Friday, 30 May 2008

Bishnupriya Manipuri Delhiites must be strong!

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In the Bishnupriya Manipuri dominated areas we fail to flex our muscles, in Delhi it is a different story altogether.

By Rishikesh Sinha, New Delhi



In the recently held meeting of the Nikhil Bishnupriya Manipuri Mahasabha in New Delhi, a clear and bold message came out that the Bishnupriya Manipuri people living in the capital are beacon of the society and they must be strong. Now, the million dollar question is, are they indeed the trailblazer of the whole community? If yes, are they strong enough to carry the expectation-burden of themselves and at the same time that of his kinsmen? The picture seems bit cloudy, if not crystal clear.

It’s a fact that the Bishnupriya Manipuri people residing in the capital region, considered to be the largest populace in comparison to other metropolitan cities like Kolkata, Chennai and Mumbai, have already decided their destiny, a destiny it is said changes with the change in the place. They have involuntarily accepted how their life would be dealt with in the high-entropy city called Delhi. Shifting to Delhi from their cosy, well-to-do village life, they have opted to lead a life they themselves do not know.

Not a fun game

In the island of communities in Delhi, the Bishnupriya Manipuri influx in the city has been too late. One could say they are just sprouting like saplings in the fertile land of Delhi. Would it be a wise decision to treat the saplings like a full grown tree? Obviously not, since there is a factor called wear and tear of nature. The just-sowed plants have to be nurtured, taken care of from the cruel hands of nature. So, that they in the due course of time become huge, shadow-giving trees.

Everyone will agree, staying in Delhi is not a fun game. Staying itself is a struggle, everyday, every minute you have to struggle for your existence. Sustenance is as hard as nut. With the fact that money rules the roost; one needs a deep pocket to live a moderate good life. However, we people are not in the position to take on any blue-collar job in the name of livelihood that people from other community can do, and are doing. It is something, we are genetically programmed and it is not in our DNA. Consequently, at the end of the day, we end up doing or engaging ourselves in the so called decent-looking jobs and thus leading a hand-to-mouth livelihood.

Hand-To-Mouth Lifestyle

A major and very crucial drawback in the hand-to-mouth lifestyle is that a minimum two-month stoppage of money could trigger a chain reaction, raising question mark on our mere existence in Delhi. And God’s sake if it persists for months we will be thrown out as garbage, out of Delhi. Unfortunately, maximum of the people living in Delhi, barring a few, come in this bracket. Those few, they have one entity that is soaring like anything, it is the possession of real estate. A piece of land and constant inflow of money, definitely, allows us to take a sound sleep and to have peace of mind.

In this backdrop of living in a hand-to-mouth economy and not possessing real estate in Delhi, Bishnupriya Manipuri people living in the capital cannot be strong and vibrant. They have a long way to go before they can become pure Bishnupriya Manipuri Delhiites. Forget political power, areas like Palam and Sagarpur where our concentration is high, there is a doubt how many of them can actually exercise their franchise!

Let us wait till Commonwealth games gets underway in 2010. The year would be a litmus test for all Delhiites, ironically the test applies to us as well: Survival of the fittest.

However, the Bishnupriya Manipuri people living in Delhi with meagre resources have been doing their best in contributing what they are capable of for the society. Let us hope the coming years be more vibrant, colourful and enthusing.

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Wednesday, 28 May 2008

Tribute to the departed soul of Guru Devendra Sinha

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By Rebati Mohan Sinha



Nikhil Bishnupriya Manipuri Mahasabha pays its homage to this humble noble soul of Guru Devendra Sinha. To describe his life and time, and achievement is beyond the expression of words. He was a writer, philosopher and a poet, apart from being a Nrityacharya of Manipuri Dance.

He came from a very poor family of Singari Basti near Silchar and could not complete his secondary education. Later on, he joined his elder brothers, named late Guru Bipin Singha, the founder of Manipuri Dance at Bombay and Surendra Sinha. He learnt Manipuri Dance from Manipur Nrityalaya and started his own troupe to perform in various places in Maharashtra and Gujrat. In the following years, he started teaching Manipuri Dance at various schools.

Till his last breathe, he helped the house hold with marketing and cooking delicious dishes. With his principle `work is workshop` and hard work, he grew in rank and file and along with him took his entire team to a greater height. Being a perfectionist he used to organize events perfectly to a high degree of excellence.

He used to address other’s problem, as if it were his own with a pleasant smile without ever sharing his own worries.

On his final journey, people from all walks of life participated. Each and every bereaved person attending the procession was narrating stories about their fond relationship they had with him. His absence has created a vacuum in us. He will be always be remembered.

He left us on 11th May 2008, we salute this true soldier and bid him adieu. May his eternal soul rest in peace and inspire us to follow his path. To show our respect we observed one-minute silence before we offered shradda with Dakula-Ishalpa and Pala-uli as he had lived with Dhak and Kartal through out his life.



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Tuesday, 27 May 2008

An inherent journey to vill. Mohanpur

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Thoughts get vanishes with time, memories fails to recall all the pleasant moments we had. So, here is an attempt to catch the jaunt that I took and the intricacies involved.

Sonika Rajkumari, New Delhi



After a long hiatus, I went to Silchar with all my curiosity to meet my cousins and uncles who stay in the village, though I along with my parents were going to attend my Aiga’s after-death ritual.

My visit to Silchar, I presume, was totally different from my previous round up, as earlier I had only been to Silchar from Guwahati, and before that from Srinagar. So from the day one we landed up in Delhi, the visit comes as my first experience of journey from Delhi to Silchar.

Delhi to Silchar

The journey from Delhi to Guwahati in train was OK. I spent the whole two-day journey either by seeing myself in a small mirror or by just sleeping. After two days of journey we got down at the Kamakhya Railway Station and headed towards our house at Borjhar. As soon as I got there, all my tiredness vanished to nowhere and I started cleaning the rooms that remained closed for 6-7 months. So, you can imagine what would be the condition of those unoccupied rooms.

