Wednesday, 7 December 2016

Seducing the Rain God Book Review

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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.

Thursday, 1 December 2016

Bishnupriya Manipuri bodies to honour Modi, Sonowal

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FROM OUR Correspondent 

Silchar, Nov 30: Members of the central committee of Nikhil Bishnupriya Manipuri Students’ Union (NBMSU) and Bishnupriya Manipuri Ganasangram Parishad (BMGSP)’s decision to confer a number of prestigious awards on Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal and State Education minister, Himanta Biswa Sarma, deserves special mention.

This decision was taken at a meeting held in memory of Dr Kaliprasad Smriti Dibyashram Sanskriti Kendra, at West Kachudaram, Chencoorie here. The occasion was special as they were observing the 123rd birth anniversary of Bishnupriya Manipuri Society’s first political stalwart, leader, poet, writer and social activist Gokalanandagiti Swami.

Gokalanandagiti Swami Award for political works 2016 and Gokalanandagiti Swami Award for social works 2016 were also announced at the programme.

Nanda Kishore Singha, former MP and a frontline leader of Bishnupriya Manipuri Society has been also awarded for his outstanding service for more than 35 years. Gopaldas Sinha was also awarded Gokalanandagiti Swami Award for Social Service for his unparalleled contribution towards the society. Poet, writer, Shyamananda Singha also a member of Bishnupriya Manipuri Sahitya Sabha, presented the award.

The programme began with the paying of floral tribute to Gokalanandagiti Swami which was done by Rajkumar Anil Krishna, former president of the central committee and chief advisor of central advisory board.

The programme was graced by the presence of Gopaldas Sinha, an extraordinary frontline leader and chief advisor of Bishnupriya Manipuri Language Teachers’ Training Diploma Holders’ Association, Tombak Sena Singha, a recipient of Dr B R Ambedkar Social Service Award and also a revolutionary figure and Narendra Chandra Singha, litterateur, poet, writer and editor and general secretary of Bishnupriya Sahitya Manipuri Sabha.

Source: The Sentinel

Tuesday, 29 November 2016

Cashless economy: Trust is sacred

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RK Rishikesh Sinha
Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s dream of a cashless economy is achievable. It is absolutely possible. Technology is available with us, the greatest challenge, however, is to change people’s mind. We have to educate people about the whole financial infrastructural touch points through which money gets transacted.

It seems simple. The fact is: it is not. Since 2009 I have been closely following the development taking place in the finance-related digital space. India is so big and diverse; there are people who simply don’t know about NEFT? Forget about IMPS and (Pre-paid/ Closed System/ Semi-Closed System/ Open System) Payment Instruments. And there are people who don’t believe on banks even! They have love-hate relationship with banks.

The state of affair is that if I tell a person to deposit to my account Rs 100 without physically going to a bank. He or she will not be able to do it. They don’t know the options available with them. However, the same person is willing to learn it lest he or she is being taught. They are eager to learn the tricks given the proper guidance and knowledge.

Besides this, there is deficit of trust among Indians about money. They fear more about the result -- in case of failure of transaction, denial of the receiver getting the money so on and so forth. Here lies the crux of the success. Technology has to be robust, complaints has to be automated and resolved in time frame. We have to educate ourselves and others with the channels involved in the process from the sender to the receiver.

The ways through which money could be transacted digitally could be adopted easily by us. Again I would say the trust and confidence of the sender and the receiver of the money is tantamount. The trust has to be kept intact and sacred. Here comes the challenge.

Initially, the receiver of the money has to work as a guide to the payer. He or she has to be well-versed with the financial ecosystem through which money is transacted digitally. He/she must have knowledge about respective banks’ wallets, and other independent e-wallets like Airtel Money, Paytm, mobikwick etc. In addition to it, other products like UPI and USSD. It is very tough to make people believe that a mobile number can be used to hold money. In the nutshell, your mobile phone would work as your wallet. Here, the NPCI website comes handy to begin with and websites of respective banks.

The future is interesting. It would curtail crime and terror financing, leakages, transaction costs, administrative and overhead costs. However, the present time reminds me of the time when electronic mails (emails) came in front of us.

