Tuesday, 2 August 2011

Mahasabha's role in the formation of Bishnupriya Manipuri Development Council

Role of the Mahasabha in the Formation of the Bishnupriya Manipuri Development Council
(Documentary)
Part I
Uday sinha
Secretary General
NBMM

A brief history of the community

Bishnupriya Manipuris a linguistic minority community are mostly living in large section of rural areas in Assam and Tripura. The Bishnupriya Manipuris trace their ancestry to the Aryans, who flocked to Manipur in hordes in pre historic time and stretched even to adjoining Myanmar. Most of them left Manipur during the period of religious and political upheaval in the state of Manipur in early 18th centuries. Apart from Barak Valley of southern Assam and North Tripura, the Bishnupriya Manipuri now settle in Sylhet district of Bangladesh and different parts of India and abroad.

Agriculture is the mainstay of their livelihood. Women weave fine and rough cloth of various designs and take part in agriculture. The community’s mother tongue is Bishnupriya Manipuri.

The Nikhil Bishnupriya Manipuri Mahasabha (A Brief History of Mahsabha 1932-2009) is the socio-cultural body of the community, its head Quarter being at Silchar. Since its inception in 1932 it has mobilized its resources for the development of the community & since early sixties the Mahasabha has been untiringly endeavoring to implement the 7 point charter of Demands and is striving hard to ensure all round development because the community is confronted with serious problem of proverty, unemployment, social and economic disparities and regional imbalances.

Background
Bishnupriya Manipuri Development Council will be an organ of the Bishnupriya Manipuris by the Bishnupriya Manipuris and for the Bishnupriya Manipuris, inhabiting in different districts, particularly in the Barak Valley of Assam. The council is being proposed to be set up against the backdrop of prolonged discrimination, swindling and beguilement by administration at the State and the Centre and also from their local agents irrespective of jersey, colours and also bureaucrats at apex level in both the state and central level, as a result of which this community still remains submerged with economic underdevelopment, landless due to abnormal extension of urban area in the agricultural land, lack of education, health hazards, acute unemployment, poorest infrastructure facilities, un-utilization / underutilization of natural resources, utterly low per-capita income, lack of proper industrial development specially primitive method of cultivation, humiliating attitude of nationalized Banks and also total corrupted socio-political devices etc. even after sixty years of Indian Independence. Needless to say that there is a cry for demanding establishment of Bishnupriya Manipuri Territorial Council demanded by a section of the community. But the apex body of the community favours for establishing the Bishnupriya Manipuri Development Council for all round development of the community. Since the Bishnupriya Manipuri are not evenly distributed in the state they can never be brought under territorial council as such their all round development is not possible under such territorial council. A satellite council like the Development Council will ensure all round development of the community.

A brief note on the establishment of Bishnupriya Manipuri Development Council

Keeping with the aforesaid circumstances in view, the proposal for formation of Bishnupriya Manipuri Development Council was mooted in the World Conference of the Nikhil Bishnupriya Manipuri Mahasabha which received thundering applause of the Bishnupriya Manipuri delegates present in the said World Conference of Assam, Tripura, Manipur, Meghalaya, Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, various parts of India and abroad held at Sri Sri Sadhutakur Sewashram Community Hall on 23rd and 24th September 2003.

On the day of the open session of the World Conference where a galaxy of dignitaries who took sit on the dias where Sri Sumon Chattapadhyay, Executive Editor Ananda Bazar Patrika, Kolkata, Sri Dinesh Prashad Goala, Hon’ble Minister for PHE as Chief Guest, Sri Sontosh Mohan Deb, MP, New Delh, Special Chief Guest, Sri Gautam Roy, Hon’ble Minister for Social Welfare, Assam, Sri Misbahul Islam, Hon’ble Minister for Co-operation Assam, Sri Kabindra Purkayastha, Hon’ble Minister For Tele Communication Govt. of India. Sri Atin Das , Journalist, Prof Santanu Ghose, Journalist, Sri Taimur Raja Choudhury, Jounalist, Sri Nitish Bhattacherjee, President, Borak Upatyaka Banga Sahitya Sammelon, Hailakandi, Prof Dipankar Moral representative of Assam Sahitya Sabha, Sri Naba Sabkata, the Vice Presdent of Nepali Sahitya Sabha and Deputy Registrar of Human Right Commission Assam, Sri Utton Chand Borman, President Dimasa Sahitya Parishad, and other dignitaries of Bishnupriya Manipuri’s. In their presence Dr.Debendra Kr. Sinha, the President of the Mahasabha read out the resolutions adopted for the establishment of Development Council along with other demands passed in the presidium of the open session chaired by i) Sri Chandra Kanta Sinha, Retd IRS ii) Sri Gopinath Sinha, iii) Prof Birendra Kr. Sinha iii) Smti Sukhajyoti Sinha, MA (Double) BT, LLB.

