Friday, 31 October 2008

Pune celebrates the birth anniversary Sri Sri Bhubaneswar Sadhu Thakur

On 30th October 2008 the Pune unit of Bishnupriya Manipuri Kalyan Sangthan celebrated the 138th anniversary of Sri Sri Bhubaneswar Sadhu Thakur at the site of proposed Mandir at Ramnagar about 20 km from Pune Railway station. It may be mentioned here that the plot of land for the mandir was bought in 2007 by 5 ladies of Pune and donated it for the cause.

Bishnupriya Manipuri Puneities assembled in the newly erected pandal for Adhibas. The Chief Guest from Mumbai, Sri Rebati Mohan Sinha, President of Bishnupriya Manipuri Kalyan Sangathan arrived; Sri Ramsena Sinha, Sri Kulajit Raj Kumar and Sri Babul Sinha received him with great honour. Colonel Sri N. K. Sinha was also received earlier by them. The daakula Ishalpa stood up for the commencement of the utsav after chanting of mantras by the purahit. Hearing the sound of mridang and karatals the neighbors started occupying the empty chairs. The Adhibas was ended after the Aarti.

Early in the morning,30th October, Bishnupriya Manipuri people gathered in the puja sthal to offer Prayer to Sadhu Baba and by 10.30 hrs the pedal was full. Again our Daakua Ishalpa got ready for performance. At around 2 pm the bhog was offered and followed by prasadi to all. The entire program came in to an end after sandhya aarti.

Times of India quotes Shri Bhubeneshwar Sadhu Thakur as Guru

Shri Shri Bhubeneshwar Sadhu Thakur's name has been caricatured to Shri Bhubeneshwar Sadhu Guru? Thanks to the The Times of India (Whats Hot, Delhi Times, October 31, 2008 issue). 

‘Thakur’ has got changed to ‘Guru’ with a few keyboard strokes of a over confident person handling the page, irrespective to the fact that the submitted text nowhere reads Shri Shri Bhubeneshwar Sadhu Thakur as Guru. 

The mistake is gruesome keeping in view that it is related to sentiments of a faith. “Do we as Indians, as readers of the newspaper, as public, must expect that until and unless we pay for the space, our content, our Holy leaders can be baptised, renamed, our sentiments be tossed and played around as per the mood swings of the editor, compiler?” questioned Henryy Sinha. 

In the same tone, BN Sinha said, “I find it absolutely unpleasant to read the name of Sri Sri Bhubaneswar Sadhu Thakur as Sri Bhubaneswar Sadhu Guru. I just can’t think in my wildest thought where from you got the name, there are sentiments attached of a community as whole. There may be people who have misinformed you but I believe it is a clear obligation of a journalist to get the facts right. Sri Sadhu Thakur was a harbinger of Lord Krishna to our community so we just cannot take the mistakes granted even though it may be with unclear intentions.”

Likewise, the error on the part of TOI was indigestible to Jyotirmoy Sinha, a regular reader to the paper. He asked, “What is the harm to write "Shri Shri Shri Shri Bhubeneshwar Sadhu Thakur?" 

A case in point, recently, the same newspaper got bad publicity when in its Chennai edition, a photograph was plagiarised pixel by pixel from a blog without any permission, due credit, or compensation.

Thursday, 30 October 2008

Meeting Photographs with Hon'ble Maharashtra Governor SC Jamir

Read Bishnupriya Manipuri Kalyan Sangthan, Mumbai unit invites Gov of Maharashtra SC Jamir.

The Sangathan met with Shri SC Jamir on 23rd October, 2008 and had discussions on various aspect of the Bishnupriya Manipuri community, its past and present. Shri Rebati Mohan Sinha, President, the Bishnupriya Manipuri Kalyan Sangathan, Pune, Mumbai and members Mrs. Riten Sinha and Mr. Bipul Sarma met with the Hon'ble Governor.

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Thursday, 23 October 2008

Bishnupriya Manipuri Kalyan Sangthan, Mumbai unit invites Gov of Maharashtra SC Jamir

In a communiqué to the Honourable Governor of Maharashtra, Shri SC Jamir, the Bishnupriya Manipuri Kalyan Sangthan, Pune, Mumbai has sought a meeting with him to invite him in the celebration of the birth anniversary of Shri Shri Bhubaneshwar Sadhu Thakur on November2, 2008. 

“We the 30 odd Bishnupriya Manipuri families from North East, specially from Assam, Tripura residing in Mumbai and its suburbs (are) celebrating the occasion every year under the banner of ‘Bishnupriya Manipuri Kalyan Sangthan’, Pune Mumbai, … would like to invite the Honourable Governor to attend the celebration of the birth anniversary of Shri Shri Bhubaneshwar Sadhu Thakur” reads the communiqué addressed to The Officer on Special Duty, Governor of Maharashtra. 

The Bishnupriya Manipuri Kalyan Sangathan, Mumbai strives for the spiritual, social, economical, educational and cultural upliftment of the Bishnupriya Manipuri community and also mankind at large. This group also acts as a hub for educational, socio-economical, cultural, medical guidance and contribution to the people of Bishnupriya Manipuri community of Mumbai and also those coming from North East at large.

Shri Shri Bhubaneswar Sadhuthakur is the most profound spiritual leader in Manipuri history. The philosophy and teachings of Shri Shri Bhubaneshwar Sadhu Thakur is to impart service to the mankind irrespective of caste, creed, color and gender. His teachings are based on the universal religion of Naam Sankirtan (Pray by Chanting God).

This year the 138th birth anniversary will be celebrated on 2nd November, 2008 at new Airport colony, Vile Parle(E), Mumbai.

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Wednesday, 22 October 2008

Biswananda Sinha releases his second novel

In a glittering function held in Kolkata on October 16, 2008, and which was attended by renowned personalities from literature, art and culture, government and films space, Biswananda Sinha released his second Bengali novel 'Tomai Amai Milon Hole'. His first novel was 'Pratishruti', published in 1992.

Son of Mani Kanta Sinha, Biswananda Sinha hails from Bhakatpur, Cachar, Assam. A GSM Engineer by profession, he holds a top level portfolio in Bhatri Airtel Ltd. Kolkata.

