Thursday, 29 December 2011

A Writer's Dilemma

Col. (Retd.) Bijay Sinha

Of late, there has been some criticism on my writings (Shahidor Sharaddha baro Kotohan Yaari- a compilation of short stories) by a few readers, which has set a disturbing trend in the society. These readers seem to interpret my work as defamatory to a certain section of the society (particularly the brahmins of Guwahati). This accusation I find interesting and amusing although baseless. Here I want to clarify one thing, that is, what I have written is nothing but a work of fiction and imagination that serve as a representation of the society and the environment. The views expressed in my works are not necessarily my own but have been put in to support the stories keeping in mind the need of the plots of the stories. Writing, I believe, is an art which may directly or indirectly impress upon the society.

Henry James said, " Art lives upon discussion, upon experiment, upon curiosity, upon variety of attempt, upon the exchange of views and the comparison of standpoints; and there is a presumption that those times when no one has anything particular to say about it, and has no reason to give for practice or preference, though they maybe times of genius, are not times of development, are times possibly even, a little, of dullness."

It flatters me that people take my works seriously to the point of getting offended by them. My earnest request to the people is that they continue the discussion and criticism, but in a healthy, mature and constructive manner.

Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Sukhajyoti Sinha: A tribute

Ramlal Sinha
Guwahati, Dec 23

Educationist and writer Sukhajyoti Sinha breathed her last on December 13, 2011 in her Guwahati residence. Born on October 21, 1925 in Sylhet district in undivided India (now Bangladesh), she had joined the Assam education department after completion of master’s degree in English and political science, L.L.B and BT. She was the daughter of Late Rai Saheb Choudhury Singha and late Rani Basanta Kumari Devi. In 1979, she got British fellowship that enabled her to study in Edinburg University and Manchester University. After returning from England, she had authored a travelogue, Mor Bilat Bhraman.

The outspoken and extrovert writer and educationist had been involved in some social organizations, including the Bishnupriya Manipuri Mahila Samiti, Guwahati. 

Her largesse, when it comes for the cause of the society, is exemplary. The Bishnupriya Manipuri Writers’ Forum (BMWF) was on the lookout for an office accommodation a few years back. It was late Sukhojyoti Sinha who offered on her own a room in her house at Silpukhuri for use as BMWR office (purely as a temporary arrangement), and that enabled the forum to get its registration done without much trouble. This is not all. As and when the Forum was in the need of a venue for holding its various literary and cultural programmes, she used to offer the rooms of an English medium school located on the premises of her residence at Tarun Nagar in Guwahati and its microphone set free of cost. This was writer Sukhajyoti Sinha, generosity personified.

In her death, the BMWF and many other social organizations in the community have lost an adviser, a well-wisher, a writer and a patron. The women in the community have lost a leader who had led them from the front on many occasions. In her personal life, she did what she thought just and must without bothering about what others in the community would say. On personal front, she could prove her determination by facing many an odd with a brave front. On my part, I have to bear the pain for not being able to publish a cover story in the Sunday magazine of a publication house where I was working over the years. This is despite an assurance from my part.

Courtesy: Seven Sisters Post (

Sunday, 18 December 2011

Wintry Nostalgia

Personal Jottings!

RK Rishikesh Sinha

Like many people, I also like winter season. With temperature 5 degree Celsius and cloudy weather here in Delhi, I felt like writing a ‘winter’ write-up. As my keyboard started writing words, I delve deep into the unforgettable memories of the past. 

Good Morning Delhi

My neighbours are saying it is “too cold”. Toeing their conversation, I also say, “Yeah! It is too cold.” I see in the tea stalls, people sipping hot tea seem to be merrier than they were in the Dilli ki garmi. People collecting dry wood, leaves, papers to make fire and sitting around it to make themselves warm is one of the common scene in every nook and corner. I also noticed that the always open doors of my neighbours are tightly closed this season.

Wrapping myself in a woolen blanket, I am wishing to have hot-hot tea with some spicy hot pokoras.

This Delhi cold has reminded me the days of bone-chilling, snow-capped winter season in Kashmir. Though here, I don't do any preparation for fighting the cold; in Kashmir it needs a year-long preparation.Without it, it is impossible to survive.

Snow-capped winter Kashmir
What were the preparations?