The text of the resolution No-6 for establishment of the Development Council adopted in the World Conference is as follows:-
Resolution No- 6.
“This World Conference of the Nikhil Bishnupriya Manipuri Mahasabha draws the attention of the Govt. of Assam and Central Govt. towards the urgent need for establishment of the Development Council for all round development of the community and for which the Mahasabha the apex body of the Bishnupriya Manipuri community be declared as the Development Council bestowing all powers and facilities of District Council in it”.

The above resolution along with other demands which were pending for long time were duly submitted to the Govt. of Assam, Tripura and Central Govt.

On 21.01.2004 the minutes of the meeting was drawn between the Govt. of Assam and the representative of the Mahasabha at Dispur under the chairmanship of Sri Pankaj Bora, Hon’ble Minister, Education Department, Sri Dinesh Prosad Goala, Hon’ble Minister for PHE Assam, Sri L.N. Tamuly. IAS, Secretary Education, Md Mahasin Ali, Director Elementary Education, Assam. The representative of the Mahasabha, Student Union mentioned (as Annexure –I).

The discussions were held in a very positive and cordial atmosphere and the resolution no 09 adopted regarding Bishnupriya Manipuri Development Council as follows:-

Resolution No- 9.“It has been agreed to examine the feasibility of declaring Bishnupriya Manipuri Development Council for all round development of the Bishnupriya Manipuri community”.
Sri L.N. Tamuly IAS the Secretary Education Govt. Of Assam Vide his letter No- A (i) E 154/95/ Pt-11/226 dated Dispur the 24th May 2004 communicated to Sri Uday Sinha, General Secretary, Mahasabha informed that the demand of the Mahasabha discussed in the meeting was under the consideration of the Govt. ( Annexure- II).

On 15.12.2004 a delegation of Nikhil Bishnupriya Manipuri Mahasabha led by Dr. D.K.Sinha, The president, Mahasabha, Prof Monoranjan Sinha, Ex President Nikhil Bishnupriya Manipuri Mahasabha, Dr. Ranadhir Rajkumar, Sri Uday Sinha General Secretary, Nikhil Bishnupriya Manipuri Mahasabha, Sri Biresh Ranjan Sinha, Guwahati, Sri Govinda Rajkumar, President Student Union, met Sri Tarun Gogoi, Hon’ble Chief Minister of Assam, at Assembly house, Janata Bhawan, Dispur along with Sri Dinesh Prasad Goala, Hon’ble Minister for Law, Sri Rafiqul Islam, Hon’ble Minister for Home, Sri Gautam Roy, Hon’ble Minister for Social welfare Assam, and discussion was held regarding various longstanding demands, along with establishment of Development Council for immediate fulfillment. A memorandum was submitted to the Hon’ble Chief Minister and others Ministers too (Annexure – III report appeared in Various Newspaper).