The function organised at Press Club, Kolkata got underway with the inaugural speech by Prof. Subodh Sarkar, eminent poet and novelist.

Other dignitaries in the presence of which the novel 'Tomai Amai Milon Hole' was released included Srikanto Acharjjyo, singer, writer and composer; Krishna Kumar Mukherjee, film personality; Partho Bannerjee, Publisher and Nitin Ganguly, Director of Art and Culture, Government of West Bengal.

Mrs. S Ganguly, Adviser to Chief Minister, West Bengal and P Ghose, Chief of News Bureau also had their presence in the book release. Prosenjit De, Director Hyatt Regency, is among many top guns who were present in the Biswananda Sinha D' day.

They all thanked Biswananda Sinha for his immense contribution which he had done to the enrichment of the Bengali literature, despite being a non-Bengali, more so not being a non-Kolkatan.

Giving his speech in front of the packed media that saw participation from Star Anando, 24 Ghanta, SrisTV, CTV, Protidin, Anando Bazar, Doordarshan and the high profile attendees, Biswananda Sinha spoke in detail about the Bishnupirya Manipuri community, its culture and the relationship the community had with the Bengali literature. He further went on describing the connection the community had with Rabindra Nath Tagore and Shanti Niketan.

The book which the readers will find as their own story is about a Bengali boy, whose romantic life ultimately gets transformed into his philosophical and spiritual quest.

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Tuesday, 21 October 2008

Grapevine is rife

As the day to celebrate 138 Birth centenery of Sri Sri Bhubeneshwar Sadhu Thakur, to be celebrated on November 2, 2008, is coming nearer, with the same momentum, the grapevine machine amongst Bishnupriya Manipuri Delhiites, is also touching a new height. Very hot to handle!


"Last year, per family cash collection was Rs 500, this year it is mere Rs 250, I will not attend." Hope, your stomach fluttered simply reading this sentence. Imagine what had happened to me when I heard this cross pollinated stuff. I simply shrieked "Who on earth can stop you to donate x amount?" You can definitely contribute Rsx0000 and come! The pretext is doesn't hold water. It is indefinitely deposed. Order.

"Since I have been out of the Bishnupriya Manipuri society and the people, and I am not conversant to the mother tongue, I feel insecure- so I am not coming." Who is going to talk to you, if you don't want to converse and mingle with your near and dear relatives! At least come and see the sea of proud Bishnupriya Manipuri people who are going to throng the venue. See through your eyes how the event unfolds itself. I am sure you are gonna to listen bi-lingual, tri-lingual, multi-lingual with different tone and tenor of registered, unregistered, national, regional, international languages, perhaps with broken and straight accent. You will fail to count the intensity and the frequency the waves of languages would be passing through your eardrums. I would suggest, simply sit and enjoy the environment. Now come to this piece.

"Hey, I have not been invited, so how could I go without any invitation." FAQ? Frequently Asked Questions! C'mon dear, don't bring your Himalaya size ego here, especially the event which is not a personnel affair. Even the organiser(s) or so-called karta-darta can't show you the door; condition if you drop at the function with clean and tender heart. Come even if you have heard from xyz sources.

Well, there is another breed of people. Their excuse-"the venue (Shree Shiv Mandir, Sanatan Dharam Sabha, August Kranti Marg, Andrews Ganj, New Delhi) is too far away from my place and the day is Sunday. Let me see." For them, I will say-OK you are living in Jiribam, Manipur where you could enter at a particular time period. If you miss, you really miss. But, my dear friend, this is Delhi, New Delhi-the capital of India. You will get bus, cabs, autoricksaw, else sleep in the venue. I know the program will not be stretched to the troublesome hours. Anyway, who has poisoned your ears saying, the event is taking place at evening?

However, there is another engineered breed of Bishnupriya Manipuri people. They complain or comment, I don't know, I simply can't assimilate their vision in my own matrix vision. "I don't like our people, their mentality, their thinking process, their mean and useless talks, anything, any stuff related to this community" - is their refined scripted mantra. Believe me (God forbids me), my eyes instantly get moistened (with extreme happiness). I find in them a true soul of being a Bishnupirya Manipuri!!! They are great, genius, (inde) genious, God in human body!

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Monday, 20 October 2008

Sadhu Thakur's b'day celeb at Shree Shiv Mandir, Andrews Ganj

With an objective to organise Sri Sri Bhubeneshwar Sadhu Thakur's 138 Birth Centenery on November 2, 2008 in New Delhi in a planned and much organised manner, a meeting held at Gurgaon yesterday took a review of the preparations and chalked out all the details that will go into the grandiose celebration of the day.

The meeting confirmed Shree Shiv Mandir, Sanatan Dharam Sabha, August Kranti Marg, Andrews Ganj, New Delhi, will be venue of the celebration. It is expected that above 250 strong Bishnupriya Manipuri Delhiites will be congregating on this day. In keeping view of this, the attendees elaborately discussed the measures that will go into the managing the mass of people, thus making it a success.

The highly attended meeting had a review on the monetary contributions of the Bishnupriya Manipuri people living in Delhi, NCR region for this occasion. The attendees also took decisions on the list of programmes that will be performed on this day.

However, alongside brainstorming on the particulars for organising the grand day, the participants pressed on the early registration of the Bishnupriya Manipuri, Delhi& NCR Nagarik Samity.

Read all the articles on Sri Sri Bhubeneshwar Sadhu Thakur.
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Tuesday, 14 October 2008

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Oath taking ceremony at Radhakund, Mathura

Sri Sri Radha Madhavjiu Seva Puja Parichalan Central Working Committee, in its quarterly meeting held at Chamtilla, Shingla, Karimganj on last 13/09/2008, has reposed the confidence again on Delhities for the mandir management after a gap of three years.

The oath taking ceremony is scheduled to take place at Radha Kund, Mathura at around 10 in the morning on 25/10/2008.The following personnels will be attending the function.

Name Designation Place
1. Sri Kajal Kanti Sinha, President, New Delhi
2. Sri Bishwajit Sinha, Member New Delhi
3. Sri Mohan singh Choudhuri, Member, New Delhi
4. Sri Rebati Mohan Sinha, Member, Mumbai
5. Sri Banamali Sinha,IAS , Member, Agartala
6. Sri Krishnakanta Babaji, Convenor/Secretary, Radhakund.