Well, the next day we headed for Silchar in a video coach night super, again it was my first brush to have a journey in this so called video-fitted bus. I was literally excited that I will watch the songs and movies and my mind wouldn’t be on snake-shaped roads of Shillong and my stomach wouldn’t wreck havoc while in the whole journey.

But I was put wrong, they played a movie, I still don’t know, it was from which era. It was a black and white movie, sound surpassed by the noise of the engine. The newly found truth shattered all my misconception I had about this video-coach that they play new release movie songs and albums. Feeling bore and disturb, I started watching the natural movie that was constantly unfolding outside my window.

Next morning around 7 a.m we descended at Kallain from the bus and got into a waiting Cruiser that would take us to my village, Mohanpur. I was half-asleep, but when the driver of the Cruiser played a song, I was brought to life again, my heart started beating and my nerves ticking. However, I remained oblivious of the whole song.

From the dull face expression that I was wearing, I suppose the conductor understood and he asked the driver to change the song and play a nice, new song. The driver then played the song, “Na hum Amitabh, na Dilip Kumar, na kisi hero ke bechche – hum hai, sidhey sadhe Akshay, Akshay” from the movie International Khiladi. The driver liked the song and gave a blasting sound to it by increasing the sound volume.

The first thought that crossed my mind after hearing the first line of the song was “Hey Bhagwan”. I smirked with a concocted face. I thought, it would have been better, if the conductor had asked him to turn off the tape-recorder.

Hectic Daily Schedule

After 30 or 45 minutes of journey, we reached at our village, Mohanpur and alighted in front of my Aiga’s ( uncle) house. I was pretty much excited and looking forward to meet my sisters and brothers.

As soon as I took off my bag, my Boroma started crying laying her head on my shoulder. I was totally numb, expressionless, I didn’t consol her. I was standing like a log.

I was very untidy and dirty so I wanted to take a ‘clean’ bathe. When my Kaki came and told me using soap and shampoo is “Gom nai”. I got awestruck and tongue-tied. I tried to persuade her, and after much persuasion I got her green signal for that day only.

As I knew for the next ten days we wouldn’t be allowed to have a bathe with soap and shampoo, so I spent hours in the bathe.

During this 14-day, I helped my sisters in distributing chai-pani and guwa-pana to the guests. While distributing water on feast, I got my share of popularity. People started asking about me, “koi te daho ogorey, jego pani bilairi”. They were thinking that distributing water was difficult task for me as they often came to me after having meal and saying, “Maa, aaji tey ti jey himpailey paori”.

On the day of shraad, I wore Angalluri with Namsa in nose and in forehead. Just like “Bamuni sougo” that’s what people were saying. However, some of them were forbidding me to wear the Angalluri as I wouldn’t be able to walk and may fall down. Eventually I went on with the attire and started distributing water (the only allotted work to me) in the bandra.

My sisters also got dressed, wearing salwar-suit. Around 3 p.m I was rather feeling tardy and I headed towards the bed and soon asleep. When my sisters came after an hour and told me give homa-haan to Dakula.

After all the rituals got over, we were served with one of my favourite dish i.e. ‘Kapok-Chira along with Modhu’ and Selkom (exceptional). But I didn’t eat because the Kapok-Chira, Modhu was mixed by somebody else’s hands. I had to devour my saliva-juice which came into my mouth.

After the shraad was over, everybody hit the bed, squeezing out all the hard work that they had been languishing during the whole Kormo. That day we had a great dinner with fish and longchak.

What I gained?

In this whole journey I come to know many things that I was unaware of about our culture and customs. Here is a piece of advice from me: Don’t waste your hard earned money in the so called luxury video-coach, it is worthy if you travel in an ordinary bus with no screen facility. If given a chance, do check the sound, the movie to be shown before you board the bus.

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Communication Fuss

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Any mode of communication is to express oneself, but this mode sometimes may create rift in the life of a budding relationship. Read

By BN Sinha, New Delhi

Who says that the 21st century urban Bishnupriya Manipuri coterie do not escalate the socio-cultural ethos of the community? Unfortunately, it is not correct to the perception the elderly Bishnupriya Manipuri s have about the educated modern Bishnupriya Manipuri  youths that they are culturally less inclined to the community norms and are lackadaisical to its values.

A recent experience with one of my close Bishnupriya Manipuri  mate illustrates how sentimental and concerned the modern Bishnupriya Manipuri  youth are to their cultural identity and its uniqueness. It's an unpleasant fact that the urban educated Bishnupriya Manipuri  youths had to sweat hard in the barren land of marriage to find an ideal match in their own community. Lack of openness in communication is considered one reason. Though there is no dearth of suitable candidates.

The story of my friend unfolds like this. My friend Sameer was feeling lucky that his friend Bina is suitable for him as both of them share a descent educational and family background and both were quite conversant with the latest modes of communication like internet chatting etc.

It is to be mentioned that Sameer is fairly established in a metro city of India and has been out of the core society for decades, first for completing higher education and later for pursuing career prospects. He is well acquainted and familiar with all the modern, urban hip-hops and lifestyles, and he is committed to get marry in his own community, the idea few of his so called Bishnupriya Manipuri friends find it weird.

On the other hand, Bina is an independent girl and stays in a separate city. Sameer's parents have chosen her for their son.

As Sameer and Bina started exchanging mails and sometime chats to get familiar with their traits and attributes, both of them found that their chemistry is perfect and compatible. Hell break loose in their budding relationship, when a mail from Sameer was misinterpreted by Bina. It went to such an extent that it not only gave a thunder-jolt to the relationship building process but it almost headed to layoff.

Sameer had simply wrote to Bina that he being in corporate world for more than 10years find himself more comfortable with the English language as he feels it is easier to find word in English and to express himself effectively. It's a fact that Sameer always considers himself as a responsible member of the community as he was associated with various community organizations. He just tried to be honest with Bina. But in day-to-day business it's the English languages that he uses more.

