Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Crisis in NBMM

Rebati Mohan Sinha

The problem today with the Mahasabha is that its administration has become divorced from the mechanism of power. When the power comes from a clearly identified source and when its continuance is depended on how well it serves the interest of those that elected him, there is always a need for the ‘powerful’ to keep the interest of their people in mind. What makes it particularly interesting is that the problems have come not from outside; but from within the NBMM. It is clear that something fundamental has gone wrong, which makes the administration incapable of dealing with complex issues meaningfully, like what that happened recently in Singari near Silchar.

Quite often, it has been pointed by senior members of the Mahasabha that the design flaw in the model of governance used by the President — the separation of power between him and the office bearers—coming to the fore playing itself out. He lacks authority without which he has no control over his central committee members, as a result, the administration lacks a clear leadership structure and functions as a confused babble of vested interests, egos and animosities.

The arrogance that we see often in the way Mahasabha’s spokepersons come across is not the arrogance of power; but merely the smugness of patronage.

Any sincere and dedicated effort will succeed, provided one is systematic and determined towards a reasonable goal. One must have patience and though being ambitious should not be guided by short cut.
Issues should be relevant to the society. If you are convinced of any thing relevant which is good for the society, You can be the leading light and others will follow.

At the rate at which we are going, we are heading straight for the chaos and inevitable doom. This is precisely why we need to have a committee that isn’t afraid to do something drastic enough to prevent our society from that point of no return.

Merely calling ourselves Bishnupriya Manipuri will not change the way we feel about our society. A larger change has to come from education and inculcating a basic love for our fellow society men.

It is shocking that this now, which could have been amicably sorted out between the rival group and the administration of NBMM, has assumed such a grave proportion.

Mahasabha has mishandled this issue and is now calling it unfortunate that the rival group has formed a Central Committee and this issue should have been handled more tactfully. It is intriguing as to why the Mahasabha took such a tough stand against the rival group.

History of Lohagarh

Debasish Sinha

Lohagarh Fort
Lohagarh, which literally means the ‘Iron Fort’, was extensively used by the great Maratha King Chhatrapati Shivaji and is located at an altitude of more than 1,050 metres on the Sahyadri ranges which divide the Pavna basin and the Indrayani basin. Lohagarh Fort was one of my dream destinations owing to its historical importance and ancient architecture, as well as the scenic beauty surrounding the fort.

The fort attracts most tourists during the monsoon season, with a lot of greenery and a variety of flowers, waterfalls in full flow and the clear rocky trail – making it a paradise which provides a lot of activities for the trekkers. The long, stretching plateaus are fascinating to watch. The main characteristic of Lohagarh is the strong fortification built on a large plateau. The fort’s four mammoth gates are still intact and in good condition. A panoramic view of the Pavana Dam can be seen from the fort. Food is not easily available on the route and most of the food stalls sell only water, tea/coffee, snacks, soft drinks and sometimes, Vada pav.

It was during the month of November that my senior colleague Dugdharam Kalita and I had to visit Pune, which gave us the opportunity to see the historical Lohagarh Fort. The scenery during November was a bit different from the one in the monsoon season, with the greenery turning yellowish-brown due to the waterfalls being totally dried-up, leaving behind the rocky trails.

We started at about 11.30 a.m. from Pune, preferring to take a local train, available from Pune to Lonavla station and back to Pune uptill 12.30 midnight. Malavli is the previous station before reaching Lonavla station, which is almost seven kilometres from the Bhaje village, but if you don’t have a personal vehicle, you will have to walk the entire distance to the Bhaje village which is at the base of the trekking trail to the Lohagarh Fort. So, we decided to get down at the Lonavla station and took an auto-rickshaw for a to and fro ride. We crossed the bridge over the Pune-Mumbai highway to step into a short, paved road which leads to the Bhaje village.

A wide, stone-lined track from the Bhaje village leads towards the fort. On the left, some concrete steps proceed to the famous Buddhist caves of Bhaje. We proceeded along the track leading to the fort. The arduous walk to the fort is wonderful due to the picturesque scenery and cool mountain air. A variety of birds and insects can also be spotted in these hills. After reaching Loharwadi, a village situated in the depression between Lohagarh and Visapur, also a place where vendors sell refreshments at the base of the fort, a track towards the left takes you to the Visapur Fort, which is larger and also higher than the Lohagarh Fort. Now in ruins, the history of the Visapur Fort is closely linked with that of the Lohagarh. British troops in 1818 AD set up their canons at Visapur for utilising its higher position and bombarded the Lohagarh Fort, forcing the Marathas to leave the fort.

Lohagarh Fort was occupied by many dynasties — the Satavahanas, Chalukyas, Rashtrakutas, Yadavas, Bahamanis, Nizam Shahis, Mughals and the Marathas. Shivaji captured Lohagarh in 1648 AD and used it as a watchtower to guard his trade route. Shivaji’s battle for independence from the Mughals started at the fort of Torna in 1643 AD, but by the Treaty of Purandar, he had to surrender it to the Mughals in 1665 AD. It was recaptured by Shivaji in 1670 AD and was used for housing the treasury. From then on, the fort remained with the Marathas. But later, both the Lohagarh and the Visapur Fort were taken over by the British in 1818 AD.

With a sparse settlement, a statue of Chhatrapati Shivaji, a small restaurant, along with a banner of Junglelore — an organisation which offers several trekking expeditions and some travel tours — the stone carved steps ascending towards the right mark the beginning of the climb to the gates of the fort. The ascending steps seem to be in good shape. However, at some places, they are displaced, probably due to natural calamities. The stone blocks used in the fort walls, which were fitted together with some adhesive materials other than cement, stand witness to the perfection and expertise of the workmanship in those ancient days. The fort wall with the three layers of defence can be seen and easily ascertained. Absence of architectural decorations, as well as the functionality of the fort walls make it a perfect fighting bastion, which sets the fort apart from other fort-palaces elsewhere in India.

On the top, there is a small temple of Lord Shiva built at the centre, with a statue of the Nandi bull, Lord Shiva’s escort, sitting in front of the temple’s entrance. The undulating terrain provides breathtaking views in all directions. The Vinchu Kata (scorpion’s sting), so called because of its shape, is an extension of the fort which was used as a line of defense in ancient days. The stepped bawdi (tank) used as a water storage facility, shows the meticulous planning of the ancient warrior kings to ensure abundant water during a siege. The Lonavla reservoir, shimmering under the rays of the setting sun, surrounded by the Deccan plateaus of the Sahyadri hills, is a sight to behold.

Finally, it was almost 6.00 p.m. when we started our return journey from the famous Lohagarh Fort, with enthralling memories and hopes for another visit during the monsoon season.

After an hour’s walk, we reached Bhaje village at the bottom of the hill where our auto-rickshaw was waiting. From Lonavla, we took a local train, which dropped us at the Pune station.

Courtesy: The Assam Tribune (22 January 2012)

Monday, 30 January 2012

Bishnupriya literary and cultural fest in February

Post Bureau
Guwahati, Jan 29

In order to develop Bishnupriya Manipuri language, literature and culture through literary and cultural exchanges, the Bishnupriya Manipuri Writers’ Forum (BMWF) is going to hold an international Bishnupriya Manipuri literary and cultural festival on February 18 and 19 this year in Guwahati.

The festival, to be organised in the district library auditorium in Guwahati, will be participated by litterateurs and cultural troupes from Bangladesh, Tripura and Manipur, besides Assam.