On 24th November 2005 a delegation of the Mahasabha comprising Dr. D.K.Sinha the president Nikhil Bishnupriya Manipuri Mahasabha, Working President Sri Chandra Kanta Sinha, Retd IRS, Sri Gopinath Sinha, Sri Sundar Mukherjee, Sri Rebati Mohan Sinha, Mumbai, Sri Uday Sinha General Secretary, Mahasabha, Dr. Sushanta Sinha, General Secretary, Sri Nilkanta Sinha, President NBMM Tripura State, Sri Subal Sinha, Tripura proceeded to New Delhi, A Dharna was organized at Jantor Mantor, New Delhi where more then 100 Delhi based Students & Mahasabha activities mainly Sri Kajal Sinha, Haridas Sinha, Dr Nirmalya Sinha, Biswajit Sinha, Rajkumar Hrishikesh Sinha, and others participated in the Dharna. Sri Karnendu Bhattacherjee, MP Rajya Sabha, Sri Lalit Mohan Suklabaidya, MP, Sri Hamid Raja, MP Janata Dal from Bihar met with the satyagrahis and delivered their speech in favour of the Mahasabha’s demands. At 1 PM two messengers from the Prime Ministers office informed the leaders of the Mahasabha to call off Dharna and held discussion with Prime Minister, Principal Secretary at Prime Minister Office. A memorandum was also submitted to the Prime Minister office where the demands were establishment of Bishnupriya Manipuri Development Council, special economic package for the North-eastern region, introduction of Bishnupriya Manipuri programme in AIR / Doordarsan etc (annexure IV).

On 07th December 2005 the Ministry of Development of North-Eastern Region, Bigyan Bhawan, New Delhi informed the Mahasabha from the Prime Ministers office Sri Sajal Mitra, Director issued letters to various department incharge DONER for taking necessary action thereof.

On 13th January 2005 a delegation of the Mahasabha met Sri Digvijoy singh, General Secretary AICC(I) and Bhubaneswar Kalita , President APCC (I) at Circuit House, Silchar, discussion held with regarding establishment of Bishnupriya Manipuri Development Council and a member for proposed Assam Legislative Council ( upper house) from the Bishnupriya Manipuri community. Both of them assured delegates that they would extend their support to the demand of the Mahasabha. (Annexure V).

On 12th July 2005 Sri Santosh Mohan Deb, Honble Miniter for Heavy Industries Govt. of India, wrote a DO letter No 755 MOS / HI & PE/ U/VIP/6/2005 to Sri Tarun Gogoi, Hon’ble Chief Minster of Assam requesting for favour of establishment of Bishnupriya Manipuri Development Council along with other demands. ( Annexure VI).

On 30.09.2005, A Dharna was organized jointly by the Mahasabha, Andolan Parishad, Student Union and Mahila Samiti in front of Office of the Deputy Commissioner, Cachar and a memorandum was submitted to the Chief Minister of Assam though the Deputy Commissioner, ( Annexure VII).

On 15.06.2006 the Mahasabha vide its Letter No NBMM-3/corr/06./106 dated 15.06.2006 wrote to Sri Tarun Gogoi, Hon’ble Chief Minister of Assam and Sri Santosh Mohan Deb recalling Mahasabha’s various demands including establishment of development council.

The Hon’ble Chief Minister of Assam by his DO letter No CMO-1/2000/1807/ July 13th 2006 acknowledged the forwarding of the Sri S.M.Deb regarding demand of the Mahasabha. (Annexure IX).

On 26th October 2007 a delegation of the Mahasabha met with Hon’ble Chief Minister Sri Tarun Gogoi at Silchar Circuit House for meeting up the demands. (Annexure X).

On 07.02.2007 Mahasabha in collaboration with Andolan Parishad, staged Dharna infront of the Deputy Commissioners Office, Cachar, for fulfillment of longstanding demands of the Mahasabha. (Annexure XI).

The Deputy Secretary to the Govt. of Assam, Pensions Grievance Department vide his letter No P&G- 108/2005/103 dated Dispur 11.012 .2007 informed the Mahasabha that the above Memorandum was forwarded to the Political Department , CM, Chief Secretary etc for taking action as per demand of the Mahasabha. ( Annexure XII).