# Air-Proof Room: Come winter, the whole house was being made winter proof. A room was chosen and being made air-proof so that all the household activities could be done in that particular room. Windows would be closed with polythene sheets, letting no gap to remain open. Even doors would not be spared. The gap between the bottom of the door and the floor was also taken care of! The sack was used to fill even the tiniest gap to block the nerve-shivering wind.

# Quilt: The weight of the quilt would go up to 10 kg of cotton! 

# Cloths: I used to put on minimum 5 pieces of clothes to keep myself warm which would ultimately make me immovable! Kashmiri pheran (finely woven, baggy wool-coat) was the best protection though I never worn it.

Men wearing pheran
# Bukhari: Without it, one cannot survive the frigid cold of Kashmir. Bukhari is a cylindrical drum with a chimney where coal/oil is burned. One will find it in every home, school and office. Bukhari make the room warm and we also used it to cook food. I used to fire the Bukhari early morning and would heat up the water pipe that used to clog due to freezing of water.

# Stored Garbage: One interesting thing we used to do whole year was storing the household garbage and all sort of junk so that it could be burned in the winter season. It included cardboard, packets, papers and anything rubbish. This might be the reason that Kashmir is clean!

# Kangri: This is a firepot to fight cold. Kashmiris keep it burn months-after-months, that I failed to learn the trick. It is something like personal heater (with wood charcoal) which will keep you warm and safe from the biting cold. Very important while traveling and where there is no source of heat.

I still remember the morning school task in winter season that we boys used to do daily immediately after reaching the school. We would burn the class-Bukhari with kerosene and wood. After it was ignited, the task of girls was to make tea for all the students and teachers!

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Gitiswami Remembered At Shillong

In a simple and solemn ceremony, the Bishnupriya Manipuris of Shillong celebrated the 115th Birth Anniversary of the National Icon of the Bishnupriya Manipuris, Gokulananda Gitiswami (26th November, 1896 – 10th July, 1962) on 27 November 2011 at Bivar Road, Shillong. The ceremony was organised by the Gitiswami Jayanti Udjapan Samitty (GIJUS), Shillong.

President Sri L.K. Sinha offering tributes, Adviser, Guru Haricharan Sinha,
General Secretary Sri Rajesh Sinha speaking on the occasion

The function started at about 11.30 a.m. and concluded at about 3 p.m. The inaugural and welcome speech was delivered by Rajesh Sinha, General Secretary of the Samity. Guru Haricharan Sinha, President, North-Eastern Dance Academy, Shillong, Adviser, spoke on the occasion and highlighted the life and works of Gitiswami. Lakshmikanta Sinha (Bashi), ICAS, (Retd.), President, discussed the sacrifice and contribution of Gitiswami in detail for the development of the community. Birojit Sinha, Vice-President and Harendra Sinha (NEEPCO) also spoke on the role of Gitiswami in protecting the mother-tongue Bishnupriya Manipuri to near extinction.

President L.K. Sinha, Harendra Sinha, Guru Haricharan Sinha,
Birajit Sinha, Rajesh Sinha & Others
In the concluding speech, Rajesh Sinha praised all the Bishnupriya Manipuri people of Shillong for their co-operation in making the programme a success. He specifically mentioned the names of Subrata Sinha, B.K. Sinha, Shaiva Sinha, Sankar Sinha, Moni Sinha, Rinku Sinha and Agami Sinha. He also expressed his gratitude to Col.(Retd.) Bijoy Sinha and DILS Debojyoti Sinha for their relentless moral support. Rajesh Sinha, General Secretary also cited the cooperation made by Mihir Sinha and Birendra Rajkumar who could not attend the programme as they attended the celebration of birth anniversary of Gitiswami on the same date at Guwahati on behalf of the Shillong committee.

The President, L.K. Sinha, formally concluded the function with a pledge that they will celebrate the ceremony in a grand way next year provided the co-operation of the people of Shillong continues.

Attendees at the function

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

A befitting tribute continues to elude Gokulananda

Ramlal Sinha

Do the messages of alternative media mogul Gokulananda, fondly called as Gitiswami, have their right impact on the present Bishnupriya Manipuri community that is witnessing a rat race almost on all fronts? The commoners in the community are a baffled lot, a large number of which are mere puppets at the hands of the few influential ones. Not to speak of the commoners, even the so-called conscious lot in the community is treading a path that will lead the community nowhere. Had the bard been alive today, the Bishnupriya Manipuri community would have seen him in different avatar – a mediator. Since nothing was more precious to him than the well-being of the community that he was born, the minstrel would have been ready to play any role in order to keep unity and integrity in the community intact. The need of the hour in the community is another Gokulanda who ensure a grand rapprochement in the community.