On the same day at the same venue, there will be a progress meeting on the construction of Yatri Nivas at Kajal Kanti Sinha.Rtd.Addl.Chief Engr.(Tripura), President Construction Committee, will chair the meeting. Sri R.M.Sinha, Naval Architect, will brief the meeting on building plan alteration/addition/modification above first floor level. Any other points raised by members will be discussed.

[Photos: construction work at Radhakund]

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Monday, 13 October 2008

They say, "we are not united"

Sunday is a sleeping day! After six days of strenuous job-home daily routine, Sunday comes as a day to unwind ourselves, to envelope ourselves with our personal work. It may be taking a sound sleep, meeting with friends, bringing things in order etc...etc...

However, if you ask me - how did I spend this Sunday? I don't have words to say more than uttering- fantastic. I wouldn't have spent this Sunday much productive than what I did actually. It was full of fun, camaraderie, and of course resourceful.

I met with married, unmarried, employed, unemployed, struggling, established, old, young Bishnupriya Manipuri people. Yes, I spent the whole Sunday with my own people. The day couldn't be less enjoyable than a picnic, and educative than visiting a library, a workshop. What more to say.

We - Henry Sinha, Jishnu Sinha, Lakhikanta Sinha, Babu, Shashikant Sinha, all packed in two cars - at first took a recce of the venue where Sadhu Baba uthsav will be held, and finalised it. [The name of the venue and its location will be announced later.]

After this, we went to Khanpur, New Delhi area to meet with the Bishnupriya Manipuri people living there. No doubt, the primary reason of our visit was to invite them to Sadhu Baba uthsav, to be held on November 2, 2008. Something that had really swayed me was their urge and willingness to see our Bishnupriya Manipuri people grow. They are all concerned to the hilt. In their eyes, the dream to see the progress of the community was visible. But the same eyes, has a question - How to do this.

In the hour-long conversation with all these people, of course young and old, they have their own perception or say roadmap to the upliftment of the whole community, the community residing in Delhi and NCR, in particular.

Before we proceed further, we at first entered the room of Promod Sinha and Co.! While in conversation with him we come to know why it is Promod Sinha and Co, reason is - because he has brought all his gushti [there is no appropriate word than this], elder uncle's sons, younger uncle's son, Delhi. Floors after floors are being occupied by his gushti.

Coming back, in the whole identification parade cum speaking of the mind session with our many hosts, where I was a mere silent spectator. In the proposed roadmap which came in the form of directions/ advises from them, I found that in generality it looks good and sound. But, it is to be remembered the thoughts and actions that had hold its importance in the past, have lost its sheen (to an extent) in the present time. Unfortunately all their wishes will fail to occupy a space here in the new world, with new generation.

You may blame it on the change in place in our dwelling; we are not living in our ancestral villages, but in Delhi. Like in other places, people's priorities have changed. Their perception about themselves, about the society has undergone a change. At nutshell, we are evolving, shedding many things and putting on many new things. Any model, any initiative for the growth of the community will not take off unless and until a practical, incorporating present day factors, values are not added. Challenges are many to talk on the inclusive growth of the community. If not, we will all end up, as it is there, complaining the Bishnupirya Manipuri people living in Delhi, Kolkata, Bangalore….are not united…rest you add.

First, where there is an almost zero people-to-people interactions amongst ourselves. The question to talk about the comprehensive, equitable growth of the community doesn't arise. How will you help the other person, whom you don't know and haven't seen him before? You don’t know his/ her priorities? You need involvement of the people, in mass and volume. We need a “critical mass” of the people. Lest, if there is any growth that has taken place, it would be ghusti/ I-know peoples' growth, specific individual(s) growth. Unfortunately, a critical mass of the people is missing. But, of late here in Delhi it is forming, though slowly.

Second is leadership. Who is leading the mass? Who is the captain of the ship? History is full of leaders who have changed the course of time. And here, we are talking about a community, a small community. We need leaders who can guide the people, remembering that guiding a professional living in metro is a different game altogether. This time, in Delhi we have got Shashikant Sinha and Dr. Nirmalya Sinha. I am not writing more about them, let their work speak.

Third is the knowledge parameter. Gone are the days when an individual can claim to be all-know. You need specialists, consultants, experts to guide you. If we are really talking about the over all growth of the Bishnupriya Manipuri people: Create a "visible" knowledge pool.

Well, here I would like to say, readers please come up with the issues and of course with solutions - if we all wanted to see the Bishnupriya Manipuri community grow organic, people’s involvement in the metros increases. And it is percolated to the villages.

Saturday, 11 October 2008

Durga Puja at Assam Bhawan Vashi, Navi Mumbai

By Debojit Sarmah

The Assamese Community of Mumbai celebrated the Autumn Festival "Durga Puja" at Assam Bhawan Vashi, Navi Mumbai.

The five days long programme started from 5th October to 9th October 2008, cultural evening was organized on 8th and 9th. A souvenir "Smaranika" published on the occasion was released by Dr.Bhupen Hazarika on 8th evening.

Friday, 10 October 2008

Birth anniversary of Shri Shri Bhubaneswar Sadhu Thakur at Pune/Mumbai

By Bibhulal Sinha, Mumbai

Bishnupriya Manipuri Kalyan Sanghatan, Pune and Mumbai, is going to organise the 138th birth anniversary of Shri Shri Bhubaneswar Sadhu Thakur at Pune/Mumbai. This will be held on 30th October in Pune and on 2nd November in Mumbai. Attached is an invitation card for all.

On Maha Astami day of Durga puja, a team of Bishnupriya Manipuri Kalyan Sanghatan, Mumbai led by the president Shri Rebati Mohon Sinha visited the Durga Puja at Assam Bhawan, Washi, Mumbai.

The team invited Shri Debasish Sharma, Resident Commissioner, Assam Bhawan, as for the forth coming 138th birth anniversary of Shri Shri Bhubaneswar Sadhu thakur to be held at New airport colony, Vile Parle(E), Mumbai. Shri Sharma was touched by this invitation and assured his presence to the occasion.

Are we aware of the issues related to Bishnupriya Manipuri?