On 20.12.2007 The Mahasabha vide its letter No NBMM/3/corr/07/26 dt 20.12.2007 wrote a letter Sri Tarun Gogoi, Chief Minister of Assam reiterating the demand for establishment of Bishnupriya Manipuri Development Council with a copy forwarded to all concerned including Minister for WPT & BC and also its was stated with deep and anguish that other linguistic Minority groups of Assam eg Koch, Rava, Tewa and other communities of Assam were favoured with establishment of Development Council, but the demand of the Bishnupriya Manipuri Development Council was ignored hence the Mahasabha again requested to take immediate action in its favour of . Copy of the letter was forwarded to Sri Santosh Mohan Deb, Hon’ble Minister of Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises DO letter. (Annexure XIII).

In response the Hon’ble Chief Minister of Assam vide its DO letter No CMO/2008/131 dt Dispur communicated to Sri Santosh Mohan Deb, regarding the letter of the Mahasabha. ( Annexure XIV).

On 03.02.2008, the Central Executive meeting of the Mahasabha held at Silchar unanimously resolved to organize a peaceful indefinite relay Dharna at the Last Gate, Dispur during Budget Assembly Session.

On 04.03.2008, the Nikhil Bishnupriya Manipuri Mahasabha, Nikhil Bishnupriya Manipuri Students Union, Greater Guwahati Branch, Guwahati, Bishnupriya Manipuri Mahila Samiti, Bishnupriya Manipuri Andolan Parishad, jointly organized indefinite relay demonstration at Dispur last gate during Budget Session of the Assam Assembly from 04.03.2008 at 9 A.M. on 05.03.2008 the Opposition leaders of defferent political parties of the Assam Assembly, AIUDF Chief Sri Badaruddin Ajmol, AGP Chief Brindaban Goswami, Sri Chandra Mohan Patwari, Sri Nurul Islam and Sri Durga Das Boro met with 200 demonstrators hailing from different parts of Guwahati and delivered their speech in favour of legitimate demands of the Mahasabha and assured to extend their active co-operation for fulfillment of the demands . Leaders who led the demonstration were Sri Bishwaprasad Sinha, General Secretary Andolan Parishad, Greater Guwahati Branch, Sri Ashotosh Sinha, General Secretary, Sanskriti Parishad, Dils Lakhindra Sinha, General Secretary Sahitya Parishad, senior citizen Sri Dhansena Sinha, Retd DSP, Smti Sukhajyoti Sinha, Retd DAEO, Sri Sachi Kumar Sinha, Sri Khelendra Kr. Sinha, Sri Sankha Sinha, Secretary Students Union, Greater Guwahati from Central committee of Mahasabha, Sri Uday Sinha, Secreatry General, and Sri Umakanta Sinha, General Secretary Bishnupriya Manipuri Andolan Parishad, Slchar attended in the Dharna. On 03rd day of 06.03.2008 Sri Dinesh Prasad Goala, Hon’ble Minister for Urban Development requested agitation leaders to call off Dharna and assured on behalf of the Govt. that the Govt. of Assam is keenly interested to solve the problem. (Annexure XV, XVI, XVII, XVIII, XIX).

On 11.04.2008 a representation of Mahasabha vide letter no NBMM 3/corr/08/121 dt Guwahati 11.04.2008 submitted to Bhubeneswar Kalita, President AICC (I) for immediate recommendation for setting up Development Council.
(Annexure XIX A).

On 08.05.2008 A delegation of the Mahasabha Sanskriti Parishad, Sahitya Parishad, Students Union proceeded to New Delhi for organization of New Delhi Mahasabha, Sanskriti Parishad, Sahitya Parishad, Students Union. A memorandum was submitted to the Secretary P.M office and Sri Manisankar Ayar, Hon’ble Minister for Development of N.E New Delhi for establishment of Development Council.
(Annexure XX).

On 22.11.2009 a delegation of the Mahasabha met Sri Himanta Biswa Sarma, Hon’ble Minister for Health Services, Assam during his visit to Barak Valley at Silchar Circuit House and submitted a memorandum regarding setting up of Bishnupriya Manipuri Development Council for all round community Development.

On 07.09.2009 Nikhil Bishnupriya Manipuri Mahasabha and Andolan Parishad jointly staged demonstration in front of the Deputy Commissioner, Cachar from 10.30 AM to 2 PM. A memorandum was submitted to the Chief Minister of Assam and concerned Ministers through the Deputy Commissioner, Cachar for immediate fulfillment of longstanding demands and Establishment of Development Council also inclusion of members of the Linguistic Minority Development Council of Asom constituted by the Govt. of Assam recently.
(Annexure XXI,XXII,XXIII,XXIV).