Is it the cutthroat competition that is being witnessed on all fronts in the community behind the current rat race? Competition is a ‘respected’ word in all aspects as it allows us to select the best from among a whole lot of probable candidates. This statement stands valid so long the contesting candidates are honest enough to keep their competition a fair affair. However, in the present day competition, the word ‘fair’ finds no berth, and this trend is not an exception to the Bishnupriya Manipuri community that has just entered ‘active politics’ with the formation of the Bishnupriya Manipuri Development Council (BMDC) at the fag end of Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi’s second term at Dispur.

That the BMDC is a boon for the community is an undisputed statement, but one should not be complacent with that. If we need to derive the best out of the BMDC, we should ensure that those at the helm of its affairs in the community are fair enough. However, all that is happening in the Bishnupriya Manipuri community concerning the BMDC nowadays is far from being fair. As it has always been, those who rule the roost in the community are a divided lot.

So strong are their respective footings that they have already polarized the community. It’s the commoners who have suffered the worst casualty in the war of nerves currently underway among the heavyweights in the community. The common masses have no way out but to hanker after mere ‘benefits’ that never come to them without any rider.

When those at loggerheads aren’t ready to step back, for the well-being of the community, one can only pin hope on a section of leaders, writers and intellectuals, who, for reasons best known to them only, have opted to zip their lips. They can detect the ailment and its remedy right. However, they continue to refrain from opting for a rapprochement from their own that can put an end to the unfair and fierce competition for the share of power-pie.

Walkover is valid in any fields, be it sports or politics, so long there is no contender worth the name. However, when someone throws his or her cap into the ring, any attempt to pave the way for a walkover, someway or the other, is considered as cunningness, and a leader resorting to such practices can never be the darling of the mass, his fellow beings. An impeccable track record is something what a politician needs to guard jealously, if he or she is to get his people beside him, all the time. One may win the race by resorting to an unfair way, but he or she loses the spirit of the game. He or she will remain a loser, at least to the posterity.

The roadblock that the community has hit, of late, is essentially an obstacle we ourselves have put up. Over the years, we had the key to the solution of all problems of ours at Dispur, but now we have the key to the solution with some of our own people, who, for reasons best known to them only, want to keep the problems alive. The fate of the BMDC is hanging in balance, and the reason behind this is not far to seek. The crux of all problems in the Bishnupriya Manipuri community is the “ego” that is not ready to adopt itself with the everchanging social environment.

If the increasing legal wrangling in the community for no personal enmity is any indication, the day is not far when such cases will only spell doom for the community. Can a community that is limping to stand upright afford to waste its precious time on such a rubbish job that leads one nowhere? In this regard, I would like to appeal to the gentlemen concerned in the community to keep it in mind –– legal option should come as a last resort, not as the first, in solving any problem that seeks a just and lasting solution.

The irony is that we still feel proud of giving one another a good run for our hard-earned money so as to fail our fellow beings on the pretext of celebrating the birth anniversary of great men like Sri Sri Bhubaneswar Sadhuthakur and Gokulananda Gitiswami. For the well-being of the community, one needs to come to terms with even an unpleasant development in the community if he or she doesn’t have any viable or better alternative at hand. Taking anything to terms becomes much easier when one does have a well-set target –– and in the present context the target can’t be anything other than the well-being of the community. This is one of the teachings of all great men in the world, and Gitiswami and Sri Sri Bhubaneswar Sadhuthakur are no exception.

I do remember the last few words uttered by my mother moments before breathing her last. When my eldest brother had asked her to spell out the very kind of shraddha she would like, she only replied: “What I want is unity among all my sons and daughters.”

If we feel like paying a befitting tribute to Gokulananda Gitiswami, we should do our best to keep the community that he had been born in order with its unity and integrity intact. Can’t we? Such a tribute to the great poet continues to elude us. In a community in which people with vested interests, including some front-runners, are out to drive a wedge between probable power centres so as to mint money or to get their footholds, we can only strive for a bright future that, more often than not, turns out to be chasing mirage. Will the good sense ever prevail in the probable power centres in the Bishnupriya Manipuri community and its think tank?

We can only hope against hopes.

Courtesy: Smaranika, Janmajayanti, Gitiswami Gokulananda, 2011.

