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Guess Who Is Watching Us?

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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Comments

  1. A soulful of gratitude and congratulations to Mr Ashim Kr Singha, Mr Uttam Singha and Rajkumar Rishikesh Sinha for all their efforts to get the community status escalated to that level.It is definitely a moment of pride. Its a great feeling for me to be a tiny part of the movement., with grt regards..

    ReplyDelete
  2. kudos to everyone who made an effort to speak their mind. congratulations to everyone.. Mr Ashim Kr Singha, Mr Uttam Singha, Rajkumar Rishikesh Sinha, and also BN, Rebati uncle, Ranita di for their contributions.

    They are people who made the wikepedia and this blog rich with ideas, stories, and other literary work

    ReplyDelete

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