Monday, 31 December 2007

Happy New Year

Hello Bishnupriya Manipuri breathen in India, USA, Bangladesh, .......and living in any part of the world.

We are silently stepping into the new year.
On this eve, I pray, may God brings to you all happiness and all your wishes get fulfilled.

Sunday, 16 December 2007

Hot potatoes in winter

It was getting dark. So, the game was stopped and every one was served with hot and spicy allur baja on banana leaf. I got astonished when I tasted the dish. It was so different in taste from the one that is prepared at home.

By Ranita Sinha, Kolkata

Here comes the month of December and January, which reminds me of an incident I experienced during one of my visits to my parental village.

To visit a village during the winter season, I suppose to be an ideal time. Because of this time harvesting is complete and all the houses are filled with paddy, grains, potatoes etc, more or less for the whole year. Moreover, looking at the faces of the people it gives an impression as if a mysterious contentment is crossing their faces. There is no sign of poverty. The surrounding seems full of life and activity.

During one of my visits to the village in the winter season, one day, my cousins told me that they would show me something, which, I had never seen before. They asked me to get ready to accompany them in the evening.

As planned my cousins along with some of their friends came and I accompanied them towards the empty paddy fields. I was just wondering what they were going to do. But a few meters away from us I saw almost all the young boys and girls of the village were present there and were busy doing something.

As I went nearer to the spot, I saw some were busy peeling potatoes, some digging the ground for a chulha, some collecting dry bamboo for the fire etc etc. I thought to myself that we were going to have a picnic that night and was very happy, but to my utter surprise I found only potatoes scattered all around the spot.

I asked one of the girls present there, what was going on. She told me that since new potatoes were out and that every house is having a plenty of it, so they every year make it a point to have a feast on potato, contributed by all, not in cash but in kind.

At last the chulha was ready. A big Khang(to fry the potatoes) was put on it, when the Khang was hot, mustard oil was poured. And after the mustard oil came to the smoking point, lots of jennum (a herb) were added on the oil and than the potatoes were put, followed by salt, turmeric, and whole lot of green chili.

Seeing all this I thought to myself, what the hell they were doing. This potato fry is prepared more or less every day in every household. Than, what was different in what they were doing; without uttering anything, I just watched them.

Some of my cousins than asked me to take part in the games what they were going to start. By the time the game started, the preparation was also complete. So, everybody, who ever was present there, joined the games. I do not remember the name of all the games but a few I do remember- reddy, bondi, dudu(kabadi). I participated in all the games and it was indeed a great fun.

Most of us were totally exhausted and it was getting dark. So, the game was stopped and every one was served with hot and spicy "allur baja" on banana leaf. I got astonished when I tasted the dish. It was so different in taste from the one that is prepared at home.

May be the taste was different because of the bulk quantity in which it was prepared or may be because all friends were having it together, which made it more delicious, and memorable. Whatever may be the reason of the "delicious" magic but the taste was awesome, titillating to the taste buds. The grand feist has etched a mark in my memory, always fresh in my mind and soul.

I am not sure if this "allur baja" is practiced in any other Bishnupriya Manipuri villages. But yes, it was there in the villages of Patherkandi, about fifteen years back. I would be thrilled if anybody comes and tell me that it is still prevalent in the villages of Patherkandi. I really miss those wonderful days, the days which are still dear to me.


Friday, 14 December 2007

Bengali and Muslim communities bashed up three Bishnupriya Manipuri publicly

Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, September 12: Tension continues to grip Borobekra area of Jiribam sub division bordering Assam after people belonging to Bengali and Muslim communities allegedly bashed up three Bishnupriyas publicly in the presence of Army personnel on September 7. Denouncing the assault, the minority Meiteis and Bishnupriyas had been imposing indefinite general strike at the area inhabited by about 3000 people and brining to a screeching halt normal activities.

PRO of Assam Rifles, Colonel Rajesh Mishra when contacted dismissed the allegations as totally baseless and concocted saying “it was an attempt to malign the image and reputation of the Army.

“Giving his side of the story, Mishra said that the three men were manhandled by a mob of about 2000 drawn from different communities, other than the one to which they belong.

“The three then ran towards the Army post at Sotobekra, where they were given shelter and later dropped at their respective places.

“If it was not the Army, then how could they have reached their places,” he countered.

As to why they were targeted by the mob, the PRO said that on the said day (September 7) a huge convoy of the security personnel left the post for flood relief operations at Assam.

“The mob thought that the security personnel were leaving following hectic lobbying and instigation by the three persons,” he explained.

The three – Pukhrambam Jiten (42), Pukhrambam Rakeshwar (58) and Thokchom Anilkumar (34) who fled from their homesteads fearing reprisals from the both the Army and the majority communities are currently staying in the State capital.

Recounting the incident, Jiten told reporters here that he along with Rakeshwar and Anilkumar were invited to attend a meeting held at a ground adjacent to the post of Rashtriya Rifles (RR) at Sotobekra (under Borbekra Gram Panchayat) on Friday last.

The meeting convened by the majority Bengali community centred around shifting of the Army post from Sotobekra.

Amid the meeting one-army personnel called him out and before long “I along with Rakeshwar and Anilkumar were charged of plotting to shift the post and forced us to tender an apology”.

Before long the majority community members led by the Bengalis, who attended the meeting began thrashing all three of them and finding no way for their rescue they rushed inside a room of the Army “but instead of saving us we were chased out by some Army men and they too joined the bashing by using sticks”.

Finally the Army put the situation under control and handed them over to Jiribam police station.

On Saturday they were admitted to Jiribam hospital, Jiten said adding that at the hospital some Army men came and asked them to testify that they (Army) didn’t bash them in the incident.

They however declined to endorse the Army’s plea.

“We have nothing to do with the shifting of the Army post from Sotobekra nor is it our business”, Jiten said while disclosing that before fleeing to Imphal they lodged a complaint on the matter at Jiribam police station against the Bengali community and the Army for their highhandedness.

The Army hate the minority Meiteis and Bishnupriyas because the latter communities always declined to oblige forced labour ordered by the former, the trio said while opining that this could be the main reason for them (Army) to support the majority Bengalis and Muslims.

Owing to the heavy thrashing the trio complained of pain in the chest, stomach and back.

They appealed to all concerned to intervene immediately so that to bring normalcy can be restored at Borobekra.


Monday, 10 December 2007

Where are the Bishnupriya Manipuri people of Myanmar?

In the radar of those location where Bishnupriya Manipuri people are residing, the country Myanmar does not show? Reason?

Rishikesh Sinha, New Delhi

In the post Statistics of Bishnupriya Manipuri, we have literally come to know the hidden skeleton about this blog. The data collated shows many facts about the Bishnupriya Manipuri community as a whole. In India, if Delhi secured the highest number of hits, the blog received lesser hits from Silchar, Tripura, and Guwahati where there is a big sizeable population of Bishnupriya Manipuri. Furthermore, the blog got second highest hits from United States, if one goes deep into the statistics, though not made public, one could see the cities and the places in US, Bangladesh and Australia where our Bishnupriya Manipuri people are placed. It shows almost in every important corner of the world we have got our people located.

From the arithmetics of numbers, many inferences can be drawn. And among the inferences something that came shocking, full of surprise was the name of the country Myanmar missing in the hit list of the countries. It is a matter of concern that there has not been a single hit or click in the blog. There is more or lesser number of click from those areas where Bishnupriya Manipuri people are located in a sizeable number. The question that arises in everyone’s mind is, if they do exist, what would be their social, economical status since at this time when Information Technology plus the internet facility is omnipresent, a driving force behind the engine of prosperity, their absense in the internet pops up cornucopia of inferences.