Sunday, 4 December 2011

Celebration Of Birth Anniversary Of Geetiswami At Guwahati

By Pratibha Sinha, Guwahati

It was for the first time in Guwahati, the birth anniversary of Geetiswami Gokulananda was celebrated in a historic manner by the Bishnupriya Manipuris on 26th and 27th November, 2011 to reminisce the contributions of the revolutionary and cultural doyen. The occasion was organised at different parts of the city. On 26th November, a programme was organised at Dakhingaon(Kahilipara), Sudarshanpur(Maligaon), Chalihanagar, Saalbari and Bijulinagar(Noonmati) and on 27th November, another programme was held at Silpagram(Panjabari), Khanapara, Satgaon, Christian Basti, TV Tower and Jorabat. The Bishnupriya Manipuri people have showered their love and respect on these two days by organizing different programs at different localities with a call to build cultural bridges, break barriers of language and strengthen the humanity bond. Intellectuals from different places of Assam and Tripura arrived at Guwahati to recall the versatile genius Geetiswami Gokulananda.

Gokulananda, a philosopher, social reformer, music composer, dramatist and an artist, was very much conscious about the social upliftment and eradication of social drawbacks from the Bishnupriya Manipuri society. He was born on 26th November, 1896 in a village called Madhavpur of Bhanugachh in Bhanubil, Bangladesh. His messages on social reformation and movements reached in all those places where Bishnupriya Manipuri people were densely populated in Bangladesh, Tripura and Assam. He was conferred with the title “Geetiswami” because of his multitalented and multifaceted qualities. He died on 10 July, 1962.

It was really a marvelous opportunity for anyone to attend such a historic day of such an inspiring legend. It also becomes an obligation to attend such an occasion when anyone receives numbers of invitations to attend numbers of programs on the same day and in the same city. Same thing happened with me. I started receiving invitations one month in advance till the last one day before the celebration day from different locations. I was both excited and confused about which program to attend or not to attend. At last, commitment and priority helped me to decide and select the programs to attend. It was really a nostalgia experience for me and enriched with lots of information & knowledge about the visionary legend. I got the opportunity to be a part of the celebration at two places on the two days – one at Dakhingaon(Kahilipara) and another at Silpagram(Panjabari) and glad to share the highlights of the celebration.

At Dakhingaon(Kahilipara) on 26 November, 2011

Bishnupriya Manipuri Writers’ Forum(BMWF), a Guwahati based literary forum under the presidentship of Dils Lakhsmindra Sinha and the Bishnunagar Mandir Committee under the presidentship of Akhil Chandra Sinha celebrated the 116th birthday(janma tithi) of Gokulananda at the mandap(malthep) of Sri Sri Bishnumandir, Bishnunagar, Dakhingaon of Guwahati on 26 November, 2011. All invited guests and people present on the occasion paid tribute to the iconic figure. In his memory, recitation of poems and songs composed by Gokulananda were performed by different local litterateurs and artists. Sushil Kr. Sinha, Professor of Guwahati University, Dr. Smriti Kumar Sinha, Tezpur University, Pratap Sinha, SP/Hemren, Bimalesh Sinha, Ramlal Sinha, Bhimsen Sinha, Advocate, Smt. Sushila Sinha, BM Mahila Samit etc were present in the occasion as invited guests who addressed the people highlighting the life sketch of Gokulananda. A very common message delivered by all the speakers was to shed all socio-ill feelings and instill a positive thought process to make a better society unitedly. Gokulananda was the perfect symbol of networking amongst the BM people and a source of inspiration for the people.

Birth anniversary of Geetiswami Gokulananda, Guwahati

A special issue of Longlei on Geetiswami, a literary magazine published by BMWF was also released by Bhimsen Sinha, Advocate. Some selected senior citizens were felicitated on the occasion. Narendra Thakur, Sanjib Sinha, & other members of BMWF were also present on the occasion to make the function successful.

Kartik Sena Sinha, ex-MLA also joined the program after attending another program on Geetiswami held at Sudarshanpur(Maligaon) on the same day. The function was concluded with a musical evening.