Addressing a press conference in Guwahati on Sunday, BMWF president Dils Lakshmindra Sinha said that, besides other programmes, the cultural troupe from Bangladesh to be headed by Subashis Samir would stage two Bishnupriya Manipuri dramas — Kohe Birangana, based on Michael Madhusudan Dutta’s Birangana Kabya, and Debatar Gras of RN Tagore.

Dils Sinha further said that the festival would have diverse discussions and seminars on language, literature and culture on both the days when a number of artistes, including Guru Haricharan Sinha of Shillong, poet Brojendra Sinha of Hailakandi, litterateur Ranjit Sinha of Bangladesh, Samarjit Sinha of Tripura and Kalasena Sinha of Karimganj, among others, would be felicitated.

“The initiative is to preserve Bishnupriya Manipuri rlanguage that has been categorised as an endangered language by Unesco. Bishnupriya Manipuri writers, litterateurs, artistes, intellectuals and social workers across the globe will participate in the festival,” said Sinha.

The Bishnupriya Manipuris are scattered in various places in the Northeastern region and also in some parts of Bangladesh and Myanmar.

They have two dialects — Rajar Gang (King’s village) and Madai Gang (Queen’s village).
There are about two lakhs Bishnupriya Manipuris in Assam.

According to Dils Sinha, Bishnupriya Manipuri literature is not lagging much behind among the major literatures of the Northeastern states when viewed from quality.

Courtesy: Seven Sisters Post (sevensisterspost.com)

Sunday, 29 January 2012

Radhamadhav Mandir Parichalan Samiti overrules Silchar Anchalik Committee decision

On inviting Rebati Mohan Sinha in its General Body Meeting

Recently in a meeting held at Silchar, the Mandir Parichalan Samiti’s president and the secretary, Sri Shyam Sundar Sinha and Sri Krishna Charan Sinha respectively, raised an objection of inviting Mr. Rebati Mohan Sinha from Mumbai to attend the forthcoming General Body Meeting, to be held on 12th/13th March 2012 at Silchar, because they are casting a doubt on him being a virtual writer of this article (below) (the article was published in Bishnupriya Manipuri language in ‘Kaakei’, ‘Nuadristi’, and ‘Nuwa Ela’). These two office bearers have overruled the decision taken by the Silchar Anchalik Committee vis-à-vis inviting of Sri Rebati Mohan Sinha. Let readers decide on the action taken by these office bearers.

It is learnt that the Working Committee President Sri Shyam Sundar Sinha and the Organizational Secretary Dilip Sinha have just gone back from Guwahati after collection of fund for the construction of Yatri Nivas at Radhmadhav mandir premises at Radhakund, Mathura. I can not understand, how could Guwahati Anchalik Committee President co-operate with them, who was last heard in Narsingpur General Body Meeting, expressing his doubt on the construction of the Yatri Nivas, saying ‘Kaali bagia portoi building got mitey kiya rupa ditouta’. We have also heard that the earlier building plan made in Mumbai and submitted by Delhities Sri Kajal Kanti Sinha, the then president of Nirman Committee, (a civil Engr) was summarily dumped in waste-paper-bin and a non recommended building plan made in Mathura was brought in place, for further construction. It was Sri Chandrakanta Sinha’s opinion that prevailed upon the anomaly while discharging his duties as construction in-charge at site and proceeded with the Mumbai made drawing with some modification.

Hearing all these, some questions may arise as far as the Yatrinivas is concerned, for which Sri Shyam Sundar Sinha and Krishna Charan Sinha are responsible to answer through our language papers and the questionnaires are as follows :

1.What had happened to those four donors, Dr. Ashok Kumar Sinha, Bishwajit Sinha, Sri Pranab and Chandi Sinha? What was the necessity for collection of subscription from Guwahatians, when the construction work was smoothly going on with the part payment of donation from those mentioned above?

2.Is it a fact that they wouldn’t be allotted the rooms on the names of their ancestors for whom they have been promised at Maligaon Malthep in Guwahati? What was the reason? Did they refuse to pay any further installments? Or a decision abruptly taken by the so-called core committee and ratified accordingly in the Central Working Committee at its Chenkuri meeting? Why was the list of donor’s name changed suddenly?

3.Did Mr. Rebati Mohan Sinha, a resident of Mumbai, ever made any promise in the Adhiveshan at Maligao Malthep Guwahati in 2009 that he would get the first floor(dui-tala) rooms constructed? Was it accepted with a voice vote

4.Has the list of following donors names, suggested by Mr. Rebati Mohan Sinha, been read out in the Central Working Committee Meeting just after two months of his promise ie in the month of May 2009 at Narsingpur?

Sri Bishwajit Sinha New Delhi
Sri Ramsena Sinha Pune
Sri Babul Sinha Pune
Sri Bibhulal Sinha Mumbai
Sri Pulin B. Sinha Narsingpur
Dr. Ashok K. Sinha Guwahati

5.Was there any high level meeting, arranged by Mr. Rebati Mohan Sinha, at Gobindabari, Nabadwip to discuss upon ways and means to develop the Radhamadhav mandir complex among the office bearers of Nirman Committee and Mandir Parichalan Central Working Committee with a group of engineers from BM community in the month of July 2009?

Sri Kajal kanti Sinha, President, Nirman Committee
Sri Subhash Sharma, President, Radhmadhav Mandir
Sri Shyam Sundar Sinha, Vice President,Radhmadhav Mandir
Sri Krishna Charan Sinha, Hon. Sec., Radhmadhav Mandir
Dr. Ashok Kumar Sinha, Engr, Guwahati, Radhmadhav Mandir
Sri Brajakishore Sinha, Engr.,Kolkata, Radhmadhav Mandir
Sri Rebati Mohan Sinha, Mumbai, Radhmadhav Mandir
Sri Bijit Kumar Sinha, America, Radhmadhav Mandir

On the same day, was there any sub committee formed with Sri Kishna Charan Sinha as Chairman, Rebati Mohan Sinha and Dr.Ashok Kumar Sinha as members to survey the entire structures of the mandir complex and forward their comment as well as the commencement of work on the construction of Yatri Nivas?

6. Did these three individuals leave Nabadwip for Radhakunda for the execution of jobs entrusted to them ? Did Dr.Ashok Sinha purchase building materials with his donor’s part payment money to start the construction work?

Did Mr. Rebati Mohan Sinha keep his promise made in Maligao Malthep to start the construction within three months? Then, why was it not included in 2010 year’s annual report, where Hon. General Secretary was to read in the Adhiveshan? Instead, in that report he had appreciated the sevait? Was it done for a purpose?

7. Did Dr. Ashok kumar Sinha visit the site after two months on completion of the erection of pillars, girders and beams to estimate the cost of roof concreting? Then, why did Hon. Sec. Sri Krishna Charan Sinha de0puted sevait Sri Krishna Kanta Sinha to complete the roof concreting without informing Nirman Committee or Dr. Ashok?

8. Didn’t sevait Sri Krishna Kanta Babaji submit his resignation letter to Working Committee on 28/1/2009 at Patherkandi? How could he collect about Rs 1.3 lakhs from the donors after more than a year of his resignation?

9. How could sevait bring building materials costing about Rs.90,000/- from a supplier on credit without informing Nirman Committee? Can we presume that the sevait was just following the order of Hon. Secretary?

10. Did Central Working Committee anticipated any action against him for the violation of norms?

11. Why did sevait inflated his credit amount from Rs. 90,000/- to 1,35,ooo/- without producing proper receipts, bills and vouchers? The president and secretary paid the amount without taking the Central Working Committee in to confidence. Can these two office bearers disburse so much money, then place the paper for sanction?

12.Can a foundation stone be laid without marking on the ground as per building plan?

