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Bishnupriya Manipuri remembers Shahid Rajbabu Singha

By Rebati Mohan Sinha

The 77th martyr day of Shahid Rajbabu Singha was recently observed with the unveiling of Shahid’s statue at the village Masughat, Cachar, Assam on March 14 in a two-day long function.

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The program was intended for the upcoming youths to draw inspiration from his life. On March 13, an open house was arranged for the discussion on some of the burning issues confronting the Bishnupriya Manipuri society. Where people from the audience could ask questions pertaining to issues related to the society and distinguished people seated on the dais answering them. People present there had appreciated the new form of discussion.

On March 14th the statue of Shahid Rajbabu Singha was unveiled by Ex.President of Nikhil Bishnupriya Manipuri Mahasabha, Surendra Kumar Sinha in the presence of Manoranjan Sinha, Ex. President of NBMM, Rebati Mohan Sinha, Working President of NBMM, Chandrakanta Sinha, Retd IRS, Working President of NBMM, Uday Sinha, Secretary General of NBMM and other dignitaries. In the afternoon, people had deliberations on the life of Shahid Rajbabu; and in the evening there was a cultural program followed by a short drama on Shahid`s life.

A Brief History of Shahid Rajbabu Singha

Shahid Rajbabu Singha was born in the year 1905 in a very poor family who migrated to Masughat in 1914-15. His schooling started in Masughat primary school in the year 1916. He later passed his Matriculation (in first division) from Calcutta University in 1930; but could not continue further study in college because of poverty.

He started his social work by establishing ‘Balak Samiti’ in the Masughat village. The Samiti’s main slogan was to character building of village students and road building.

Later on he became the ardent admirer of the newspaper ‘Jagoran’ published in Murarichand college in Sylhet (now in Bangladesh) by group of students like Mahendra Kumar Sinha, Phalguni Sinha, Krishna Kumar Debbarma etc. Later on he became the manager of ‘Manipuri’ newspaper published by Samarjit Sinha (who later became a District Judge).

In early 1931, he came in contact with the social worker Phalguni Sinha and started working for the development of Manipuri language and culture; while at the same time he was engaged in a job in SDO`s office, Silchar.

It was a census year; our caste (Meitei/Bishnupriya) was shown as tribal. To fight against the decision, a delegation was to meet the Government authority. Shahid Rajbabu was a party to that; but the Meitei brethren at the eleventh hour back-tracked, for the reason best known to them. Some people believed that he (Rajbabu) had some documents related to Bishnupriya Manipuri from Manipur for further dispatch and he did so; but he could not save himself from the eagle-eyed group of people. He was brutally killed in the late night of 14th March 1933 while he was returning from the office.


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