Friday, 28 September 2007

The Stigma of Womanhood : A Book Portraying plight of widowhood in Bishnupriya Manipuri

6 comments
Rishikesh Sinha, New Delhi

Litertature, paintings, art, sculpture, and dance are some of the parameters on which a culture of a community is based. Moreover, it comes as an interface of a community to showcase its richness and depthness.

The Stigma of Womanhood written by Mansi Sinha is one more literature that is being added recently in the literature gamut of the Bishnupriya Manipuri community. The book is based on reality which is purely a fictional work. The author remarkably intertwines various facets or say elements that is associated to our society. The setting is a small town in Assam, linked with the capital city.

From the point of the Bishnupriya Manipuri community as a whole, the book portrays the plight of widowhood being practised in the community. It is a very common practise that after the death of the husband the wife has to shave their heads just to become jocular showpieces of widowhood.

About the Author

She completed her schooling and graduation from Assam and then pursued post graduation in English from Pune University.

Who is this Bishnupriya Manipuri guy Kartik Sena Sinha?

8 comments
Rishikesh Sinha, New Delhi


At the time he filed his nomination to play in the Assam Legislative election in the ticket of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). He was carrying on Cash in hand - Rs 6,00,000 only; his wife Rita Sinha - 3,00,000 only.

Who is Kartik Sena Sinha? And from which village he belongs to? These were some questions that aroused in my mind. Not to mention the bugle of Karthik Sinha’s name was in every Bishnupriya Manipuri guy’s mouth that I heard in my previous visit to Mohanpur, my parental village. His animate name “Karthik Sena” was pinching me hard. So hard, I started enquiring meticulously about him from each and every Bishnupriya Manipuri guy I came in contact, be it an elderly, young, toddler, girls, or women. I didn’t leave anybody in my mission – unraveling, discovering him.

Now, this mission is complete I suppose. I know his vital statistics – from which village he belongs to, his father’s name, his wife’s name, how many vehicles he possess: their model name and registration number; at the most his financial strength. Does he come to crorepati or lakhpati bracket? Very secret!! But no more people would be wondering like me about the long list of queries, after this post is uploaded and come live in the internet world.

The name “Kartik Sena Sinha” is not “Karthik Sinha” – the name by which Bishnupriya Manipuri people call him. His full name is Karthik Sena Sinha. He is an Member of Legislative Assembly from Patharkandi constituency.

Karthik Sinha’s father name was Dhan Sena Sinha. His official address is Rajargaon , PO and PS Patharkandi District Karimganj Assam.


Coming to the case(s) in the corridors of the Indian court shows, he is a clean man with no legal battle. Very hard to find in the present days ministers, but he is the one with that stature. He has no appeal(s) for revision, etc, if any, filed against him.

At the time he filed his nomination to play in the Assam Legislative election in the ticket of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). He was carrying on Cash in hand - Rs 6,00,000 only; his wife Rita Sinha - 3,00,000 only.

At the same time his bank statements shows:

UCO Bank Karimganz Branch - Rs 113359
UB Bank, Patherkandi Branch – Rs 7939
Cachar Gramin Bank – Rs 36080
HDFC Bank, Guwahati – Rs 5589.63
Federal Bank – Rs 10782
Central bank, Ganeshguri - Rs 4292.45
Standard Charter Bank, Guwahati – Rs 3658
ICICI, Guwahati – Rs 2329
UCO bank, Itanagar – Rs 8776
SBI Naharingan Branch - Rs 5261
SBI, West GHy Branch – Rs 11458

Fixed deposits with
UCO Bank, Itanagar – Rs 85,00,000
UCO Bank, Itanagar – Rs 25,00,000
Vijaya Bank, Itanagar – Rs 100000
Allahabad Bank – Rs 38,00,000
Secured Interest on FDs – Rs 784075

Bonds, debentures and Shares in companies:

IDBI Bond – Rs 60,000
Shares of UCO Bank – Rs 82500

Shares and Share applications:

R&K Fishing and Agro Based Pvt Ltd – Rs 28,9,000 -approx
R&K Minerals and Trading Pvt Ltd – Rs 16,00,000
Galaxi Agro Multi Trading Pvt Ltd – Rs 4,25,000
KS Films Pvt Ltd – Rs 100000
HK Tours & Travels (P) Ltd – Rs 600000
Sahara India – Rs 10000

He owns 4 trucks adding one (1) which is in the name of his wife. Adding to it, he has fleet of cars ranging from Santro - 1, to Pick Up - 1, to Scoripio – 1, and to Tata Sumo – 1.