13. In spite of raising an objection by Mr. Rebati Mohan Sinha from Mumbai, why did three office bearers perform the foundation stone laying ceremony(a pillar erection) at Radhakunda, without the drawing?

14. Why didn’t they show expenditure incurred on foundation stone laying ceremony ie an erection of a pillar foundation in that year’s expenditure and on the contrary only the to-and-fro fare shown for three persons?

15. In total how many foundation stones were laid prior to the commencement of the work of Yatrinivas in July 2008?

16. Could those foundations be included while erection of pillars or uprooted and thrown?
To be continued.

Friday, 27 January 2012

Obituary: Centenarian Malini Devi


Centenarian Malini Devi, mother of Bhimsen Sinha passed away on 25 January 2012. With her we lost a living history of Bishnupriya Manipuri. She was the only woman speaker who spoke and sang in the founding session of Nikhil Bishnupriya Manipuri Mahasabha NBMM at Gokila Protapgarh in 1932.

Deficit of ethics in NBMM and BMDC

Rebati Mohan Sinha

In reference to BN Sinha's article "Adding Fuel to Fire".

The first step of a fire fighting operation is a reconnaissance to search for the origin of the fire. A fire can be extinguished by taking away any of the three components—heat, fuel or air.

If life is a journey, and the human being is the vehicle, then the best fuel for a successful completion of this journey is love. When we substitute some other emotion and make it our central core, our fuel, the vehicle obviously cannot perform as it should be. The journey would no longer smooth, but jumpy, noisy, bouncy, uncomfortable, and prone to frequent breakdowns, and constantly needing other’s help to set it right. Every human being is a source of this fuel called love. We are capable of producing love 24 hrs a day, endlessly. Love is our natural state. Love works slowly as compared to its opposite emotion, namely fear and hate. If you want to get a group of people together for a common cause under a common banner, love for something might take years to unite them and at the same time hate and fear can work in a matter of minutes.

In our society, we never try to find the root cause of fire; had it been found and tried to extinguish, people would say, he/she speaks against the administration. BN Sinha has rightly pointed out that it is due to our gene. I do appreciate his thought.

There is a deficit of ethics in running of NBMM as well as BMDC. There has been erosion of people’s faith in these organizations. Their confidence in present committees, especially office bearers has declined. People’s trust in presidentship, including the chairmanship of BMDC has collapsed. The integrity among the officebearers is being questioned. The administrations are at its lowest ebb. The morale of the committee members is low. The situation is too deleterious for the society. There is too much at stake for too many in such a situation.

An organization registered under Society Act 1860 for educational, cultural, scientific and social welfare of the people, we would realize that when it at the brink of collapse, it is due to clash of personalities and failed relationship. Interestingly, 80% of our fulfillment comes from our key relationships that are satisfactory. Without such relationships we feel incomplete.

The clash of personalities and failed relationship occur, when the person, at the helm of affairs, feels himself, that (1) his image is bigger than the organization because without him it cannot run; (2) he never be wrong, and always correct; and (3) he or she is superior to his fellowmates. Many more examples can be quoted.

Thursday, 26 January 2012

Republic Day with a Northeast Thought


Happy Republic Day

Today we are celebrating the spirit of Sovereign and Independent India. Every year we celebrate it on Republic Day but the present scenario in the Northeastern states gives a setback. The growing gap between the people of neighbouring states of the region is creating more alienation weakening the true fabric of India.

The creation of states was to fulfill the aspirations of different ethnic groups of the region but the first casualty has been the resultant gaping between the hearts. The political set-ups in the region, in the form of states, are seemed to institutionalize this gap and failed to create an understanding, a feeling of welfare and strengthen the affinity. However, there has always been a considerate gap on the line of ethnicity and geography, which had  been accepted with a mark of respect and tolerance but there was no distance among hearts. This gap has now become a social and psychological distance and gradually taking a concrete shape.

Despite rich and connected history of the communities in the region, people have complete alienation of the other. They have a fragmented, fractured, fuzzy vision to their neighbour and to the whole region. Hiren Gohain has rightly asserted that we have to overcome the barriers that inhibit us to understand and appreciate the other who are our neighbours.

Ironically, where the region doesn’t give an opportunity and a platform to bring the people together, it is the capital of India that brings together people from this region by shedding barriers. One will find a Naga sharing room with an Assamese! It is not the sharing of space; it is sharing of common beliefs and strengthening of the neighbourhood affinity.

If the gap is not diminished, the very foundation of our Constitution that gives a framework with Rights and Privileges to the People of India would be weakened and the Nation India would not be able to live up to its true essence and ideals. If the common people of the states would not come forward with the spirit of sisterhood with respect and tolerance overcoming the myopic vision, one cannot think of a better tomorrow.

We have to bring a northeast thought aiming at a prosperous and strong region, hence consolidating the strength of India and the spirit of Indianness.

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Breaking inter-state barriers

At a time of rampant political conflicts, the need is for sensitive writing that brings the seven sisters closer together. Ramlal Sinha reads the writing on the wall.

THE landlocked seven sisters – Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland and Tripura – have a shared history, but it is a history that has seen more of conflicts, less of sisterhood. The ethnic, linguistic and cultural diversity of the region is not as much of a problem as its territorial disputes are. Creation of the northeastern states without their boundaries properly demarcated – a politically expeditious action by the powers that be – is a major reason behind the growing emotional divide and strained relations between them. This issue has been keenly pursued by some writers transcending geographical, or rather,
man-made barriers.

Litterateur Hiren Gohain
At a recent workshop on translation held in Guwahati, renowned litterateur Hiren Gohain had said: “We (the northeastern states) are neighbours, yet strangers. We must overcome the barriers.” He blamed colonialism for the gap between the ethnic groups in the Northeast. Gohain said that bringing out books for children in all the languages of the region would enrich their minds.

The workshop on translation of children’s literature into various languages of the region was organised by Anwesha, a book promotion group. The participants were tasked with translating children’s books into Assamese, Bodo, Garo, Manipuri, Mizo and Khasi at the workshop.

Author and former North East Writers’ Forum (NEWF) president Arup Kumar Dutta, who hails from Assam, has written three novels set in the Northeast. His novel The Counterfeit Treasure is about the numerous caves in Meghalaya. Apart from the literary points it has scored, the novel says a lot about tourism in the hill state. Revenge, another novel by Dutta, is based on the Khamti tribe of Arunachal Pradesh. It highlights the culture and traditions of the Khamtis, thereby helping promote tourism in the state. Besides his many short stories set in the states of the region, NEWF founder secretary Dhruba Hazarika has authored a novel, A Bowstring Winter, probably the first work of fiction about Shillong after Rabindranath Tagore’s Shesher Kabita. With archery, a kind of betting locally called ‘teer’, as the subject matter, the novel depicts betrayal, loyalty and revenge through six characters. It also gives a vivid picture of the food habits of the people of the region.

Karunamay Sinha
A writer from Tripura, Karunamay Sinha, has written a long column on what he describes as the ‘unpredictable northeasterner’. It was published in the Sunday magazine of a Guwahati-based English daily. He starts his column with a general discussion on the subtle things northeasterners have in common, like food habits and festivities. He also highlights the similarities in their nature, which according to him is uni-dimentional. Northeasterners, he says, are prone to flaring up at the slightest provocation and their outbursts of passion are unpredictable. He tries to substantiate his claim through an assortment of historical narratives that are essentially accounts of insurrectionary outbursts against oppressors and foreign invaders. Sinha argues that the northeasterners are the most freedom-loving of all Indians, which is why they have produced the first martyrs and the first insurrectionary uprisings against the British. The display of valour and love for freedom by the Assamese, Khasis, Garos, Jaintias, Lushais, Manipuris, Nagas and Kukis dominate his column. These accounts deal with the brave histories of various ethnic tribes of the region that have been lost or are on the verge of being lost in the vagaries of Indian history.