The mail was totally misinterpreted and misunderstood by Bina and she perceived Sameer as a snobbish and ostentatious person, who prefers English to his own mother tongue. And she replied with the strongest possible detesting words and told Sameer that for her it is her mother tongue that is Bishnupriya Manipuri and its culture and values which comes first and she will not hesitate to reconsider all her decision to get tied with him.

Her response fell like a hammer-blow on Sameer head, startled to know that even in the era of Facebook and You Tube there are Bishnupriya Manipuri  youths instead of being well acquainted with modern sophisticated cosmopolitan lifestyles, still prefers to their own mother tongue and its cultural values. They are egomaniac to be identified as Bishnupriya Manipuri and they dont hesitate to send a gesture that they may layoff from any bonds or affairs, may it be a nuptial-knot.

Well… finally all ends well and reconciled in a positive note only after Sameer elaborately described his point of view towards his beloved Bishnupriya Manipuri community and also his love to Emar-Thar.

The story, truly holds the aphorism that the Bishnupriya Manipuri  Gen X are less concerned about their culture and values, baseless and untrue.

Definitely, a sigh of relief to our cultural mongers and our forefathers…. ..

(The names Sameer and Bina are fictious. )
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Wednesday, 21 May 2008

A hot sweet travelogue Part II

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By Rebati Mohan Sinha

Before proceeding to part II of ‘A hot sweet travelouge’ I would like to go back to the puja-sthal of Shri Ganesh, the elephant headed God at Tarapur, Silchar from where my travelogue begun. Some one may think, why I am mentioning Shri Ganesh again and again. He is very much worshipped during Ganesh Chaturthi in Maharashtra, Mumbai in particular for 10 days, and for that, Mumbai is called the land of Shri Ganesh, as Kashi, the land of Shiva. And Shri Ganesh is also worshipped a day before the Saraswati puja and it is rarely known to our Bishnupriya Manipuri community; but at Tarapur, Silchar, in my sister- in- law’s house it is celebrated every year on this day. Of course, the business men do worship Shri Ganesh on ‘gaddi puja’ day.

On that day, due to late landing at Silchar, I could not offer ‘anjoli’ in the morning; but I could join in the remaining ritual like Aarties, night feast and Sankirtan. The Kirtan Mandoli started Sankirtan in time and continued till morning. As I was not habituated to ‘Jagaran’, I excused myself and went to sleep. In the wee hours of the day, I got up, hearing two female voices rendering a very melodious monsikkha(bhajan)and at the same time another melodiuous voice of Nam-kirtan also was coming from a far distance, might be Kirtan- Mandoli returning after Nagar Parikrama, as if I was in Vrindavan. In the evening after Ganesh Bisarjan, I had left for my native place.

While in Mumbai I heard the panchayat election was on in Assam, where our Brishnupriya Manipuri candidates were in plenty, say one candidate from each house hold, therefore, lost to all most all the seats. Only in Narsingpur Gaopanchayat, eight out of eleven seats were won by our Bishnupriya Manipuri community candidates. On hearing this, straightway I went to socially boycotted gentleman of Holi Cross episode, to arrange for a function to felicitate the designated president and his members. That gentle man was the only person who could arrange every thing perfectly with his money and manpower. Such type of felicitation never been done in the past and it was the first of its kind in Narsingpur Gaopanchayat. The gifts, garlands and snacks were arranged, announcements were made through public address system; but people did not turn up as expected. I was feeling uncomfortable, as chief guest, looking at the thin crowd. After a while supporters (members of his registered NGO) of this gentleman, arrived, and the function went on very smoothly. The elected representatives were quite happy to receive the gifts as token of love from the distinguish guests. In my speech, I mentioned about unity among ourselves is must, otherwise we will loose in every field, and no one will be able to revive later.

A week later, one fine morning, there was a phone call from Mrs Anita Sinha, the editor of Kaakai, the weekly, published from Dharma Nagar, stating that she would be felicitated by Mahendra Mohan Memorial Foundation Trust at Shri Shri Bhubaneshwar Sadhu Thakur Sevashram, at Tarapur, Silchar. Although we are having a father-daughter relationship; but never had a chance to meet each other, so she would like to see me at Silchar while receiving the award, the tamropotro and Rupees five thousand. The very next day, I also received an invitation to attend the same function. And no sooner did I step out of the car at the venue than an announcement was made for me to go to the dais to occupy the chief guest’s seat. It was so instantaneous, I could not react immediately, other than obey the organizers. The guest of honor Mrs Anita Sinha, the awardee, took the seat beside me. We exchanged our greetings. Here again I could see a thin crowd. Why can’t we follow certain unwritten norms? In this case the organizers are at a receiving end, and they can’t even show their displeasure in public. Anyway the function went on very smoothly; but nobody even bothered about the fate of the food that could not be consumed, due to very less attendance.

Let me pen down how our Bishnupriya Manipuri marriages are solmonised not in heaven; but in villages. One day, as I was about to step in to my room from morning walk, a lady who was waiting for me, came forward with folded hands, requesting me to be present at their daughter’s ‘Wareipad’( the preparation of engagement where only the sakei are invited). Her husband was a friend of mine who is no more, so she suggested me to be with her kith and kins while on negotiating. On that very day, I had oblized her by my presence.

Then came the ‘Heichapad’ day, some people call it ‘Heiching’, about a dozen people came by a vehicle with cardboard boxes full of sweet packets, but I never saw a single ‘Taapu’ of ‘Kaapok’ which was very much required on that day, because it was the custom our ancestors followed, and now we stopped following it in villages now.

Let us think, where are we leading to? I was expecting, the heiching party would be with traditional dress, i.e ‘dhoti & kurta’, sorry to say, only a few were seen wearing it. I was wearing the same attire, waiting for their reception. One thing, I could boldly say that I have learnt the purpose of holding the function, the Heiching, where all villagers are invited to participate in that exercise. Some rituals that took place inside the house of the bride groom was not known to me; but other things were very much clear to me. The senior most male villager was entrusted to carry out the exercise i.e to follow a customary questionnaire.