Sunday, 27 November 2016

Christianity Adam and Eve story in Bishnupriya Manipuri

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RK Rishikesh Sinha

The USA-based Joshua Project has targeted us to convert 100 per cent Hindu Bishnupriya Manipuris in India and Bangladesh to Christianity. The You Tube video given below is one such effort to bring Christ among Bishnupriya Manipuris. It is related to the Joshua Project.

It is to be understand that the translated Bishnupriya Manipuri of the Christian story consist of core Dharmic words like Bhagwan/ Ishwar, Sansar, Paap, Narak, Uddhar. These Hindu terminology words doesn't apply to Christianity.. Our Hindu/ Vedic concept on Bhagwan/ Ishwar is different than the Christian God.

Christian Story




Hindu Story

Let us understand better the Christian story according to our dharmic perspective. Explained by Rajiv Malhotra in the below given video.



Next article will be on the difference between Hindu Bishnupriya Manipuri and the Christian one.

Friday, 25 November 2016

Bishnupriya Manipuris in target: Conversion to Christianity

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RK Rishikesh Sinha
We as a Bishnupriya Manipuris feel proud keeping our social, cultural and religious pillars strong and intact. In the 21st century globalization period, it is surprising to find that there is continuity of our ethos since centuries despite being in the epicenter of many socio-political changes. The formation of India, East Pakistan (later Bangladesh) - on religion is one such. More than that we withstood religious conversion to Islam and Christianity in comparison to our neighbouring communities; we are Hindus. It is surprising that religious conversion is not highlighted and discussed. Take this: this is the first article in this blog raising the issue.

However, in the present time, we are not safe. The Bishnupriya Manipuri society has been intruded and it is being compromised. To my knowledge and information, 40-45 Bishnupriya Manipuri individuals have converted to Christianity in India. To make the matter worse, unknowingly BMDC-Pau website carries the image of Mother Teresa, whose job was to bring people into the fold of Christianity.

According to multi-billion-dollar- organization Josuha Project based in Denver, Colorado, 0.07 % of Indian Bishnupriya Manipuris have converted to Christianity (in Bangladesh it is 0.16%). It is a notorious organization converting people of other religious faith to Christianity. The evangelical organization has mapped us, the Bishnupriya Manipuries, and included it in their database. We are in their target.

In the Joshua Project website, our introduction has been given like this:

The Bishnupriya (Manipuri) are a 100% Hindu community living in the northeastern corner of Bangladesh mostly in the Moulvibazar district of Sylhet division. They point to Manipur state of India as their homeland, and they still have a majority of their people in various northeastern states of India. They are mostly farmers, though their younger generations are becoming increasingly more educated and looking for other opportunities. They are very proud of their culture/religion, and are well-known in Bangladesh for their dances; their identity is very much tied to their Hindu culture/religion. Largely because of this, there is still not a single known Christian among the Bishnupriya in Bangladesh. Missionary activity among them has been and is limited because of their belief that to be Bishnupriya is to be Hindu. Outsiders trying to spread the gospel are not tolerated, and individuals may resist the gospel for fear that they will lose their place in the Bishnupriya society if they become Christians. Still, because of the Bishnupriya community's desire for development and aid, missionaries can easily gain access to the community by engaging them in the social, economic, and health sectors. Going beyond merely providing aid may prove difficult, however.

Please read again:

because of the Bishnupriya community's desire for development and aid, missionaries can easily gain access to the community by engaging them in the social, economic, and health sectors. Going beyond merely providing aid may prove difficult, however

This is the fundamental approach of Christian missionaries: 1. saama (the process of pacifying); 2. Daana (the process of giving money in charity); 3. Bheda (the principle of dividing); 4. Danda (the principle of punishment).

What we see around us in north-east India, in just half a century period, the whole northeast got converted into Christianity. The terrorism infested in Manipur, Nagaland, Tripura are Christian terrorism.

In India, Rajiv Malhotra writes in his path breaking book ‘Being Different – An Indian Challenge to Western Universalism’, ”the Joshua Project points its fingers at Hindus who comprise the dominant faith and are clearly targeted as competitors to overcome. When incidents of violence have occurred, it is often the Christian missionaries who cast the first stone in the form of hate speech such as ‘pagan’, ‘idol-worshipper’, ‘heathen’ etc …and offering whole villages financial incentives to convert”.