A young writer from Assam, Aiyushman Dutta, tried to bridge the gap between the seven sisters by holding a seminar on Northeast cuisine in Guwahati in 2009. Many writers and food specialists of the region participated in the seminar, the purpose of which was to analyse how food defines culture in the region and helps to bring people of the northeastern states together.

Dils Lakshmindra Sinha
Assam was represented at the seminar by Jyoti Das, who gave an overview of Assamse cuisine, Rajib Bora and Dils Lakshmindra Sinha (from Assam but who gave an account of Bishnupriya Manipuri cuisine), Manipur by Karunamay Sinha (he hails from Tripura), Tripura by Parinita Livingstone, Nagaland by Insopangla Ao and Villolo Achumi, and Meghalaya by Alynti Nongbri. The seminar endorsed the view that amidst differences, there are many similarities in the food habits of the seven sisters, and these similarities should be celebrated. 

Hiren Gohain’s appeal for overcoming of the ‘barriers’ therefore, is just another instance of the thinking people of the Northeast getting together to overcome political disputes and conflicts. The writers of the region have been very much on the job. What we need now is the involvement of more writers in this ‘undeclared mission’.

Courtesy: Seven Sisters Post (www.sevensisterspost.com)

Tuesday, 17 January 2012

Samskara in waiting

Personal Jottings
RK Rishikesh Sinha

Never in his wildest dream, Bijay Sinha anticipated that one day the genie from one of his literary work would haunt him bitterly.

Ever since Bijay Sinha’s literary work has been criticised by a section of people in Guwahati, my inquisitiveness to read the piece has increased manifold, thanks to the controversy.

However, something is failing me to digest the whole controversy and boycott.

First, is the time period. It took 6 years to generate the reaction, and that is from a public literary work! Definitely, the work was not scientific; it was a literary fictional piece as quoted by the author. Adding to it, the repercussion was not based on ‘interpretation’ that is the author has written ‘something’, and the section of people found out ‘something else’. It was a purely a fictional piece, yet it took 6 years of interpretation!

Second, is the short-sightedness of the ‘concerned people’. They have failed to gauge the effect on the Bishnupriya Manipuri literary activity. An attack on the writers and on their writings would definitely negate people to contribute to the Bishnupriya Manipuri literature and the media. If this incident is given precedent, days are not far, those who wish to contribute might come up with statement like “Don’t BUY, if the buyer doesn’t agree with the content of the book.” 
Henceforth, we will be losing the charm of innocence that exists in all our activity.

Third, the reaction was totally unexpected from the ‘Brahmins’ as they have been the most intelligent, mobile and powerful population since Vedic period. Knowledge and learning have been their hallmark. If some other section would have done it, it was understandable, but from them, it doesn’t go. We all have respect and reverence for them, and they have much resilience and spirit while dealing with social and political activities. But here, it seems something else.

Hope the incident gives another story plot for Bijay Sinha to dwell upon and create another award winning Samskara.

Saturday, 14 January 2012

Wish you a happy Makar Sankranti

Rebati Mohan Sinha

Makar Sankranti is one of the most auspicious occasion, the Hindus celebrate in almost all over the country with great zeal and enthusiasm. It is known as a harvest festival. Generally, Makar Sankranati always falls on January 14 every year. In Punjab, it is known as Lohri, the festival of bonfire; in Tamil Nadu it is time for three day Pongal celebration; in Gujarat it is known as Uttarayan and it is synonymous with kite flying while in Maharashtra and a part of Karnataka it is known as Sankranti where there is a custom of exchanging tilgul ladoos, and greeting with the words “tilgul gaya ani god god bola”, the meaning “speak sweetly just as this sweet”. In Assam, it is known as Bhogali Bihu. Assamese celebrate the festival with great devotion, fervour and gaiety. We, the Bishnupriya Manipuri celebrate as Tila-Sankranti with Tilua (sugar candy) and home-made Utong chak, made with bironor choul, prepared in a bamboo piece of thin wall thickness.

The festival marks the northward journey (uttarayan) of Sun, in other words the Sun enters the sign of Makar or Capricorn from tropic of Cancer i.e., Makar Sankranti is the day when the glorious Sun God begins its ascending and entry in to the northern hemisphere and thus it signifies an event where in, the Sun God seems to remind his children, may you go higher and higher, have more and more light, never to darkness.

To Hindus, the Sun stands for knowledge, spiritual light and wisdom. Makar Sankranti signifies, we should turn away from darkness of delusion in which we live and begin to enjoy a new life with bright light within us to shine brighter and brighter. We should gradually begin to grow in purity, wisdom and knowledge, even as the Sun God does from the day of Makar Sankranti.

In the epic of Mahabharata, Bhishma Pitamaha even after being wounded, lingered on till Uttarayan to set in, so that he attain Moksha.

Adding Fuel to Fire

BN Sinha

I wish to extend many thanks to Mr B P sinha for such an unbiased piece of depiction of the history (Read History Repeats Itself). Few points to applaud which are more than truth, that division is in our DNA and jealousy is an integral inherited character for the people of this community.

Sometime I wonder , in a poorest of poor community like ours where we are still struggling for our identity and existence when rest of the world is fearing an extinction of human civilisation.. why are we still love to be engrossed with cheap and malicious activities?.. why can’t we digest neighbours success? If we introspect, I am sure we will find hell lot of malign particles in the DNA of every individual of this community.

I wonder, is it because of the rotten black shit like material we are dying to consume every day meal .. I know, I am sounding something very erratic but I assume traditionally our human character are like those we are practiced to eat as favorites like Longchak...

Why do we always like which stinks and give a rotten odor ???

Coming to the point of NBMM, it was bound to a split and it was a long time due.. because the people who took control after the big division of seventies had misused their positions and were very active and instrumental to bring many unethical and malignancy into the community.

Any organisation needs a periodical change in order to maintain its decorum and sanctity and also for proper and transparently productive implementation of work. And there must be some time bound objectives to be performed and implemented. But in case of NBMM people are holding portfolios for decades like theirs characters.. as if both are made for each other.. Ridiculous!!

And ancient leaders who are now counting their last days.. are still not able to relinquish their beloved character of separatism and dirty politics instead of doing some divine chants.

A fresh assemblage of educated people with urban mindset is the need of the hour who should be given control of NBMM or BMDC to get rid of the spiteful and sick attitude of the sitting dicks.

Moreover it is certainly a matter of surprise why do NBMM necessarily need to be involved in every matter or activity by any other individual or an organization in the community?

When NBMM could not be able to applaud and honor legends like Dr Kali Prasad Sinha just for the reason that he did not support few people’s idiosyncratic values and opted for an open minded coterie, its leadership undoubtedly shown their chauvinistic attitude also by propagating defamatory remarks for Dr K P Sinha.

Nonetheless, there are definitely a few can be found with the organizations even NBMM or BMDC who may be legitimately having a fair and ethical approach but their ideas are suppressed or disapproved.

Irrespective of all criticism we must tender our gratitude to Mahasabha and Sahitya Sabha for whatsoever contribution they have rendered to the community over decades.

In the present context, it is a matter of time to see what this new formation comes out to be as they claim to be departed NBMM since the group itself consists of some peoples who are alleged with various notorious activities.