(1) Why have you invited us? Answer from bride groom’s father---I would like to marry my daughter to his son (names uttered).

(2) Do you agree to what he says? Answer comes in affirmative note from the groom`s father. Later on both the guardians stand in front of the gathering with folded hands and requested them to carry on `mukh meetha koro`.Then the Shadi comes in the later days with mutual agreement of both the parties.

My debating point is, why there should be so much of hospitality shown at the marriage pendal, such as offering sweet dishes to almost all the people present there, whether the host is capable or not. One can say, nowadays, it becomes a compulsion to feed. One thing I have noticed very carefully the timing of solmonising of marriages; and came to the conclusion that no hosts (parents of the bride) bother about the muhurt, whether at godhuli or evening before 10 pm. There is a blanket-timing i.e midnight. Younsters dancing, ( unbalanced) with the tune of film songs. They enjoy through out the night without any sleep till dawn. There are changes that takes place at all sphere of lives; but how come these changes have been accepted by the elders.

Other day, before departure to Kolkata I had to attend a kirton at Singari, Meherpur, Silchar, where I was astonished to see the ready-made paper garlands were hanging at Pala-ulir necks. Why there were no flowers? There are many more questions which have no answers. Can all these be rated as good progress? I will leave it to janata.
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Tuesday, 20 May 2008

NCR Bishnupriya Manipuri Nagarik Samiti meeting held at Madhu Vihar

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In the General Body Meeting of the NCR Bishnupriya Manipuri Nagarik Samiti held at Madhu Vihar, Dwarka, New Delhi on 30 March, 2008, it was decided that the registration fee and the annual subscription fee which is payable half-yearly, will remain unchanged till the Samiti is registered. The responsibility of the registration of the Samiti has been assigned to Biswaji Sinha.

The meeting held under the chairmanship of Haridas Sinha discussed the expenses and accounts of the Samiti. It was found that the Samiti has got contribution of the sum Rs 27,672 as on 31 December, 2007, expenses (Rs 18,120), cash in account (Rs 9552) and value of assets (Rs 6189). Prabin Sinha, Treasurer was asked to compile all data and prepare the consolidated statements with the Accounts Register. In the compilation of data, Janmajay Sinha and Chandra Mohan Sinha have been asked to handover all the details to Treasurer. The Samiti has taken the decision to maintain an Assets record.

However, in the meeting, decision was taken to reimburse expenses incurred by the authorised members of the Samiti under "Telephone Charges" for the communication purposes.

The meeting was attended by Haridas Sinha, President, Kajal Sinha, Vice-President, Dr. Nirmalya Sinha, General Secretary, M.S Chowdhury, Joint Secretary and Treasurer Prabin Sinha.

The Executive Members: Chandra Mohan Sinha, Janmajay Sinha and Biswajit Sinha were also present in the meeting. Others who attended the meeting were: Bimal Kumar Sinha, Manilal Sinha, Lakshmi Kanta Sinha, Bishnu Sinha, Nirmalendu Mukherjee, Mrs Nandita Mukherjee, S Sinha, Brahamananda Sinha, Jyotirmoy Sinha, Ramanuj Sinha, Biswajyoti Sinha, Nikhil Sinha and Chandan Sinha.

The next meeting is scheduled to be held on 6 July, 2008 at Manglapuri, New Delhi.

Sunday, 18 May 2008

Finalisation of building plan of Yatri Nivas at Radhamadhavjieu Mandir at Radhakunda

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The 128th General Assembly of Shri Radha Madhavjieu Seva Puja Parichalan Kendriya Samiti was organized recently at Tinokhal, Patherkandi, district Karimganj, Assam,where suggestions were invited for building up of Malthep and a Yatri-Nivas in the mandir premises.

As there were no representations from Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Bangalore and Ahmedabad, an open letter was initiated, on it’s behalf, by Shri Rebati M Sinha, Working President,NBMM,
Central Committee, and was sent to the presiding officer of the General Assembly,with the following points.

(1) If the building plan is not ready for execution, comments may please be invited with a time frame, so that a refined body-plan could be prepared on receipt of those comments, such as addition, alteration and modification.

(2)A sanction should be obtained for commencement of work from the local authority, Radhakund.

(3)The General Assembly should pass the budget and arrangement to be made to raise the fund accordingly.

(4)Tender should be floated indicating the time frame.

(5) It would be better if Bishnupriya Manipuri community of Delhi be included in the project. Specially the inclusion of Shri Kajal Sinha, a retired Addl. Chief Engineer from Tripura state and the sevait of Radha Madhavjieu Mandir, Shri Krishnakanta Debabarmana.

(6)The project consultant should be made responsible for timely completion of the project.

(7)Austerity should be maintained on miscellaneous expenditures.

The open letter was read out in the assembly for its acceptance; but,there is no communication received yet from the authority.

About a month back, Shri Rebati M Sinha received a phone call from Shri Kajal Sinha, stating that the drawing brought by the Sevait, Shri Krishnakanta Debabarmana, have a discrepancy, and a thorough examination was essential, for which his services is needed.

And accordingly, discussions took place telephonically between him and Shri Kajal Sinha and as a result a location plan of Yatri Nivas was prepared by Shri Kajal Sinha, assisted by Shri Bishwajit Sinha, an engineer from Delhi, the Sevait was also in the team because of his technical ability.

On completion of the drawing, copies were made and dispatched to Rebati M sinha, Mumbai and another copy to president of central committee at Patherkandi, which was cordially accepted and given a green signal.

Accordingly a meeting was scheduled on 13th May at shri Kajal Sinha’s residence in New Delhi, where half a dozen of engineers and well-wishers assembled to give a final touch, among them were Shri Rebati M Sinha from Mumbai and Shri Bishwajit Sinha from New Delhi. The Sevait Shri Krishnakanta had arrived in the city to take part; but due to urgent call from Radhakund, he had to rush back.