What can we do? First, stop allowing Christian missionary schools/ hospitals at our villages. If our boys/ girls are attending Christian missionary schools (many schools have come up near to our villages), be cautious of their school content are they belittling our deities, symbols and dharmic traditions. Second, stop outsiders preaching gospels at our villages. Don’t give societal space to converters and those who got converted. Third, understand the modus-operandi of the Christian missionaries. Understand key difference between Hinduism and Judeo-Christian faiths. For this, read the books authored by Rajiv Malhotra. All the books published by him are first of its kind looking at the West from India’s dharmic standpoint. Before you buy all his books, watch his You Tube Channel. Fourth, we poeple have to decolonize ourselves. To be continued…

Scrapping of BMDC signals the end of identity politics

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By RK Rishikesh Sinha

Bishnupriya Manipuri Development Council (BMDC) is dead and is a part of history now. We are fortunate that we have seen the complete life cycle – its birth and its sudden death. However, the short tenure of the body has highlighted how we as a community respond to such development. 

Today, when we go back and read some of the writings on BMDC, we find serious questions were asked about the inception of the body. Here is an article, where Ramlal Sinha had doubts about the body’s financial viability and its objective. And at the same time, the role of NBMM against BMDC was questioned.

In parallel to Ramlal Sinha’s views, Rebati Mohan Sinha who was elated with the formation of the body, he too asked many questions to the very existence of the body. Reading his series of articles on BMDC, today, I believe, many of his questions have gone unanswered!

Out of many things that we have seen, it is suffice to say that we can be played upon by anybody, and in this process we can go a long way. Everything takes a backseat when it comes to power and money. The series of news items prove it.

If the BJP government’s decision of scrapping all the minority councils in Assam is concerned; I guess the party has sent a signal and made the point straight that minority politics, identity politics, and caste politics that are deep-rooted in the construct of India will not be entertained. Political games that are played on the name of development across jatis not only create vote banks, but it creates bitterness and hatred amongst jatis. And north-east is rife with fear and mistrust between different ethnic communities. And the party will do another surgical operation by scrapping / diluting all the minority (religious / linguistic) appeasement schemes that takes place in the name of development. Synthetic ‘Development’ would be replaced by ‘Empowerment’ of the minorities.

We see many reservations pronounced by writers like Ramlal Sinha and Rebati Mohan Sinha on BMDC has indeed come true. And the change of guard in Assam and in the Centre has indeed changed the political playground.

Monday, 21 November 2016

Peace and self-organisation against Rs 500/ Rs 1000 chaos

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By RK Rishikesh Sinha


With the demonetisation of Rs 500 and Rs 1000 by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, I observed there is chaos all around us. Though many people like me are enjoying the chaotic environment that got fall out with the decision.

I observed since the day of announcement, the daily bazaar near to us went absolutely vacant with no buyers; and even some of the shops got closed. Still co-passengers in buses and in e-rickshaws are in conversation on the very topic. I saw people are concerned but there is absolute peace in this cacophonic environment.

What is so particular about the inner calmness presided by our people at this juncture when there is no cash in their hands? The inner attributed to the dharmic cultures which tend to be more accepting of difference, unpredictability and uncertainty. My opinion is shaped by Rajiv Malhotra’s book “Being Different” which I am currently reading. This voluminous book of 474 pages says that the traditional Dharmic perspective of chaos as natural and normal. Highlighting the fundamental assumptions of western civiliasation regarding Indian dharmic cultures, the book says the West, conversely, sees chaos as a profound threat that needs to be eradicated either by destruction or by complete assimilation.

The West tends to crave assurances and certainty, partly because it insists on either/ polarities. The dharma traditions, however, do not see uncertainty as evil or even inherently negative. Therefore, those who are in long and tiresome queue in banks and ATMs are ready to take the pain for the better Bharat.

The differing attitudes towards ‘order and chaos’ are traced very clearly in the contrasting myths and foundational stories of India and the West. In the Vedas and Upanishads, and in the vast canon of classical writings in Sanskrit, we see many context-sensitive and flexible ways of dealing with chaos and difference. There is always for balance and equilibrium with the rights of chaos acknowledgement. In contrast, Western mythologies, both Hebraic and Greek, are replete with themes that depict the negative realms as chaotic and in perpetual struggle.

