Friday, 23 December 2016

DILS Lakshmindra Sinha’s Hindi poetry book ‘Mitti ki Chaaya’

DILS Lakshmindra Sinha being felicitated by Rastriya Kavi Sangam

We the people of the Indian subcontinent share a common civilization framework, and DILS Lakshmindra Sinha’s Hindi poetry book ‘Mitti ki Chaaya’ is one such attempt deepening and widening the cultural unity of all the people. The collection of poems by him is an attempt to share the same oneness that sprout in this great land called Bharat.

Beginning with the poem, ‘Mein Brahmaputra hoon’, ‘Is Mahan Desh ke’, ‘Atmagat ki Chitthi’, DILS Lakshmindra Sinha has penned his thought to the far and wide civil war that took place in Somalia in 1998. In the same breathe, how a serial bomb blast that rocked Guwahati years ago would go unnoticed by the poet. The poems ‘Somalia 1998’ and ‘October 30: Ek Mrit Yuvti’ find expression of the pain and anguish.

DILS Lakshmindra Sinha in the introductory page ‘Mere Anubhav’ echoes with countless voice unheard in the modern democratic India that being a linguistic minority has become a curse.

“यह तो सच हैं की इस देश में भाषिक संख्यालघु होना एक अभिशाप है.”

The soul of true democracy in India is missing; it has become more of a number game of votes. In the individual level, however, the same curse comes as a blessing to learn a lot of languages, the poet writes. 

“यह मेरे सौभाग्य हें की मुझे अंग्रेजी, हिंदी, असमिया और बांगला  इत्यादि शीखने के साथ साथ इन भाषाओ के साहित्य और संस्कृति से परिचय होने का अवसर मिला हैं”

The poem “आत्मघात की चिट्ठी” very well narrates the suicidal path that we are treading towards leaving behinds Raslila, Rakhowal, Manglarti, Firaal, Joydeb, Haribola, Holi. And the quality of life that we will be leading in future, DILS Lakshmindra Sinha writes:

सूखा होगा हमारा जीवन-रस,
रहेंगे नहीं नाड़ी की गति और ह्रदय जैसा कुछ 
आहिस्ते आहिस्ते हो जायेंगे सब 
चट्टान, नहीं तो यन्त्र 
नहीं तो हिम-बर्फ 
यह सब समझते हुए भी हम जा रहे हैं 
भविष्य के आत्मघात के रास्ते पर

The collection of poems by DILS Lakshmindra Sinha is definitely the outcome of many peoples’ effort, and the poet has mentioned many well-renowned personalities. Ashok Verma from Silchar, Kishor Kumar Jain, Hindi Sentinel Editor Dinkar Kumar, Hemraj Meena, Director Kendriya Hindi Sansthan.

DILS Lakshmindra Sinha was recently felicitated by the Rastriya Kavi Sangam with the title of ‘Sahitya Shree Samman’ in Jhunjhunu, Rajasthan.

Thursday, 22 December 2016

Breaking Manipur : Western Interventions in Manipuri Faultines

By RK Rishikesh Sinha

Thanks to Rajiv Malhotra’s path breaking book “Breaking India – Western Interventions in Dravidian and Dalit Faultlines”, that shook people like me out of their comfort zone. He is the rarest breed of Indian intellectual who has disrupted the whole Indian narrative of our history, Indology, sociology, anthropology, Sanskrit, South Asian Studies and other related fields.

After reading the book, I am assured that there are lot of forces working in Manipur, and Hinduism is at receiving end. The Hindu Meitei are in siege. The practitioners of the Hindu Dharma are fighting a war against a well orchestrated enemy of US and European churches, academics, think-tanks, foundations, governments and human rights groups. The script followed in Dravidian and Dalit chauvinism has been photocopied in Manipur.

It is impossible to study done by Rajiv Malhotra in his fatty 626-page book ‘Breaking India’ to be narrated here. The body of work (in the form of books) done by the author has not been done in India since centuries. The West starting with colonialism and till today is studying India at various capacities. And we Indians never studied them. We accepted every western-originated stuff without an iota of doubt and happily implemented it in India. As all this stuff are God-given.