Moreover, he has 150 gram of jewellery which worth Rs 1,61,868. His wife has 170 gram of jewellery which is worth of Rs1,76,650.

Mentioning about his educational background; he completed his HSLC from Balipipla High School/ SEBA in 1998* and Higher Secondary from Dispur College in 1990.

That was all about him that I have been able to extract. A kind request to all Bishnupriya Manipuri friends, if you happen to visit him personally – Do tell him to upload one of his photo in the Internet world. I failed to find out any of his photo. Forget about the new element attached to him. There is no news of him in the www world.

Do tell him to update his CV so that Bishnupriya Manipuri fellows who are away from their villages can keep track of him. After all he is a lone Bishnupriya Manipuri MLA.

Patherkandi friends do tell him. Please!!

update - as on 27 March 2011: 1988 

Thursday, 27 September 2007

Was it a fish? Or...

1 comments
RKHL Sinha, New Delhi

People living in the area of Mohanpur, which is my home town, knows there is a canal flowing at its periphery. It is a small canal called sorahan in the Bishnupriya Manipuri language, originating from the paddy field. The canal fetch water only in the rainy season and it dried up totally in the winter season. The width of canal would be approx 12 ft and 7 ft depth with horny bushes on its both sides. The canal held a special place in the social life of the neighboring Bishnupriya Manipuri villages, its banks are used for cremating bodies. Besides this, the fish-happy villagers used it for catching fish.

And my story relates to this canal and the school of fish in it. The story goes back to the year 1962, it was a hot day and I was standing under the shadow of a big mango tree. Suddenly I noticed frantic movements of the coterie taking place on the bank of the canal. With the fire of curiosity under my belly I proceeded towards the canal. While getting there I found they were busy in catching fish that had died of the extreme hit.

Villagers were happy like anything, their joyful face, blithely acts was reminding to that of a child who has got a toy of his choice thats also after much persuasion. They were totally engrossed in the catch-the-fish activity. The prime intention running deep at the bottom of everyone's mind was to catch maximum fish as soon as possible.

Though I came late in the burgeoning activity of the catching fish. But I was fortunate to lay my hand on a big Rohu fish weighing 1.5 Kg. I still feel the bubbles of happiness that originated after bringing it under my possession. There is no word in my dictionary that describes my happiness.

That prize catch enthused my latent greediness to catch more fish, away from the eyes of the other people. So, I started searching for a lonely space in the canal. While walking along the banks of the canal, my eyes caught the glimpse of a 10 Inch Bowal fish flipping its tails in the deep water of the canal. The flipping tales of the fish was fanning my insatiable greediness to catch more fish. You could say I started salivating.

Being driven by enough greediness I immediately dared to cross chest deep water. The fish was in the knee deep water. So, it was getting the benefit of height. And when I began to catch the fish with my bare hands. The fish was disappearing from nowhere. I was able to see but when I go to catch it, it was vanishing. Surprisingly, the game was taking place in the knee-deep water.

In the game of catch-me-if you-can played by the fish, the same fish which was in the vicinity of the knee-deep water started changing its position and went to the chest deep water. But my temptation to catch it was running high in my blood.
For a moment I remained calm and composed in the knee-deep muddy water introspecting – why I am not able to catch it - the only question that was lingering in my mind at that moment of time.

While I was busy in the thinking process it again came in front of me. And after encircling 5 or 6 times it again went to its earlier position, in the chest deep water. And the same process was repeated many times.

A spark of thought sent shivers down my spinal cord. And that was – how the fish come to know what is going in my mind. Just thinking on this line I didn't take time to climb on to the bank. I got so scared with the whole environ that was few hours back was rosy in nature. After getting there I started observing the ripples of the water.

