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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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