Here is the summary of the book that is carried in the jacket of the book.

India’s integrity is being undermined by three global networks that have well-established operating bases inside India: (i) Islamic radicalism linked with Pakistan; (ii) Maoists and Marxist radicals supported by China via intermediaries such as Nepal; and (iii) Dravidian and Dalit identity separatism being fostered by the West in the name of human rights. The book focuses on the third: the role of the US and European churches, academics, think-tanks, foundations, governments and human rights groups in fostering separation of the identities of Dravidian and Dalit communities from the rest of India. […] The book reveals how outdated racial theories continue to provide academic frameworks and fuel the rhetoric that can trigger civil wars and genocides. The Dravidian movement’s 200-year history has such worrying origins.

Western Academic Construction of Aryan Race

The book beautifully traces back the circumstances in which the Aryan/ Aryan Race was invented in western academic circles and its implication in Europe, India, Sri Lanka, and Africa. The book gives a death blow to all those who are riding in the Aryan Race bandwagon.

In the case of Europe

In the eighteenth century, when the traditional religious belief of be Europe was threatened by the Enlightenment, Europeans looked for a golden past. Many hoped they could find it in India, which had been the source of much of Europe’s imports for centuries. In this search for identity, they began to hypothesise and construct an idealized ‘Aryan race’ through distorted reading of Indian scriptures. Fed by virulent German nationalism, anti-Semitism and Race Science, this manipulation ultimately led to the Nazism and the Holocaust.

In case of India

In the late eighteenth century, the Indologist Max Muller proposed the Aryan category strictly as a linguistic group, but it soon got transformed into the Aryan race by colonial administrators who used Race Science to make a taxonomical division of traditional Indian communities. The castes designated as ‘non-Aryan’ were marginalized or excluded in depictions of Hindu society. In parallel, the Church evangelists working in South India constructed a Dravidian race identity. They de-linked Tamil Culture from its pan-Indian cultural matrix, and claimed that its spirituality was closer to Christianity than to the Aryan North Indian culture

Applying the same in Manipur, we find the same script. There has been and it is going on to delink Manipuri culture from pan Indian Hindu cultural matrix by Church evangelist and ethnic identity sympathizers. In this separation process, Hinduism has been sidelined; consequently the Hindu meitei population is falling to Christianity like the Dravidians. And those who are following the native religion like Sanamahism, it is very visibly written on the wall that once Hindu dharmic thought gets demised, in no time the local faith will be presented in state museum. Since only the Hindu thought can accommodate any localized religious faith. Neither Islam nor Christianity can accommodate localized religion.

A must-read book for every Indian shows how in the study of India, the Aryan race that was actually the creation for the European Identity politics took its path. The role played by the colonial Indologists, European Romanticists, German-identity crisis, Race Science gave the grand shape of Aryans, and later transforming it into the Aryan Race.

The author joins the dots of the works done by Sir William Jones (explained the relationship between Sanskrit and European languages through the Biblical story of the Tower of Babel. This myth became the blueprint for the racist interpretation of Indian society; justified British rule in India as a civilizing mission to rescue the Indians, who had corrupted the ‘original Biblical truth’), Franz Bopp (he coined ‘Indo European’ to end the schism between Germanic and non-Germanic European), Johann Gottfried (claimed Sanskrit belonged to his Indo-European ‘Aryan’ past; the discovery of India was the re-discovery of Europe); Karl Wilhelm Friedrich Schlegel (claimed modern Germans had migrated from India); Ernest Renan (hypothesized Aryans were more creative because of their mythology and the proliferation of gods); Friedrich Max Muller (a functionary for the colonialists and for Christian evangelist, he saw Indian civilization, especially its multiple gods, as a corrupt form of ancient glory); Adolphe Pictet (claimed ancient Indians had primitive monotheism, later fell into polytheism in order to explain natural phenomena); Rudolph Friedrich Grau (his books were used by missionaries to embed Vedic thought within Christian symbols for the Hindu people conversion); Joseph Arthur Comte de Gobineau (claimed European Aryans got debased by mixing with darker native races); Houston Stewart Chamberlain (his book linked Indian caste with race), Herbert Hope Risley (his research classified Indians into seven major races with Aryans and Dravidians as the two opposite poles, and morphs Jati-Varna into race), Sheldon Pollock (he is a Padmashri awardee Government of India, Sanskrit scholar, he claims Sanskrit/ Ramayana/ Mahabharata is political, oppressive, dead; Valimiki Ramayan came after Buddhist influence).

