Sunday, 24 February 2008

Bishnupriya Manipuri Womein making their mark in all spheres.

The Bishnupriya Manipuri women are giving tough competition to their male counterpart. This fact reveals the status of women in the community.

By BN Sinha, New Delhi

The social values in India have changed a lot in the last two decades with the change of people’s lifestyle. We are all witnessing a rapid transition of social norms and practices in India, especially in the urban sector. Social values include practicing of the traditional cultures, customs and habits in one hand and adopting the cosmopolitan culture on the other.

The sex ratio in employment, education also in other areas like politics etc have significantly plummeted as the ratio is close to unity. Even in case of home making the modern India couples expect equal contribution. However, the rural sector have not witnessed much change as far as escalation of female ratio in developmental sectors is concerned.

Our Bishnupriya Manipuri community is also not far behind in all the developments that are taking place. Our women strata have always registered a fair number in every sphere. It was a traditional practice in BM community that we always respected and adored womanhood.

The social values of BM community is much stronger than most of their counterparts in India. The community has always respected the woman power, as Martyr Sudeshna will always be remembered as an BM icon of women power.

In BM there is always a stronghold of females in all the homemaking related issues from budgeting to children education. There are a very negligible number of incidents where as BM women are disrespected, instead they are being considered as the torch bearers of the community with respect to culture and tradition.

Traditionally the community as a whole always adopted a liberal attitude towards the equality of male and female. BM parents no longer hesitates to send his daughter away from home for higher education and employment. They are more willing, showing more interest to get them the proper education and financial stability before getting them married.

Not to mention BM women are now much advanced and are significantly doing great in every industry , may it be IT, Medicine, Education, BPOs, Law and order, Media or also in the Army. 21st century BM women are literally making their presence felt in every sector to make their parents as well as community proud.

The urban BM females are now well acquainted with the emerging cosmopolitan culture. They are now not confined to the bula-lehu or ilisha-mukhi cuisine but can distinguish between continental dishes and drinks.

A proper statistical analysis will definitely come out with the fact that the 21st century BM women are far ahead of their counterparts of the nineties. A close view to the community will reveal that the teenage BM girls are more sincere in studies and career in comparison to the boys.

A genuine threat to the next generation BM males?


Friday, 22 February 2008

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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Sunday, 17 February 2008

What are we waiting for?

Have we achieved something substantial in education, employment, health etc to all our Bishnupriya Manipuri brothers? The answer is - of course "Not". Then what our socio-political organisations are doing and are egging on it? Have they been smitten by the "complacency" bug?
By BN Sinha, New Delhi

Complacency is a very common phenomenon, especially when going is smooth and comfortable. It’s a human characteristic; unfortunately we Indians have been smitten by this bug – again and again. And the community Bishnupriya Manipuri is not an exception.

It is a fact - we generally don’t wake up with consolidated aggression to achieve a target until we feel the heat. Coming to the Bishnupriya Manipuri community we also have a lackadaisical, complacent attitude to take things lightly and in the simplest possible way.

We cherished with the fact that the Bishnupriya Manipuri is known as peace loving community. But the word “peace loving” can always be criticized and can be termed as lack of brevity, aggression and strive to achieve a goal.

I know my words will attract lot of resentment and detesting remarks but the fact remains, and can easily become a belief to many in no time.

If I refer to the so called socio-political organizations, the Bishnupriya Manipuri community has:

Nikhil Bishnupriya Manipuri Mahasabha
Bishnupriya Manipuri Sahitya Sabha.

They were once very active and full of vibrancy, holding a prominence in the community activities. These two organizations also possess their individual wings namely, Nikhil Bishnupriya Manpuri Students Union, Nikhil Bishnupriya Manipuri Sahitya Parishad, Nikhl Bishnupriya Manipuri Sanskriti Parishad, and Bishnupriya Manipuri Chhatra Sabha.

There are also separate communities for Sri Sri Bhubaneshwar Saduthakur in various places. From the day one when the Mahasabha was formed its association has always been with big names and dignitaries in its governing body so also in its students wings.

Names like Pulokeshi Sinha, Jagatmohan Sinha, Nanda Kishore Sinha, Kameshwar Sinha, Mani Kanta Sinha, Manoranjan Sinha, DR K P Sinha, Dr. H P Sinha, and Dr. Devendra Sinha were associated with the principal organization.

Though names like Anil Rajkumar, Samir Sinha etc were also much talked names in BM community as those were students’ leaders. The ironical part is that until BM language was implemented in primary education in Assam, all these organizations were in their toes, actively organizing rallies, meetings, and into various cultural functions.

That era witnesses evolution of number of Bishnupriya Manipuri poets, novelists, musicians, composers, journals etc. as if the whole community was adamant to make itself augmented. Literally, every effort to enrich the community was in full momentum especially at the time of “Bhasha Andolan” was at its zenith.

As soon as we get our demand approved – the implementation of the Bishnupriya Manipuri language into primary level, all of a sudden the momentum started plummeting and all the activity started vanishing overnight as if we have received everything we sought for and struggled for.

However, it is a fact that 21st century BM youths are much advanced in all aspects, in higher education or in financial status. They are now making their presence felt in every industry and are spread across the globe. It is an utter disgrace – despite of this fact still we witness lesser organizational activity, forums, and summits to strengthen the community and to take the legacy forward which our previous generation has achieved for us.