Birth anniversary of Geetiswami Gokulananda, Guwahati

At Shilpagram(Panjabari) on 27 November, 2011

115th Janma Jayanti of Gokulananda was celebrated with full dignity and enthusiasm at Silpagram, Panjabari by the Geetiswami Jayanti Udjapan Committee, Guwahati. Broja Mohan Sinha, IAS/Tripura was the chief guest of the function and other guests - Hemkanti Sinha, educationist, Ajit Kr. Sinha/Professor of Agricultural College/Jorhat, Dr. Prabhat Kr. Sinha/ Professor of Radha Madhav College/Silchar, Uday Sinha/Secretary General of Mahasabha, Dr. Ramananda Sinha/Principal of Kokrajhar Science College, Broja Gopal Sinha,SBI/Branch Manager, Arunachal Pradesh, Rebati Mohan Sinha and others paid tribute to Geetiswami and spoke on the life sketch and contribution of Gokulananda. They raised many emerging social issues and suggestions to eradicate and improve the deplorable conditions of the BM society. They spoke on the need of awakening and creating awareness among the masses about the present need of individuals for self development and social upliftment. SMARANIKA 2011, a souvenir was also released on the occasion.

Birth anniversary of Geetiswami Gokulananda, Guwahati

Hemkanti Sinha was honoured with the “GEETISWAMI AWARD” for his life time achievement in the field of education, social service and literary work. He was born on 18 January, 1941. He was an educationist by profession and worked in many educational institutions at various places holding responsible position. His contributions in various fields are exemplary. He was honored with “Bharat Jyoti” award by the India International Friendship Society, New Delhi, “Best Citizen of India” award by International Publishing House, New Delhi, “Glory of India Gold Medal” by International Institute of Success Awareness, New Delhi etc. Due to his meritorious performance, in 2006 Jawahar Navoday Vidyalaya of Manipur started an annual award titled as “HK Sinha Meritorious(Annual) Award”. He also worked as Working President of Mahasabha. His contributions towards Bisnupriya Manipuri society and literary is highly remarkable. Detail profile of Hemkanti Sinha is appended at the end.

On the occasion, meritorious students were also awarded with a certificate of appreciation and cash prizes for their outstanding performance in the academic session of 2010-11. ‘Late Nitai Bhallav & Sumoti Sinha Smriti Puraskar’ was awarded to Ms. Anisha Sinha, Medical student of Jorhat Medical College, ‘Late Namdev Sinha Smriti Puraskhar’ was awarded to Rajat Sinha , IIT student of IIT/Guwahati and ‘Late Rupamanjuri Rajkumar Smriti Purashkar’ was awarded to Amal Sinha, computer student on 3D Edge(AD3D Edge).

Awardees of Meingal Scholarship

Three other personnels Uttam Singha, from New York, America(originally from Bangladesh), R.K Rishikesh Sinha, Delhi and Pratibha Sinha(myself) were announced on the occasion to felicitate with the “NINGOR KHUTTOL” (Gift of Honour) with a certificate and a cash award of Rs.2000/- by DILs Debojyoti Sinha on behalf of DILS Association for their exceptional contribution to the Bishnupriya Manipuri language, literature and culture in the Internet medium. Uttam Singha and RK Rishikesh Sinha could not attend the function due to their personal inconvenience. It was not only a moment of happiness for me to receive the Gift of Honour but above all it was a moment of success of achieving an aim and fulfillment of the purpose aimed for and the extant possible efforts involved in website/blog designing and uploading information on the websites with a mission to popularize the Bishnupriya Manipuri current affairs, culture, tradition, literary works etc. world wide through the web media. I too congratulate Uttam Singha and RK Rishikesh Sinha for the honour received and their remarkable achievement in the Bishnupriya Manipuri centric contributions made through the internet medium.

On the occasion, “MEINGAL”, a registered socio welfare non-government society announced the names of the scholarship awardees i.e. – Banashree Singha from Hailakandi district, Sachin Sinha from Kamrup district and Rahul Sinha from Karimganj district and for monthly educational allowance scheme – Samir Sinha of Guwahati. Bisweswar Sarma, Adviser and Mihir Sinha, Vice Chairman of the society awarded the scholarship and certificates to the students. The one-time scholarship amount is Rs.5000/- and the monthly educational allowance is @ Rs.500/- for 12 months (i.e. total Rs.6000/-). Sanjib Sinha, Secretary General announced the two new activities introduced by the NGO – one is the Essay Writing Competition and the other is Meingal Exemplary Talent Award - 2012 (Women category), details can be obtained from the website or .