While introducing ourselves as Bishnupriya Manipuri to others, most of us feel proud except some so-called status concerned people and we have lot of reasons to be proud of being Bishnupriya Manipuri.

By Santosh Kumar Singha, Manipal

So, while informing Punjabis, Hindi-speaking people, Kannadians, Tamilians, Telegus, Malyalis and people belonging to other states, about the greatness and faith of our culture, we do it with enthusiasm. But while doing that it is realised that there are some drawbacks in our culture which dilute its greatness. It is expected that our intellectual and community concerned people have to find some solutions and take initiatives in minimising these drawbacks and make our culture spotless as least as possible. Some of these issues are

1. We, bishnupriya manipuri people call ourselves as 'Vaishnavites' who are the devotees of lord Vishnu but the questions comes 'Do we really follow the etiquettes of Vaishnav Dharma and can honestly call ourselves as Vaishnavites?'. We have seen our Bishnupriya Manipuri people wearing 'Tulasi Mala' and 'Lukun' which is a custom to be followed by all Vaishnavites according to the main vaishnav scripture i.e., SRIMAD BHAGAVATAM.

But most of our people do not know about the rules and conditions to be fulfilled while wearing these items as these rules are already mentioned in ‘Srimad Bhagavatam'. It is written in 'Srimad Bhagavatam' that all Vaishnavites should wear Tulasi Mala and Lukun being a Vaishnav (A Lord Krishna Devotee) as it provides us the identity of devotee of Lord Krishna who is known as the lord of the lords i.e., the supreme lord. Moreover the benefits of wearing these items according to 'Srimad Bhagavatam' is that it radiates positive energy always and provides success whatever the devotee does and also when devotee wearing these items will be on death-bed, Yamraj's messenger can not take his soul seeing the items and thus his soul will go to 'Vaikuntha Lok' where Lord Krishna lives. But for wearing and getting the benefits, there are 4 rules which have to strictly followed ….

a) No fish, meat and any flesh items…….even no onion and garlic

b) No illicit sex before marriage

c) No intoxication (tobacco, pan etc.)

d) No gambling

While following our custom, it does not put restrictions on taking fish and fish products (hidol) and thus we Bishnupriya Manipuri people do not fulfill the condition of not taking fish even though we do not allow onion and garlic in our kitchens yet. So, violating the rules of Vaishnav Dharma by taking fish and fish-products, how can we people can proudly call ourselves as Vaishnavites and wear 'Tulasi mala' without following and even not knowing the reasons of wearing those items?

2. How can we call ourselves Vaishnavites as we follow the tribe-culture like 'Aapokpa Homadena' where in doing the puja, it is must to include lived fish and the prasadam i.e. 'Baandara' also includes fish which is completely against Vaishnav dharma.

I welcome all our respected, intellectual and community concerned people to put light on the above issues.

These are some other issues related to our culture and will be discussed very soon.

Jai Bishnupriya Manipuri, Jai Sadhu Baba

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Wednesday, 8 October 2008

How many districts are there in Assam?

Is it 27, 25 or 24? If you are sure of the number of districts in the state of Assam, better have a look at it, again!

Especially at this time, when the whole world is peeping into the crisis through state website and informative websites like Census of Inda and wikipedia, the question holds meaning and significance. Since all these websites are quoting different figures on the number of districts in the state. See below [increase in the volume of search with ‘assam’ as keyword in Google’s search engine in the last 7 days. You could see, there is an increase in the search of the term– assam.

According to wikipedia, number of districts in Assam is 27 viz.

1.Tinsukia, 2. Dibrugarh, 3. Sibsagar, 4. Dhemaji, 5. Jorhat, 6. Lakhimpur, 7. Golaghat, 8. Sonitpur, 9. Karbi Anglong, 10. Nagaon, 11. Marigaon, 12. Darrang, 13. Kamrup Rural, 14. Nalbari, 15. Barpeta, 16. Bongaigaon, 17. Goalpara, 18. Kokrajhar, 19. Dhubri, 20. North Cachar Hills, 21. Cachar, 22. Hailakandi, 23. Karimganj, 24. Kamrup Metropolitan, 25. Baksa, 26. Udalguri, 27. Chirang.

Now, click in Census of India website four districts are missing viz. Kamrup Metropolitan, Baksa, Udalguri, Chirang compared to the previous data [wikipedia].

Now, click on the official website of the Assam Government. You will find two districts are missing – Marigaon and Chirang.

Now, you answer-how many districts are there in Assam? Confused!

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Tuesday, 7 October 2008

Bangladeshi genie is back in Assam


(The photo doesn't relate to this write-up)

Assam is burning. According to media reports pouring in 47 people are dead and tens of thousands are homeless ( in the clashes between indigenous tribesmen and settlers in the Udalguri district of Assam.

Someone tracking the crisis would know how the media were carrying the news. At first it was hiding the name of the two communities. Of late, however it has started resurfacing the names of the communities: migrated Bangladeshi muslims and Bodo.

The situation in the Udalguri district, as well as in the neighbouring Chirang district, has exacerbated to such an extent that police “in the north-eastern Indian state of Assam are using helicopters to spot rioting mobs”.

Residents of the state of Assam, like this minority-community Bishnupriya Manipuri which has its existence in the Cachar, Hailakandi and Karimganj districts of the state, and in the neighboruing state Tripura, know how serious the situation is.

Assam like its neighbouring states is consists of many tribal communities living peacefully since centuries. However, the early 70’s saw influx of Bangladeshi muslims in the state, consequently it has changed significantly the demography of the tea state. The exodus of Bangladeshi muslim, no doubt has cast economical, social and political impact on the state. The tension between Bangladeshi settlers and the origins were simmering and the recent incident is an example of the people’s anger towards the settlers.

Here, it is pertinent to mention that in the districts (Cachar, Hailakandi and Karimganj) and the state (Tripura) where the Bishnupriya Manipuri community like other communities Bengalis, Kacharis, Barmans, Boros (many are not mentioned) are in large numbers, though in minority, there exist a sizable population of Bangladeshi immigrant muslims. In the context that the riot is sweeping fast in the districts, these districts must be kept safe and efforts must be carried out to dodge the fire. If not, then the whole Assam will be in fire.