Malhotra writes many differences about how a Hindu and a westerner from Judeo-Christian faith encounter ‘chaos’, ‘aesthetics’, ‘morality’ and ‘truth’. Unfortunately, we as Hindus are ignorant to the fact that we are raising ourselves knowingly and unknowingly in the western framework and not paying heed to our dharmic traditional infrastructure. In today’s India, aesthetics is defined by the West, and even morality and ethics is under their garb.

Rajiv Malhotra writes, the West gazes on India is through the lens of both biblical and secular thinkers. The white culture view the Indian society as dangerous, possibly evil, and ripe for America’s supposedly civilizing and progressive influence. These two blocks – the liberal/ secular (with their concepts in Anthropology/ History/ Human Rights/ Gender Studies/ Marxism/ Freudianism/ Postmodernism) and conservative/ biblical (with monotheism/ masculinity/ canons/ order/ organized/ religion) – approaches India as yet another chaotic place that needs to be ordered. With these two prisms of West India is synonymous with religious violence, human rights abuses, millions of gods, evil practices, frozen in time, caste etc.

Like the recent West interest on Kumbh Mela which is dangerous for us, at the present moment the western media/ academia might be taking note of the Indians who are demonstrating astounding peace and self-organisation despite chaos all around.

Sunday, 20 November 2016

Allegations against former MDC chairman denied

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Special Correspondent

Silchar, Nov 19: Bishnupriya Manipuri organizations at a joint meeting held under the presidentship of Subal Sinha, former chairman of Bishnupriya Manipuri Ganasangram Parishad on Thursday took serious exception to the allegations of Amar Sinha against Gopidas Sinha, former executive member of Bishnupriya Manipuri Development Council, accusing the latter of fraud and cheating some members of the community in the name of giving appointment for the post of Bishnupriya Manipuri language teachers.

A complaint in this regard was submitted to the Inspector General of Police, Criminal Investigation Department, Ulubari, Guwahati, which was sent back to the DSP, headquarters here for further inquiry and punitive measures, if called for.

The matter was published in The Sentinel issue of November 12 on the basis of the written submission of Amar Sinha supported by relevant documents. The meeting of the Bishnupriya Manipuri organizations taking serious exception to the report condemned it as a designed and malicious move to tarnish the image of Gopidas Sinha whom they described as an important social worker dedicated to the services of the community for the last 35 years. The organizations dubbed the allegations as false and fabricated and an attempt to protect his personal interests.

Earlier also, the organizations said such false allegations were brought by Amar Sinha and his cohorts to defame Dr. Debendra Kumar Sinha, president of the Nikhil Bishnupriya Manipuri Mahasabha, and 15 other social activists. The leaders of the organizations called it a sort of ‘social terrorism’ in order to foment conflict among the members of the community and also misunderstanding between different organizations. It was urged upon the home department of the Chief Minister to investigate the background of the persons engaged in malicious propaganda against social activists. After due scrutiny of all the papers placed by Gopidas Sinha, the joint meeting found nothing wrong against him.

The complainants Amar Sinha and his wife Nanda Sinha long with others were rather found to be on the wrong side and it was not clear why they should have unfair design against an established social worker like Gopidas Sinha. Considering the seriousness of the entire episode, the joint meeting attended by Nikhil Bishnupriya Manipuri Students’ Union, Bishnupriya Manipuri Ganasangram Parishad, Bishnupriya Manipuri Women Organization, Bishnupriya Manipuri Ex-Servicemen Association and Bishnupriya Manipuri Language Teaching-Training Diploma Holders’ Association unanimously decided to hold an extended meeting on December 4 to call both the complainants to examine their grievances. Both the complainants, Amar Sinha and Gopidas Sinha were advised to attend the meeting in the greater interest of the community.

Source: The Sentinel

Friday, 18 November 2016

Gopidas Sinha accused of swindling money

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Special Correspondent

Silchar, Nov 11: In a written complaint to the Inspector General of Police, Criminal Investigation Department, Ulubari, Guwahati, some members of the Bishnupriya Manipuri community have brought serious allegation against Gopidas Sinha, former executive member of Bishnupriya Manipuri Development Council, for fraud and cheating them in the name of giving appointment for the post of Bishnupriya Manipuri language teachers. It is also worth mentioning that he is also the present chief advisor of Bishnupriya Manipuri Language Teaching Diploma Holders’ Association as well as secretary of Bishnupriya Manipuri Language Teaching Training Centre.

