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November 26-celebration of birth anniversary of Geetiswami Gokulananda

Within a month of Sri Sri Bhubaneswar Sadhu Thakur`s janma mahutsav, on last 30th October, Bhishnupriya Manipuris are again getting ready with another janma utsav of late Gokulananda Geetiswami, on 26thNovember 2008 in Assam, Tripura and Bangladesh.



By Rebati Mohan Sinha, Mumbai


He was born in year 1886, on 26th November in a village called Madhavpur of Bhanugachh in Bhanubil, Bangladesh. He studied up to class 8th standard and could not continue further due to domestic problems; his desire of learning always remained with him for which he was able to set up a primary school at village Ratachhera inTripura after shifting of his residence from Bhanubil in 1925.

Geetiswami Gokulananda was known as a menestral entertainer (bhramyaman gayak);but he was a social reformer, a dramatist, a poet ,a minstrel. His life bears a testimony to all these qualities. He always thought of upliftment of backwardness of his community. Those days there were primary schools in nearby villages; but Bishnupriya Manipuri students were never sent in those schools for fear of loosing their sanctity, once they sat along with non Bishnupriya Manipuris. Our boys went to gurukuls for learning of devotional songs (Ishalpa-Dohar),mridong badan, gold smithy and Sanskrit at tol(school). Such was the trend prevailing in those days. Gokulananda foresaw that without the proper education no society can progress, so he decided to propagate his feeling through his poems and songs ie he set tunes in such a way on his own lyrics and went on singing from village to village, that people there would deeply moved and listened him quietly.

“Ruhi britti moutup koria dhoria thoile nakortoi,
Sotyo treta ruhi haanou koliyuge na choltoi.
Kale kale kalor kotha na hunani nakorer,
Jwigoi bon haan puria aanle kachai mojai nathorer.

It is like…’if we continue follow the age old custom blindly, it will lead us nowhere and the custom of Sotya and Treta yug also will not hold good in koliyug.’ ‘Never defy in gradual change of time, wild fire does not leave anything in the forest whether it is dry or wet.

During his time our Podo kirtonis sang in traditional Brojobuli language, where as Gokulananda started singing kirton in our language utilizing his talent in propagating his ideas to Bishnupriya Manipuri masses. He became so popular among masses with his kind appeal, the young and olds listened to him in spell bound condition. Because of all these qualities Nikhil Bishnupriya Manipuri Mahasabha in its 1935 session conferred on him the title “Geetiswami.”

He had a great respect for women folk for which he always believed in their dress code while they go in public places. Whenever he saw women being criticized in village market he became very upset ,so he persuaded them not to go for marketing. He wrote for them…..
“Jela eta ki bostuhaan haarnapeitarata, Deshey pondit neita?”
It can be put in this way…..’people do not know of what women substance is, Isn`t there any literate around to know them?’ It means, people never used to give due respect to women folk. He wrote for the women the following lines…

Yuge yuge cheita jelai jingesita
Shoktite Bhobani bidyai Binapani
Dhairiate Dhoroni Bhoktite Brojo gopini
Auter ongsho kala oiya paahurlai nijor shokti
He had written for the people, those were suffering from the complexes i.e. ego.
Nijor ghore nije raja,
Miaange dadee bulani.

The meaning…You think, you are a king at home, and when you are out, people call you dadee. Dadi is a derogatory word used for addressing a lower caste person.
In another poem he exhorted our Bishnupriya Manipuri community to awake and see how far are we behind others. He wrote…
Oggyan aadharorma ghumitai koti,
Utho aaji haabihan jwoleya chei gnyanon bati.

The meaning….How long you remain asleep in the darkness of ignorance, get up and see with light of knowledge. He wrote for ima Bishnupriya…..

Ima ima tor mohima
Kita mattu sougo me
Imar sneho sindhu khudro eka bindu
Hujaanir kaaje bulia,
Deshe deshe giya imar gun gaan geya
Pagolgor sade bulouri.

He was an one-man Army of social reformer, propagating his revolutionary ideas, but most people misunderstood him for whom he wandered from one village to another, singing those songs. Later he was very much disgusted and wrote …..

Kaar kaaje kadourita
Akgoyou haar napeila
Hobaar kaaje maattegate
Aarak ahan ningkorla

Not a single soul understands me for whom I am crying, when I say for their good, they feel otherway. Later he became an elected representative of communist party in 1950 in the then Territorial of Tripura. The great son of mother Bishnupriya died in year 1962 July 10.We have not forgotten his great services rendered to the society.

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Comments

  1. Rebotidarangto hoba article ahaan deklang.
    kotha akchuti miss oil pauri aamarta epei.
    Geetoswami girok ugoi gore myang ba khai thar ehaan no totoranirka maanure jagasilgo.Kya bulete shomoy ahaannat amar eta te gore huda myang thar dila go.

    teinta teinta, teinta khita deinta...

    ReplyDelete
  2. Konake dekhlangta,moore koyot badhiya bujone pothey aatla,dugoi
    munga mungi oiley agorey agoi homa diya'kuum kuum paley'bulla;kintu ghorete aamar thare totortarago.
    Baro kolashororta Agortolat chaakri korla utai myang thaar totorla, utare giroke nishana
    koresilta,tobe Silchorotao ousomoit
    bangla totorla.
    Rajar gang baro maadoi gangortao nao ikoresu.Onek kisu ikorani yakorer.

    ReplyDelete
  3. hai hai uhaani ikorle nyaam hoba oitoi dada...amaar jaatorka ere gore myaang thar ehan totorani ehan dangor problem ahaan..

    ReplyDelete
  4. obai itao! Girok

    is one of the destructive force in this world!....

    how it is possible to add each and every detail in one article...

    ReplyDelete
  5. Girokgo dont babble for the sake of totoraani!!

    Mi tore ikoranika namatesu.Haante ti 'Kyunki saas bhi kabhi bahu thi' uhaan cheiya thaak baba, manur dukho haarpa haarpa.Ti ikortei thang, ti omatik hinpartate.
    Na ti myang thar dorgo gore?
    Gore myang thar nadani uhaan was one of the most important teachings or rather awareness cues of Geetaswami and this teaching is very relevant today.

    Teinta teinta...

    ReplyDelete

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