When it was asked, why was a rework on this blue print? At first, no one was willing to answer; but ultimately Rebati M Sinha broke the silence, saying that he could not understand why an engineer from Nabadwip,West Bengal,be engaged for Radhakund in Uttar Pradesh. Pointing at the drawing, he said that why only 2 ½ feet gap between Mandir and the building be maintained,where no one could walk comfortably. He had an apprehension whether the engineer was briefed about our requirement while preparing the drawing at first hand or not. He also told that because of metro cities’ hue and cry, people at the helm of the affairs changed their mind and asked us to carry on reworking.

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Friday, 16 May 2008

Guess Who Is Watching Us?

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Rishikesh Sinha

Close your delicate eyes for 15-seconds and contemplate who is watching the Bishnupriya Manipuri community with an eagle’s eye? Got it? Thanks to the Frontline magazine of India for enlightening us about an achievement most of us have been blissfully ignorant!

When I read the article “A new wave of freedom” written by V. Sasi Kumar, I felt a feeling of pride and, at the same time, it took me a few days to forgive myself for the naivete about my kinsmen.

People’s Trumph

“As many as 254 languages of the world have at least one Wikipedia page. Indian languages are not well represented in Wikipedia. Telegu tops with 38,000 articles, followed by Bishnupriya Manipuri at 23,000, Bengali (17,000), Hindi (16,500), Marathi (16,000) and Tamil (13,000).”
--Frontline, May 12, 2008, Page 91

This achievement is collaborative; it is a win for the Bishnupriya Manipuri clan. It shows the people’s unfathomable effort, tenacity, indefatigable energy and unbounded love for the ‘Emar Thar’. Nobody can claim this triumph; no social or political organization can take a leaf out of this tour de force. Those who have contributed to achieve the 23,000 magical figure, have done this not for personal gratification or by carrying an inner motive. They are the unsung heroes of our community. Their work gives our culture, customs, language and history an universal reach and accessibility, and a new direction.

Wikipedia Effect

Having 23,000 articles on one of the pillars of Internet, in the Wikipedia, is not a child’s play.To achieve this figure, it requires establishing a company consisting of an army of writers working day and night, of course, with a heavy financial support. But, all those reading this article would, perhaps agree with me that we don’t have such prolific, paid “messiah” writers.

However, importance of this achievement in the Wikipedia could be gauged from the fact that the ferocious gorilla of the internet and the world’s online marketing giant, the Google, not able to put advertisement on it, has proposed to come up with its own alternative called “Knol”. After all Google was loosing a highly priced real estate space Wikipedia where it could put advertisement and earn money. This is the place Wikipedia has in the Internet world; it is the most valuable entity.

Admittedly 23,000 articles are the present-day posts through which people could peep and know about our community. And these fine articles provide a good glimpse of the Bishnupriya Manipuri community.

In one of my articles (read) I had saluted the guys who have created a page in the Wikipedia. Though I cannot confirm who created the first page on Wiki, I do claim to know two people namely Uttam Singha and Ashim Singha and their contribution is applaudable.

At this juncture, a comment by Uttam Singha, gives a glimpse into how our progress started taking place on the internet: "I would like to thank you for your positive comment about our sites. Yes, indeed I have done lots of web sites for our society, but I could not fill with information because of lack of information, writer, article or book. I started using online 1997, but there was not even single line I found on yahoo about Bishnupriya Manipuri. I was so shamed, shocked, and upset. I just started a free page on www.geocities.com, which is deleted now. Also I started a Yahoo Group at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/bishnupriya-manipuri/ . From there I promised myself, I will fill the entire search engines with Bishnupriya Manipuri information. Also, this incident inspired me to study Computer Information System rather than Criminal Justice (I was a criminal Justice Student in the beginning of my college education in the John Jay College of City University of New York, USA). I registered & started http://www.pouri.org , and next couple of years I started some web sites which are following
http://www.bishnupriya-manipuri.org
http://www.pouri.net
http://www.manipuri.org
http://www.manipuri.com
http://www.manipuri.net
http://www.usingha.com
http://www.mahasabha.org for Mahasabha
Soon after Ashim Singha from Bangladesh started helping me, and he created lots of free web sites and helpful sites for our society. My problem is unavailability of Information on our society. Long time I am in the USA, and it is very hard to collect information. I requested to our writer to write on those web sites, but still no help. I published an offline journal (free of cost) “Pouri International” with just 1 issue. I had to stop because of 0 article. Finally, I received a series article from respected Sushil Sinha, Silchar just last month. Everyone is complaining that those web sites are not good enough or no article, but no one like to help or give me a single line to put on. I am just wasting money for nothing. In this point our famous poet Gitiswami said “Kar Kaje Kadourita akgou har napeila, hobar kaje mattegate hobaneihan ningkorla.”
Anyway, I had some contribution on the article: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bishnupriya_Manipuri_language on English wikipedia, and I have created more than 500 new articles on English wikipedia (
http://tools.wikimedia.de/~interiot/cgi-bin/Tool1/wannabe_kate?username=Usingha&site=en.wikipedia.org. Also I am an administrator of Bishnupriya Manipuri Wikipedia (http://bpy.wikipedia.org), and there I created (together with my bot Usinghabot) 20,800 Articles in Bishnupriya Manipuri language.
Finally, thanks again. It will be appreciated, if anybody pass me any article on Bishnupriya Manipuri, and I will be very happy to post them on all of our web sites.
my email: pouri_98@yahoo.com
".

At present, Ashim Singha’s blog, Me And My Manipuri Things, is the one that keeps tabs about our community in Bangladesh. It works like an open window through which we all know about each other. In this regard, Ashim would agree, this blog does the same for the many Bishnupriya Manipuri living in Bangladesh and in every corner of the earth.