It is unfortunate that still we Indians are carrying the baggage of Aryan and Aryan race description that was developed by Christianized Eurocentric people to understand the Indian society.

Inventing the Dravidian Race/ Dravidian Christianity

The book then goes into describing how the Dravidian Race is invented by Reverend John Stevenson, who was sent by the Scottish Missionary Society, and Brian Houghton Hodgson. It goes further stating how the conspiracy is born that is of cunning Aryan Brahmins exploited innocent Dravidians. In the section ‘De-Indianizing the Tamil traditions’, the author writes : since colonial days, there has been an ongoing attempt to construct an ethnic-religious Tamil identity separate from the rest of India, and to find Christian roots for this so-called ‘Tamil Religion’.

Social Institutional Control of Social Discourse in India

The West axis with Academy, Funding Agencies, Churches, Government influence Indian intellectuals, academic institutions in the academy, media and NGOs. For example, the US government uses USAID to channel funds through transnational evangelical organisations such as World Vision. Funding Agencies: Infemit, a transnational network of evangelicals targeting India, is funded by Crowell Trust, a US-based Christian fundamentalist funding agency. Academy: the academic study of India overlaps with a type of activism that encourages centrifugal forces in India. Churches: the US-based evangelical movement launched Dalit Freedom Network, which is in turn has an Indian associate called All India Christian Council (AICC). Church backed institutional networks in India have considerable influence and support of Western government organisations. Media: there is an extensive Christian evangelical media network in India aligned with 'secular' media. 


Today the Hindu Meitei in particular and Hindus all over India are oblivious of the danger we have been engulfed. Our so-called secular media/ academicians/ politicians / intellectuals are corrupt and are anti-Hindu. Manipur has been turned into a laboratory to convert Hindus by Christians. The community has been targeted by notorious Christian organization Joshua Project. Like the Tamil / Dravidian identity separatism that has been constructed with the backing of western government-church-academic-think tanks nexus, Manipur and Hindu Meitei are under siege from this forces. The million dollar question is when Hindu Meitei would turn their gaze towards the Christian forces in Manipur and come out with a book similar to Rajiv Malhotra book with the title “Breaking Manipur- Western Interventions in Manipuri Faultines”.

Tuesday, 20 December 2016

Christian Bishnupriya Manipuri vs Hindu Bishnupriya Manipuri

By RK Rishikesh Sinha
Here is a hypothetical conversation between Hindu Bishnupriya Manipuri and newly converted, anti Hindu, colonised, western, Church-dictated Christian Bishnupriya Manipuri. It is a caricature to understand basically Hindu Dharma and Christianity, inspired from the Rajiv Malhotra-authored book Being Different - An Indian challenge to Western Universalism.