The function began with the felicitation of all the speakers and distinguished guests. Sushil Kr. Sinha, President of the Udjapan Committee in his inaugural speech gave a warm welcome to all the distinguish guests, participants and audience. He urged everyone to follow this day with high esteem in all places by the Bishnupriya Manipuris and recall the contributions of Gokulananda to create awareness among the masses about the responsibilities towards the social well being. Col.(Retd) Bijoy Sinha, Working President of the committee in his inaugural speech highlighted on the present emerging needs of the BM society related to education, eradication of socio drawbacks, preservation of culture, literature & humanity, involvement in politics, skill development etc…. He also expressed his gratitude on behalf of the committee for everyone’s participation and cooperation to make the function successful.

Birth anniversary of Geetiswami Gokulananda, Guwahati

Other attractions on the occasion were cultural programme performed by different artists from the city and outside. Numbers of people from Guwahati participated in the programme to celebrate the birth anniversary of Gokulananda with full enthusiasm.

Profile of Hemkanti Sinha, honored with Geetiswami award
Profile of Hemkanti Sinha

Profile of Hemkanti Sinha

Saturday, 3 December 2011

Global Warming: A serious threat to earth and its life forms


In recent years, Global warming has been a hot topic of discussion. It is considered by the scientists as a serious threat to the existence of our Planet Earth and its climate. The changing climate and the increasing instability in its pattern is an evidence of Global warming though most of us have little knowledge and awareness about its causes and grave consequences.

What Is Global Warming?

In general terms, global warming can be described as the increase in the temperature of earth’s atmosphere, and the consequent increase in the temperature of oceans and land masses. This increase in the temperature is due to the concentration and building-up of Green House Gases (commonly known as GHG) in the earth’s atmosphere. Green House Gases include carbon dioxide, methane, water vapour and nitrous oxide. However, these gases are naturally present in the earth’s atmosphere and do important function in the natural process of green house effect by retaining the heat and protecting the earth’s atmosphere. These green house gases actually warm the earth and help it to sustain itself and maintain the surface temperature for the survival of life forms. But the human activities and wrong environmental practices have added a negative contribution to this natural phenomenon of green house effect. As a result of this, these gases have increased in their content and got collected in the atmosphere. And made the atmosphere to re-trap more heat, and causing climate to turn warmer. Thus, certain human activities lead to an alteration in this natural process which basically doesn’t have any ill-effect. We can say global warming is the man-made result.

Causes of Global Warming

1. Pollution emits from human activities like burning of coal, oil and gas, excess use of vehicles, toxic residues from industries and factories producing more developed products, is one of the prime causes of global warming. Since industrial revolution, fossil fuels have been mined and burned to produce coal, gas and oil. Burning fossil fuels release green house gases as the by-product in the atmosphere. Besides, vehicles like car and truck are also contributing to this effect. Coal power plants and cars emit highest amount of coal. It has been estimated that burning fossil fuels has increased the content of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere by 75%.

2. Deforestation is another factor behind the global warming. Large scales of forests have been destroyed for the sake of industrialization and agriculture without adequate reforestation. This again resulted in the increase of green house effect. Cutting of trees has increased the level of carbon dioxide as trees intake carbon dioxide for the process of photosynthesis. Burning of wood further releases carbon which gets combine with the oxygen in the atmosphere and form carbon dioxide that subsequently causes green house effect. Nevertheless, Climatic changes can also be caused by the change in the circulation of the oceans, changes in the earth’s orbit and also the changes in the intensity of the sun itself.

Effects of Global Warming

It is an undeniable fact that for past few years, weather has been unstable and many natural calamities like hurricanes, earth quakes, floods, are occurring frequently and with severe intensity. Keeping this in mind, we can analyze that global warming can be one of the factors for these catastrophes. Some of the visible effects of global warming are:

1. Climatic changes or weather changes. We can experience the abrupt changes in the climatic conditions. There is a rise in the average temperature of the earth. In last few years, heat waves have been occurring with more frequency and last longer. Stronger storms and hurricanes are also frequently visiting. The behavior of the winds has also being affected.

2. With the rising temperature of the earth, landmasses and sea water level has got affected. Polar ice caps have melted along with glaciers, causing higher and warmer sea levels. Melting glaciers in inappropriate time can cause severe water shortages. Rising sea levels can cause floods and warmer sea surface levels will stimulate more intense hurricanes. It is anticipated that sea levels can increase from 4 inches to a high of about 40 inches by the end of this century, if global warming continues uncontrolled like this.

