Friday, 3 June 2011

Indologist Dr KP Sinha no more

Courtesy: The Sentinel 
By our Staff Reporter

GUWAHATI, June 2: Dr Kali Prasad Sinha, a septuagenarian Indologist who had over 60 books, including a Bishnupriya Manipuri-English dictionary that is in the press, to his credit, breathed his last at his East Kachudharam residence on the outskirts of Silchar town today. Dr Sinha was the all-time great scholar in the Bishnupriya Manipuri community and one of the front runners in his field in the country. The 76-year-old brahmachari (bachelor) had stints as a professor of Sankrit in Gauhati University, Tripura University and Assam University.

He was the first and foremost Bishnupriya Manipuri to have been awarded Ph.D and D. Lit degrees. His research paper “A Study on Bishnupriya Manipuri Language” brought him the Doctor of Philosophy degree from Jadavpur University in 1968. His research work on “Absolute in Indian Philosophy” brought him D. Lit degree from Burdwan University, Calcutta, in 1983. He then joined Gauhati University as a Sanskrit lecturer, and then joined Tripura University as a Professor. From Tripura University he had joined Assam University at Silchar as the Head of the Department of Sanskrit. He took retirement from Assam University.

Some of his remarkable works in Bishnupriya Manipuri language and literature are the Bishnupriya Manipuri Dictionary now in the press for publication, the Bishnupriya Manipuri grammar and An Etymological Dictionary of Bishnupriya Manipuri. An alumnus of GC College, Silchar, Yadavpur University, Calcutta and Bardwan University, Calcutta, Dr Sinha has 21 books on Indian philosophy alone. He has also translated the full Rasaleela songs into Bishnupriya Manipuri which was only in Bengali and Brajabuli versions earlier. Apart from these, he has nine Assamese books, all on Indian philosophy. Besides Bishnupriya Manipuri books, he had also many Assamese and Sanskrit books. In 1994, his statements and research works that were submitted to the Assam Backward Class Commission played a significant role in the recognition of Bishnurpiya Manipuri nomenclature and inclusion of the community in the OBC list for which the community had to fight a long legal battle that went up to the apex court.

He leaves behind three brothers, including noted litterateur Shyamakanta Sinha, a daughter (manash kanya), a sister, sister in-laws and nephews. In his interview with The Sentinel Sunday magazine Melange, Dr KP Sinha went on record saying that he failed to write anything about his spiritual guru, Maipak Sadhu, a BA and BT passed sadhu who lived a spiritually enlightened life at the sleepy village, Kachudharam, on the outskirts of Silchar town in south Assam.

Dr Smriti K Sinha, professor and dean of Tezpur University, condoled the death of Dr Sinha. He said that Dr Sinha had laid the foundation of research work in Bishnupriya Manipuri community, and the void created by his death would be difficult to fill.

Further reading:

An interview with Dr KP Sinha by Ramlal Sinha
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