One, the belief that the Bishnupriya Manipuri community does present in that country is false. We don’t have our existence in Myanmar. Second, for a meanwhile even if we believe that Bishnupriya Manipuri people do exist, their economic, social status is a matter of concerns. Their participation in different walks of life, perhaps, would be meagre or nil. Their primary source of income would be from agricultural fields, away from the touch of modern world.

Is there anyone who cares for them, of their plight or status? After all they are our brothers living in a country where military junta is ruling and media is nowhere.


List of posts

A Quick look of all the posts published in this blog. You have read, here again with one click you can read, comment and share the post of your choice.

1. [Ranita Sinha]


3. [Rishikesh Sinha]

4. [Rini Sinha]

5. [Ranita Sinha]

6. [Rishikesh Sinha]

7. [Rishikesh Sinha]

8. [Rishikesh Sinha]

9. [Rishikesh Sinha]

10. [BN Sinha]

11. [Ranita Sinha]

12. [Rishikesh Sinha]

13. [Rishikesh Sinha]

14. [Ranita Sinha]

15. [Rishikesh Sinha]

16. [BN Sinha]

17. [Ranita Sinha]

18. [Rishikesh Sinha]

19. [BN Sinha]

20. [Rishikesh Sinha]

21. [Rebati Mohan Sinha]

22. [BN Sinha]

23. [BN Sinha]

24. [Ranita Sinha]

25. [BN Sinha]

26. [Ranita Sinha]

27. [Suroshree Sinha]

28. [Suroshree Sinha]


30. [BN Sinha]

31. [BN Sinha]

32. [Ranita Sinha]

33. [BN Sinha]

34. [Remuna Sinha (Rini ]

35. [Rishikesh Sinha]

36. [RKHL Sinha]

37. [Ranita Sinha]

38. [Ranita Sinha]

39. [Rishikesh Sinha]

40. [Ranita Sinha]

41. [Rishikesh Sinha]

42. [Rishikesh Sinha]


44. [RKHL Sinha]

45. [Rishikesh Sinha]

46. [Rishikesh Sinha]

47. [RKHL Sinha]

48. [Rishikesh Sinha]

49. [Rishikesh Sinha]

50. [BN Sinha]

51. [Rajesh Sinha]

52. [BN Sinha]

53. [Rishikesh Sinha]

54. [Rishikesh Sinha]


A short history of the Bishnupriya Manipuri and their religio-cultural consciousness

Undoubtedly, the accurate period of the emergence or the development of religious consciousness of the Bishnupriya Manipuri is difficult to ascertain, but it is an old one that is undoubted, writes Rini Sinha, Guwahati.

Religious beliefs are found virtually in every human society. Religious beliefs usually relates to the existence and worship of a deity or deities and divine involvement in the universe and human life. Religious knowledge according to religious practitioners may be gained from religious leaders, sacred texts or personal revelation. The development of religion has taken many forms in various cultural communities.

The accurate period of emergence or development of religious consciousness of the Bishnupriya Manipuries is difficult to ascertain, but it is an old one that is undoubted. However, on the basis of the views of different scholars, pre-historic and historical remain whatsoever is available and from the logic of personal observations, we may put forward some view-points that are relavent.

There is enough historical evidence that Bishnupriya Manipuri were the first ruling race belonging to Indo-Aryan group in Manipur. According to Jyotirmoy Roy,

"The Bishnupriyas are supposed to have been the first ruling race and the Meities are supposed to have been the next immigrants. Their language is distinctly different, the Khalachais (The Bishnupriya Manipuri Language) is more akin to the Kamrupi tongue and the Meitie language is more akin to the Bodo-Chinese group.Their head-quarters were Bishnupur, so named after tutelary deity Vishnu.Their language developed into a mixed dialect separate name Bishnupurias (now pronounced as Bishnupriyas) to distinguish than from the Meities who came afterwards".(History of Manipur). The Kshamuls and Moirangs were the ancestors of the present Bishnupriya Manipuri. According to L.Iboonghohal Singh, the author of Introduction to Manipur, "The rule of Kshamuls/Khumals extinguished in about 12th century AD and Moirang in 18th century AD. At last they became the title holders having seats in the court of Mitaya Kings".

The history of religious consciousness of Bishnupriya Manipuri may preferably be brought under three stages: Pre-Vaisnavite, Vaisnavite and Gaudiya Vaisnavism.The Bishnupriya Manipuri from the hoary past were the worshiper of Vishnu is revealed from the Chinese records of the 2nd century AD.

But Vishnu image had been in Manipur as the family god of the ruling Kshamul prince from pre-history case. These indicate that the Bishnupriya Manipuri were the followers of Hinduism; and which is long before the advent of the Meities in Manipur. Lord Vishnu was worshiped in the 14th century AD.i.e. in the time of king Sripati and Kiyamba or Chintamani who were the descendents of Kshamul dynasty.

In the pre-vaisnavite period like the Meities, the Bishnupriya Manipuri worshiped Apokpa, Pakhangba or Pahampa, Lamordou or Lamlai in Meitie, Kachakhouri or vampires (Hingchabi in Meitie) which is prominent among them till today. Next came the stage of Bhagavatism as religious consciousness. The Bhagavatism is synonymous with vaisnavism which came to the foreground to Bishnupriya Manipuri.

Most of the Bishnupriya Manipuri in that period were familiar with the incarnatory names of Vishnu which is clear from the Rain-Invoking songs in which names like Hari-Rama-Laxman etc. have been mentioned. The stage may be called precursor of vaisnavism which was mixed up with the indigenous practice of religion to some extent.The people of Manipur began to study the Mahabharata, the Ramayan and other stories from that period onward.

The geographical isolation of Manipur on the one hand seems to be the major factor to resist the immediate indigenous transformation from the animism to any sect of Hinduism and vaisnavism, and even Buddhism. On the other hand the migration that continued no doubt was with its modification due to addition of new religious fold and practices.

The B Manipuri were initiated to the religion of Sri Chaitanya during the middle of 18th century AD. But even before that time, these people follow some other form of vaisnavism as is known from the Khumal Purana and other sources. It seems that early form of vaisnavism followed by Bishnupriya Manipuri had some relation with the vaisnavism of Sri Sankardeva; and the religio-cultural affinities between the Assamese and the Bishnupriya Manipuries are due to that religious impact. Thus we may say that B Manipuri were traditionally vaisnavites but, their conversion during the 18th century was only from Sri Sankardeva school of thought to Chaitanya school of thought.

With the adoption of Gaudiya Vaisnavism the life style of Bengali vaisnava society of 18 th century AD gained acceptence to this society as an integral part of vaisnavic way of life. Rasa Leela and Nata Sankirtana became the important features of religious function. The impact of Chaitanya vaisnavism was very deep in all sphere of the Bishnupriyas. In all rituals non-vegetarian foods is completely prohibited. It has no exception even in the case of disposal/ cremation of dead bodies.

It can be conclusively said that the formation of Bishnupriya language and development of religious concept, culture, heritage etc. definitely took place in the soil of Manipur. Great majority of Bishnupriya Manipuri people fled away from Manipur and took refuge in Assam, Tripua, Sylhet (Bangladesh), and in Cachar during the 18 th and 19th century due to internal conflicts / turmoil and repeated Burmese attacks. During the mass exodus that the Bishnupriya manipuri carried their culture and heritage with them at their new settlements.

In Manipur, their culture being gulped by non-Bishnupriya Manipuri culture, in Cachar and Bangladesh it is by Bengali culture while in Assam by Assamese culture. Moreover, the present hi-tech and IT civilization are in onslaught to the young members to the B Manipuri society which is of grave concern and ominous today. It is difficult to find the existence of Bishnupriya language and culture, gradually a time will come if this trend continues it will be difficult to locate any Bishnupriya. There is still time to save this culture from complete destruction and inhalation


Tanu Babu Sinha: A Bishnupriya Manipuri visioner

Sri Tanu Babu Sinha, besides being the disciple of Sri Sri Bhubaneshwar Sadhu Thakur, he was an educator, a social reformer, a philanthropist; and above all this he was a man of vision, writes Ranita Sinha.