I only believe it will add nothing less than fuel to the fiasco.

Friday, 13 January 2012

Change of wind

Rebati Mohan Sinha

Dalai Lama
Dalai Lama once said, “Take care of your thoughts because they become words, take care of your words because they will become actions, take care of actions because they will become habits. Take care of habits because they will form your destiny and your destiny will be your life and there is no religion higher than the truth.” We can learn lot of things from it.

Let us take a quick review of sequence of events that had taken place, culminating to disintegration of the society. No matter what all these moves will take us to; but it will not be too far. Close on the heels of the reports appeared so far in newspapers and, if talks in the various meetings suggest, I see a day not far from now when people will have no faith in any leadership.

At the moment, society needs a leader who works most effectively. At the moment the challenge of a leadership is to be a strong, but not rude, be kind, but not weak, be bold but not bully, be thoughtful, but not lazy, be humble, but not timid, be proud, but not arrogant, have humor but without folly. The very essence of the leadership is to accomplish a task that is what leadership does and what it does is more important than what it is or how it works. As I have learnt, each person on a team is an extension of your leadership, if they feel empowered by you; they will definitely magnify your power to lead.

One should not rest on one`s past laurels, on the contrary, ask himself “ What have I done so far, say during last three years?” one should always look forward not backward. And why should we, people rely on a simple booklet, carrying some body’s past laurels printed on it, supported by some, so-called, social workers? Our big task ahead would be to restore people’s faith in administration, we have to reaffirm our enduring spirit to carry forward that noble idea, “The God given promise that all are free.”

A difference between an ordinary politician and a great leader is that, the former has an extremely short-term vision and plays up to base emotion like hate, envy or greed. Great leader like Gandhiji acted differently. He has a long-term vision and appeals to noble emotions like love, kindness and self respect.

One could reminisce the first experience of Mahasabha election held in the year 2009 at Kailasahar, where 92 delegates voted against the present incumbent. Look at the election result. The causality was for the seating President who was all set to win unopposed. Present incumbent has been administering for last 13 years but presently his track record of having bitter relation with the comrades who opposed his way of functioning. He and his cronies have a lot to answer for. Time alone will tell us whether our delegates have grown out of their starry eyed, adolescent admiration for leader who they thought could lead the Bishnupriya Manipuri community into its future. In present incumbent, the community believed, it had found such a leader, but now it is evident from the fact that he could no longer devote much of his time, because of profession, and ill health. The oath taking ceremony, which was taken place at Silchar after a lapse of more than three months, is the testimony to this affect.

Why this sudden change? It is because today’s educated youngsters want development, economic growth in the society. They no longer believe that they are neglected. They are rather not impressed by mere implementation of Bishnupriya Manipuri language in our LP schools. What they want is a new pathway for the future that can accommodate their dreams and aspirations. So, they find other organizations like Sangram Parishad, NBMSU (Anil group) which is no longer relevant. They are more interested in people who work selflessly for the Bishnupriya Manipuri community, not for their own fame. They believe that tomorrow BM community will be enriched by people who can bring unity among people, not divide them. They are tired of Doladoli. They want hatred shunned, and consensus be back.

History Repeats Itself

BP Sinha

We are following the footprints of our beloved forefathers. If we go through the history of the community we will be able to find out the reasons for the present scenario of the community. Briefly, I would like to remind certain real incidents of our community, the reasons for which we failed to be united till today.

Since late 1970, the community was leaded by two giant leaders of the community: Late Jagat Mohon Sinha and Late Nanda Kishore Sinha. After the 31st Session of Nikhil Bishnupriya Manipuri Mahasabha (NBMM), 1977, these groups were formally divided, while one group was conducting the 32nd Session of NBMM, while the other was holding 33rd Session of the NBMM. After a lot of struggle between the two groups, Court Case, Police Case, Samjhata Meet etc., from the year 1978 to 1984 these groups formally separated their platform for rendering services to the Bishnupriya Manipuri community. The group under the leadership of Late Jagat Mohon Sinha got the ownership of NBMM. The group headed by Late Nanda Kishore Sinha formed a new organsation named as Sahitya Sabha. There were lot of controversies, I do not like to pass any comment as both the leaders are my beloved person and was personally attached to them, since I was a STUDENT at that period of time; my duty was to listen to their orders only.

I feel, since those blood of our forefathers is running in our body, we are unable to give up this groupism, as such now the community has been converted into two groups — NBMM and BMDC. It is needless to mention, prior to the formation of BMDC, both the leaders were sharing their food in single dish, even during the Biswa Sammelon conducted by NBMM. The present BMDC leader was introduced to the community by NBMM. In the month of June 2011, I had gone through various comments given by different people such as “an ordinary person can not place any demand before the Govt authority”, “leaders of NBMM has not been included in BMDC”. In fact, our country is a democratic country, so every citizen has got equal right to place any demand before the Govt. for his personal as well as for the benefit of the people. So far, I know earlier President of NBMM who contributed long 25 years in the organisation has been included in the BMDC as well as the existing Working President of Sahitya Parishad is the Vice Chairman of BMDC.

In fact both the present leaders are financially very sound as such they are keeping lot of blind followers who are actually diluting the images of both the leaders. The easiest thing in the world is to find fault on others and the toughest thing is to find out one’s own fault and rectify it. So instead of doing the easiest thing, let us try to do the toughest thing.

In earlier days, followers of both the groups were very dedicated and put their whole-hearted support to their leaders, unity in their respective group was very high, as they were very loyal to their group as a whole, while in the present scenario people are not loyal, and they are easily passing comments against their own leader without any hesitation and both the groups are neither very strong nor united, as nowadays people are of selfish nature which is the most negative quality of an individual in the social platform. A selfish person can never become loyal to his fellow members. So I feel both the present NBMM and BMDC group is not strong and united like previous groups of the community.

The only way to get rid of this groupism is to learn the way of recognizing one another. Dr. Devendra Kumar Sinha is renowned Gynecologist honored by two different foreign countries, lakhs of our community people have been assisted by him for medical treatment. Being the President of NBMM, he represented the community at National Level, by adopting the modern technology, he has included many members from all the countries in the world, wherever our community people is living and thus NBMM has got an International Forum. In earlier days, people staying outside India never knew about the functioning of NBMM. Thus he deserves appreciation.

Kartik Sena Sinha
Similarly, Kartik Sena Singha, the first Bishnupriya Manipuri MLA from Patharkandi in his early age, without any political background got elected. With his vigorous persuasion BMDC was formed and doing a lot for the economical development of the community. Thus, he also deserves appreciation.

In fact all the organization of the community has got contribution for achievement in different ways. What is the harm in recognizing the fact and their contribution to community?

For example

# Recognition of the Bishnupriya Manipuri Language was made during in the year 1983 after all out efforts made by NBMM. The NBMM deserves appreciation.

# NBMSU headed by Shri Anil Rajkumar made vital role in implementation of the language at Primary School, which was kept pending since recognition. NBMSU and Late Sudeshna Sinha who lost her life deserve recognition.

# Sahitya Sabha along with Samaj Sanngstha of Guwahati took vital role in the case decreed in our favour in the OBC Commission, Assam. Both the organization deserves recognition.

Late Dr. K.P Sinha
# While all the organization of the community put their hands together in the Supreme Court case and the same decreed in our favour. Sahitya Sabha took the main role in the play, thus credit goes to Sahitya Sabha and Late Dr. K. P. Sinha, since the decree was given in reference to his book Note of the term Bishnupriya Manipuri.