Mapping Our Roots

We must set our goals higher. I am hopeful, sooner or later, the Wikipedia will have the highest number of articles devoted to Bishnupriya Manipuri community and on Google Earth, our villages, roads, lanes, schools and other physical infrastructure would get highlighted and mapped. Who knows, one day we may become the highest mapped community on Google Earth!

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Thursday, 15 May 2008

Kajol Sinha, new NBMM president of Delhi Regional Committee

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Giving a succinct message to the whole Bishnupriya Manipuri community that in the struggle to materialize the longstanding demands of the community, the Bishnupriya Manipuri people living in the capital can’t be sidelined, the Nikhil Bishnupriya Manipuri Mahasabha (NBMM) in its central committee meeting, declared names of the persons for its student wing, Sanskriti Parishad, Sahitya Parishad, and for its Delhi division, here in Delhi on 11 May 2008.

The committee appointed Kajol Sinha as President, Dr Nirmalya Sinha, Shashi Kanta Sinha and Lakshi Kanta Sinha as Vice President, Chandra Mohan Sinha at the post of General Secretary, Paritosh Sinha and Brahmananda Sinha as Joint Secretary, in the newly reshuffled NBMM, Delhi Regional Committee. Henry Sinha and Manashi Sinha have been given the post of Assistant General Secretary, followed by Krishna Kanta Debabarma, Mohan Singh Chaudhury, Gautam Sinha, Rajkumar Rishikesh Sinha and Jhunu Sinha as members.

Further more Haridas Sinha, Kajol Sinha, Nirmalya Sinha and Biswajit Sinha are in the core committee. In NBMM’s Student Union, Nirmalendu Mukherjee is appointed as the President, Joy Sinha and Anupam Sinha, the Vice President, and Biswajit Sinha as General Secretary. Rajkumar Rishikesh Sinha and Rajib Sinha as Joint Secretary would assist him. Ashok Sinha and Biprojit Sinha bagged the post of Assistant General Secretary. The Central Committee has also decided that five more members would be included after the executive meeting.

In the newly formed NBMM’s Sanskriti Parishad, Dr. Nirmalya Sinha has been given the post of President and Rajkumar Harilal Sinha, Bimsena Sinha and Janmajay Sinha are appointed as Vice Presidents of the Parishad. Jishnu Sinha, Ranu Sinha, Amit Sinha and Henry Sinha are in the post of Joint Secretary. However, Nirmal Sinha, Arati Sinha, Binaya Sinha, Munmun Sinha, Sonica Rajkumari, Mrs. Nandita Mukherjee and Sravan Kumar Sinha have been included as members. The President and the General Secretary of the NBMM, Delhi Regional Committee would work as ex-officio members.

Language plays a pivotal role in the advancement of any community. Now, this responsibility has been enshrined in the capital to the newly erected NBMM’s Sahitya Parishad, Delhi. Shashi Kanta Sinha has been nominated as President, Jonmajay Sinha and Manshi Sinha as Vice President. Ashok Sinha would be holding the post of General Secretary, Henry Sinha, Nandita Mukherjee and Munmun Sinha would be working as Assistant General Secretary. Moreover, the Parishad would be having Bimal Sinha and Bimala Sinha as working members. Besides, the President and the General Secretary of the NBMM, Delhi Regional Committee will be working as official members of the Sahitya.

By Rishikesh Sinha

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Monday, 12 May 2008

Delhi BM must be strong, says NBMM

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"Bishnupriya Manipuri Delhiites must be strong, the Bishnupriya Manipuri living in Delhi are the cream of the respective fields and they must guide the whole society" said Shri Jogendra Sinha, President, Sanskriti Parishad, in the Nikhil Bishnupriya Manipuri Mahasabha meeting held at Bipin Chandra Pal Memorial hall, New Delhi on 11 May, 2008.

He further added, for the accomplishment of all the efforts undertaken so far for the development of the community, people living in Delhi or in other places must be able to gain love and respect of the host culture and language; but at the same time should pay attention to the preservation of our mother tongue. Owing to his eloquent, flawless speech, audience had a very enthusiastic time and they all enjoyed.

Shri Biswajeet Sinha in his extempore speech called for the upliftment of the status of education in the villages and also pressed on the formation of an economic wing under the umbrella of Mahasabha. He cited that the ‘Emar Thar’ is enriched and is the reservoir of knowledge. Supporting his view he mentioned that the language proficiency we had for the other language is remarkable. “Our people are fluent in Bengali, Assamese, Hindi and English and in many other languages, that can’t be said about persons of the other community. It is magnificent and amazing” said Biswajeet Sinha. This fact mesmerized all the people sitting in the hall and they all cheered him.

The Working President of the Nikhil Bishnupriya Manipuri Mahasabha, Shri Rebati Mohan Sinha called for unity and sense of belongingness amongst us. He said, “Bishnupriya Manipuri people residing in Delhi should not only come together while at the Shri Bhubaneshwar Sadhu Thakur’s birth centenary; but create an opportunity to build up comity amongst ourselves.” However, he was displeased with the lesser participation of the people compared to the last meeting held in Delhi, in 2005.

Shri Kajal Sinha proposed a ‘scholarship’ scheme for the betterment of the Bishnupriya Manipuri students who come for the education purpose in Delhi. He pressed that the proposed scheme would assuage many difficulties presently being faced by the students. He added, the unavailability of a launching pad has become a deterrent force for which students are discouraged to pursue higher studies in Delhi.

Shri Uday Sinha, Secretary General, Mahasabha, Central Committee, Silchar recalled the history of Mahasabha and its development taking place with the passage of time. The resurrection of the history of the Mahasabha came as an eye-opener to youngsters and those who are ignorant of the Bishnupriya Manipuri community’s highest body. People assembled in the hall appreciated his effort.

Shri Ashutosh (Ravi) Sinha, Secy. Sanskriti Parishad, Assam State Committee, caught the attention of the present audience and of the dignitaries singing an inspiring song of the Gokulananda Gitiswami. Paying high regards to him, he was awarded bakshis.