Christian Bishnupriya Manipuri : Mine is the only one true religion and everyone should convert to it.
Hindu Bishnupriya Manipuri: This attitude stems from your ‘exclusivism’ of your religion. My Hindu dharma not only allows religious pluralism but it is built on it. I don’t have to convert you. I have respect for you, but it is ‘mutual’. By the way Bishnupriya Manipuri is a Hindu jati. We have varna and jati, and there is no 'caste'.
Christian Bishnupriya Manipuri : ‘Religious tolerance’ shows how good we are towards your Hindu religion.
Hindu Bishnupriya Manipuri: 'Tolerance' is a patronizing way to say that my Hindu dharma is bogus. It is a posture of condescension and an accommodation due to political pressures. We need ‘mutual respect’. To respect someone’s faith implies that it is seen as legitimate for that person.
Christian Bishnupriya Manipuri : Inculturation shows respect for your dharmic culture.
Hindu Bishnupriya Manipuri: It is a deception used to gain easy entry to my jati and dharma. The strategy is to subvert my dharma.
Christian Bishnupriya Manipuri : Your Dharma is incomprehensible to me, hence useless and ignorable. 
Hindu Bishnupriya Manipuri: This is a false assumption means to retain your domination in philosophy.
Christian Bishnupriya Manipuri : Equality demands that we erase difference.
Hindu Bishnupriya Manipuri: Only by respecting difference can there be true equality. If I mimic your western culture, it does not bring equality but servility.
Christian Bishnupriya Manipuri : Remaining different would isolate you from globalization.
Hindu Bishnupriya Manipuri: We can be different and yet be positively engaged, only in office, bus, shops. You are not welcomed in my home and in my social space. Why don't you understand, your understanding of Jesus and Christian theology is very different to my dharma.
Abrahamic Bishnupriya Manipuri : Difference causes tensions, so we must become the same in order to end tensions.
Hindu Bishnupriya Manipuri: Difference that is based on supremacy does cause tensions, but difference built on unity-in-diversity and harmony does not.
Christian Bishnupriya Manipuri : Cross-cultural fertilization is good and that is why ‘fusion’ into a single global culture is natural.
Hindu Bishnupriya Manipuri: ‘Diversity’ brings deeper cross-cultural fertilization which is sustainable in the long run. Erasing difference will relocate my jati and dharma in museums, ending the cross cultural fertilization, as has happened in the case of native Americans.
Christian Bishnupriya Manipuri : Advaita Vedanta says that everything is One, so why bother with difference.
Hindu Bishnupriya Manipuri:  It is a misrepresentation of Vedanta to say that, since the existence of our world is only relative and not absolute , no worldly outcomes should matter. In truth, no school of dharma calls for the abandonment of the relative world, and every school of dharma encourages responsible action without attachments to the rewards. If difference did not exist in the relative reality, there would be no ethics, because dharma and adharma would be viewed with indifference.
Christian Bishnupriya Manipuri : Western liberalism has already embraced difference.
Hindu Bishnupriya Manipuri: In western liberalism, religious diversity does not enjoy the same place as racial and gender diversity. ‘Religious tolerance’ is disrespectful of difference. The other common policy is the sameness of all faiths, which dilutes their difference.
Christian Bishnupriya Manipuri : Secularism represents progress as defined by the trajectory of western history.
Hindu Bishnupriya Manipuri: The West’s historical experience is not universal. Forcing all civilizations to follow the west does not bring humanity the benefits of others experiences.
Christian Bishnupriya Manipuri : Hindutva ideology asserts difference the Indian way. 
Hindu Bishnupriya Manipuri: It is too political and reactionary, and has adopted some western approaches to difference such as emphasis on a 'unique history'. 

Monday, 12 December 2016

How to define Hindu Dharma?

By RK Rishikesh Sinha

Our Sanatan Hindu Dharma has always been misunderstood with myths and misconceptions. Unfortunately, these have gone deep into the Hindu psyche through the western academia, mass media, and due to the lack of knowledge about our Dharma. Supported by western academia, these myths and wrong notions have been accepted unfortunately by westernised / colonised / christianised / liberalised Hindus of contemporary India. Their entire mission is to destroy everything that qualifies Hindu Dharma. Therefore, we Hindus are not able to define what the Hindu Dharma is.

Rajiv Malhotra’s book Indra’s Net, traces back the main source that are rooted in the western academia. And gives a befitting reply to each of the myths. In doing so, the author brilliantly defines Hinduism using the ‘forest’, the ‘computer industry’ and the ‘banyan tree’ as metaphors. He analyses step by step the various aspects, facets and constituents of the Hindu Dharma and establishes its unity which manifests itself in diversity and vice versa. It makes a very important point that there is an integral unity that exists amongst the various traditions in India as opposed to synthetic unity which is visible amongst the Abrahamic religions i.e. Christianity, Islam and Judaism. It is a must read book by Hindus and non Hindus to understand the length, breadth, and depth of the Hindu Dharma.