Sri Tanu Babu Sinha, the renowned disciple of Sri Sri Bhubaneshwar Sadhu Thakur, was born on the 3rd day of Poush 1285 (Bengali Calendar Year). He was born in Kanaibazar village of Karimganj subdivision under Sri Hatta district- before the partition of Bengal in a Bishnupriya Manipuri family.

From his childhood, Sri Tanu Sinha was a meritorious student. He studied at a renowned government English Medium School at Sri Hatta Town. He passed the entrance examination under Calcutta University, attaining 1st position in the state of Assam and 3rd position in Calcutta University.

Later, he took admission in graduation with English and Sanskrit as the main subjects in the Presidency College. He passed out with English honors in the year 1902 securing the 1st position in the whole university becoming the first graduate of the Bishnupriya Manipuri community.

Sri Tanu Babu joined Calcutta University for his Masters Degree along with Law, in the year 1903. But, the same year the Assam Government came out with a project of spreading modern education in Manipur. For this Sri Tanu Sinha was given the responsibility to take the initiative and to execute it. So, for the betterment of his fellow Manipuri brothers, he headed towards Imphal, subsiding his dream of attaining higher studies.

Sri Tanu Babu put selfless effort for the spread of modern education in Manipur. He brought the educated youths of Sri Hatta and Cachar district; and after equipping them with modern teaching methods and training, he appointed them in the various new schools all over Manipur; with the humble thought, that, the project should not be stopped due to lack of man power. He had to his credit, many school books, written by him in Manipuri language.

During his tenure in Manipur, Sri Tanu Babu was showered with love and respect, for his selfless endeavor he had put for the progress of the Manipuri people there. He attained name and fame in a very short period, which was enough to make anybody envy of him.

Sri Tanu Babu’s well wishers in Manipur, who were concerned of his well being, suggested him to leave Manipur before the then King of Manipur plot something against him; to hamper the name and fame he earned by mere hard work and selfless dedication. In this way, Tanu Babu stint in Manipur ended, and he returned to his motherland, in the year 1907.

After returning to his hometown, Sri Tanu Babu joined as a sub-deputy officer. He was capable of attaining a more hierarchical job; but the then Chief Commissioner was not in favor of appointing any Manipuri in the higher posts, as he was a die-hard follower of Lord Quinton, whom the Manipuri people had murdered.

But Sri Tanu Babu retired from service as Excise Superintendent in the year1932. During his service tenure he had helped so many students, unemployed youths, underprivileged families in so many ways that it could not be put in words and cannot be comprehended easily. After his retirement he went to many Bishnupriya Manipuri villages of Sri Hatta, Cachar and Tripura to have a look of the way of life of the people and also to spread the message of the need of proper education.

Sri Tanu Babu than set out for visiting the holy places of India. When he reached Radhakunda in Vrindavana, he visited the Bishnupriya Manipuri Sri Sri Radha Madhav Mandir and done a lot of developmental works there. Than after visiting a few more holy places Sri Tanu Babu Sinha finally landed on the dream land of Shri Radha Rani- Nawadeep. After reaching there, he came in contact with Sri Sadhu Thakur. Sadhu Baba got so impressed with Tanu Babu’s truthfulness, simplicity and dedication that he made Tanu Babu learn all the puja rituals of Sri Sri Radha Govinda Jew Mandir. He gained Sadhu Baba’s confidence and became his most favorite disciple.

After Sadhu Baba left for heavenly abode on 17th July 1940, Sri Tanu Babu was appointed the chief Sebayit of the Temple. He left all materialistic luxury and dedicated himself fully to serve the Lord.

On the 2nd tithi of Poush Ekadashi, in the year 1349 (Bengali calendar year), while chanting the name of Lord Krishna, Sri Tanu Babu reached his eternity.

Dear reader, the whole write up is collated from an edition of Sri Govindo Churamoni. Being written in Bengali, it made things a little complicated to understand. Yet, I tried my best to put exactly what is written in the book. If anybody finds any mistake, please feel free to point out, so that it can be rectified.

Saturday, 8 December 2007

Three Bishnupriaya Manipuri souls caught in border

How we Bishnupriya Manipuri people meet with an another Bishnupriya Manipuri person, I suppose could not be as interesting and full of suspense than that had taken place few years ago with one of my friends, Dija Moni Sinha. How he met and rescued a daughter and her mother is full of drama, emotions and humanity!

Rishikesh Sinha, New Delhi

Dija Moni Sinha, a Bishnupriya Manipuri friend of mine, supposedly one year junior to me, like his father joined Border Security Force at an early age after making many unsuccessful attempts to pass the class 12 exam. He is tall and handsome with stick like straight thinking. Before he joined the force, he was a street smart boy of Shillong, Meghalaya always been found with a gang of friends who were always eager to fight.

The street fight has made him an end-no-worry person. The consequences of any action absolutely doesn’t matter to him. If someone ask him why he has chosen to join the armed forces – his answer is simple, away from the complexity of life: “There is no “decent” job available in India for a class 10 pass boy like him, and here you are doing respectfully a job”. “The Government gives enough to sail comfortably if someone knows how to run life”.

He once narrated an incident to me that took place with him after his completion of basic 9 months training. And here I am jotting down that incident.

After the completion of the basic training which is compulsory for any jawan, he got posted in the Indo-Bangladesh border. One day he along with his comrade were guarding the porous border of both the countries. They saw a teenager girl in company with an elderly woman hurriedly crossing the border oblivious of their presence.

They were talking in Bishnupriya Manipuri, continually praying god of their safety. Dija Moni was translating LIVE their fear to his comrade. For them, the conversation taking place between the two unwanted souls in India was coming as an ultimate source of entertainment and amusement. They both made a plan allowing both the duo to enter as deep into India as possible and later apprehending them of crossing the border illegally.

According to the plan, Dija’s friend, an UP [Uttar Pradesh] wallah, came out from the well kept secret place and caught both the duo. Seeing the jawan, who was no where visible earlier, in front of them, they lost the colour of their face, and their voice started cracking of the fear of arrest. And after few minutes of hard questions thrown upon them, they started crying inconsolably, repeatedly requesting not to arrest them and be allowed to go again in Bangladesh. But Dija’s friend was not giving a leeway and was adamant to arrest them.

Interestingly, Dija was amusing himself of the minute by minute manufactured situation. After seeing both the duo breaking, he left the much hided place and came in front of them. And of his style, he said “Kakima chinta na korio, kitau nau ose.” Listening this word, unexpectedly in this boder, away from the human vegetation, they both heaved a sigh of relief, Dija’s presence came as an god’s send avatar who will rescue them from the situation.

The duo, daughter and mother, told him that they were going to India to attend a family puja. He told them that they can go now but they must come back while he is in duty, otherwise ………... He told them that the border situation is not like what it was before, it is very much strict. They should not cross the border and come to India. Instructing them this, he allowed the daughter and her mother to attend the family puja.

And after three hours, they again came back keeping their promise in the border. While going back to Bangladesh, the mother and her daughter said, very much smilingly “Baba amar upai ahis benai”. Listening this, I along with him, burst into peals of laughter.


Wednesday, 5 December 2007

Statistics of

Friends, today I am happy that at last the in a very short period has added 50 the most enriched articles. Here in this post I am sharing my personalised thought and, perhaps, the statistics that were only known to me. Hereby I am sharing with all of you.

In this initiative I must thank Ranita Sinha who has been continually writing brilliantly from the day one to till today. She has been the source of this initiative, without her selfless endeavor the blog wouldn’t have enjoyed the status what it has been getting from the people.

