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Geetiswami birthday celebrated with gaiety


Pratibha Sinha, Guwahati

The 114th birthday celebration of Geetiswami Gokulananda was held with religious zeal and zest at Shri Shri Radhamadhav Sevasram, Maligaon (Guwahati) on November 26.

The day-long programme saw a huge gathering of Bishnupriya Manipuri people who came from the Guwahati city, Silchar, Tripura and from other places.

The programme started off with a flag hoisting ceremony (firal kupani) by Purandar Sinha, a senior citizen, and lamp lighting by other senior social workers. Jayprakash Sinha, President of the reception committee, gave the welcome speech.

Narendra Kumar Sinha (Thakur), General Secretary of the Gokulananda Geetiswami 114th Janma Tithi Udjapon Committee and Dils Lakhsmindra Sinha, President of Bishnupriya Manipuri Writers’ Forum, also addressed the audience and they thanked everyone attending the programme for extending their co-operation in organizing the birthday celebration of Gokulananda. The programme was presided over by Shyamakanta Sinha (Paran).

Haridas Sinha, biographer of Geetiswami Gokulananda, and the Guest of Honour in the event highlighted the major contribution made by Geetiswami for the upliftment and development of the community.

Other chief guests who spoke on the occasion were Dr. Prabhat Kumar Sinha, Lecturer, Radha Madhav College (Department of Political Science), Silchar; Manasi Sinha, teacher; Anjana Sinha, Editor of Nwa Drishti magazine; Shyamakanta Sinha, President of Radhamadhav Sevashram Committee.

Biswaprasad Sinha, Guwahati-based advocate; Shankha Sinha, General Secretary, Nikhil Bishnupriya Manipuri Yuva Parishad; Nilamadhav Mukherjee, Biresh Ranjan Sinha and Santa Sinha, also spoke on the occasion.

The main item of attraction on the occasion was felicitation of senior citizens (list of names of senior citizens may be seen on earlier news published on 21st Nov‘09) with a Certificate “Jaistha Nagarik Prasasti-Chuti” along with a token of gift. The winners of the singing and recitation competition held on November 22 were awarded with a certificate and cash prize. The programme concluded with a colourful cultural programme at 07:00 pm.

Various cultural programmes were organised on the occasion. Saini Sinha, Jubari Sinha, Champa Sinha and Promila Sinha presented a chorus song, Solo Keyboard presentation was performed by Chandrika Rajkumar. The artists who participated in Solo Singing Programme were Madhubala Sinha, Suchitra Sinha, Pradip Mukherjee Saini Sinha, Bina Sinha, Monica Sinha, Syamkumar Sinha and Harikanta Sinha.

Dance programme was presented by Saini Sinha, Supriya Sinha, Susmita Sinha, Rumi Sinha. The programme Kabita lekhya was directed by Joyraj Sinha and the participants were Deboshree Sinha, Suman Sinha, Bibhul and Rituparna Sinha. The Comedy performance by Niranjan Sinha brought peals of laughter among the audience. Rishikesh Sinha and Mrinal Kanti Sinha joined the artists in the Tabla and Bhibul in the Harmonium.

The day long programme was organized by Bishnupriya Manipuri Writers’ Forum in association with Nikhil Bishnupriya Manipuri Mahasabha, Sahitya Parishad, Sanskriti Parishad of Loutak Guwahati Anchalik Committee, Gokulananda Geetiswami(Kalakrishti) Jagaroni Mancha, Brihattor Guwahati Bishnupriya Manipuri Mahila Samiti, Brihattor Maligaon Bishnupriya Manipuri Mahila Samiti and Gokulananda Geetiswami Kala Krishti Kendra. Mrinal Kanti Sinha hosted the whole programme.

At the end, Sanjib Sinha extended vote of thanks to all Chief Guests, Speakers, audiences, participants, organizers for extending their co-operation and support to make the programme a grand success.

A Brief History of Gokulananda Geetiswami

Gokulananda was born on November 26 in 1886 in a village called Madhavpur in Bhanubil, Bangladesh. He shifted his residence from Bhanubil in 1925 to Tripura at a village named Ratachhera. He was a man of intellect and revolutionary thoughts who always thought for the upliftment of the Bishnupriya Manipuri people.

In order to reform the society, he travelled far and visited villages after villages to spread his message through singing. The Nikhil Bishnupriya Manipuri Mahasabha for his contribution to the community honoured Gokulananda, also known as Gokul Kirtani, with the title “Geetiswami” in 1993.

He was a litterateur, a politician, a composer, and a dramatist. Gokulananda used to sing “padkirtan” as a means to reach the backward Bishnupriya Manipuris who were sparsely distributed in Assam, Tripura, Bangladesh, Manipur, and Myanmar. The “padkirtans” that Gokulananda performed were mainly of “Maanbanjan”, “Noukavilas”, “Subal meelan” etc those were related to the cultural and religious aspect of the community. He also tried to influence the people by singing his verses, studded with jokes and fun to bring awareness among the Bishnupriya Manipuris.

He became an elected representative of the Communist party of India in 1950 in the then Territorial Council of Tripura. He died on July 10, 1962 after rendering his invaluable service for the development of the community.

Photo: Sanjib Sinha

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