Readers not acquainted with the state of affair in the north eastern state of India should know that the present turmoil is due to influx of Bangladeshi people (read muslims) from the neighboring country Bangladesh; political patronage they got in the state with voting rights; now defunct IMDT Act favouring them.

Early 80’s saw mass agitation of the people to the issue; ending up with the signing of the Assam Accord between the Government of India and the leaders of the Assam Agitation in New Delhi on August 15, 1985, which sat time limit to identify “foreigners who came to Assam on or after March 25, 1971 shall continue to be detected, deleted and practical steps shall be taken to expel such foreigners”.

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History of Bishnupriya Manipuri one must know

By Santosh Kumar Singha, Manipal

The Bishnupriyas are also a branch of Manipuri people.However, the Meiteis object the Bishnupriyas' claim to calling themselves as Manipuris. A great debate had been raging on the subject. No final decision has been arrived at. The Manipuris ( Meiteis ) base their arguments on linguistic and anthropology and theoretically speaking, they have many valid reasons to establish their view points. But the Bishnupriyas argumentation rests on culture and the contribution of Bishnupriyas' in propagating the Manipuri culture is significant to boot.

Rajarshi Bhagyachandra who is reported to have married a maiden of this community, thereby leading to birth of his son who later on became to be known as Kalaraja. The Rajkumar families in Ningthoukhong trace their origin to kalaraja. In due course of time, the community left Manipur in large numbers during the time of mass evacuation into Cachar, tripura and sylhet during Manipur-Burma wars in the first phase of eighteenth century. The descendents of Kalaraja stuck on to the motherland along with some of their relatives. The have now been completely absorved in the Manipuri community leaving no trace of any distinction whatsoever. The population which left manipur in the exodus towards the West also included manipur Muslims and the community now known as the Bishnupriyas. In Cachar, Tripura and Sylhet the Bishnupriyas also got settles more or less on the neighbourhood of the Manipuris. Till recently the Bishnupriyas sincerely struggled to get into the mainstream of Manipuri culture and language. A total absorption of this community into the Manipuri fold would have been possible except for the extreme orthodoxy of the Manupuris outside Manipur in this regard. The social process in Manipur has worked in a much more liberal and catholic outlook than in Cachar and Tripura. The total absence of this problem in Manipur, the mainland, is an eloquent explanation of this contention.

Rightly or wrongly the process of absorption in the said areas was too slow in view of the onslaught of other socio-economic factors in the states of Assam and Tripura.

Tombi Singh, however decries the Bishnupriyas' claim as bonafide Manipuris and their dilect as Manipuri language. The most pertinent point in this connection need clarification that during the period of survey (1765-1873) this contentious issue of Meitei Bishnupriya controversy was totally known and the issue had cropped up recently.

Like the Manipuris the Bishnupriyas also constitute an ethnic minority in Barak Valley. However, their number is less than the meiteis. The Patharkandi area of karimganj district a large number of them live. In the contiguous Tripura areas they are a significant minority. They have been living there since the days of krishna Kishore Manikya.

The Bishnupriyas are very close linguistically to the Bengalis or Assamese but they follow the Manipuri culture. They are also Vaishnavites and their music and dances follow the same pattern of the Meiteis.

Reference: From the book ' A Socio Economic History of South Assam' by renowned writer Suhas Chatterjee who has written a number of books on the history of Assam. This particular book is adapted from the Final Report of the ICSSR, Senior fellowship project, A SOCIO ECONOMIC HISTORY OF BARAK VALLEY (1765-1873). The author acknowledges with thanks publication assistance which he has received from the INDIAN COUNCIL OF SOCIAL SCIENCE RESEARCH (Ministry of Human Resource Development), New Delhi and the author further extends his gratitude to Dr.G.N Rao, the consultant, ICSSR, New Delhi.

Sunday, 5 October 2008

Can we call medicine a noble profession?

By Rebati Mohan Sinha, Mumbai

These days, whenever we look at the newspapers there are cases of negligence on the part of doctors, leading to patients` death; but the episode which I am going to tell is quite different, as it narrates about the greed of a doctor who treated my wife in a hospital.

My wife has been suffering from arthritis and she was to be admitted in a nursing home for an operation on both knees. When the formalities were about to be completed I had noticed, there were some discrepancies in bed and O.T. charges. On query, no one could clarify my doubt then I said good bye and left the nursing home. I explained and asked my (Dr) daughter at Australia about the next course of action, on which she suggested to take 2nd opinion of an another (orthopedic) doctor. A doctor of my ex. company referred my wife to an empanelled hospital near my residence. The first two-three visits the doctor did not charge anything as he came to know from my company’s doctor that he was treating a doctor’s mother.

Now the real story started. After an year’s treatment my wife was not getting any relief, the pain on both the knees, was unbearable for which the doctor suggested her to go for 05 imported steroid injections which would be costing Rs.25000/-including Rs.5000/- as hospital charges.

The first injection was administered in operation theatre with anesthesia. And it was our good luck that the rest of 04 injections were given in casualty room where I could see the doctor himself carrying the injection in a cover written in Hindi, suddenly it stroke in my mind, how come a imported injection(as doctor said) having Hindi name. I was quite vigilant and succeeded in collecting of two empty injection covers for future use as an exhibit. Those injections were manufactured and marketed by a firm at Hyderabad. This matter was reported to my son in law at Australia to take up the issue with the hospital authority as the owner of the hospital is a good friend of him. He knew the hospital medicine staff and found out from them that the injections were procured at the instance of the doctor and he would collect on the day of patients visit for injection. The cost of each injection was Rs.1500/-,not Rs. 4000/-as told by the doctor earlier. Some how the doctor came to know that I have gathered all information, since then he never looked at me at the time of payment on each occasion. Often I asked the amount at the time of payment and he kept on saying Rs.5000/-.On the day of 5th injection I demanded for the bill with proper break up which he did so; but the injections cost was written as Rs.7500/-.

The remaining amount (Rs.12000 and odd) he has shown as his charges for administering the injections which was quite exorbitant. Only one thing I reminded him was of breach of trust which he had made.