The climax of the book comes when he proposes ‘astika’ and ‘nastika’ attributes, like the ISO Standard, to set the ‘Hinduism’ boundary straight and intact. The laxman rekha demarcates Hinduism with other Judeo-Christian faiths (Judaism, Christianity, Islam).

How one could define Hinduism? The moment we’re asked to define Hinduism. We blurt out ‘it is a way of living’. With the same logic, Osama Bin Laden, Hitler and people of other faiths have their own ‘way of life’. Therefore, Rajiv Malhotra has given three descriptions to define Hinduism. 

Hinduism is like a forest

Rajiv Molhatra aptly defines Hinduism metaphorically with that of a forest. In the forest, thousands of species of animals, plants and microorganisms exist in a state of mutual independence. In the forest microcosm, there exist many worlds-within-world, which are never separate or isolated from one another. All the elements of forest are immensely adaptive to one another, and easily mutate or fuse into new forms over time. The forest loves to play host, and is never closed to outsiders. The growth of a forest is organic; new forms of life co-exist without requiring the destruction of prior ones. 

Hinduism is like a banyan tree

Another metaphor that the author uses to define Hinduism is that of a banyan tree, beloved in myths and stories across Asia. The banyan tree is unique among trees in that the branches sprout and bow down to the ground, becoming additional roots of the same tree, forming eventually into a trunk in its own right. The tree is a single structure but functions like a complex, self-organising network, providing shelter and nourishment to birds, beasts and humans.

The metaphors of ‘forest’ and ‘banyan tree’ explain why people living in Hindu culture are comfortable with pluralism and complexity.

Hinduism is equivalent to the computer industry

Another approach/ model that he uses to describe Hinduism is by making it equivalent to the computer industry. One can assemble different kinds of computers by selecting from array of components (disk drives, screens, operating software, memory, printers etc). Although there are many manufacturers making each component, they share a certain common standards and architectural principles. There are consumers in the market who can themselves assemble the components and make a computer. And there are those who go by systems integrators like Dell, HP, Toshiba etc.

In the Dharma tradition, the role of system integrators is played by individual gurus and sampradayas. Like the computer industry, Hinduism can be seen as:

  • (a) open architecture: for spiritual quest as well as guidance for one’s life;
  • (b) Modular: depending on one’s individual choice. One can choose one’s own ista-devata (personal deity of choice) and other devatas; extending it to other aspects like festivals, sacred texts, cosmological world view etc. It is this architecture that provides pluralism and flexibility;
  • (c) Pre-packaged solutions: Practitioners who are incapable of configuring their spiritual path can go with this aspect by following any of the competing sampradayas;
  • (d) Customization: it is a do-it-yourself option available for advanced learners/ practitioners who can configure a system responsively;
  • (e) Research and Development (R&D): in house R&D by individuals and sampradaya can come up with ideas and practices in the marketplace;
  • (f) No centralized control mechanism: like the internet, there is no center, no owner, no founder, no authority to enforce ‘right’ for all people;
  • (g) Not history centric: there is no requirement to study the history of the system to participate.

These characteristics are not available with other desert-based religions (Islam, Christianity originated in desert). To safeguard the Hindu systems to work at best, like we scan our computers to delete malwares, Rajiv Malhotra in his insightful and first-of-its kind book Indra’s Net mentions some poison pills/ porcupine defence to guard it from ‘digestion’ and ‘self-destruction’.

Wednesday, 7 December 2016

Seducing the Rain God Book Review

RK Rishikesh Sinha

Few days ago, I read a book ‘Seducing the Rain God’ by Smriti Kumar Sinha. I read each and every word in the book. I find the book is not merely a book consisting of fourteen stories originally written in Bishnupriya Manipuri, it is more of a product that is embedded with many information of the community to the pan-Indian readers as well as to the home audience. So, the book appears as a big bridge connecting many small bridges.