On 15.12.2009 a reminder letter no NBMM-3/corr/09/09/110 dt 15.12.09 sent to Sri Tarun Gogoi Hon’ble Chief Minister of Assam and Smti Promila Rani Bramha, Hon’ble Minister for WPT & BC Assam for immediate action as per our letter ………………………..

On 21.012.2009 for delaying tactics of the Govt. the Mahasabha sent an ultimatum to Govt. of Assam to the effect that if the Govt. failed to fulfill the demand of the Mahasabha within the 31st December 2009 there will be vigorous agitation in the Barak Valley. The Mahasabha directed all the Anchalic committees, State Committees, Andolan Parishad, Students Union, Bishnupriya Manipuri Ex-servicemen Association, Mahila Samiti, to send ultimatum, message to Dispur. On the day of 21st December 2009 Anchalic Committees of Silchar, Meherpur, Kalain, Bikrampur, Narsingpur, Singla, Pratapgorh, Diphu, Jorhat, Tinsukia, Guwahati including Andolan Parishad, Students Union, Mahila Samiti sent floods of Memorandums through fax to the CM.
(Annexure XXV, XXVI).

On 06.01.2010 A delegation of the Mahasabha led by Sri Uday Sinha, Secretary General, along with Sri Sankha Sinha, General Secretary Yuba Parishad, Guwahati, Sri Biresh Ranjan Sinha, Working President met Smti Promila Rani Bramha, and the Secretary WPT & BC Department discussed about the Development Council and OBC notification.

On 07.01.2010 A delegation of the Mahasabha, led by Sri Uday Sinha, Secretary General, Sri Bishwaprasad Sinha, Advocate, Assam state Committee, Sri Sankha Sinha, General Secretary Yuba Parishad, Guwahati, Sri Pradip Sinha, Member Yuba Parishad, Sri Ashotosh Sinha, General Secretary, Sanskriti Parishad, Sri Ramsena Sinha, Member, Mahasabha, Sri Samarjit Sinha, Secretary Mahasabha Central Committee, Sri Lucky Rajkumar, social worker, Sri Madhu Sinha, Guwahati, Biresh Ranjan Sinha, Working President Sahitya parishad and executive members of NBMM of the greater Guwahati branch met Dr Nazrul Islam Hon’ble Minister for Minority Development Department Govt. of Assam, and submited a memorandum for inclusion of another member in the Linguistic Minority Development board of Assam. The delegation met with Parliamentary Secretary ( Finace) Assam, Sri Dinesh Prasad Goala, Hon’ble Minister for Urban Development Assam, and discussed about the formation of Bishnupriya Manipuri Development Council.

In response to the Mahasabha letter no NBMM-3/corr/ 09/109 dated 02.012.2009 addressed to Hon’ble Chief Minister of Assam requesting make a discussion with the Mahasabha a date was fixed on 06.01.2010 but the date was postponed due to his sudden trip to Delhi. He entrusted Sri D.P Goala, Hon’ble Minister for Urban Development to take necessary action and intimate result to him after his arrival.

On 11.01.2010 a provisional list of member proposing Dr. D.K.Sinha, as the Chairman of the Bishnupriya Manipuri Development Council was submitted to Chief Minister of Assam and to Smti Promila Rani Bramha, Hon’ble Minister for WPT & BC Department and other concerned authorities vide letter no NBMM-3/corr/ …/

On 22.01.2010 as per a Govt. gazette notification WMD 20/49/Pt-01/41 the Governor of Assam included Dr.D.K.Sinha, the President of the Mahasabha as a member of the Linguistic Minority Development Board of Assam.

On 25.01.2010 a rumour was floated by self interest persons to the effect that Gazette notification of the Bishnupriya Manipuri Development Council is going to be made immediately which later proved to be false. During the same time their were several maneuvers as to who will become the chairman of the proposed Bishnupriya Manipuri Development Council. The tussle was between Sri B.S.Sinha Advocate & K.S.Sinha the then MLA. The Secretary General informed that the decision of the chairman would be taken on 31.01.2010 executive meeting of NBMM.

