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The Urban Bishnupriya Manipuri Village

It is very sad that now people (read Bishnupriya Manipuri guraipei and purigelai) don’t assemble in community temples (Mandaps/ Malthep) for khechuri paali, kapak pali etc.

By BN Sinha, New Delhi

More than 80% of the population of India lives in the villages. The post liberalization era leads a major transition in the villages of India, especially the city suburbs. The Bishnupriya Manipuri villages are also not exempted from the effect.

(Photo by Amit Sinha) If we analyze a Bishnupriya Manipuri village in the suburb of Silchar we will observe that many infrastructural developments have taken place. We can now find wider concrete roads with street lights. There is water supply system in every village from the public health department. Gone are the days when women used to make a queue in the near by pond for water.

Petty shops are on the roadsides make an absolute rendezvous for the youths, where there are shops for latest film CD, DVD. Food joints offering noodles and other snack items. You can also order a plate of chicken curry with your brand of IMFL (Indian made foreign liquor), not to mention the ubiquitous fauzi daru XXX. Modern fashionable garments are also available in selected garment shops alongside with the Bishnupriya Manipuri traditional garments.

It is very sad that now people (read Bishnupriya Manipuri guraipei and purigelai) don’t assemble in community temples (Mandaps/ Malthep) for khechuri paali, kapak pali etc. Gauraipei and Purigelai no longer hide their fags in front of elders as a gesture of respect. Now elders need to overlook and avoid the spots and the hunks, and they don’t mind.

In every occasion we can find proper tents, rented chairs and utensils, even you can witness buffet dinner prepared by the city caterers in a marriage function. The community is changing so our taste. Every other guy is having a two wheeler which does not necessarily linked to their income.

They hardly prefer Bishnupriya Manipuri language to communicate rather they feel more comfortable with raw Bengali or Bollywood inspired Hindi. The people who are happened to be inside the municipal territory are one step ahead. They love not to mingle up with fellow Bishnupriya Manipuri.

Latest gizmos are also no big deal….last but not the least …which has the largest impact and that is the introduction of GSM technology. Every second person is equipped with latest cell phones … It can be easily noticed that the urban and rural gap has significantly plummeted… Life is really different now in urban Bishnupriya Manipuri villages unlike the one we used to see in late eighties and in nineties. Now people are aware of their political rights. They no longer can be persuaded easily for catching votes. They also actively participate in the universal franchising.

The total transition is definitely for the betterment, but the only thing which has no significant change is in the field of academics. Earlier there was a graduate in every third house, aspirant engineers in the then REC (now NIT) despite of having their primary education from the local Bengali medium primary school.. which are now either lying vacant or occupied by antisocial elements.

Now there is a flood of English medium schools adjacent to the village pathshala; nevertheless people are more engrossed into pulling the neighbor down. But thanks to the selected coterie who are now settled in cities like Guwahati, Kolkata, Delhi, Agartala etc..who knows the importance of education and do their every bid to get higher education to their children.

It is not that villagers are not aware of the latest developments with the help of daily newspapers and 24X7 news channels notwithstanding a very negligible increment in the number of college goers…

The academic culture has definitely deteriorated and has taken a backseat; if I am not wrong they (Bishnupriya Manipuri) are certainly out of the academic thread that’s what statistics show in the field. It is matter of concern and it needs urgent attention and an immediate address of the issue. It’s a matter to be cogitated, pondered and contemplated. In order to light up “ The Dark Side of the Moon”????

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  1. Dear Rishi,
    It is very nice article. I like your point of view. This is a very organized article. Keep it up. Thnaks
    Uttam Singha
    Bishnupriya Manipuri Wikipedia

  2. Really, this article has depicted the present village scenerio in a proper way. This is really the picture of villages now a days and it is really sad. Me too though not born in a village but liked to visit my parental village but now I find its better not to visit. Because it hurts me when i see the mood of people and their lost sentiments...good work...thanks for such a lovely article.

  3. Thanks Uttam Sigha and Ranita Sinha..
    it is true that is prevailing in our village.

    six - seven years back when after much rahu-ketu and shani was in its proper place i had a chance to visit kuchuri pali.......and what i saw was really painful.

    the malthep was vacant..and those around were busy talking near the pond.

    i still remember - after asking the question its future. The concerned person said the day will come when all the songs will be entertained by the help of recorded casettes if such scenario continues.

    i still remember the days when all the purijelai and gaurepei used to assemble and dance - e Hari...jai jai.

    woowwwwwwwww though at that time i never thought when i will grow up the situation would have changed.

    i miss ..........

  4. thanks to all for their comments..i belong to the a renowned village in our community called Bhakatpur...though i left more than a decade ago for the search of a better carrer to be precise for a better livelyhood...but love to retain those felings of loves and attractions a typical BM villager posesses by heart..its definitely very sad to see how the developemnts in GDP has the adverse effect on our villages...

    More of thanks goes to Rishi who has created the blog, where we can atlest share our thoughts..

  5. This comment has been removed by the author.

  6. Rishi dear,
    Your article reminds me of what I have written in our language
    (monthly)magazine 'NUAELA' published
    at Sichar.I wanted to paint a similar village scenario in that article,named 'Down the 'memory lane'(January-08).I have just retunred from 'VILLAGE PARIKROMA' and found similar scenario in Meherpur,Bikrampur and Narsingpur
    Parganas.In your article u have mentioned about youngsters, I would like to add one more strata of our society ie say,retired peronnels who have no substantial
    works rather than advocating Dola-Doli.We can say, it is a cancerous desease,spreading in our community so rapidly that no remedial measures will be helpful in the near future. I will quote an ongoing social unrest in Narsingpur(Baromun)Pargana---A retired district officer sold his piece of land to Holi Cross School(Silchar)for their branch in Kabuganj.Now the B.M villagers were vindictive agaist him and for which he is not being invited to any social functions, because he has brought the chistianity near the villagesAlthough by now , he has founded an NGO where more intellectual people have joined now.
    Why can't this strata be joining the developmental works going on in our B M villages? Can we make a think tank where we could discuss such social ill fillings prevailing in our society ?
    we are strong vishnuvites, no one can force us to change our religion.


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