Shri Haridas Sinha and Shri Nilkanta Sinha, President, Mahasabha Tripura State Committee, graced the meeting with their speech. The assembled people got first hand information of the Bishnupriya Manipuri language status in the state of Tripura, and the problem they are facing.

Shri Ranjit Sinha, Advisor, Bodoland Territorial Council, Government of India, presided the whole meeting as a Chief Guest.

Proper refreshments for the audience was taken care of in the meeting. The meeting ended in a cordial and jovial note.

Note: Few names of the persons were not added. And those mentioned, their designation were not added. Lack of information cites the reason. Deeply regretted.

By Rishikesh Sinha

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Resolutions to stop misuse of the title "Manipuri"

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The 73rd annual session of Manipuri Sahitya Parishad, Imphal held at the Jawaharlal Nehru Manipur Dance Academy hall, took some resolutions including the disallowing of the use of the title Manipuri to Manipuri Bishnupriya or Bishnupriya Manipuri. Continue...

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Heat fails to stop them!

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It is a fact Delhites hate to step out on Sundays. However, Bishnupriya Manipuri living in Delhi and its adjoining areas stepped out on Sunday, at the time when the intensity of the scorching heat could roast anybody from inside. They showed their sizable presence in the Nikhil Bishnupriya Manipuri Mahasabha meeting held at Bipin Chandra Pal Memorial Bhawan, CR Park, New Delhi.

Audience comprises families residing in far away places like Shyam Vihar (Najafgarh), DLF City, Gurgaon, Sagar Pur, Pantpar Ganj, Dwarka, Mangla Puri, and of course from the nearby places to the venue: SJ Enclave, CR Park and Kalkaji, all were present in the meeting also.

Here are the names of the people (dignitaries and Delhi Bishnupriya Manipuri residents) who attended the meeting at CR Park:

  1. Haridas Sinha
  2. Ranjit Sinha
  3. Kajal Sinha
  4. Nirmalya Sinha
  5. Mohan Singh Choudhury
  6. Rajkumar Harilal Sinha
  7. Bipin Sena Singh
  8. Lakhi Kanta Sinha
  9. Prabin Sinha
  10. Chandra Mohan Sinha
  11. Janmojoy Sinha
  12. Manilal Sinha
  13. Bishwajeet Sinha
  14. Bimal Sinha
  15. Shashi Kant
  16. Rajkumar
  17. Gautam Sinha
  18. Nirmalendu Sinha
  19. Pritam Sinha
  20. Promod Sinha
  21. Rahul Sinha
  22. Debashish Sinha
  23. Amit Sinha
  24. Pranab Sinha
  25. Ashok Sinha
  26. Jishnu Singh
  27. BN Sinha
  28. Rajkumar Rishikesh Sinha
  29. Rabindra Sinha
  30. Sarajit Sinha
  31. Shankar Sinha
  32. Ravi Kant Singha
  33. Mrs. Gunabati Sinha
  34. Mrs. Gayatri Sinha
  35. Paritosh Sinha
  36. Debdas Singha
  37. Rajib Singha
  38. Amit Kumar Singha
  39. Raju Sinha
  40. Kajal Sinha
  41. Nil Kanta Sinha
  42. Krishna Kanta Sinha
  43. Uday Sinha
  44. Jogendra Sinha
  45. RM Sinha
  46. Jayanti Sinha
  47. Rajabala Sinha
  48. Ranjit Sinha
  49. Sunil Sinha
  50. Paritosh Kumar Sinha
  51. Biswajeet Sinha
  52. Sumati Sinha
  53. Vijaya Sinha
  54. Dolly Sinha
  55. Rina Sinha
  56. Nandita Mukherjee
  57. Arati Sinha
  58. Ranju Sinha
  59. Phul Kumari Sinha
  60. Anjali Sinha
  61. Rajashree Sinha
  62. Bilasini Sinha (mother of Chandra Mohan Sinha)
  63. Sonika Rajkumari
  64. Kavita Sinha
  65. Joy Kumar Sinha
  66. Henry Sinha

Note: The list is NOT conclusive and explicit. Their were many people whose names were NOT jotted down. Errors may remain crept in with the spellings of the names.

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Sunday, 11 May 2008

Mahasabha holds talk with Bishnupriya Manipuri residents in Delhi

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A 13-member delegation of the Mahasabha held a meeting with Bishnupriya Manipuri residents in Delhi at Manglapuri on 10 May 2008. In the meeting many important issues related with the community were discussed. The issue of unavailability of Brishnupriya Manipuri language books in Assam was broadly discussed and the various steps being taken for the introduction of the language in the radio and television programmes were also highlighted. The discussion also includes issues related to Other Backward Class (OBC) in Assam.

The agenda for the grand meeting, which is going to take place on 11 May 2008, at Bipin Pal Memorial Trust Auditorium at Chittaranjan Park (CR Park), New Delhi was also discussed. The representatives present in the meeting requested all Bishnupriya Manipuri people living in Delhi and NCR to participate in the today’s grand meeting to make it successful. The programs will start from 4 p.m.

High on Agenda

The decisions being taken by the delegation after the discussion regarding today’s General Meeting of the Nikhil Bishnupriya Manipuri Mahasabha, Delhi Regional Committee, are as follows:

The grand meeting would take place under the chairmanship of Mr Haridas Sinha. Working President and Secretary General of the Mahasabha, President and General Secretary of the Sanskriti Parishad, General Secretary of the Sahitya Parishad, and Tripura State President will be present in the meeting. Other guests will include Secretary of the NBM Students Union Greater Guwahati Branch and the Secretary of the Andolon Parishad, Greater Guwahati Branch.


