Monday, 15 November 2010

Let Geetiswami's Teaching Drives the Development Council

(an offering to Gokulananda Geetiswami on his 114th birth anniversary)
By Rebati Mohan Sinha
As social beings, these are moments for us to celebrate and in celebrating such anniversary we have not only carried on tradition; but also found out a way to commit ourselves to a cause. Gokulananda Geetiswami spent his entire life in propagating the  message of  Bishnupriya Manipuri community`s well-being through his writings, composing songs and dramas, where he even acted himself. He was a wandering minstrel. He saw the future through his mind`s eye. His vision will  continue to inspire us to reach the coveted milestone. Today, on his 114th birth anniversary, let us pledge to make ourselves much bigger focused and better diversified, conglomerate with the help of  Bishnupriya Manipuri Development Council that community can be proud of.
Recent years, we have seen that the over all rural development in the country is very negligible, specially in Assam. Therefore, the Govt. of Assam, under the Constitution of India, declared decentralization of power by granting Backward Community and Tribe, Autonomous/Development Councils, starting with the creation of Boroland Territorial Council in 1993, Raba Hasong, Mishing, Tiwa Council in 1995, Deur, Sonowal Kachari, Thengal Kachari Autonomous Councils in 2005. However a lone autonomous council Karbianglong, the largest hill district of Assam was given autonomy long back.
On last 25th March 2010, there was an announcement in the floor of the house that the Govt. of Assam has agreed on principle to form separate social, economic Development Councils and one of these are BM Development Council. We must be very much cleared in our minds that Economic Development must be aimed at multiplying in effect the form of cumulating, addition to income, employment, capital formation technical know-how, optimum utilization of resources etc. but not merely depending on Govt. grants.
The state Govt. would provide an amount, to be decided every year on population ratio basis, as grant in aid in installments to the BM DC for executing development works. In addition, the council will be paid suitable amount of plan and non-plan funds to cover the office expenses and salaries of staff if working under council`s control. BM DC authority shall prepare a plan with the amount likely to be available for development work, both under state and central share, covering any or all activities of the departments under their control. Govt of Assam will provide necessary one time financial assistance for development of administrative infrastructure in the newly created Headquarters.

The state Government of Assam vide Gazette notification No. TAD/BC/63/2010/9dated 2nd July, has notified the council as BM DC and which will be consisting of satellite areas of village councils, constituted with people living there. The constitution/act/modalities to run the council has to be formulated by a ministerial committee in consultation with stake holders ie .representatives of various registered BM organizations like NBMM, Sahitya Sabha and Samaj Sanstha etc. The Govt. will by an order published in the official Gazette, determine the territorial limit of the constitution into  which the village area or the council area shall be determined for the purpose of holding election of the council of members.

The Govt.of Assam will provide funds and other resources to the council in  accordance with  the appropriate formula, to be worked out, keeping in mind the resources of Govt. priorities on development works in other areas. Fund allocation will be a political tug of war in near future for our BMDC.

It is no doubt that the Mahasabha played a critical role in making this happen. And it is nice to be part of an effort that has transformed images across the Bishnupriya Manipuri society. I feel a sense of happiness and joy, a sense of pride and gratefulness that we have been able to achieve what we been longing for. Like any proud member of Mahasabha (NBMM), I am filled with pride that our great community is getting ready to work for the Development Council which is symbolic of our community`s honour.

Bishnupriya Manipuri is a society of immensely constructive, progressive and cultured people with rich heritage and the recent declaration of BM DC has drawn state wide admiration. As such, the whole state today looks upon us with respect and hope. And at the same time we should have desire to work for the well-being of the society. A burning desire is the starting point of all accomplishment. Just like a small fire can not give more heat, a weak desire can not produce great result.
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