Ramlal Sinha, the translator of the book, has successfully done a very painstaking job translating the stories written in Bishnupriya Manipuri. He has effectively transferred the original Bishnupriya Manipuri framework to English without diluting the beauty of the stories. However, if given an opportunity I would like to read the original ‘Bishnupriya Manipuri’ story ‘Choudhury Golapchan’. Since the story touches the core of the Bishnupriya Manipuri psyche.

Here are the few lines from the book: 

"Monigo, your mind is still full of the Viratsabha, the Mahabharata, Arjun, Raja Lokei and the like. Have a sound sleep. You have to wake up early tomorrow morning. Aargh! They’re busy with the Mahabharata of Hastinapur while imminent and burning issues like starvation death, community cancer, bleak match-making prospects of the girls of Raja Lokei, have been pushed to the backburner.”

Here we can see, the character in the story struggles with two realms.

There is another reason liking the book. There are two stories that relates to my lineage ‘Rajkumar’. And the book begins with Golapsena Rajkumar in the story ‘Flowers without fragrance’. The story pricks a very common talk especially in my home. 

Here it is: Golapsena Rajkumar. Rajkumar, a prince! He himself was ignorant of where exactly his forefathers had been kings and how big their kingdom was.

The book comes as a standard book for future translators to keep maximum Bishnupriya Manipuri words while translating it into English. He has kept many words as it is: Iche, Eiga, Fita, Muktiar, Khura, Kathi, Giri, Chakchafal, Chengi, Khuttei, Pirha, Pana-Tankha, Ima, Angaluri, Inafi, Fizang, Gidei, Talaphuti, Ine etc.

One would observe that the information given about the Bishnupriya Manipuri language inside the front cover of the book finds expression in all the stories carried in the book.

In addition to it, through a story in the book ‘In search of an immortalizing herb’, the author bring forth the danger of overstretch of science in each and every societal sphere and in one’s personal lives. Take for a moment if in our lives there is no place for beliefs, stories, and myths, and we construct science as everything. Definitely, we will be doomed. The character of the story, Shankhalema, rightly says: Atoms and molecules don’t constitute a community. It is a nice book.

Buy it. It is available in Amazon India.

Thursday, 1 December 2016

Bishnupriya Manipuri bodies to honour Modi, Sonowal

FROM OUR Correspondent 

Silchar, Nov 30: Members of the central committee of Nikhil Bishnupriya Manipuri Students’ Union (NBMSU) and Bishnupriya Manipuri Ganasangram Parishad (BMGSP)’s decision to confer a number of prestigious awards on Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal and State Education minister, Himanta Biswa Sarma, deserves special mention.

This decision was taken at a meeting held in memory of Dr Kaliprasad Smriti Dibyashram Sanskriti Kendra, at West Kachudaram, Chencoorie here. The occasion was special as they were observing the 123rd birth anniversary of Bishnupriya Manipuri Society’s first political stalwart, leader, poet, writer and social activist Gokalanandagiti Swami.

Gokalanandagiti Swami Award for political works 2016 and Gokalanandagiti Swami Award for social works 2016 were also announced at the programme.

Nanda Kishore Singha, former MP and a frontline leader of Bishnupriya Manipuri Society has been also awarded for his outstanding service for more than 35 years. Gopaldas Sinha was also awarded Gokalanandagiti Swami Award for Social Service for his unparalleled contribution towards the society. Poet, writer, Shyamananda Singha also a member of Bishnupriya Manipuri Sahitya Sabha, presented the award.

The programme began with the paying of floral tribute to Gokalanandagiti Swami which was done by Rajkumar Anil Krishna, former president of the central committee and chief advisor of central advisory board.

The programme was graced by the presence of Gopaldas Sinha, an extraordinary frontline leader and chief advisor of Bishnupriya Manipuri Language Teachers’ Training Diploma Holders’ Association, Tombak Sena Singha, a recipient of Dr B R Ambedkar Social Service Award and also a revolutionary figure and Narendra Chandra Singha, litterateur, poet, writer and editor and general secretary of Bishnupriya Sahitya Manipuri Sabha.

Source: The Sentinel
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