We returned home and talked to my younger daughter telephonically at Kolkata. She got annoyed and asked me to meet one of her friends, a reporter of Times, to publish the matter. If need be it would be done, I said; but let me meet the authorities first. The next day, I went and met company doctor to arrange for a meeting with the concerned director, which he did and accordingly meeting was held and I apprised him(director) of misdeeds done by the doctor and also handed over a written complain to him. He listened to me patiently and assured that proper action would be taken in due course of time. I shook hands and said bye. This matter was discussed among our colleagues at various forums; but as usual they never encouraged me, saying, nothing would happen. My inner heart was not agreeing to what they said. And today the authorities talked to me telephonically about the action taken report i.e., punishment awarded to the doctor: refund of money to patient, not attending OPD in hospital.

Is it not a good message to propagate among the masses? or share with everybody?
Now, after coming to know the whole story, can we call the medical a noble profession? It is up to you to judge.

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Saturday, 4 October 2008

No identity. No existence

By Henryy Sinha, New Delhi
I do not want my house to be walled in on all sides and my windows to be stuffed. I want the culture of all the lands to be blown about my house as freely as possible. But I refuse to be blown off my feet by any”.
By Mahatma Gandhi.

Surely we all must have seen this quote, read this quote, understood this quote and appreciated this quote. I have been doing that for the last thirty summers. Especially the last line.
I repeat, “But I refuse to be blown off my feet by any”. What a line! What fascinating yet harmless arrogance. Resonates spine, gut and self respect.

Couple of nights back while browsing the blog two things arrested my restless eyes. First, the name Pocha Heedol, then an insight, a shameful insight. He writes lots of Bishnupriya Manipuri people using the Assamese gamosa across numerous occasions.

Shameful fact that Pocha Heedol is true in his observation and his concern is of deep import. Pardon my words. Pardon them as they are born more out of concern than anger. May I request your eyes on the words below?

A decade back, there was this procession by the Nikhil Bishnupriya Manipuri Students Union in Silchar. Occasion - ‘Bhasha Andolan’. Number of people – around 600-700. Cause – Our language. Idea – Our identity.

In a nutshell it was a ‘Bishnupriya Manipuri’ procession. Read this. This Bishnupriya Manipuri leader designated as a Bishnupriya Manipuri President was leading the Bishnupriya Manipuri people wearing an Assamese gamosa around his responsible Bishnupriya Manipuri head. A head which represents a community. A head that plans the walk ahead for the community. RAPE. Yes it is. Damn. It is a social procession. Damn. It is a political procession. Get a life man. Where has your sense of identity evaporated? Where has your common sense vanished?

It is outright blasphemy. How can we and why do we sit quietly like innocent lambs when someone, and someone responsible, in front of our bare eyes strips our identity in broad daylight. My issue is not that he wore the Assamese gamosa. It’s a beautiful piece of art in itself. My issue is his wearing it on such a vital occasion, when you are supposed to establish your identity through certain symbols.

Gandhiji used khadi as a weapon to constantly hammer his identity and his stance into the British establishment. Khadi was more than a piece of cloth. It was a visual philosophy. A potent visual weapon.

In these days of branding, brand clutter, visual clutter it is of grave importance from a commodity to a community to differentiate itself. The idea here is NOT to isolate yourself from others, but retain your identity, retain your being while being with others, forming a secular mosaic.

If you have been to any Khechuri Palis these days in Delhi or Silchar or Guwahati or Shillong or Patherkandi you would discover people well in their forties or fifties wearing the Assamese gamosa. Rather proudly flashing it off.

I do appreciate their sense of fashion, but mate this ain’t the right place. There is no democracy here. Pardon my rambling, not trying to be a thick head Taliban, but given our state of affairs, caution, thought and more responsibility is the need of this sick hour.

Sample this man. I met him in Silchar. He had two kids. I felt sorry for those little souls. It’s abuse. The way they spoke to me in Sylheti with a strong Bishnupriya Manipuri accent was funny as well as tragic. Reason – Konaketo bideshe dangor osi ta nai! Bidesh? What the hell?It’s Silchar my lord!!! 80 km from Patherkandi, around 70 km from Dulobsora and 20 km from Katakhal !!!

I have spent 24 years of my life in Silchar, around Bengali friends, Bengali culture. But I ‘UNFORTUNATELY’ can speak in Bengali fluently WITHOUT a GODDAMN accent.

Unfortunately I can ALSO speak to Bishnupriya Manipuris in BISHNUPRIYA MANIPURI. Have I taken extra HIDOL? I doubt so. Even if I did, don’t think that’s the sole reason for picking up my mother tongue.

Guwahati, 2002. Relatives. Friends. Foes. Many an irritating time I was cursed to hear this idiotic, shameful one liner. Ei bur Monipuri, Sonipuri moi najanude. Ei bur somaj tomajor pora moi durot thaku.

Are you Adam, Eve or Adonis? Surely not. I have seen you somewhere in Borkolei. I have seen you at Baromuni. I have seen you at Masughat. I have seen you at Fethipat. I have seen you at the footpath chewing a goddamn paan or dumping khaini into your holy pout.

Who the hell are you jiving this debris? Is the Bishnupriya Manipuri language so difficult that it freezes your tongue every time you try to utter a disgraceful word from its non existent dictionary?

Delhi, 2008. Khechuri Pali. A Bishnupriya Manipuri man well beyond his forties. Shamelessly dancing around with a microphone like a headless chicken in extremely British clothes, stinking of bidis. In a trance of course. No namsha, screw the feichom. He came to the "Pali". Did a joydeb like a runaway convict. Had some food. Not some. Lots! His will be done. Always will be done. Amen!

I understand there are people staying extremely far away from India may not be fluent or conversant with the language or its culture.

But if you stay in a Delhi or a Guwahati or a Silchar or a Shillong and you do not speak your language, do not try to speak your language, do not regret to be unable to speak your language, in fact you are proud not to be able to speak your language, in one word you are a philosophy. Not a philosopher but a philosophy. I do not however do not have the luxury to belong to your school of philosophy. I refuse to be.