You all would suffice from the fact that whatever she has written in this blog were eye-opener posts, throwing light on all possible shades of our community. Who can forget her write-up on Amar Sinha, Sri Sri Bhubaneshwar Thakur, Kunjo Sinha and on rag picker, they were marvelous, and brilliant in reading?

Besides her, we all have read BN Sinha’s article, giving an altogether taste of Bishnupriya Manipuri community as a whole. His article’s diagonally bisects the length and breadth of the issues affecting the community. His one article, Amar Ela: Bishnupriya Manipuri songs and music, though it received very less comments, is one such write-up that shows how enriched and vivacious knowledge he carries. It is the best. It does not matter what statistics depicts?

Well, I must be thankful to Suroshree Sinha sharing with us about her Great Grand Father, who has been instrumental in establishing a school in Tripura. Hers one article is a treasure to this blog.

At this juncture, I cannot forget Rini Sinha who was junior to me in the Gauhati University’s Journalism and Communication department to write the first article on this blog.

I know no thanks giving can be complete with the absence of a word devoted to faceless readers, who have been pouring from all over the world, consequently preventing me, and the writers both to break under the atmospheric pressure of sheer dejection.

As you could see there has not been any click from Mayanmar!

Visitors visit the blog using the name of bn sinha!


Monday, 3 December 2007

Importance of Being a Bishnupriya Manipuri

This is one aspect of my personality that I have EARNED earnestly being a Bishnupriya Manipuri by birth.

By Rishikesh Sinha, New Delhi

Being a Bishnupriya Manipuri is of earnest importance. That what I have found and I believe you all share the same view – that their lies an innumerable importance of being a Bishnupriya Manipuri, especially in a country like India which is a cauldron of innumerable religions, caste, dialects and languages, same with the physical characteristics of the people.

The physical characteristics of the people are as diverse, unique and abundant than compared to people of the whole world combined. We have got people who shares a similar physical characteristics that of Chinese – the northeastern, of West Asian countries – north India and of western countries – the Kashmiris.

I have found that I create more confusion than what I am in the minds of the opposite person. The best part of the complexity by default is that it changes with the point of contact. If I am near the bus stand or loitering in the periphery of restaurants and hotels, people mistook me with a Nepali kancha and they start communicating me with the Nepali language. That’s a sorry part but at the same time extremely amusing in nature since I have to explain them that I am not a Nepali Kancha but a Bishnupriya Manipuri! After hearing the name of the caste, it becomes their turn to scratch their mind to discover “which caste is it?”. I leave them to think, to ponder what I have said “I am a Bishnupriya manipuri”.

If I stretch further to the boardrooms, cafeterias of companies I have worked with, colleagues confidently passed the judgment of my caste or region I belongs to. Of course, every time they have been found wrong in their acquired perceptions about me; they without betting an eyelid pronounce - you are Garhwali, aren’t you?! And after hearing my true identification, I feel pity of their visible sorry face.

It has not happened once or twice but has happened many times though inadvertently. And every time I feel proud of myself being a Bishnupriya Manipuri, since I can confuse people, make them feel sorry of their pronounced confidence in the identification game.

And for those who do not give a damn to my looks and go for deciphering my surname “Sinha”. Answering them is an altogether experimental game. I am a Bihari, a Bengali and a Bishnupriya Manipuri. It is absolutely a free run to choose which goes the best at that particular moment. A suppressing smile flows wide in my mouth!

Many of my close friends have said that they have found many Bishnupriya Manipuri friends who are unmistakably as Assamese, Biharis, and Bengalis people are. They mean to say that we Bishnupriya Manipuri people are multi-lingual, absolutely polyglot; one can’t differentiate with the tone and tenor and the command over language we have with these people.

Coming to my brothers, my third brother, of his profession in the hospitality industry he is being connoted as a Philippine. Great! I turn into a Nepali and Garhwali and my brother to a resident of Philippines!! Well, about my dad, hmmm, he is being mistaken as a Bengali. And about my mom, it’s a well kept secret!! Next time, some other day it will be revealed.

This is one aspect of my personality [of course of yours as well] that I have EARNED earnestly being a Bishnupriya Manipuri by birth – creating tension and confusion!!??


Saturday, 1 December 2007

To ma'am with love

By Rishikesh Sinha, New Delhi

Friends, I am taking the status of being the owner of this blog to write on myself, describing a period of my life, which holds a special place for not other than good reason, misconception and remorse.

Good reason – something had happened with me which I always aspired for; misconception – there is something whenever it is mentioned, I had to bite the bullet; remorse – yes, I feel remorse in that period. I never wished her, a blunder on my part, but I cant put the clock back to that period which had taken seven years ago while I was in college. It is due to the remorse part I am jotting down my feelings.

Since childhood, I had a dream becoming a scientist. Names like Newton, Einstein, Madam Curie, Heisenberg…the list goes on were my idols. I always revered them, dreamt of them.

For this to materialise, I must come come up with something new, something innovative. My journey to keep my dream intact, un-corroroded from the uncreative, money and status driven society; if I go on describing it how we people give value to the critical bent of person, this post would not be enough.

At last the red letter day of my life came with the publication of two mathematical findings in the form of articles on Palindromic numbers in a student journal called Junior Mathematician, published from Chennai.

The two publication, consequently, brought the Assam Tribune to give a space of one column short write up devoted to me. Interestingly, the reporter Abhijit Bora who tool my interview, later I found him in the classes of Gauhati University’s Department of Journalism and Communication.

Coincidentally, in the same year LCB College, where I was studying my graduation, was celebrating its launch of an official website, which happened to to be the first college in the northeastern part of India having its online face.

On the day of the website launch, it was decided one among the three students of the college would be felicitated, in full public glare. I along with the two more students were there in the fray. The names of the other two students were Deba deep Bhattarcharya and Deva Saikia. Deba deep Bhattarcharya carried a long list of prizes in the debating field of Assam, while Deva Saikia had his name because of his contribution to NSS.

Sitting on the two mathematical publication and supported by one column write up, I was confident that I would be the one who will go on stage, not sharing the Dias with anybody [my dream – not sharing].

It was April 22, 2000, the day was clear and sunny, the college showed full attendance of the students, showing full of activities. In the makeshift auditorium there was no room to sit.

And after the customary ritual of throwing light on the website, the Principal of the college Dr GC Choudhury called my name to come on stage after brief description about my work.

While he was describing about my work, inquisitive eyes of of the faculties were on me, their pointing towards me. For me, this particular moment was very much embarrassing, embarrassing for being the centre of attraction.

I still remember, as soon as I went on the stage and was felicitated with a gamaocha, there was not a single clap from the audience. An eerie silence pervaded the whole affair. May be my achievement was out of their common comprehension.

And after this grand day, the mathematics department organised a seminar to highlight my work, where I have to speak about my work. I was fortunate enough to describe the whole affair behind the this goal.

So I carefully prepared my script expecting the presence of students and faculties of the department . As soon as I started reading from my tight-script, I saw Ms Rita Sinha, a Bishnupriya Manipuri, sitting in the front, I never expected her presence in the Mathematics department seminar since she was not from the department. She was from the computer science department. I did not wish her, “Good morning” though I wished everyone present there.

It seems “simple” that I did not wished her. But that simple looking “wish” I failed to utter. This mistake has remained in my consciousness like a heavy stone.

Seven years has passed by, still I feel guilty of myself, of my act. The only explanation I could give is that as her name was not included in my script , lest I missed the whole sequence, thus ending up making a blunder. Ms Rita Sinha might have forgotten the incident, might have forgotten that there was a boy called Rishikesh Sinha. Here through this platform, I say “I apologise for my mistake which was not intentional”.
The sorry part of the whole story is that though I have added two more publications on Chebyshev polynomial still I miss the whole ecosystem that was so special in my first streak with success and remorse.

