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Importance of Being a Bishnupriya Manipuri

By RK Rishikesh Sinha

Have you ever been benefited being a ‘Bishnupriya Manipuri’? In many incidents it has helped me.

#1. This incident occurred when we were in Kashmir. I went to my school to receive my Class 12 school passing certificate after few months. My school was situated inside the Air Force campus. The Army jawan was not allowing me to go inside despite seeing me getting down from a fauji vehicle. No matter how much I tried to persuade him. He was adamant on his decision. He seemed to me a new guard, asking me stupid questions. “Do you have your identity card?...Where is your school dress?...From which state are you?...” I answered him all the questions but he didn’t allow me. That very moment, another guard who was inside the bunker, said in a heavy voice, “Bishnupriya Manipuri log acche log hote hein, jaane do ‘bache ko’!”. The guard allowed me to enter. Finally I got my passing certificate.

#2. In Assam: It was the time when the situation was delicate because of Bihari-Assamese tension. I was travelling in a bus. Near the Gauhati Univesity campus, a group of 15-20 Assamese students of GU were checking the buses and were harassing the Bihari travelers. The bus in which I was travelling, two Bihari travelers were bitten red and blue. We all got down from the bus; one person from the mob asked my name. (I made my mind quickly, if they ask my name which sounds like a Bihari name; I will say my correct name in Hindi and not in Assamese, as they will very easily catch me with my broken Assamese accent!) I said, “My name is Rishikesh Sinha and I am a Bishnupriya Manipuri, if you doubt, come to the department’’. I was spared.

#3. In New Delhi: In my last job, one evening at around 7 PM, our office phone rang. That day, everybody had left the office except my boss, a peon and me. I picked up the phone. It was from the Prime Minister Office (PMO), and the person sought some policy papers to be given to PMO immediately, as next day there was to be an important meeting. I informed my boss. Boss asked me to go with the documents. As it was too late for me to go home, I suggested peon’s name, but boss didn’t agree. He said, “Man, it is PMO office. Tight security area. He will not be able to clear first security ring”. I went immediately. I was well aware that the security would be more tight at this night time. When I reached there, the guard asked me about my credentials …Name…from where I have came, proof, whom to meet…good part to all of my answers was that I was giving additional information like “I am a Bishnupriya Manipuri and I am from Assam”, and “we had been in Kashmir”…blah…blah. I knew once a jawan gets correct information, he would like to spent more time to kill his lonely duty time. I didn’t show any urgency and flowed with his conversation. He started asking me about my salary and all unrelated queries. ..In between, another jawan came and repeated the same questions….again I dropped my additional information. After keenly listening to my answers, he said to other guard, “Arrey! Yeh wo 'Sinha' sahab nahin hein, unka ‘granhi’ (a typical fauji word which means ‘of the same language, area’) hein…” and showed me the way. While coming back from the PMO office, I thought, really nobody would have done this job, except me and I being Bishnupriya Manipuri.

Courtesy: Facebook (Bishnupriya Manipuri Discussion Forum)

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