On 31.01.2010 an emergent meeting of Central Executive Committee meeting of Mahasabha held at Sri Sri Bhubaneswar Sadhuthakur Community Hall. In the meeting was discussed regarding organization of the Mahasabha at the state capital Guwahati & resolved to holding a meeting of the Central General Assembly of the Mahasabha at Guwahati to pressurize the Govt. for fulfillment of longstanding demands of the Mahasabha and also approved the list of the members of the Bishnupriya Manipuri Development Council submitted earlier.

On 18.02.2010 the Mahasabha headed by Dr. D.K.Sinha, President NBMM and Secretary General U Sinha met the Honble CM Assam to extended formal invitation for attending open session as Chief Guest of the Central General Assembly held at Guwahati on 27.02.2010 . A brief discussion was made regarding formation of the Bishnupriya Manipuri Development Council.
In pursuance of the resolution adopted in the Central Executive Meeting on 31.01.2010. the Meeting of the Central General Assembly of the Mahasabha first ever held at Dispur Rudra Singh Sports complex. In the open session Sri Gautam Roy, Hon’ble Minister for Border & Excise who represented the Govt. of Assam, Sri Akon Borah, Sri Bijoy Krishna Nath, Chairman of the Linguistic Minority Board of Assam and other dignitaries also attended the open session. The copy of the resolution was submitted to Hon’ble Minster Sri Gautam Roy on behalf of the Govt. of Assam.

On 21.03.2010 Sri K.S.Sinha the then MLA telephonically requested the Mahasabha Secretary General and the President Dr.D.K.Sinha, President NBMM to the effect that if he is made chairman of the proposed Bishnupriya Manipuri Development Council he may enter into to negotiation with the Govt. of Assam specially in view of ensuing Rajya Sabha Election which will be held on 26.03.2010. In response to his request the office bearers of the Mahasabha met at the resident of the Ex President Mahasabha Sri M.R.Sinha, Bakatpur, where Dr.D.K.Sinha, President, Sri C.K.Sinha, Working President, Sri U.Sinha, Secretary General, Dr.Prabhat Sinha, General Secretary Mahasabha and Sri Swapan Sinha and others were present. After threadbare discussion it was decided that Sri K.S.Sinha MLA may be the chairman of the Bishnupriya Manipuri Development Council but others members are to be decided by the Mahasabha. Accordingly E-mail massage was sent to him. While discussion on this point was going on the then MLA, Sri K.S.Sinha made a telephonic call to Dr.D.K.Sinha, President Mahasabha and requested to have some telephonic discussion with the then Hon’ble Minister for Health Sri Himanta Biswa Sarma, who advised the Mahasabha to visit to Dispur with a delegation. A delegation lead by President Mahasabha Dr. D.K.Sinha met the Hon’ble CM in Assam, and other Cabinet Ministers on 24.0.3. 2010. Discussion was very fruitful and Mahasabha was assured that Bishnupriya Manipuri Development Council will be established shortly and necessary gazette notification will be issued soon.

The date 25.03.2010 is a remarkable day in the history of the Bishnupriya Manipuri Community. Sri Himanta Biswa Sarma the then Hon’ble Minister for Health and the spokesman of the Govt. of Assam formally declared the Establishment of Bishnupriya Manipuri Development Council in Assam in the floor of Assembly along with the Development Council of Nath, Jogi and Maimal Community.

After announcement of the same, Sri K.S.Sinha the then MLA was warmly felicitated by Mahasabha in different places. However unfortunately Sri K.S.Sinha did not keep his promise of holding discussion with the Mahasabha regarding the selection of other members of the Bishnupriya Manipuri Development Council. He selected the members as per his own choice and formed the Council with the members of his choice The Mahasabha gracefully accepted the position and decided to wait and watch the functioning of the Council.
(ANNEXURE)

****Annexure are not enclosed due to space factor.
History of Mahasabha (1932-2009)

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