Bishnupriya Manipuri politics: Dola-doli

At this time when the whole world, India in particular, is marching ahead what is the role of petty, disgraceful, insipid and pot-holed "Dola-doli" politics has to play with the future of the Bishnupriya Manipuri community?

By BN Sinha

Our country India is regarded as the largest democracy in the world, to be precise it is a “Secular Socialist Democratic Republic”. We are witnessing an ocean of change taking place in every sphere of mankind that includes social, economical, environmental etc. We are also making a significant mark on the sectors of IT, ITES, R&D and very recently in the manufacturing sector, we have registered a record growth of 12.3% much above the international growth average.

India is definitely on the road to progress and prosperity as the per capita income has also risen phenomenally as it is already been predicted by the experts that India can expect one of the highest pay hike in the world @ 14.1% nearly 10% above local inflation, where as global salaries are expected to rise by an average of 6% in 2008 , according to a study by Mercer.

Every sector is registering a significant rise or improvement but the only sector which has been deteriorated over the years is the orthodox nature of the peoples’ mindset towards the politico religious perceptions.

Refer to the Bishnupriya Manipuri community which is also actively participating in all the developmental sectors. There is a surge in the per capita income as rural Bishnupriya Manipuri villages also witnessing a remarkable infrastructural developments. Nevertheless, people of the villages are still engrossed with the same old disgraceful, insipid, un-developmental politics, which we the Bishnupriya Manipuri  community better know as “Dola-doli”.

It is very infuriating that even the modern educated villagers are also involved into these kind of contemptible politics. We all are familiar with the famous Bishnupriya Manipuri  words, “ Ghagara dol, Chenkuri dol, Uttar shiyor, Dakkhin shiyor etc.

Irony is that in the age of computers and laser lights of the 21st century, our villagers are still in continuation with the petty pot-holed politics. This is, definitely, adversely effecting to the thread of rural – urban Bishnupriya Manipuri  relationship as the urban Bishnupriya Manipuri community thinks otherwise. All these facts certainly creates distance between the rural and urban Bishnupriya Manipuri  as far as the mindset and social outlook is concerned, likewise the one the whole nation is facing the vast difference in politico religious perception between the rural and the urban.

Are we, the Bishnupriya Manipuri  community have also fallen on the same line… or can we make a difference to adopt only the positive part of the growing economic insurrection and get rid of all those dirty politics, where there would be more of fraternity and harmony among all, in order to make a resurgent and dominant Bishnupriya Manipuri  community to place ourselves on the frontline of the 21st century leaders ?? The million dollar question - Can we ??


Videos of the Maha Ras-Lila held at Bangladesh

A photo speaks of 1000 words, and a video speaks of millions of words! Watch out.

By Rishikesh Sinha

Ashim Singha, a Bishnupriya Manipuri of Bangladesh, has uploaded in the Google's You Tube the event of 165th Maha Ras-Lila held at Bangladesh.

For all Bishnupriya Manipuri people living all across the world, the uploaded-videos shows the magnitude at which the event was organised and celebrated. Moreover, the videos shows our own people in different world, in different environ, in different country and in different shades. The uploaded - videos truly works as a bridge between Bishnupriya Manipuri people scattered all over the world.

Click here. In this video one will see the football of Bishnupriya Manipuri who have come out with full dress rehearsal wearing our cultural dress. The environ is oozing out with activities.

Click here. In this video, one will see bunch of boys and girls performing Rakhual dance in an electrifying environment.

Click here. In this video there is "Raslila - Vrinda" dance. For many, particularly we Indians, the videos shows there is absolutely no difference in the aura the dance is organised.

Click here. The video shows the scale of mass paricipation of people in order to make the event grand and memorable.

I suppose those watching the aformentioned videos would like to know the names of people, dancers and prominent people for which the event got the spellbounding stature and participation. In addition, if possible he would have uploaded the videos of shops and markets busy in doing brisk business here in this grand event. Just a request.


Thursday, 29 November 2007

Bangladesh Bishnupriya Manipuri people celebrates Maha-Ras

On Saturday, 24-11-2007, the Bishnupriya Manipuri people in Bangladesh celebrated the principal festival and the foremost annual cultural event Maha-Ras in a grand way and with great enthusiasm.

Read more


Tuesday, 27 November 2007

Sri Sri Bhubaneshwar Sadhuthakur's 137 Birth Celebration in Pune and Mumbai

Bishnupriya Manipuri people living in Pune and Mumbai, like in other parts of the country, celebrated Sri Sri Bhubaneshwar Sadhuthakur's Janmo Mahotsav with devotion and with religiosity.

By Rebati Mohan Sinha

The 1st celebration of Akhil Bharitiya Sri Sri Bhubaneshwar Sadhuthakur's Janmo Mahotsav (137th Birth Aniversary) was solemnized in Pune at Range Hill, Anand Bhavan on 10th, 11th of November 2007. Bishnupriya Manipuri people from all over India specially from Delhi, Mumbai, Assam, Tripura, Ahmedabad and Kolkata participated in the celebration with great enthusiasm.

The celebration marked devoted men and women in traditional attires

In Mumbai, the same was held at New Airport Colony, Santacruz Mumbai.

Related stories:
Delhi Bishupriya Manipuri celebrated Bhubaneshwar Sadhu Thakur's Abhirbhab Tithi

Sri Sri Bhubaneshwar Sadhu Thakur

Mileau of the Sadhu Thakur Abhirbab Tithee

Kolkata Bishnupriya Manipuri celebrated Bhubaneshwar Sadhu ThakurAbhirbhab Tithi


Saturday, 24 November 2007

Raasleela: The Grand Bishnupriya Manipuri Festival

The Bishnupriya Manipuri people celebrates Durga Puja, and other festivals like Janmastami, Holi, and Sankranti with much fanfare and excitement. On the line of it, the community has its own festivals like Raasleela, Rathyatra, Merameri and door-to-door-begging as a part of Dolyatra.

By BN Sinha, New Delhi

Sri Krishna Raasleela is observed with great fanfare and enthusiasm in almost every Bishnupriya Manipuri village in Assam and Tripura. BM community is known to be the worshiper of Lord Krishna.

Rathyatra is one of the major festivals that BM community observes. Every BM individual is well acquainted with the terms like Raasdhari, Sutradhari, Duar, Mathang etc. which are the integral characters of Raasyatra apart from Krishna, Radha and Gopis. Raasyatra generally falls on the fullmoon of the Kartik month of Saka calender which is better known as Raaspurnima.

This year it falls on the Saturday 24th Nov. In order to perform Raasleela, the rehearsals generally take place much before the D day. All the participants are well dressed with traditional Polais and with Nupurs and gold ornaments etc. The program usually starts in the late evening and whole night Sri Krishna Raasleela is performed with beautiful dances and songs.

The corollary of Raasleela is so strong that every Bishnupriya Manipuri can croon at least few lines: “ kini kini baje, nupuro runu jhunu baje” or “ kalindi pulin bone kunjo bone sajo re”. Furthermore they might be aware of a dance step like “ ghintein -ta kkhit-ta ddhin-ta”. The program finally ends with Sri Krishna-Radha jugal aarati. And on that special day the participants are considered as real gods rather than mere artists.

Raasleela is definitely the most important festival the BM community observes. But the intensity is certainly plummeting day by day as there is dearth of disciples of dakula, eshalpa, raasdhari, sutadhari, etc. Though the reason for scarcity is not only the lack of interest in the youngsters; there are other inevitable reasons also like employment opportunities etc.

Futhermore, it not very clear to the BM community that which is our major festival, the one like Teej to Punabis, Durga puja to Bengalies and Chhat puja to the Biharies as Rathyatra is also celebrated as a major festival specially in the areas like Patharkandi, Dullabhchherra, the regions of Kushiyara valley .