Etymological Dictionary published by him was 2nd of its kind in India. The first was by Dr. Sukumar Sen of Calcutta. We should feel proud of it; unfortunately, Dr. K.P Sinha was never honored by NBMM as he was belonging to the other group of the community i.e Sahitya Sabha.

I do have my whole hearted respect for all the past and present leaders of the community, I could not made any appeal to our earlier leaders because of my age. Now out of the two leaders one is like my elder brother and the other is my younger brother, as such through this web site, I put my humble request to both the leaders to get united for the benefit of the community before the community go back to their early 1978 position.

In this regard I would like to quote some important points: there were lot of artists in our community who were deserving National Award for their achievement in their life in Arts and Culture, but were deprived only because of our disunity.

Unity is Strength

Incidentally, my above observation became true and on 8th of January at 4-30 PM another NBMM took birth and now they have started fighting to establish their validity and started accusing one another as invalid and this will continue for another 3-4 years as with one registration number two different committee can not exist. They will take shelter of law and the court will decide which is valid and which is invalid, since there are thousands of cases are pending in the court it will take time get the decree.

When Ex President of NBMM was reminded about the history, he simply replied that let it be happened it will not hamper the development of the society. It is very unfortunate even after experiencing long 35 years they are still unaware that developmental work will certainly take a slow motion. It is observed that they are very eager to get the platform of NBMM which has got the curse of almighty “God” for dis-unity in the society. As such, NBMM can never bring unity in the society.

Because of the blood contents in the body which is having a large volume of groupism, existing NBMM trying their level best to dissolve the BMDC and constitute BMDC of their own and have already focused on it by naming their Chairman Col. Bijay Singh and they are in the race with all sorts of weapon and money power by door-to-door campaign to all Ministers and MLAs of Barak Valley to grasp the platform of BMDC as they are holding the highest platform of the Society, i.e. NBMM. There are many prominent platform where we are not representing and these leaders, they never think of sending representative in those platform viz. Assam Assembly, Parliament of India etc. etc. It is not at all, tough to represent in those platform if we concentrate on it instead of occupying the NBMM. We do not know, when the almighty GOD will shower His blessing to our so-called veteran leader of the society to go in a right direction in bringing unity in the community.

Jai Hind Jai Bishnupriya Manipuri

Tuesday, 10 January 2012

Bishnupriya Manipuri Development Council: A boon or a bane

Rebati Mohan Sinha

When the Bishnupriya Manipuri Development Council (BMDC) came into existence, little did our community people realize, who were holding a motor bike procession from Kumbirgram Airport to Sadhu Thakur Sevashram, Tarapur, Silchar and followed by a felicitation, that it would turned into a turmoil in the community later? Now it is clearly visible that a division is imminent in the society due to newly formed committee of Mahasabha by the rival group with the help of BMDC.

The basic ethos of Bishnupriya Manipuri community is harmony; but I would not question the right to speak or raise pertinent issue. We are cowards and prefer to just debate within the confines of our meeting only, but we never evaluate. Why do we talk about only language, radio, TV and language teacher’s enrolment issues? What about other issues like roti, kapda and makan? At the moment, Bishnupriya Manipuri Development Council (BMDC) is not thinking of any development in the society except eying for the grant-in-aid from the State/Central Government. In my earlier articles on Bishnupriya Manipuri Development Council (BMDC), it was clearly mentioned that a society can not be developed merely on Government grant.

About 80% of our population live in villages. We can not make any progress until our villages are developed. The life of the villages is very hard because of bad communication. Our Govt. realized that the progress of the community was not possible without the development of our villages; therefore, plans were made to develop the villages and to improve the living condition of the poor; but BMDC is doing just the other way. It must think about Bishnupriya Manipuri people below poverty line, and not the people living in Guwahati, Silchar and other district towns.

Did BMDC ever try to find out what percentage of people living below poverty line? Where is the bylaw or Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to run the council? There were plenty of questions raised in my earlier articles on BMDC; but it failed to get any response. Where is the notification of Govt. on BMDC formation with satellite areas of village councils with population? Mahasabha never wanted BMDC would be a mere fund collector and disburse as per desire of the Babus of Govt.and Chairman. People might still remember that once late Rajiv Gandhi, then Prime Minister of India declared in Lal Quila on the Independence Day that villagers receiving sixteen paise as development fund out of a rupee sent from Centre, he would try to increase up to 32 paise. I do not know how much is reaching to us through BMDC. The Chairman only could tell us. Now, the Bishnupriya Manipuri Development Council (BMDC) has become a bone of contention in the Bishnupriya Manipuri society.

Sunday, 8 January 2012

Bishnupriya Manipuri Society bursting at its seam

Rebati Mohan Sinha

Playing politics while doing social work is not a vehicle to be used for fulfilling one’s personal ambition. Nowadays, the inflated egos, baseless notions and over-rated views dominate the action of certain persons, especially so-called two maharathies of our Bishnupriya Manipuri society, accusing, rather pointing finger at each other, saying, “He has caused me untold and unbearable pain, agony and misery by continuous and unabated rudeness, disrespectful and insulting behavior towards me.” It is also important that we understand the politics of social responsibility can not be left to the whims and fancy of certain individuals. Experience has shown that people will do a lot for money; in contrast a good leader would do most for a belief. We see this, happening every day all over the world. Roosevelt once said, “No one can make you feel inferior without your permission.”

Here, there is a story goes about an ancient Indian sage who was called ugly names by a passerby. The sage listened unperturbed till the man ran out of words. Then he asked the man, “If an offering is not accepted, whom it belongs to? The man replied “It belongs to the person who offered it.” The sage said “I refuse to accept your offering (that dirty remark).” and walked away, leaving the man dazed. The sage was internally driven.

We must take criticism graciously then evaluate and if it makes sense accept and implement it; but the people running our Sansthas, like Mahasabha, Sahitya Sabha and Samaj Sanstha refuse to accept it and as a result Bishnupriya Manipuri society is bursting at seam now. They never develop immunity to negative criticism. They forgot to be good listeners, whereas listening shows caring. When you show a caring attitude towards the person, seated in front of you, he feels important. When he feels important, he is more motivated, and more receptive to your ideas. In a democracy, criticism is welcome against institutions by individuals and representatives of institutions as that gives a fillip to the self-corrective process.

On 7th January 2012, a 2-day convention of Bishnupriya Manipuri, called by Suraksha Samiti, took place at Meherpur (Singari), near Silchar. These two Maharathies were supposed to be attending the convention as per their agreement. Here, I would like to remind Bishnupriya Manipuri people that what once shunned is now admired. What we once disapproved are now the ideals of a new society being built up on the premise that whatever makes money is good. Wealth is the new measure of a person’s place in society. Success is measured by earnings now.

Our only MLA did leave BJP and joined Congress, again left Congress then joined the other party to fight the election of his own without taking the Bishnupriya Manipuri society into confidence. Despite his in cohesion, he has made the people believe that there can be life beyond politics. Can we call it an achievement irrespective of the outcome of his last election? However given the polemical nature of his politics and his rapid fire styles it will be difficult for him to sustain his brand for a long time. At the other hand, a real leader emerges when there is perfect harmony between his ideas and the people’s mood; but at some point, he has to fade away. The leaders, who made desperate attempts to cling to their receding turf, often face humiliation. You are relevant as long as you can keep space with the change. Otherwise, the situation like conventions will take place to thwart further deterioration of society.

Now history is going to repeat itself after 1984 that a new Central Committee of Mahasabha is scheduled to form on 8th January 2012 at the same venue. And that will be the beginning of the end of society’s further growth.