While I was delving hard in my thought process. Suddenly I heard a splashing sound from the water. And what I saw at that moment I can't believe – the same Bowal fish was standing on the surface of the water, whose upper portion was that of a 'man' without neck, ears, nose and hands. And was standing firmly on the current of the water. His face had a pair very small eyes, and there were a few long grey hair on his head which was extending to the bottom of the body.

Not to mention I beat a hasty retreat from the temptation of the fish, moreover also from the canal itself. Within seconds I found myself in midst of the villagers who were oblivious of the incident that took place with me.

I was much better resting under the mango tree. Away from the fish and the canal.


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Monday, 24 September 2007

A visit to Jiribam, Manipur

1 comments
New Delhi

I forget to mention the quality of air in the area. As far you can see there is greenery, with no slightest patch of pollution. The environment is clear like crystal. Not much like the pollution of Delhi where one suffer from myopic eyesight. People search for greenery and a little space to unwind oneself. Jiribam is absolutely away from the modern human cacophony.Rishikesh Sinha gives his on hand experience of the mystical place.

There is one place on this earth which I would love to visit again and again. Don't churn your mind; I am not taking about many run-of-the-mill destinations that pop up in everyone's mind. Drop the proposal and you would be bombarded with known and unknown places from Kashmir to Kanyakumari, to Shillong, to Delhi, to Manali and if possible to international hotspots. We all do have such wishes to visit again and if possible to stay there forever.

You carry a mythical attachment about the place. You have heard the name of the place ever since you started knowing your surroundings. You have listened your mother describing about the place, narrating her first visit to the most revered destination. She describes her visit minutely with background information. So, without going there, you are so much engrossed with the information and narration that it triggers in you the urge to visit the place; and of course you would never miss the chance to pay a visit if you stumble on any opportunity of your most revered place.

I am talking about the place called Jiribam where a big population of Bishnupriya Manipuri community lives. Jiribam comes in the state of Manipur. It is approximately 80 km from Silchar.

My mom's intermittent description about the place Jiribam, somewhere has crept in my mind. Her descriptions have been so vivid and explanatory that when I visited Jiribam I didn't get awestruck. It was the same Jiribam which my mother described, though with her own version and colour.


She went there to attend somebody's marriage before her marriage. I suppose it would be around early 70's. Fortunately or unfortunately her son also sat foot in the soil of Jiribam and the occasion was again marriage. It coincidence! Like mother – like son phenomenon.

The occasion was my cousin’s marriage. She got married in the village of Boro Bekara, which is under the Jiribam district. No doubt, it was a tortuous and painstaking journey but if one start noticing the flora and fauna and the over all texture of the travel it is altogether different and memorable.

I noticed the kutcha road from the Assam Manipur border heading towards Boro Bekara was something which I never noticed – it was devoid of vehicles. There was not a single motorcycle, bicycle; leave apart bus crossing us from the opposite direction or coming behind the retinue of Sumo jeeps. The road was absolutely vacant and barren.

I was sitting in the bus near the window; and the cloud of dust had almost bathed me completely. My black trousers turned white with the layers of dust. Don’t ask me how I was looking at that moment. I was looking terrible.

And after 3 hours of journey, at last we were at the Boro Bekera village. The typography of the village was totally different. I noticed each house has a vast area. Not to mention that we (the ladki wale) were welcomed with much inquisitiveness and volley of queries. “Kumpai to thang koina gote…”. And those (villagers) who did not know that my Bini (brother-in-law) got married, were asking “Kar koinago thang…”.

After customary luncheon, I alone with one of my friend who happens to be familiar with the village went to round-up of the area. He was not only familiar with the area, but he knows each and every person of the village. He was chit-chatting with them as he has been meeting regularly with them. Seeing his familiarity of the topics he had with the people of their area. Lots of questions were oozing out in my mind and I asked him many times the same – how does he know.

I saw people in the area of Goakhal were having their home in small individual hillock complete with all necessities of life. The hillock is covered by trees and of fruits. So, assembly of houses located at the hillocks makes the whole village; if I am not wrong.