Though Durgapuja is celebrated by the urban BMs of Silchar and Tripura nevertheless other festivals are also celebrated with great excitement like Janmastami, Holi , Sankranti etc. not to mention a special BM youth fest Merameri which takes place on the eve of Makar Sankranti. There are other typical BM customs like begging door to door as a part of Dolyatra,and the customary play of Dosh pochis after the Chaitra Sankranti.

It is a known fact that in the era of GSM , Orkut , Beyonce and T20, BM community has also started finding itself compatible to the emerging cosmopolitan culture of
India wherein occasions like New Year and Valentines Day are celebrated with much fanfare and enthusiasm irrespective of caste and community and modern BMs are also familiar with the Ricky Martins, Enrique Igliciouses, Norah Jhons and Shakiras notwithstanding the BM Gen-X also have not forgotten to compose and sing songs which says
“ aaho aaho amar emare mingal korik,
jaat hanore habihane tuliya goje korik”


Thursday, 22 November 2007

Bishnupriya Manipuri Vs Bodo

Using their stratagic location as a bargaining chip, Bodo people got everything that any community in India could demand for. Do we have any such bargaining chip or ...?

By BN Sinha, New Delhi

We all know that the population of Bishnupriya Manipuri community is sprinkled all across in the northeastern part of India, its concentration is higher in Barak Valley of Assam and in the state of Tripura; the community can also be found in the few districts of Bangladesh like Shyllet etc.

Though there is no statistical census mentioning the total population of the community, it is approximated the figure would be 30 Lakh who are based in Cachar, Karimgunj, Hailakandi, Kailasahar, Dharmanagar, Kamalpur etc.

Despite having a strong cultural and ethnical background, literacy rate not lesser in comparison to other tribes, and being academically OK ; nevertheless we stand nowhere in the political scenario of India. The reason may be that we are geographically scattered and not strategically located like the tribal community, the Bodos.

In comparison to Bodos , though they have an edge to be termed as Schedule Tribes, the whole community nowhere stand in front of Bishnupriya Manipuri community with respect to academics, technical, art and culture etc.

Of the fact that the population of the tribe Bodo would be hardly 25-30 Lakh in totality, it is their strategic presence in the entry and exit areas of the north eastern part of India, that have fetched them every necessary components to enrich and consolidate their community, which the BM community is deprived of.

The only passage for all the seven states of north east India is through the southern part of Assam, which we call it Lower Assam, presently the Bodoland consisting of four districts - Kokrajhar, Chirang, Baska and Udalguri – that has made all the difference, difference in the bargaining power that the Bishnupriya Manipuri community, perhaps, does not enjoy.

Nevertheless, till date Bodos have a very low literacy rate and all the commercial establishments are dominated by other communities like Bengali and Marwaris. Even the lingua- franka of the region is Bengali.

Taking the advantage of their geographical location they have done every bid to get the political benefits and finally an autonomous territory of their own called Bodoland Territorial Council [BTC]; however it came with no lesser price. Their movement saw active participation from the ABSU ( All Bodo Students Union), and with the insurgent groups like NDFB ( National Democratic Front of Bodoland) and BLT ( Bodo Liberation Tigers) etc.

Names like Upen Brahma, Premsing Brahma, S K Basumatary are all heroes of their movement. Being chief of BTC, Mr Hagrama Mahilary is doing every bid to develop his own community and territory with the help of their Lok Sabha MP [Member of Parliament] Mr Samsuma Basumatry in the center.

It is a known fact that the present coalition govt. of Assam headed by Congress was formed with the support of 22 MLAs of Bodo Peoples Progressive Front ( H), so they had a good bargain in return to get Ms Pramila Rani Brahma and Mr Chandan Brahma as Cabinet Ministers.

An interesting point is that in the field of academic development of Bodoland and the Bodo community as a whole, significant unforgettable contribution of Bishnupriya Manipuri community present in that territory has been marked upon.

Prof R.N.Sinha , Principal of Science College, Kokrajhar, Sunil Sinha, SDO and few other academicians like Roopak Sinha etc. are the few prominent names whose contribution to the development of Bodo community is noteworthy. And it is these people’s stronghold in the BTC authority which helped them to get one of eminent Bishnupriya Manipuri, Dr Ranjit Sinha , Director of the Indian Council for Social Science Research (ICSSR) as the Advisor to the chief of BTC.

It is worth to mention that decade back the Bodo community was way behind the Bishnupriya Manipuri community in every spheres of life but in the present scenario we stand nowhere in comparison to them. And it is certainly of their geographical advantage which they liquidated upon in a very smart and with proper strategy.

Had we, the Bishnupriya Manipuri community also been blessed with the strategic location like the Bodo community, than the story would have been different, and would have taken an another path. So to turn the table on our side, to our benefit we must search for a "strength" that we have, and should be used tactically. It has to be find out and must be worked upon - What strength do you have?

On a cerebral trance a song comes in my mind composed by an unknown BM poet…
Teipang jonome kiya jorom oilu , manur loge manna nuailu..
aar te probhu jorom naainga , esaade kopal thiyoiya.


Tuesday, 20 November 2007

Look! a five-battery torch

We looked here and there to find if anybody had left it by mistake. But there was no one. Seeing all this my whole body started shivering, I was not able to utter a single word, of fear or of excitement, I don’t know.

By Ranita Sinha, Kolkata

Way back in the year 1996 me, my sister and my parents went to visit our relatives 
at our parental village, Tinokhal in Patherkandi, Assam. It was in the month of January. Those days there was a saying that Lord Shiva, Durga and Ganesha emerged at a farmer's house at a village called Nuagang.

I am not a person, who believes in superstitions or ghosts or such things. I was not able to believe what I heard. But people from far and wide were coming to have a glimpse of the miracle. Curious to know the whole thing, I asked one of my cousin to take me there. He instantly refused saying that it was quite far and we had to walk more than 5 Kms, up and down. But I somehow convinced him.

That evening at around 6 o'clock, me, my sister and three of my cousins set out for the adventure. To reach the village there was no other way than walk along a narrow road by the river Longai.It was a kuccha road where one side lies the river and the other side vast paddy fields; miles and miles away there was no sign of human habitat. Moreover, it was dark and chilled. We did not even carry a torch light with us.

While we were walking along, we were so tired and we even could not walk fast as it 
was very dark. That time I told to one of my cousins mockingly " Dada ajikar Durga Ema ago huttume go oilete, path gor hadigor maje panch batterier torch ago dok banai" (Dada, if at all today's Durga Ma is real let her provide us with a five battery torch). Hearing my words all of us had a big laugh.

Anyway after walking for more than one and half hours we reached the house of the farmer. We saw lots of people who came to have a look of the deities. Before entering the house we were asked to wash our hands and feet. When we entered the house we saw three beds in a room. Upon the beds three different structures were formed with paddy. The people present there told us that the structures were formed itself. Some of the people present there, showed us which structure was of Lord Shiva, Durga and Ganesha. But truly speaking we could not understand anything. Still we bowed with full devotion and started our back journey.

While walking back we were busy enquiring each other if anybody was able to make out the structures but none of us had the answer. All of a sudden one of my cousins said "Look! a five-battery torch". The torch was lying on the middle of the road. We all got stunned, as it seemed as if my wish had come true. We looked here and there to find if anybody had left it by mistake. But there was no one. Seeing all this my whole body started shivering, I was not able to utter a single word, of fear or of excitement, I don’t know.

After sometime I asked my cousins to take the torch along with us. But they laughed at me and said that I was crazy to talk like that. They said that while picking the torch, if somebody would come and claim it we would be embarrassed. I somehow got convinced with what they said and resumed our back journey.

But all the way back I was thinking- was that a sign which Durga Mata wanted to show me that she does exist? Was it a blessing of Durga Mata which I left behind? Or were my cousins right that somebody might have left it behind by mistake? Whatever may be the questions, I did not get the answer as yet.