According to their submission, Gopidas Sinha taking advantage of his leadership in the community and also for being on the frontline of movement in the greater interest of the community displayed his power and authority and also his closeness with the authorities concerned in power for providing them the job of teachers. Amar Sinha, one of the complainants, said in his statement that he was convinced by the accused of arranging job for his two nieces and took from him Rs.2 lakh in cash. In addition to that, he also took Rs.1.55 lakh from one of his brother in relations on the same ground which was deposited in the personal SBI bank account number 20162429311 of Gopidas Sinha.

Not only that, others also brought the same allegation against him and showed the copy of the deposited amount of Rs.42,900 and Rs.1 lakh. The IG of Police, Criminal Investigation Department, sent back the complaint letter to the SP Cachar. This was taken up today by the Deputy Superintendent of Police, headquarters, Sudhangshu Das, in his chamber. Besides the complainants, three witnesses were also present to hammer and buttress the allegations. Amar Sinha said that even after the lapse of more than 13 months when there was no positive response from Gopidas Sinha on the matter of appointments, he questioned him for maintaining silence. When asked to return money, he rather held out threat to kill him.

It is his impression and those of others that he might have swindled lot of money from others too who for this or that reason have not opened up their mouths. Considering the gravity of the allegations, the complainants demanded exemplary action against Gopidas Sinha so that swindlers like him dare not repeat his dismeanour. When the DSP made attempts to contact Gopidas Sinha over his mobile number 7576891441, there was no response. It is apprehended he might have gone underground. But, the police is determined to nab him and bring him to book and mete out the punishment as per legal provision.

Source: The Sentinel

Assam Govt dissolves BMDC

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Previous Gogoi government unnecessarily constituted development councils for their selfish political gains

BY OUR STAFF REPORTER

GUWAHATI, Nov 4: In the name of welfare of different communities, the previous Congress government in Assam constituted several development councils. Although in the beginning, the government tried to keep its focus on the welfare of these communities through these councils, later the focus got shifted to appeasement of a section of political leaders by the government, thereby diluting the very objective of these councils. Thirty one development councils were formed by the previous government and many of these were constituted even without taking practical aspects into consideration.

Realizing the reasons for which the previous Congress government formed so many development councils in the State, the present BJP-led State government at Dispur dissolved all the development councils, excluding two, through a notification (No. TAD/BC/402/2016/104) issued on Thursday.

The Manipuri Development Council and the Maimal Development Council have not been dissolved by the present government this time due to cases pending in the court.

The decision to constitute development councils for the welfare of different communities in Assam was conceived by the previous Congress government following delay in according ST status to six communities - Moran, Muttock, Tai Ahom, Koch Rajbongshi, Sootea and Tea Tribes – by the Central government. Initially, development councils for these six communities were constituted by the State government, but later went on forming councils for other communities also.

These councils were formed to implement different development schemes in their respective areas with the help of government funding. Initially, funds were provided to these councils by the State government, but in the last two financial years of the Tarun Gogoi government, many of these councils didn’t receive their fund share. In the financial year 2015-16, not a penny was given to these councils by the previous government.

During the previous government days, many political appointments, mainly of a section of Congress leaders, were given in these councils. Those Congress leaders were given the post of chairman or other high positions in these councils.

It may be mentioned here that no Act was passed in the Assam Assembly by the previous government for the constitution of such development councils in the State.

The 29 councils dissolved by the present State government are Moran Development Council, Mottock Development Council, Moria Development Council, Gorkha Development Council, Chutia Development Council, Adivasi Development Council, Nath Jogi Development Council, Koch Rajbongshi Development Council, Bishnupriya Manipuri Development Council, Tai Ahom Development Council, Mech Kachari Development Council, Sadharan Jati Development Council, Singpho (Man Tai) Development Council, Amri Karbi Development Council, Sarania Kachari Development Council, Barak Valley Hill Tribes Development Council, Tea and Ex-Tea Gardens Development Council, SC Development Council, Chaodang Development Council, Madahi Development Council, Kumar Development Council, Hajong Development Council, Sut Development Council, Goria Development Council, Barman Kachari Development Council, Development Council for Karbi people residing outside Karbi Anglong, Hindi Speaking Development Council, Bengali Speaking Development Council and Jolha Development Council.
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