I forget to mention the quality of air in the area. As far you can see there is greenery, with no slightest patch of pollution. The environment is clear like crystal. Not much like the pollution of Delhi where one suffer from myopic eyesight. People search for greenery and a little space to unwind oneself.

And here in Boro Bekara it is opposite of Delhi. You can stretch yourself as far you can. You can see as your vision allows. It is really a paradise. Paradise’s paradise- Jiribam. You must visit if you love nature and the beauty of nature.

Now it was the time to return to the den – my village Mohanpur. It was first time that the return journey was more exciting than getting into the place by road. Not to mention after kada – kadi, rona dona we left for our destination leaving behind my sweet Didi after a long night stay in a house in Goakhal.

We all (ladki wale) took a boat. The house of my Didi was near to the bank. I forgot the name of the river. The water of the river was so clean, one could see the bed of it. The bank of the river was covered by green trees. There were no sign of pollution and human corruption. It was marvelous. The scenery was breathtaking. We all members of the (ladki wale) were playing and playing. One good thing about the memorable boat journey was that we remained fresh; there were no clouds of dust falling on our head.

I got so mesmerized, that I took a resolution, next time if I visit my Didi’s house, here, in Jiribam, I will come equipped with camera, recorder and whole video editing equipments so that I can capture and show it to the world the real beauty of the place. It will be a proof that such place in Manipur does exist.

You loved the place. Plan it and explore the whole beauty of nature. You will get boat service from Fulertol, Assam to Jiribam, Manipur. Note: The place Boro Bekara is a village, so don't expect any hotel in the area. It is better for first timer to take along with him someone from that area.

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Sunday, 23 September 2007

Bishnupriya Manipuri Lingo: Mister or Bheyego

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Rishikesh Sinha, New Delhi

There is one big Bishnupriya Manipuri village in the Cachar district of Assam. It is made up of number of small villages - Bekirpar, Kabuganj, Batirgram, Shantipur, Lengti, Panibora and Katakhal.

My mom’s village is there. Since my childhood about the village I carried a flabbergasted, confused perspective, and am still carrying it. I did not find any change in my perspective. What it was 20 years ago, today I find it is the same village; there has not been an iota of change.

I carry a very “diplomatic relationship” with all the village folk. Diplomacy means the faces are not new for me but I am not in the talking terms with them. And the same funda applies, people over their know me, but they don’t talk with me. There is absolutely aankho ….hi …anakho me ishara ho gaya..The message that transmits between our eyes is – I know you, but there is no point in talking with you. The deadlock in the communication between us has to be broken. The question is – How?

Presumably, the primary reason they had to maintain a psychological, physiological know-you-no-talk relationship is only because of my mama’s (mom’s youngest brother) presence who always accompanies me in the round up of the village.

They get confused whom to address first – the person of the village that is my mama or the person who is accompanying him (the writer). Moreover there lies an age difference between us – it is understandable folks of my age cannot approach because of my mama’s shadow presence.

So, next time when I visit the Baromuni belt I would take care that I do not take along with me the shadow of my mama. The shadow casts a long, wrong impression on the guys and girls of my age. Why my Kangsh(!) mama do not understand there exists a probable market of me?

I will not allow the market to be affected by his presence. Kadapi nahin..Ye ho nahin sakta (uhan nau chaltoi).

Beside this, folks of my age (may be younger) I think are much pakana then their counterparts in the adjoining interior villages. I am talking about the folks staying in the Katakhal National Highway side.

Here is an incident which I love not-to-forget it. There was no electricity in the whole area, after getting down from the bus at the Katakhal teenmukhi (the adda of village folks) and was heading towards my mama’s house. I saw a boy, younger than me sitting beside the main road. I come to know that he is failing to recognize me – the intruder. He was inquisitive to unravel my identity. After his recognize-not-recognize exercise failed to give the desired output; he opened his mouth and uttered a word which still lingers in the cochlea of my ears. I was never ever called by that word. I didn't tell my mom that people of her village are much pakana than their age. Obviously, her ego would hurt if I say something against her born place. You can understand.