Sunday, 18 November 2007

Bishnupriya Manipuri people in Tripura

How correct is Barak valley being connoted as the cultural and political hub of the Bishnupriya Manipuri when Bishnupriya Manipuri people living in Tripura are way ahead in every respect to their counterparts in the Silchar region. It's a big question, an intriquing question.

By BN Sinha, New Delhi

Being a Silcharite and also a Bishnupriya Manipuri of Barak Valley, it is quite obvious to share the same thread with the fellow BMs of Tripura. From the very childhood days we were quite familiar with the names of the places like Kailasahar, Dharmanagar etc. With the same note every non-Tripurian Bishnupriya Manipuri certainly shares the same thread linked to Tripura.

We have also been seeing a sea of talents from Tripura as we see meritorious BM Tripurian topping in various institutions of North East like Cotton College, National Institute of Technology [NIT] – Silchar, Gurucharan Charan [GC] College, Gauhati Medical Colloge [GMC], Sichar Medical College [SMC], and also in other universities. I personally witnessed many as I had few BM friends from Tripura who again happened to be stars in their respective fields.

There is always a belief in BMs of other parts of the country that Tripura BMs are more advanced and are always few steps ahead in every spheres of life: education, politics, beaurocracy, medicine etc.

Names like Bimal Sinha, Amar Sinha, Bonomali Sinha, Ashok Sinha are all synonymous with fame and success; interestingly all belonged to the Bishnupriya Manipuri community of Tripura.

It was Tripura which had produced first Bishnupriya Manipuri civil servant, IITians way back in sixties, especially when there were handful of graduates in the community as a whole.

Coming to the present scenario we can see many BM fellows of Tripura making their presence felt in top MNCs and many in PSUs like Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Ltd.[ONGC], Indian Oil Corporation [IOC] etc. Most of them are settled abroad and also there are many promising Bishnupriya Manipuri youth talents of Tripura in every cities and various varsities of India pursuing higher studies in Management, IT, Engineering etc.

Their success is highly commendable; the Bishnupriya community as a whole is proud of BMs of Tripura. To the contrast of BMs of Assam, they never had to face the political hostility and isolation rather they always enjoyed the geo-political advantage having a significant number of population percentage. We all know that the Bishnupriya Manipuri language was introduced in primary education in Tripura much earlier than it came into effect in Assam.

No doubt, BMs living in Barak valley and in other regions of the coubtry have contributed and marked success in their respective chosen fields but collectively speaking to the benchmark of population percentage their success ratio doesn’t come as per to the success stories written by BMs of Tripura.

Despite registering a stronghold in every spheres of life, are we witnessing a negligible contribution towards the community in order to enrich and consolidate its culture, literature, art, music etc…. from Tripurian BMs….???

Why Silchar is considered as the cultural and political hub of Bishnupriya Manipuri community when maximum number of bigwigs are there in Tripura? And where participation of Bishnupriya Manipuri people in politics, education and in government formation is an established fact where as it is still a utopian dream for Bishnupriya Manipuri people living in Assam. Making the whole story short - Why Cachar and Karimgunj witness as many Mahamels as compared to Tripura?

Is it an un answered question in my mind?…. or do I need to enlighten my knowledge and information????…I don’t know…..

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Friday, 16 November 2007

First among Equals

By Ranita Sinha, Kolkata

Our Bishnupriya Manipuri community is gaining momentum steadily. Now, the parents do not think twice or hesitate to spend money to provide their children a better life and better education. Now, both the boy and the girl child is given the same priority. The parents are ever ready to send their children to far off places to gain better education and a better job opportunity. For this reason, now Bishnupriya Manipuri people are seen in every city of India as well as abroad.

Most of the students like migratory birds go out for higher studies and in search of better jobs opportunities, because of this they tend to stay away from their cosy home. Everybody do not want to stay away from home, while some voluntarily take the decision to settle outside, but the bottom line is that they have to stay away from home, for a better livelihood.

Most of the Bishnupriya Manipuri villages have developed. Most of the houses are well build with all modern amenities. The parents are seen to be proudly depicting the success story of their children. They are happy to see their children flourishing in life. They feel proud when their so called "Executive" son goes home in vacation.

It is necessary for any community to break free its territory and walk forward in the path of development and progress. Now, since our community is accepting it in a bulk manner, unemployment problem is diminishing day by day. Now, most of the people of other community come to know about a community called Bishnupriya Manipuri, which to them did not even exist.

Our youngsters are seen in top companies and in better positions. They are seen in IT, Pharma, Media, automobiles etc. They are seen in MNCs and also gaining fame abroad. It is really very nice to hear the success story of many. Every success story of every successful Bishnupriya Manipuri is exclusive because whatever our community people achieve is due to hard work and perseverance. We do not have anybody to back us.

When it is giving pleasure to see our community people mainly youngsters doing better in life and making a space under the sun, yet it is a concern to see the villages diminishing its young population. Most of the villages are seen minus youngsters.

Thursday, 15 November 2007

To be or not to be....

By Suroshree Sinha, New Delhi

To a lot of Bishnupriya Manipuri, the fight of being called a "Manipuri" or being denied the same is not uncommon.

Everyone remembers the court cases, the fights, the disliking...but very few people know that there was a time when people were ordered to burn down whatever available information and proof that a community named " Bishnupriya Manipuri" ever existed. They demolished our Mandirs and killed our people.

It was a fight for existance, a fight to make the world sit up and take notice.

In this time of darkness came a person with a ray of hope, Sri Dasharath Deb ( Barman) the first and probably the last Tribal Chief Minister of Tripura, who once said that he has two friends, one a Metei, and another a Bishnupriya Manipuri. The Metei's never called themselves Manipuri at that time. They called themselves " Metei", It was the Bishnupriya Manipuri that proudly called themselves " Manipuri". I cannot deny the existance of the Bishnupriya Manipuries" or else my bossom friend would not exist at all.

This acted as the first milestone that a tribe called the Bishnupriya Manipuri existed came to limelight and people noticed of it. Otherwise there were people who said the Bishnupriya Manipuri language was a detoriated dilect of Bengali.

My Great Grand Father Sri Kirti Chandra Singha

The establishment of a High School for boys in Kailasheher, Tripura has its history related to a family. Suroshree Sinha reveals.

Sri Kirti Chandra Singha, a resident of Ichappur, Kailasheher was a lawyer during the regime of Radha Kishore Manikkaya Bahadur. He had an intense urge in him to provide proper education to the Bishnupriya Manipuri boys . So, he approached the Maharaja and requested him to open a High School for Boys in Kailasheher.

The Maharaja after hearing his plea, asked Kirti Babu in a ridiculed tone if he wanted the school to provide schooling to his sons. But in return Kirti Babu bowed and replied that he had no sons till date. But since Maharaja uttered the word "son"; Kirti Babu said that he was sure that he would be blessed with a son. Hearing this, the Maharaja got so impressed with the thought that a man who did not have any sons was fighting for a boys school. Thus the boys school was established in Kailasheher. The Maharaja also wished that Kirti Babu be blessed with a son.

Interestingly, after the school was opened Kirti Babu was blessed with two sons - Sri Nilkanta Sinha and Sri Amar Sinha after four daughters. Sri Nilkanta Sinha became the Director Manpower Planning, Govt of Tripura and Sri Amar Sinha the Additional Chief Secretary, Tripura goverment.

There was a song written after Kirti Babu, his friends and associates : "Kirti Babu e, Tanu Babu e..Diyogoi Phiral haan...naugo....tartariya..." which was voiced and sung by famous Gokul Kirtani.

He later became renowned as "Kirti ukil".

Thus this is a brief story of Sri Kirti Chandra Sinha, his contribution to the field of education and to the upliftment of the society as a whole. I thought this would be just a way to pay homage to a great person who incidentally was my Great Grand Father. I am the Grand Daughter of his first son Sri Nilkanta Sinha.