Matters high on the agenda for today’s meeting are:


  • Secretary’s Report of Delhi Regional Committee
  • Charter of Demands
  • Organisation
  • Fund
  • Acquirement of a plot of land for the construction of Bishnu Mandir.
  • Reconstruction of Delhi Regional Committee (Mahasabha, Sahitya Parishad and Sanskriti Parishad).
  • Formation of Student’s Union, Delhi Regional Committee.


Delegates

Here are the names of the visiting delegates:

Shri Rebati Mohan Sinha
Working President, Mahasabha
Maharashtra

Mrs. Ranju Sinha
Mahasabha, Maharashtra

Shri Uday Sinha
Secretary General
Mahasabha, Central Committee, Silchar

Shri Jogendra Kumar Sinha
President,
Sanskriti Parishad, Central Committee, (Silchar, Machughat)

Shri Nilkanta Sinha
President,
Mahasabha, Tripura State Committee (Dhramanagar)

Shri Lakhindra Sinha
President,
Sahitya Parishad, Central Committee (Guwahati)

Shri Ashutosh (Ravi) Sinha
Secy. Sanskriti Parishad,
Assam State Committee (Guwahati)

Shri Umakanta Sinha
Secy. Andolan Parishad
Assam State Committee (Hailakandi)

Shri Shankha Sinha
Secy. NBM Student Union
Greater Guwahati Branch, Additional Charge State

Shri Sarajit Sinha
Secy. ‘EMA’ Socio-cultural NGO, Guwahati

Shri Ravindra Sharma
Member, NBMSU, Guwahati

Shri Debasis Sinha
Member, NBMSU, Guwahati

Shri Haridas Sinha
Member, NBMSU, Guwahati

Delhi Residents present in the meeting:

Shri Manilal Sinha, Shri Rajkumar Harilal Sinha, Shri Janmajay Sinha, Shri Lakhikanta Sinha, Shri Chandra Mohan Sinha, Shri Bimal Sinha, Shri Jishnu Singh, Shri Rajkumar Rishikesh Sinha, Mrs. Nandita Mukherjee and many (names not known).

Note: Errors in spellings of the names of the persons and in the part of information may remain crept in.

Sunday, 4 May 2008

Mahasabha Meeting in New Delhi

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The highest body of the Bishnupriya Manipuri community, the Mahasabha is going to meet in New Delhi on 8th May 2008. Brishnupriya Manipuri people residing all over India will be present in the meeting. Their accommodation will be done in Bipin Pal Memorial (BPM) campus at Chittaranjan Park, New Delhi.

The programs scheduled in this meeting are as follows:

  • Youth’s Meet, Venue - BPM hall on 9.5.2008 (Evening)
  • Mahasabha's Organisational Discusion - 10.5.2008
  • Get together with Ministers and MPs - 11.5.2008
  • Press Meet - 12.5.2008

However, the programs are subjected to change.

It is worth mentioning that in 2005, similar gathering took place in New Delhi. They sat in dharna in front of the Jantar Mantar to demand the inclusion of Bishnupriya Manipuri programs in television and radio centres at Silchar, Cachar, Assam. However, a battery of high level officials of Mahasabha was also present there in the city to fight the language case in Supreme Court, which was won later.

Courtesy: Rebati Mohan Sinha

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Saturday, 3 May 2008

A Hot - Sweet Travelogue - Part I

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Rebati Mohan Sinha


Traveling is always a tiresome; but even then people perform it, as tourists, as pilgrims and professionals. Some are traveling on a compassionate ground to native place to fulfill their commitments, such as meeting of old parents, attending their family or social functions like marriages and birthday parties. My last journey to native place was not an exception.

My outward journey commenced at Mumbai Airport with an invitation in hand to take part in a function where a Senior Cabinet Minister was to lay foundation stone for a Holi Cross School at Kabuganj, Cachar; but it was my bad luck as I could not reach the venue due to delayed flight.

This ceremony would have been a memorable one for me to remember because the school is coming up on a controversial plot of land for which the Bishnupriya Manipuri people of Narsingpur Porgona (consisting of nine villages), are up in arms against the Holi Cross School, Silchar to set up its branch at Kabuganj and as a result they (Brishnupriya Manipuri people)socially boycotted the land lord who sold the plot for this noble cause, thinking that, this gentleman is promoting Christianity to these villages.

I was whole-heartedly supporting this land-lord for his untiring social works, one of them is this school, where our poor village students are getting chance to enroll their names in a village convent school. This whole episode made me to think that in this twenty first century also people are still leaving in tiny village wells and refused to come out of them.

Because of that delayed flight as mentioned earlier, I straightway headed for GANESH PUJA at my sister in law’s place at Tarapur, Silchar, where I could noticed, a group of singers from Bhakatpur rendering Aarti in front of the deity. Really, it had inspired me to join them for the rest of the program. At the end, I requested them to build a strong team to continue rendering such religious songs, thus keeping the taboo of our Bishnupriya Manipuri community.

The day next, on my reaching home, I had to attend a death anniversary of Narsingpur porgonas Gaagrar Senakhoia. His both sons cordially received the invitees with their folded hands; but after a while, I could see a section of gathering leaving the venue just prior to prosad lokorani.

On query I came to know that the supporters of the socially boycotted gentleman of Holi cross episode also were invited for the feast. The departed party never thought of the trouble taken for the preparation of prosadi and its wastage in the event of their refusal to sit together. Anyway, on host further request, party came back and sat together. I could see, the gathering was full of people retired from State/Central Govt.doing full time job of dola doli.

After a fort night, it so happened that the entire village would not be taking part in our Rakhal Raas celebration, unless I disassociate with the socially boycotted gentle man. It is to mention here that my father of 98 years old was also a victim of village doladoli as he happened to go to a feast in his car.I challenged their decision and went forward with the celebration by inviting the people from other villages. Of course, the transports were made available to them for attending the Raas Yatra.

We are, nowadays, socially so irresponsible that we never bother to reach at the venue in time, rather we take our own time, doing every possible job at home .In our community no function can start before 12 o clock, even though the feast is arranged in time. Can we say, it is a community living?



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