Bishnupriya Manipuri Newsmaker (Bangladesh)

It is with great pleasure we bring to you some ...of the brightest potentials in our (Bangladesh) cultural world. It is our (The Daily Star) way of introducing a “new” generation of news makers in the new year. In their own words they express their highlights of the year gone by and share their expectations from the fans.

Jyoti Sinha, actor, Manipuri Theatre

I had spent last year mostly performing in my troupe's monodrama, “Kohe Birangana”. The show has been staged 27 times since its debut in December, 2010. The play has been staged in different districts including Dhaka, Chittagong, Sylhet and Habiganj.

With the government grant, my troupe has produced a Tagore play, “Debotar Grash”. The play premiered on December 29 last year in Dhaka. I had to spend a significant period of time for the rehearsal of the play, where I have been enacting an important role. The play is in Bishnupriya Manipuri language.

Our troupe celebrated its 15th anniversary last year. We produced a collage featuring old plays. I had to play different roles in the collage. The celebration programme was held in Kamolganj and in Dhaka. To celebrate our traditional festival Bishu as well as the Bangla New Year, Manipuri Theatre arranged a colourful programme. I had to play an important role as an organiser.

I wish to share my plans with theatre enthusiasts this year which is mainly to continue on stage performances in our ongoing productions. Moreover, I want to continue my research work on Manipur Rasa Leela that I started last year. In my “Open Letter” I want to add that we will run a camp to collect new members for the troupe. So keep in touch!!

Courtesy: The Daily Star (January 2, 2012)

Thursday, 5 January 2012

Manipuri Theatre premieres Debotar Grash

Manipuri Theatre staged its newest production, Rabindranath Tagore's “Debotar Grash”, on December 29 at the Studio Theatre Hall, Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy. After seven shows at the troupe's local area in Kamolganj, Maulvibazar, this was the Dhaka premiere of the play. The play premiered in Kamolganj on June 13 last year. The play received a grant from the government along with other selected troupes to produce Tagore play on his 150th birth anniversary.

The experimental work, based-on Tagore poem with the same title, has been both adapted and directed by Shuvashis Sinha.

The performance was mainly choral. Individual dialogues were often overtaken by the choral renditions.

The story depicts the epic voyage of a group of people who face a tempest during their return home after attending a ritualistic festival. Among the travellers is a priest who is caught in a dilemma between religion and humanity even as he tries to determine the cause of the tempest.

Sinha adapted the play into his mother tongue of Bishnupriya Manipur language. It was hard for the Dhaka audience to keep pace with the dialogues; nevertheless, it seemed that the performance was largely based on musical elements. Using their traditional cultural elements such as dance forms and singing style, the Manipuri actors narrated the Tagore work in an indigenous theatre form.

The cast of the play included Jyoti Sinha, Lakkhan Sinha, Bhagyalakkhi Sinha, Smriti Sinha, Sushanto Singha, Sunil Singha and Shukla Sinha. Sudip Chakroborthy did the light designing, while Sharmila Sinha did the music. The music featured compositions of Tagore tunes with his lyrics transformed into Bhishnupriya Manipuri language.

Ramendu Majumdar, ITI Worldwide president and chief of the committee that allotted troupes to produce Tagore plays, inaugurated the Dhaka show at the Studio Theatre Hall. After the premiere, two more shows of the play were staged the following day.

Courtesy: The Daily Star


In memory of Late Sukhojyoti Sinha
RK Rishikesh Sinha

This article is in the memory of Late Sukhojyoti Sinha whom I met last year at her residence. Little conversation that I had with her ended with one question from her : how a business could be started without capital. I am failing to remember how in a short meeting this question came into our conversation. 

It is aptly said:

“Entrepreneurship to a man is quite close to what pregnancy and child birth is to a woman”.

When to be independent?

There is no age to be independent. Some starts early without any work experience. While some begins after working few years; however to pin-point the perfect age when to be independent is a tough question to answer. I believe, age doesn’t become a factor, more than that it is the confidence of the entrepreneur that counts. The day an entrepreneur gets an inner call and a mountain-like confidence, the journey of entrepreneurship begins.

Why entrepreneurship?

# Independence: To be independent drives many to start business. This is one important reason that pushes youngsters to take the roller-coaster ride of starting a business.

# Challenges: Some people tread into entrepreneurship due to their innate urge to take challenges which are unplanned and unpredictable unlike 9-to-5 job. 

# Money: The lure of money is another reason that attracts people to plunge into entrepreneurship.

# Ownership Feeling: There is nothing satisfying in this world than the feeling of Ownership. For an entrepreneur, it’s a great feeling of pride to see the business establishment growing from the scratch.

Capital or Skill (or both)

What is more important to start a business – capital or skill or both capital and skill? The primary reason behind well-started off business failure is due to undercapital or lack of skill of an entrepreneur. However, this is not the absolute truth. There are stories of entrepreneurs who started with nought but they have made a place in the market that you and I can see around us.

The common pitfall that has been evident for those who come into business after working for few years is: the lack of ‘business’ skill. A designer, programmer, or a writer might be adored or praised while in his or her job, but those designing and programming skill is not enough to get sure-shot success while if he or she wishes to start a business of his or her own.

They might get stuck with hardware problems, marketing, negotiation and in many co-ordinated business sphere where he or she would find herself as a cat in a hot tin roof. These simple looking problems that were looked after by departments and designated people has to be faced and tackled if the business is started in a thin wafer-like capital.


Problems, call it challenges, are bountiful and oceanic for any new starters; however these doesn’t stop a true entrepreneur in his or her journey.
It was a short meeting with her, I couldn't discuss anything in detail. She presented me her book Mor Bilat Bhraman. I didn't know that it would be our last meeting. May God rest her soul in peace.

Tuesday, 3 January 2012

NBMSU hammers Education Minister on academic issues

From our Special Correspondent

Silchar, January 2: Nikhil Bishnupriya Manipuri Students’ Union (NBMSU), Bishnupriya Manipuri Ganasangram Parishad (BMGP) and Nikhil Bishnupriya Manipuri Women’s Organization (NBMWO), in a joint memorandum to the education minister of Assam, Himanta Biswa Sarma, submitted through the deputy commissioner of Cachar, today have raised certain specific demands related to the academic needs of students of the community and pressed for their immediate redressal, considering their scholastic interests. Bishnupriya Manipuri language was introduced at the primary stage of education in 1999, but till now, books for upper primary, M E sections, have not been prepared. Since the introduction of the language, it should have been introduced at the M E school level also. Unfortunately, no steps have been taken by the government in this regard. Further, all languages are included as Modern Indian Language (MIL) in the SEBA syllabus, but Bishnupriya Manipuri language has been left out. This has deprived the students of this linguistic minority community of their legitimate and fundamental right of receiving education in their own language. This is in violation of the constitutional provisions also, besides against the democratic spirit of the country.

In respect of the teachers for the subject, the memorandum signed by Subal Sinha, chairman, Samir Sinha, principal secretary, BMGSP, Jyosthna Rajkumari, general secretary, Rita Sinha, chairperson, NBMWO, Govinda Rajkumar, working president, and Dipu Sinha, NBMSU, points out that the services of 149 language lower primary teachers were regularized, but their salaries have not been paid till date. Since class V has been included in the primary level, additional posts of teachers for lower primary schools are required for teaching the language. And as the Bishnupriya Manipuri language has to be taught in upper primary or M E schools, additional 100 posts for the same have to be created. The memorandum therefore presses for preparation of text books for M E school level, inclusion of Bishnupriya Manipuri language as MIL in SEBA syllabus, release of salaries of 149 language teachers as specified earlier, creation of 200 posts of LP and 100 posts of M E teachers for Bishnupriya Manipuri language teaching diploma holders in Cachar, Karimganj, Hailakandi and Kamrup districts.