I am not against wearing the Assamese Gamosa. Not against speaking in Hindi, Bengali or Assamese or Portugese. Not against wearing bikinis, tattoos, studs or a Versace. But honestly, step treating your culture, your language, your customs is definitely not progressive. The Emar Thar, our gamcha, the firal, feichom, namsha, lei chondon, koyot, are symbols that interpret the fact that we are Bishnupriya Manipuris. The moment we cremate them, that too with our own hands, we would be on the street, as stripped orphans. With no identity. With no existence.

Respect the Assamese gamosa but don’t use your own gamsa just to wipe your feet after a hard day’s work. Sing shader lau or November Rain but know who is Kala Shena.

Brickbats awaited. Expected.
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Mumbai jottings


BY Rebati Mohan Sinha, Mumbai

Like every year, this time around Durga puja is knocking at the doors of Mumbai city. In fact, it is a matter of days away from now. Although we are yet to see the cotton like autumn clouds above the city’s sky but of the rainy cloud which is still covering the entire Mumbai horizon, it is expected it will not recede in next forty eight hours.

Bishnupriya Manipuri/ Bengali Mumbaikar are getting ready for the year’s best celebration of Durga Puja. About a decade ago the Mumbai’s puja was celebrated in a humble way with three day’s of khichuree bhog. Now like Kolkata, the clubs and Associations of Mumbai are gearing up with decoration of puja mandops along with height-increase in Pratima`s kathama, year after year. And at the same time there is a trend now that clubs bring famous artists from Kolkata for crowd pulling.

The women folks are not lagging behind and they are thinking of buying matching sarees, like Tusor silk, Benarosi silk, and taater saree with ornaments, from vendors loitering at their door steps. They are from West Bengal. One thing I could see that these vendors have eagle-eye to locate a Bengali house easily where a postman can’t. Here in Mumbai children cannot enjoy the puja because they have unit exams during this period, still then Bengali/Bishnupriya Manipuri Mumbaikars are observing the puja with great fanfare.

They are least bothered about the terrorist attack, even the natural calamity shied away from these devotees. The energy level this time is quite high and they can even overcome any obstacle. Is it not a good thing that such energy is utilized for the welfare of society at large? Why should we spend such a huge amount of money for only five days? I know people will not agree. Then we could do one thing that there should not be any competition while spending money for entire celebration. We hear every year that so and so club’s budget is in crores and the height of the idol ….(has been increased).

Let us celebrate non competitive Durgutsav. Pray to maa Durge, She will bestow on us the good health and wealth. Happy Durga Puja to all.

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A revolutionary feature has been added in the ever-expanding world of internet. Publishers (here the blog: The Bishnupriya Manipuri) can send its article alert to its subscribers’ mobile, absolutely FREE. Thanks to Google India.

To avail this feature, click here to subscribe to the blog.

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Geography of the subscriber doesn’t come in place to have relationship with this blog. Whether you are in Tripura, Silchar (Assam), remote village in Manipur and Assam, or in metro cities like Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai, Chennai or in any techno cities like Bangalore and Hyderabad. You will not be missing any update from this blog.

After you have clicked on the above link, and submitted your mobile phone (don’t worry according to Google policy, I will not be having your mobile number). You will receive a verification code. Fill in the verification code onto the new window. Wait for a minute. You will receive the confirmation of your subscription to this blog.

It is simple and powerful. Imagine: you can receive real time update if there is any bandh, landslide, killing - probabilities are many.

So, click on the link and be the part of the blog.

However, this service is available to all publishers. Biggie wiggie media giants of India like The Hindu, Aaj Tak, Hindustan Times, and lot many are joining the bandwagon. And this blog has become the part of it.

There is another mode to avail this feature. Especially for those, who can’t access internet facility. India is a big country. After all!

They have to do this: Type in your mobile message box [exactly]

ON bishnupriyamanipuri

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The Grand Festival – Durga Puja


By BN Sinha, Kolkata

Among the many festivals we observe, there is always a controversy or difference of opinion which is the major festival observed by us or our community, may be Shree Krishna Janmastami , Raas Utsav or Rath Yatra , it is rather very easy to confess that the most celebrated festival in Bishnupriya Manipuri community is Durga Puja. Reason may be any or many; the fact is that Durga puja always witness us to visit our native place, as often it becomes the official visit to home for the people who are out of their native places. While acknowledging every individuals wish list I must add another that holds good every year when most of us declare " Ebosor te pujat gore jitouga" ( I will go home puja this year).

As I belong to the city Silchar, Assam, I have always witnessed Durga puja as the most celebrated among all the Hindu festivals. Puja always meant homecoming. In the childhood days we used to anxiously wait for the autumn to arrive that we may receive the compulsory annual gift from parents precisely known as "pujar footi". As a child it was always waiting patiently for the presets to arrive. A new set of cloths somehow signified the arrival of Goddess into our life and pandals. In the teen days, puja was more about fun. No studies and most importantly four new dresses for the four days. The best to be kept for the Astami, the evening were engaged in eating out and pandal hopping to each and every corner of the city.

From the very childhood I have seen that Puja starts with Birendra Krishna Bhadra's immoral chandipath at four in the morning on Mahalaya. And it was spectacular to see that thousands of people irrespective of ages come out on the streets in the wee hours in the morning and the street witness a packed crowd. It is probably the unique way for the Silcharites to welcome Ma Durga which we generally don't see in any part of the world.

It was always believed that the best pujas are only in Kolkata. For me, I have been to Kolkata only twice during Puja. First time in 1996, that year I was totally overwhelmed by the crowds everywhere to the extent that I even felt slightly scared despite being with friends. This year I am again in Kolkata in pre-puja days and will celebrate till Astami as I am scheduled to go to Silchar, Assam on Navami to celebrate half of the puja days with parents.

The pre-puja days atmosphere in Kolkata is incredibly awesome and the jubilant. The mood of euphoria among the people is just cannot be expressed in words. It is a human flood in the markets and in the streets.

There have always been two sides of Durga puja , the economical and conventional. The two stands interlaced, now working in tandem now bumping. And keeping with changes in the nature of festivities, the idea of homecoming during Puja seldom remains inert, motionless. Rather it evolves and transforms itself.

This year Puja in my village reaches its twentieth year and consequently the budget for Puja also reached all time high till now. Thus it is definitely a must to go home in my village for Puja celebration this year……..

