amongst the various traditions in India as opposed to synthetic unity which is visible amongst the Abrahamic religions i.e. Christianity, Islam and Judaism. It is a must read book by Hindus and non Hindus to understand the length, breadth, and depth of the Hindu Dharma.

The climax of the book comes when he proposes ‘astika’ and ‘nastika’ attributes, like the ISO Standard, to set the ‘Hinduism’ boundary straight and intact. The laxman rekha demarcates Hinduism with other Judeo-Christian faiths (Judaism, Christianity, Islam).

How one could define Hinduism? The moment we’re asked to define Hinduism. We blurt out ‘it is a way of living’. With the same logic, Osama Bin Laden, Hitler and people of other faiths have their own ‘way of life’. Therefore, Rajiv Malhotra has given three descriptions to define Hinduism. 

Hinduism is like a forest

Rajiv Molhatra aptly defines Hinduism metaphorically with that of a forest. In the forest, thousands of species of animals, plants and microorganisms exist in a state of mutual independence. In the forest microcosm, there exist many worlds-within-world, which are never separate or isolated from one another. All the elements of forest are immensely adaptive to one another, and easily mutate or fuse into new forms over time. The forest loves to play host, and is never closed to outsiders. The growth of a forest is organic; new forms of life co-exist without requiring the destruction of prior ones. 

Hinduism is like a banyan tree

Another metaphor that the author uses to define Hinduism is that of a banyan tree, beloved in myths and stories across Asia. The banyan tree is unique among trees in that the branches sprout and bow down to the ground, becoming additional roots of the same tree, forming eventually into a trunk in its own right. The tree is a single structure but functions like a complex, self-organising network, providing shelter and nourishment to birds, beasts and humans.

The metaphors of ‘forest’ and ‘banyan tree’ explain why people living in Hindu culture are comfortable with pluralism and complexity.

Hinduism is equivalent to the computer industry

Another approach/ model that he uses to describe Hinduism is by making it equivalent to the computer industry. One can assemble different kinds of computers by selecting from array of components (disk drives, screens, operating software, memory, printers etc). Although there are many manufacturers making each component, they share a certain common standards and architectural principles. There are consumers in the market who can themselves assemble the components and make a computer. And there are those who go by systems integrators like Dell, HP, Toshiba etc.

In the Dharma tradition, the role of system integrators is played by individual gurus and sampradayas. Like the computer industry, Hinduism can be seen as:

  • (a) open architecture: for spiritual quest as well as guidance for one’s life;
  • (b) Modular: depending on one’s individual choice. One can choose one’s own ista-devata (personal deity of choice) and other devatas; extending it to other aspects like festivals, sacred texts, cosmological world view etc. It is this architecture that provides pluralism and flexibility;
  • (c) Pre-packaged solutions: Practitioners who are incapable of configuring their spiritual path can go with this aspect by following any of the competing sampradayas;
  • (d) Customization: it is a do-it-yourself option available for advanced learners/ practitioners who can configure a system responsively;
  • (e) Research and Development (R&D): in house R&D by individuals and sampradaya can come up with ideas and practices in the marketplace;
  • (f) No centralized control mechanism: like the internet, there is no center, no owner, no founder, no authority to enforce ‘right’ for all people;
  • (g) Not history centric: there is no requirement to study the history of the system to participate.

These characteristics are not available with other desert-based religions (Islam, Christianity originated in desert). To safeguard the Hindu systems to work at best, like we scan our computers to delete malwares, Rajiv Malhotra in his insightful and first-of-its kind book Indra’s Net mentions some poison pills/ porcupine defence to guard it from ‘digestion’ and ‘self-destruction’.

Wednesday, 7 December 2016

Seducing the Rain God Book Review

RK Rishikesh Sinha

Few days ago, I read a book ‘Seducing the Rain God’ by Smriti Kumar Sinha. I read each and every word in the book. I find the book is not merely a book consisting of fourteen stories originally written in Bishnupriya Manipuri, it is more of a product that is embedded with many information of the community to the pan-Indian readers as well as to the home audience. So, the book appears as a big bridge connecting many small bridges.

Ramlal Sinha, the translator of the book, has successfully done a very painstaking job translating the stories written in Bishnupriya Manipuri. He has effectively transferred the original Bishnupriya Manipuri framework to English without diluting the beauty of the stories. However, if given an opportunity I would like to read the original ‘Bishnupriya Manipuri’ story ‘Choudhury Golapchan’. Since the story touches the core of the Bishnupriya Manipuri psyche.

Here are the few lines from the book: 

"Monigo, your mind is still full of the Viratsabha, the Mahabharata, Arjun, Raja Lokei and the like. Have a sound sleep. You have to wake up early tomorrow morning. Aargh! They’re busy with the Mahabharata of Hastinapur while imminent and burning issues like starvation death, community cancer, bleak match-making prospects of the girls of Raja Lokei, have been pushed to the backburner.”

Here we can see, the character in the story struggles with two realms.

There is another reason liking the book. There are two stories that relates to my lineage ‘Rajkumar’. And the book begins with Golapsena Rajkumar in the story ‘Flowers without fragrance’. The story pricks a very common talk especially in my home. 

Here it is: Golapsena Rajkumar. Rajkumar, a prince! He himself was ignorant of where exactly his forefathers had been kings and how big their kingdom was.

The book comes as a standard book for future translators to keep maximum Bishnupriya Manipuri words while translating it into English. He has kept many words as it is: Iche, Eiga, Fita, Muktiar, Khura, Kathi, Giri, Chakchafal, Chengi, Khuttei, Pirha, Pana-Tankha, Ima, Angaluri, Inafi, Fizang, Gidei, Talaphuti, Ine etc.

One would observe that the information given about the Bishnupriya Manipuri language inside the front cover of the book finds expression in all the stories carried in the book.

In addition to it, through a story in the book ‘In search of an immortalizing herb’, the author bring forth the danger of overstretch of science in each and every societal sphere and in one’s personal lives. Take for a moment if in our lives there is no place for beliefs, stories, and myths, and we construct science as everything. Definitely, we will be doomed. The character of the story, Shankhalema, rightly says: Atoms and molecules don’t constitute a community. It is a nice book.

Buy it. It is available in Amazon India.
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