Critics may say that our parent organization has spread its roots in various countries but those are only in papers, few can also say that we have our music videos, teli-films, few music albums etc… but are these activities enough to enrich our community and its enriched culture.
Have we became lethargic or are we waiting for another revolution to be undertaken by a charismatic leader guiding us to generate revenues out of all established BM non resident villagers in order to help our beloved BM brothers who are deprived of facilities to get higher education, rural health centers, and encourage our tradition and culture mongers… or at least to provide an amount of pension to our aged “Dakula & Esalpas”..????

What are we waiting for?

Thursday, 14 February 2008

An Inborn thread.....

I felt a pleasant surprise and a peculiar euphoric sense ran over. Immediately I intended to ask them and disclose my identity. But suddenly I decided to stop and hear what more they say....

by BN Sinha, New Delhi

Henceforth, I came to Delhi I felt as if every year the winter days are getting more chilled. This year is really an exception. Though the mercury did not drip below 2 degrees yet the cold is unbearable and to attend a meeting early morning 45kms away is a matter one would never wish for.

I had to attend an on site meeting at 8.30am at Manesar, Gurgaon, approximately 45kms away from the place I reside. I woke up at 6 in the morning, to make sure to leave home by 7am. It was a foggy January morning. I was driving along NH8 towards Gurgaon.

The morning traffic was not so heavy as compared to the daytime traffic. I traveled almost 35kms in just 35mins. Only 10kms more was left and I knew it would take merely 15 more minutes to reach. So, I thought to pamper myself by having a cup of tea and a fag in a roadside dhaba. I stopped my car by a roadside chaiwala.

Few people were already there wearing heavy woolen cloths to save themselves from the cold, chatting and sipping hot tea. Me too, took a seat beside two guys who were busy chatting in a mixed and impure Hindi language.

From their conversation I came to know that they were going for an interview in a factory in Manesar. They were in their early twenties. The call centre cab, which they boarded, dropped them up to that point and they were looking for another cab to reach their destination.

As I finished my tea and about to leave, one dialogue between the duos compelled me to stop and give an instant look at them. One of them whispered " Hebania girok egore matia chaitang amare drop kore denarka bulia”. For a moment it seemed to me that everything stopped. To my surprise they were Bishnupriya Manipuri guys, precisely amar manu.

I felt a pleasant surprise and a peculiar euphoric sense ran over. Immediately I intended to ask them and disclose my identity. But suddenly I decided to stop and hear what more they say- if they approach me or not, as they seemed hesitant.

I deliberately stopped and asked the chaiwala for one more fag and started listening their dialogue. I heard one of them asking the other "B**go maatne ugore, dilojaarga hida". Other one replied using typical BM slang -" Lei***** putak ti maaten nuaror thang". I was literally enjoying their conversation like anything, as if more abusive words they use more fun for me.

Suddenly I realized it was already 8.15am, as I was running out of time I thought to give them a shock and asked, "Beyok gasi te kumpeir ta thang, kurang jitaiga kore". Their counter expression was just unexplainable- stunned.

The typical BM introduction took place for a while- "Dada te amar omukor, mite tumar gang or omukor, omukore chine thaibe etc etc.

Finally, I dropped them at their destination by exchanging phone numbers and with a promise to have a dinner at their place with a " jhal fakithomor paltoi baro hukon", the limited stock they carried from their village Japirbandh , Hailakandi…

I finally reached my venue at around 9am. I was late by more than half an hour. Despite feeling offended to be late, I was with an exulted sense, as if a smile had been cut and pasted on my face.

It was indeed an incident I would love not to forget ever since remembering that always brings a smile on my face and also to find a fellow BM in an alien land is something more than words can express.


Monday, 11 February 2008

Adhare Mingaal: The Bishnupriya Manipuri Album

I am crooning "Tor Hobai Hobai… ", the Bishnupriya Manipuri song. Ever since I have watched the video I cannot stop myself jotting down the sequel of emotions that has paved through me.

Well, since I am humming the effervescent song, it means the song is well packaged, turning on the cochlea of my ear. The musical piece is just fantastic and mellifluous; perhaps minimally to the standard of music we are accustomed to listening.

No problem! Everything related to Bishnupriya Manipuri is pardonable - whether it is the bulging long hair of the actor Biman Sinha or decrepit Senapul that the actress is carrying. The work is simply magnificent and must be applauded.

The same applaud must be given to Editor Kuldeep Bora who has brilliantly given the shape to the video. And not to forget, the cameramen Bulbul Rajbongshi, Bado Dutta, and Ritu Bora capturing the essence of the culture and keeping intact the creative aspect.

Jaram Oitou Mi.. is another piece in the album "Adhare Mingaal" which is worth of mentioning. My parents have fallen in love with her, definitely for her acting prowess. She has been able to carry the feelings of the song on her face. What's her name, I don't know? Do tell me. And of course, the name of the gang [village] she belongs to.

na na na na go sakoi… is another creative output of the album which is not what its lyrics means – Don't touch me. The pair in the songs goes correct and giving the impression that of course you can't touch me but you can listen to it vociferously.

aji sina fame to be honest I didn't get the bug of the Bishnupriya Manipuri essence. Though the song is very melodious and sweet, it fails to catch the thunder.

Many thanks to Producer Katik Sena Sinha, Story-Dialogue-Director Hirendra Sinha, Set-design Banidev Sinha, and choreographer Manoj Das and Sunny Raj, they were all in grove in the production of the album.

An honest admission, while I was frisking each and every person in the album, I passionately failed to recognize anyone known to me. It was an utter disgrace at my end.

Written by Rishikesh Sinha
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