A very Happy Durga Puja to all.

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Friday, 3 October 2008

Don't do so. Please

Every time I call you up, I find your mobile either 'busy', or 'you don't pick up'. What is happening? You don't want to talk to me... This is my last call. Thanks!

Take another case: Hey!!! Why you logged out in the midst of chatting that day? Yesterday, I buzzed you seeing you online, but there was no response from your side!

Such instances, with the increase of mobile and internet usage, have become very common and have eaten up our peaceful life. Isn't it! We all are bombarded with such interactions. At last, tired of listening/ reading such scripts you ponder and exasperate "What was my fault?" "Why I have to face all these?"

Unfortunately, these simple looking conversations are not as simple and straight as it seems. Hard decisions are being taken taking these tools as proof of acts.

The question is: Are mobile telephony and internet becoming the basis of your decision? Please, don't come to a conclusion (read decisions) taking these digital tools as proof. Relationship-formal, informal - are very fragile. Handle with care!

An individual carry a universe of seamless probabilities - why he or she is not conforming to your demands? There are n numbers of probabilities grinding in the person's life with whom you want to talk or chat.

Understand that he or she may not be in that position to reply your request. Understand that you are just knocking into someone's personal /private life, of course taking these tools. Understand that the mobile or chat window is NOT human. It can't permeate into one's life.

So next time, don't conclude or decide anything under the sun serious or trivial it may be sitting on these tools.

Not enough, you will find people when you call them up at your expense they wore a complaining face and starts complaining you, saying "You have almost forgotten me/ don't seem to remember me/ least you can call na....and blah blah..." [You know that they have never cared to call you, but they complain.]

If you happen to harbour this habit: the complaining nature. Don't do so. Please.

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Thursday, 2 October 2008

The capital of Bishnupriya Manipuri

By BN Sinha, Kolkata

We all know that the Bishnupriya Manipuri community is spread mostly in the northeastern part of India especially in Barak and Kushiyara valley of Cachar and Karimgunj districts, in Assam and places in Tripura apart from few places in Bangladesh. Among all the places in Barak Valley, especially Silchar is the place which is most significant.

Silchar can be termed as the hub for all the Bishnupriya Manipuri think tanks, may it be the Bhasha Andolan or any other Brishnupriya Manipuri social renaissance or convention like Mahamel, Silchar has definitely witnessed the most. It is a fact that more that 90 per cent of Bishnupriya Manipuri population live in villages. There are many villages in the Cachar region which has its significance and vital role in all the socio political activities, namely Bhakatpur, Singari, Chengcoorie in Meherpur region and Santipur, Bekirpar, Katakhal in Sonai region and also villages like Bihara, Mohanpur etc in Kalain region are few among prominents.

However, it is a fact that many Bishnupriya Manipuri legend has emerged from these villages as we know Shree Shree Bhubaneswar Sadhuthakur from the Bikrampur region. Villages in Meherpur region always begged the places of most importance among Bishnupriya Manipuri territories, especially in the post independence era. However, when our identity crisis movement and language struggle got the momentum, Bhakatpur emerged as the socio political hub or capital of the Bishnupriya Manipuri community as a whole.

Bhakatpur is the place where all the strategic summit and discussion used to take place as most of the then community leaders belonged to Bhakatpur, consequently it became the starting point of all the rallies, dharnas, and other activities as there was also an advantage that it was the closest to Silchar city. Many Bishnupriya Manipuri who is who were from Bhakatpur, take music and dance and leaders of our social organizations like NBMM( Nikhil Bisnupriya Manipuri Mahasabha), NBMSU( Studens Union), BMSS( Bishnupriya Manipuri Sahitya Sabha) etc. they have their roots to the land.

Few legends who has immense contributed to enrich our culture are Sh Amusena Sinha, Sh Kunjolal Sinha, Pt. Matilal Sinha, Sh Meenu Sinha, Sh Suronath Sinha. May be the first Bishnupriya Manipuri drama company in pre independence era or the evergreen Bishnupriya Manipuri compositions like Janan Janame More Diya Petheis Hunar Manipure" , " Lakatake Kader", O mor konak beibuni", " Aar More Ti Ningshing Naais" all these were created in this village. There are other social leaders who has colossally contributed in our language movement, few names are Sh Jagat Mohan Sinha. Sh Mani Kanta Sinha, Sh Manoranjan Sinha.

There are many professionals and educationist from Bhakatpur spread across India who are making their presence felt and doing significantly well in their respective fields of activities. Despite, the ratio has definitely plummeted after late ninties and gradually the focus sifted to another urban Bishnupriya Manipuri village which has off late emerged as the place for most of the present Bishnupriya Manipuri who is who and interestingly that is again Bhakatpur, no not the old one but it is termed as the New Bhakatpur off the Chencoorie Road.

I too belong to the old Bhakatpur village where in I am grown up and if I look to analyze the present village scenario I feel poignant, nevertheless I get relieved that the name Bhakatpur is yet not diminished as the legacy has been taken forward by New Bhakatpur.And I m quite happy to see that… Proud to be a Bhakatpurian , proud to b a Bishnupriya Manipuri.

Wednesday, 1 October 2008

Redesign our khuttei

Every community has its own culture and traditional dress.

In our case, we do have distinctive traditional dresses for our woman folk whereas there is no such unique dress for our Bishnupriya Manipuri men. We normally use khuttei for routine day to day work and pheisom (dhoti)-panjabi for special occasions.

Off late, I have been observing that we are using Assamese Phulan Gamosa around our neck instead of our khuttei. It may be due to the evolution of the Assamese gamosa as a latest fashion statement in Assam. One can find the use of gamosa everywhere--in the dashboard and rear view mirror of car and buses to the head of rickshaw puller on the streets.

In fact, most of the tribes (Bodo, Karbi, Lalung, Rabha, etc.) of Assam have their own distinctive style of gamosa/khuttei for festive occasions. We also do have our own khuttei. But as far as I know, there is no special (short length) khuttei for social gathering or utsav.

In this context, I would like to draw the attention of our weavers to redesign our Khuttei ( to a colorful one instead of the regular checked khuttei) so as to give a distinctive identity to our Bishnupriya Manipuri men.

Pocha Heedol
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