3. Warmer climate will also lead to the displacement of plants and animals. Those who depend upon lower temperature regions to survive will need to move to higher elevations and latitudes. And those who cannot adapt will extinct.

4. Another phenomenon that is related with global warming is the El Nino, though global warming is not directly causing it but the increase in the temperature can add to its severity and frequent occurrences.

5. Global warming will also affect the nature of the winds and can make a harsher and drier climate. Water from heavier rainfall will evaporate quickly because of warmer climate and will not stay long to irrigate the land.

Measures for reducing global warming:

The growing instability in the weather foretells that this can cause calamity in the near future if we don’t take adequate steps to check it. There are important things to know in this context and to follow some simple steps.

1. To stop the green house emissions from the power plants, hydrogen power is one of the preferred solutions. In some countries, filters are produced to purify the content of the gases released into the air.

2. We can prevent pollution from vehicles like cars by opting for more environment friendly vehicles such as hybrid or electric cars. The proposed idea of using ethanol in place of gasoline in cars is also seems to be a constructive step.

3. We can also follow few simple steps like using a fluorescent light bulb over an incandescent light bulb. This can save energy and will help in reducing a ton of carbon dioxide pollution in the atmosphere. Using other energy efficient appliances can also preserve energy. It will further decrease the misuse and interference of human beings with the earth’s climate and nature.

4. We seldom think about natural resources like water and electricity. We should not waste these valuable resources. One should not let tap water run for hours; should close the lights which are not in use; don’t use the air conditioner or the room heater when the windows are opened. These are small practices which can make significant difference.

5. Cutting of forests and trees must be stopped. For this, papers should not be wasted and should be used in both the sides as far as possible. Recycling of papers is an effective measure to limit the paper and tree waste.

6. Instead of using cars for short distances, we can go by walk which will benefit our health also.

Thursday, 1 December 2011

Geetiswami Gokulananda — a visionary

Going down the history lane

By RK Rishikesh Sinha

Every year we Bishnupriya Manipuries celebrate the birth anniversary of Geetiswami Gokulananda with great enthusiasm and gusto. He is being remembered with many shades. He is being referred as a social reformer, intellectual, minstrel, writer, politician and also communicator. But the present generation due to the lack of work on him finds itself hard to associate with the great Bishnupriya Manipuri soul. One probable reason that we fail to comprehend is the context of ‘time’ that made Gokulananda, the “Geetiswami”. Because it is with the time and the period we associate a person, his or her deeds and activities. Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi became “Mahatma” in our freedom struggle. Here we are very well-acquainted with his role in the pre-Independence India. But, this is not the case with Gokulananda Geetiswami. We don’t have extensive work on him.

This article is an attempt to recreate the time he lived, the phases that our society had to undergo, since under a better understanding of the time, Gokulananda’s role and his personality would come visible and would sprout.

Since this article is not a research-based article, the author doesn’t claim authenticity of facts and co-relation, the article only tries to delve into the period from the perspective of contemporary history, the history that we are well-acquainted with.

Let us remind ourselves to this fact: Geetiswami Gokulananda Singha was born on November 26, 1896 and died on July 10, 1962. Here, the period from 1896-1962 is important and needs study. Concentrating on this period, it would give us better understanding to the great personality of Gokulananda Geetiswami.

What we find in this period? This is the tumultuous period in the Indian sub-continent; people and society were coming to the terms of a new environment that was arising. First, this is the same period when British government were making firm grip over the Indian sub-continent. Second, this is the same period, when we people came to a new world — India and East Pakistan.

The continual political events that were taking place during this period, it could be easily ascertained, that it definitely had its effects on our people. The Bishnupriya Manipuri society found itself in a crossroad since the very essence of identity was getting transformed in the midst of political developments that were developing in and around us. It was a period of ‘community consciousness’ and getting into a new social and political reality.

Geetiswami Gokulananda was the only iconic figure in that era who had the realization about the changing time and visualized the future in the new developed reality. He was the person who understood the true essence of time and gave direction to the community as a whole. It might look simple today, but those days and periods were different. With mass illiteracy and scattered population, it could be easily understood that it was not easy. Therefore, we find in him many facets in one personality.

Here the author has taken two important events, though there were many developments in the same period that had its cascading effect on our people.

What were the events?