Mister, nau chinlu..kumpai jarga go” he uttered in a very diplomatic formal tone. If the same incident would have occurred in other village I think the boy would have used the word “Bheyego, nau chinlu..kumpai jarga go

Which sounds good - Mister or Bheyego? Obviously "Mister". Just kidding. In the word "Bheyego" there is apna pan. The word Mister throws you away tangential to the circle of the Bishnupriya Manipuri, whereas the word Bheyego passes through the center of the Bishnupriya Manipuri psyche.

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Friday, 21 September 2007

Bishnupriya Manipuri: We definitely can...

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By BN Sinha

Every kid irrespective of any community grow up with an objective or ambition in life which gradually diverts and gets distinctive as he grows by… for example in our school days we used tell to our teachers or seniors about our aim in life to become Doctors/ Engineers/Professors/Pilots etc…As we grow up our aim evaporated and we land up in a situation wherein we accept the bread in the way it comes to us. Few are exempted of it and get obsessed with new and innovative field of operation. I also got obsessed and determined to choose electronic media as career…which again vanished away later due to some unknown reasons…

I can remember the days when “The World This Week" used to come in Doordarshan on Fridays…Production of Radhika Roy, New Delhi Television later known as NDTV. It was indeed a program to be watched out. Mr. Prannoy Roy has certainly brought a revolution in the electronic media in India like wise the PCO revolution by Sam Pitroda.

The legacy is still on and as days goes by prominent personalities emerged to carry forward the revolution like Rajdeep Sardesai , Barkha Dutt, Vidyashankar Iyer etc..the have become a household name now.

It was a great pleasure to be even as an audience in the current affairs program like ''We The People".. also its nice to be in media coterie….and proud feelings to have our friends associated with leading media groups Bennett Coleman , TV 18 etc…The spanking presentation and its innovative nature has indeed made the programs like Walk The Talk, X- factor etc.. to compete with typical daily soaps in television.. leading to a high TRP too.

Refer to Bishnupriya Manipuri community …till date we are yet to come across to prominent media personalities. It is definitely nice to see our guys in the top IT firms like Infosys, TCS, Oracle etc…Bishnupriya Manipuri guys are also making their presence felt in organizations like Amex, GE, Hewitt and many more MNCs. There are academicians also in various varsities in India. But despite of the fact that media is the most influential profession to penetrate into the mainstream political and beaurocratic systems in India.. which is indispensable for a deprived community like Bishnupriya Manipuri.

Bishnupriya Manipuri community is desperately looking our Gen –X to have few Vir Sanghvis and Barkha Dutts….

Down the line 5-7 years can we dream to see a Bishnupriya Manipuri acting as Devil's Advocate in place of Karan Thapar and presenting India 360 by one Sagarika Sinha instead of Sagarika Ghose….Can we dream…?

We definitely can…..

Further added by Rishikesh Sinha:

In the emerging field of mass media, it is a fact we Bishnupriya Manipuri don’t have any presence, I was lone boy in the mass communication class of the Gauhati University. And hopefully there were no Bishnipriya Manipuri students in the Tezpur University and in the Assam University in the year I was pursuing the course.

We should not leave it to the coming Gen – X generation, since we all know how our parents studied at their time and grew in the abject environment; and still they excelled in their respective field; and what we are today is only because of them.

I will only say – Let us “Kiss the Sunshine” and bang the world hard. Bang…bang…bang

Flood Apathy in Silchar

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Flood has again hit the Bishnupriya Manipuri villages
Photos by Rajesh Sinha (Tony), Chenchoorie Road


PWD Main Road


Mode of Transport


Effect of Flood


Submerged Bishnupriya Manipuri home


Temporary makeshift


Inside of the Bishnupriya manipuri house

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Thursday, 20 September 2007

Down the Memory Lane

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By BN Sinha

It was typical winter breeze which was blowing from the east. The morning azaan from the Masjid ½ km away was already over. Morning sun was eagerly waiting to kiss the small dews on the top of the grass. Time was 4.30-4.45 in the morning.