Tuesday, 13 November 2007

Kolkata Bishnupriya Manipuri celebrated Bhubaneshwar Sadhu ThakurAbhirbhab Tithi

By Ranita Sinha, Kolkata

The All Kolkata Bishnupriya Manipuri Society celebrated the 137th Abhirbhab Tithi of Sri Sri Bhubaneshwar Sadhu Thakur in a simple yet traditional way. The Tithi was observed on 10th of Nov 2007(a day in advance due to some unavoidable circumstances). The venue being the premise of Sri Brojo Kishore Sinha, Tegoria, Dum Dum.

It was the third consecutive year, the Bishnupriya Manipuri of Kolkata were celebrating the utsab. Though this year the turn out of people were less (most of the families being out of station for some reason or the other), yet it was celebrated with full devotion and enthusiasm. A member from Durgapur also attended the occasion despite the pain he had to take for driving six hours (up and down) all alone.

Most of the members, both male and female were in their traditional attire (Chakchabi and Inafi and Kurta Pyjama) and not to forget the most sacred 'Nungsha' on their forehead. And the most important thing is that, all the people were wearing a broad smile on their face.

The occasion started with the Brahmin chanting the puja mantras and the people present there singing the Arati songs. Then the Dakula and Isalpa performed some of the traditional songs and everyone participated with whatever little bit of knowledge they have. Then the prasadam was served – khechuri, labra, bainong bhaji, papad, tomato chatni and misti dahi.

It was a soothing experience to the eyes to watch all the community people, gather in an alien land, in a pure traditional way to celebrate the occasion keeping aside all the hectic schedule; which gives an impression that though we are away from our mother land yet we did not forget our culture as yet. Many non Bishnupriya Manipuri
people also marked the occasion. The occasion ended with the Senda Arati.

The occasion became a success because of the major selfless effort taken by Sri Brojo Kishore Sinha(our beloved DamDamar Kaka). Our(Bishnupriya Manipuries of Kolkata), heartiest thanks to him to make possible, the occasion a success.

Monday, 12 November 2007

Mileau of the Sadhu Thakur Abhirbab Tithee

By BN Sinha, New Delhi

The area, Palam, is one of the most congested places in Delhi, specially the colonies like Manglapuri and Rajnagar are densely populated. It took me at least one and half hour to locate and reach the place and the venue, the Arya Samaj Temple, Rajnagar – II, Palam, Delhi where in we, all the Bishnupriya Manipuri of Delhi have celebrated the 118th Abhirbab Tithee of Sri Sri Bhubaneswar Sadhuthakur.

It was a sense of excitement and ecstasy which started rolling over much before the D-day and because of which no body felt the heat of the traffic and the narrow roads, which leads to the venue.

It was a typical Bishnupriya Manipuri function. As usual people started gathering an hour late from the time of assembly. At 10-30 AM it seemed like, because of the Indo–Pak ODI at Kanpur the function will witness a low turnout, but as time proceeded, the whole venue was packed up with our Beyapa- Beibunies.

As usual there were no formal invitation, as in Delhi very less BM people are in contact with each other; nevertheless the turnout was quite remarkable. Though there is a crude committee for the purpose but hats off to MR. C.M.Sinha, Mr. Janmojoy Sinha and few others; whose bold initiative has finally brought the fruit.

The committee members were hardly 8-10 in numbers but the other non members were also excited and were busy to do their bit of help in order to make the program successful, as if all were members by virtue of birth in BM community as said by Mr. Milap Sinha , the treasurer.

A nostalgia was running on the air through out the day as there were BM songs with Dakula and Isalpa. Most ladies were with Chaksabi- Inafi and gents were with Feicham –Khuttei.etc.; last but not the least a prominent Nangsa was in everybody’s face. It was an awesome atmosphere as if we were not in Delhi, the capital but in a remote village in Baromuni, Silchar.

The program witnessed eminent BM personalities like DR.Ranjit Sinha, Director ICSSR and Ms Rakhi Sinha, Commandant CRPF and also other shining youngsters of BM community in Delhi.

Though the Bandara took place quite late but no low-feelings on people's face was seen, as all were engrossed in talking in BM language. The chime of Dhak-Kartal was on the air, making the whole atmosphere a holy and a clear sense of a typical BM malthep.

The program finally ended late in the evening with a promise among the members to acquire a land for making a Sadhuthakur Ashram in Delhi. All the attendants were requested to contribute the trust Bishnupriya Manipuri Nagarik Samity, Delhi for Sadhu Thakur's Ashram.

Few people have already started contributing financially as per their convenience and most have promised to give a big donation for the holy purpose, which certainly shows a ray of hope for the fulfilment of the dream to construct a “ Sri Sri Bhubaneshwar Sadhuthakur Ashram” in Delhi, provided all those promises in public are not broken……..

Lets keep the finger crossed and hope for the best.

Delhi Bishupriya Manipuri celebrated Bhubaneshwar Sadhu Thakur's Abhirbhab Tithi

Rishikesh Sinha, New Delhi

The Bishnupriya Manipuri people residing in Delhi observed the Sri Sri Bhubaneshwar Sadhu Thakur Abhirbhab Tithi held at Arya Samaj Mandir, Dwarka (Mangla Puri) with full religious faith and gusto. The day witnessed active participation from the members of the community as they attended in full strength to make the Tithi successful and memorable.

Photo: Jyotirmoy Sinha

For Bishnupriya Manipuri Delhites, the day came as a great relief from the house-office and again home cyclical life, as a Diwali gift; and for many a meeting place with their distant near and dear relatives and acquaintances. Especially for women, since the day coincided with the Bhai Dhuj and the Government of Delhi had made free travel in the state run buses, it came as a double bonus: meeting with their own people that is without bearing any cost plus attending the Tithi.

The day started with the oral presentation of life and work of Sri Sri Bhubaneshwar Thakur and his influence to the enrichment of the Bishnupriya Manipuri community. The oral presentations were done by Mr. Chandra Mohan Sinha and Mr. Janmejoy Sinha.

People presented there were busy unravelling the online identities of many, in return exchanging their true name and identities. And for many the day came as a common place to meet their Kumbh ke mele me bichre relatives, colleagues and friends. Thus it turned out to be a place where all people know each other, if not by name but by their faces.

The day was also marked with the singing of the religious songs. It was followed up with the unveiling of the plans of the Bishnupriya Manipuri Nagarik Samity Delhi / NCR to acquire a land to make a temple where all the Bishnupriya Manipuri’s religious activities could be done. Furthermore, the resolution adopted in the Executive Committee meeting held on 6 May, 2007 to open a Saving Bank account with the State Bank of India, Palam Branch was unveiled.

According to the resolution, the aforementioned account will be operated by any two of the office bearers: Dr. Nirmalya Sinha, General Secretary; Mr Prabin Sinha, Treasurer; Mr Chandra Mohan Sinha, Executive Member; Mr Janmejoy Sinha, Executive Member.

The Bishnupriya Manipuri Nagarik Samity Delhi / NCR in this auspicious day came out with the Memorandum of Association, its aims and objectives, the list of the names in the Governing Body, rules and regulation and power and duties of the office bearers.

Moreover, all those present in the venue gave a patient ear to the words of Ms Rakhi Sinha, Commandant, CRPF [Central Reserve Police Force] and Mr Ranjit Sinha, Member, Standing Committee, Bureau of Police Research and Development, Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India; he is also the Advisor of Bodoland Territorial Council, Kokrajhar and the Director of ICSSR [Indian Council of Social Science Research].

The day ended with a grand feast. All those who attended the Tithi were happy with the grand scale the arrangement was done, the surrounding which was full of fun and frolic and with the charged up milieu of camaraderie. For a day, the whole environ gave a feeling that we are in our own village, in midst of our own Bishnupriya Manipuri people.
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