(1) First and foremost, is the enumeration of caste under the colonial rule. It is here important to remember that the perception of ‘community’/caste that we today understand was not the same at that time. It doesn’t mean that the Bishnupriya Manipuries didn’t know the word ‘community’ before the advent of colonialism in India. Hitherto, our ancestors were fully aware of the difference between ‘they’ and ‘us’. Britishers’ “grand scheme for the mapping and measurement of every racial ‘type’ and ‘specimen’ in India” had a prolong effect, still it continues, on our perception towards society and community. This was the period where people and community were getting in touch with the British Government’s codification of Indian societal structure. We find that the late nineteenth century and early twentieth century of it saw frantic changes in all Indian society due to Britisher’s attempt to understand India and to run it. It is natural to conclude here that Bishnupriya Manipuri people and community as a whole to be found itself in flux. In this period, we find great works and efforts being done to acquaint our people to the changing time. Here, great personalities like Geetiswami Gokulananda come into our picture.

(2) Second, is the emerging of two nations — India and East Pakistan (now Bangladesh). Creation of two new nations also had its effect on our community people. Families and the community bondage got electrocuted with the erection of border with the independence of two nations. Suddenly, members had to face multifold problems; on one hand coming to terms with new Independent India; and on the other hand a part of a body, a big Bishnupriya Manipuri population going to East Pakistan, had a gloomy consequence on our people. It could be concluded that members were shocked and surprised. Here, again we find Geetiswami Gokulananda’s singular effort to bridge the gap between the newly developed political spheres with our people. It is important to remember that in this context Geetiswami Gokulananda getting into the political structure in the Independent India. He became the champion of political consciousness in our people.

Concluding with the note that every year when we celebrate Geetiswami Gokulananda’s birth anniversary, we should try to understand him by employing different approaches and revealing various unknown facets of the life and the time he lived.

Courtesy: Smarinika 2011

A dream for a better society

By Rebati Mohan Sinha, Mumbai

Every year, on 26th November, we the Bishnuprya Manipuris celebrate the birth anniversary of Geetiswami Gokulananda, the social reformer, by holding various cultural and literary programs. The event is scheduled to be organized under the aegis of Geetiswami Gokulananda Jayanti Utyapan Committee, Guwahati.

As Bishnupriya Manipuris, we must take pride in celebrating 115th birth anniversary of a man who has been one of the major sources of inspiration from whom our present generation can draw their sustenance. During his eventful life he traversed the regions of Bishnupriya Manipuri, singing with a missionary fervor of the ills of our society and their remedies. His songs were simple in lyrics and quite sharp in tone as he had a definite purpose to express himself. The impact of this great wandering minstrel of Bishnupriya Manipuri had been manifold. His dramatic performances were mainly for awakening of our social conscience. His measure of success can be guessed from the title ‘Geetiswami’ bestowed on him. He is best remembered now for his leadership role against social injustice.

Likewise he became an active political and social activist. In 1950, he had joined Communist party of Tripura and in 1952 he was elected member of Tripura Territorial Council, defeating his rival Prof. Dr. Sadichananda Dhar. In 1957, defeating Mr. Mathur Malakar, again he became the member of the TTC. In 1962, while council was in session, Geetiswami suffered a severe heart attack and died.

We are not celebrating our leader for the sake of doing so, we are celebrating him because of what he stood for and what he gave to the Bishnuprya Manipuri society. Geetiswami’s contribution to the development of society and to creating a vision for Bishnuprya Manipuri, nurturing and forming the life and spirit of our society, are unsurpassed.

Let us grab this opportunity and rekindle our sense of society’s pride and self worth. We need to measure the greatness of this society by the extent to which we are each other’s keeper. Let us care for each other and so doing, we will care for our mother Bishnupriya. To the youth, I would say, the future belongs to them and they should take control of their destiny and anchor themselves to the virtues of life knowing that it shall profit them nothing even if they gain whole world. These are not short cut to success. Hard work will definitely bring them genuine success.

Fellow brother-sisters, son and daughters of Bishnuprya Manipuri society! Let this day, the 26th November each year be known and called “Founder’s Day". It is our time to build on the legacy of our leader, Gokulananda Geetiswami, so that individual and collective efforts can position us properly in the history of Bishnupriya Manipuri.

The beginning may be rough; but I know just as the great people gave lives to their dreams, we can also give life to our better Bishnuprya Manipuri society. Our ancestors built our society, it is our time to build a better Bishnuprya Manipuri society.

Courtesy: Smarinika 2011
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