The demand has also been placed for holding a discussion on the academic issues raised and a date has to be fixed within 15 days, failing which the Bishnupriya Manipuri bodies will be left with no option than to go for agitation course of action.

Courtesy: Sentinel 

Monday, 2 January 2012

Bangla-Manipuri ties to start anew

Ramlal Sinha
Guwahati, Jan 1

Bangladesh, has vowed to boost the cultural and literary ties between the Bishnupriya Manipuris of India and Bangladesh.

Samarjit Singha, vice-president of the Manipuri Samaj Kalyan Samiti, the social activist from the neighbouring country said this while addressing a meeting of the Bishnupriya Manipuri Writers’ Forum (BMWF), Guwahati. The forum felicitated him at a meeting held with Forum President Dils Lakshmindra Sinha in the chair at Rehabari on Sunday.

Addressing the gathering, Singha said: “The Bishnupriya Manipuris of India and Bangladesh should boost the literature and culture of the community from their respective countries. I appeal to the Bishnupriya Manipuris in India, especially of Assam and Tripura, to play the role of big brother for the development of the community.” “In this respect, the people of Bangladesh, particularly those belonging to the Bishnupriya Manipuris, will extend full cooperation. I also appeal to the Bishnupriya Manipuri intellectuals of India and Bangladesh to work unitedly for the uplift of the community,” he added.

Meanwhile, the BMWF raised eyebrows over the move taken by a section of legislators of Barak Valley whom they accused of blocking funds to the Bishnupriya Manipuri Development Council (BMDC). The writers’ forum has appealed to the Assam government not to deprive the backward community of the funds allocated in the budget. 

Courtesy: Seven Sisters Post (www.sevensisterspost.com)

Sunday, 1 January 2012

Happy New Year 2012 with new innovation

RK Rishikesh Sinha

Happy New Year 2012 Greetings
Happy New Year to all dear members and readers from Bishnupriya Manipui Online.

I hope 2012 brings happiness and prosperity in your life.

In its sixth year in the web world, I would like to begin an innovation which has always been a strong wish since the day the blog came into existence that one day the blog would pay an Honorarium to guest writers and contributors for their effort and time.

Fulfilling this wish, in a mark of respect to their creative effort, Bishnupriya Manipuri Online has decided to pay an honorarium of Rs 2000, Rs 1000 and Rs 500 per year to three top upcoming guest writers/contributors.

Here is a cursory glance to the eligibility:
  1. A guest writer/contributor has to contribute 15 articles in a year; it could be in any niche.
  2. The articles should be in English.
This is a just a beginning to appreciate and encourage the creativity.

Best regards

A heartfelt tribute to Sukhajyoti Sinha

Rebati Mohan Sinha

Late Sukhajyoti was such a kind person, who will be greatly missed by our Bishnupriya Manipuri community. I will personally miss her helpful advice on social work. Death is a tragic time for the surviving family members and friends and offering the right words of comfort can go a long way to helping them heal. I know, how much grief a mother’s death causes. They have lost their mother and that void can never be filled.

An era will end along with the year this auspicious December 25 (Christmas)when the much loved and revered family bids farewell to Sukhajyoti, on her last rite(Shradda), marked by exceptional leadership and social work. That is the legacy of the 86-year- old social worker, whom many might remember as the familiar figure walking through the crowd in her usual habit. In this year, age had forced her to be away from public life but her aura had not dimmed.

She retired as State Social Education Officer and ever after she had been a source of inspiration for every one whose life she has touched in some way or other. She had always been a leader. She had always worked for the upliftment of the Bishnupriya Manipuris in general and women in particular.

My first meeting with the Sukhajyoti masee was in the year 2003 in World Conference of Nikhil Bishnupriya Manipuri Mahasabha held at Sadhu Thakur Ashram at Tarapur, Silchar. Both masee and myself were invited as presidents and happened to be seated together on the dais and could exchange our views. Later years quite often we shared the dais where ever we were invited. Once it so happened when I was invited in Sri Sri Radhamadhavjiu Mandir Parichalan Samiti’s Kendriya Adhiveshan at Maligaon Malthep, Guwahati to attend the 3 days’ session and no one from reception committee had shown any courtesy to welcome me at the venue, hearing that she became furious and had a good word with authority and when she came to know that Anchalik Committee was adamant in their decision, she immediately asked Guwahati Woman Organisation to make arrangement for my felicitation on the same venue.

My last meeting with her was in March in Kolkata this year at her younger brother, Capt. Radha Kishore Sinha’s last rite (shradda). He was a Captain in Merchant Navy. Then I had talked to her from her youngest sister’s house at New Delhi in the month of September. Although I was in Guwahati in November; but I could not meet her at hospital due to my sudden departure for Kolkata.

Camouflaged and pre-planned episode

In reference to the article “A writer’s dilemma”  
Rebati Mohan Sinha

Can a handful of disgruntled group of misguided youths take the entire people seated in Sri Sri Radha Madhav Mandir, Maligaon, Guwahati, to ransom? Who were they to take the law in their own hands vis-à-vis leaving the venue (Malthep) of their own, forgetting their social responsibilities, disrupting the entire ritual on the baseless pretext? At the same time, what were invitees doing there at the venue? Have they ever tried to defuse the situation by stopping those henchmen distributing the leaflets and forcing people to leave the venue? Nay! Never. The entire drama was a camouflaged and pre-planned episode orchestrated by a wicked mind to humiliate the author of the book, in general public, who is, in fact, thought to be his rival, a retired colonel from Army, equivalent to a first class District Magistrate (DMO).

Although the explosion took place at the foothill of Kamakhya, namely the Maligaon malthep, the epicentre was elsewhere; but no one could come forward to indicate it. The name of the book in question is “Shahidor shraddha baro katohan yari” written about six years ago. A copy of the book was gifted to me by the author himself at his resident years back. I had never thought that the book would one day hurt a few Brahmins of Guwahati, who are not at all a priest of any leifam (mandir) and their professions are different than their ancestors.(some are servicemen/businessmen). In what capacity they were invited in the shraddha? Did they attend the ritual in Brahmin attire i.e., dhoti and panjabi? If they did not follow the simple dress code, how do they claim as......?

Earlier, people were known by the job they did, say, a vaishya, who does business and a kshatrya, who defends the country. Now a question may arise, a Brahmin who doesn’t perform puja as priest, instead he does business — how should we address him — a Brahmin because he is a son of a Brahmin or a vaishya because he is a businessman? In other way, when a Brahmin is asked about his profession, he replies, “I am a businessman, (a vaishya),” in this case, he is known in the society as businessman, a vaishya not as a Brahmin.

The discontentment of those aggrieved persons arises few questions:

1. First and foremost. Did they ever try to apprise the author, about their sentiments?
3. Did the aggrieved party try to bring to the notice of the society in Guwahati?
4. Was there any agreement between the thoupu (host) and the aggrieved party as far as the shraddha was concerned?
5. Was there any role to play by the BMDC members of district unit in a shraddha in general?
6. How could they summarily punish (social boycott) someone without hearing him his views?
7. Why should society honor their (Brahmins) verdict (social boycott)?
8. Why do they so adamant in spite of nothing derogatory found about Brahmins in the book by themselves? (refer Bisweshwar Sharma’s declaration).
9. Who all are they to compel author to bow his head when he is not guilty?

When these people have no portfolios (priesthood) in a society, how come they demand respect in this way?
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