Yesterday most of the villagers had gone to sleep quite late, because they had to organize and give final touch to the banners. Ladies were busy arranging their tolofuti and inafis. A final check was needed to see those are properly ironed. People were geared up for the occasion. A crowded noise can he heard from …pithir leiki…

A knock on my door woke me up, the uncle next to my house asking for the iron which was lying in my room. I just asked, what happened? What this pandemonium is all about? He replied, "tite najiteiga thang misile… ? Torakore istorigo de … diloil…..oh..tortate porikkha na.. heede abo gunjia asot ta…" It was Bishnupriya Manipuri bhasa andolan rally, I had my school annual exam that day so no question of accompanying the rally.

Chengcoorie Road was packed with the protestors slowly heading towards the DC office of Silchar properly lined up in two rows. Women dressed up with Tolofuti, Chacsabi, and aged males with feicham panjabi.

I had to reach school by 9 for the exam, but it was already 8.30 when I left home. I had to reach my school at Ambikapatty 3-4 km away from my village. I had to follow the route same as the rally to reach to my school, it was already 8.55 at College Road still some ¼ km to go.

The rally was passing through, I stood up in a corner watching them just forgot the exam timings. Suddenly the uncle who came for iron in my house identified me. hah! Tortate parikkha na…tor imai martoi baba …jaga torakore…

Finally I reached school at 10 an hour late. It was maths paper … so no tension..I was bit strong in that… But could'nt able to concentrate, I just answered just 50-55 marks and left school ½ hr before the exam finishes, there was absolutely no repentance for the paper but an unknown euphoric cheerful feeling likewise we have during Durga puja was dominating my mind. That day I reached home late.

All were scared as I reached home. My mother started querying about my paper and why I got late. I was in no mood to answer as I was reiterating the chants/ slogans……

Amar daabi dena lagtoi….. Sorkaror helami na choltoi…..Amar daabi natle chire chire singlei taza rakat chitadei ….. Inkilaab Jindabad

It was a winter morning almost 20 years back in our village Bhakatpur..silchar….

Nostalgia runs over…

Wednesday, 19 September 2007

I am working in a company!!??#%*

2 comments
New Delhi

What do you do for your living? I am doing “Job”..? Job!! What type of job you do? And after some chit-chat there persists a eerie silence. And you are left scratching your hair. You are not able to give a satisfactory answer to the asked question as you have been caught off the guard in a do-or-die, swim-or-drown interview session. You have faced a question which you never in your dream thought of, or ever cared to answer. It is indeed a very tizzy situation. Really!!

These are some of the “relevant” and “must” queries we all encounter when we visit village or village-of-the visit. Isn’t? The questions come from every possible direction from the elderly person whom you know, to the complete Bishnupriya Manipuri strangers. It is very hard to answer, and you are puzzled with - what to answer, how to answer…? So, you end up without explaining the profile of your job.

You can’t escape from the flurry of the dropped-from-heaven questions. You have to face the music with silence and with much persistence. Dear.

Very often I have faced this question – Tell me about something (the first question you are being bombarded in the interview rounds in Delhi); hitherto from the elderly person. Like a good boy I answer “kam koruri” (maintaining a very good balance of my voice intonation, thanks to television experience). I don’t go for explaining the nitty-gritty of my job profile. There is no prize for guessing, why I go for this strategy - You know why!

I remember, once I faced the same stuff in a closely wrapped in a layer-after-layer packaging. I failed to understand what he is asking. I suppose the sentence (the asked question) is one of the acquired lingo developed in the villages to ask about the livelihood of a person. So, it was natural I failed to grasp the question. But, after escalating the issue that I have failed to understand, he came out with the bare question, the job.

It is not that I fail to catch the tempo of the question every time. I understand and it starts with, “Baba tite kita korror go...Chakkri korror ta,… na …,Baba hotel le asot ta”. I say, “mi COMPANY agat chakri koruri..” The word “company” is enough to trigger targeted ambushed questions and suggestions.

The most probable sentence that you would be facing is, “huan te private han !!??....Government chakri ahan cha...”. I swallow the “government job” offer since I was never fascinated towards it. I always loved the “unexpected element” attached with the private job (company!).

“military (it) te kya try nakoror ta...”

I stopped here the discussion since all you know the conversation will go nowhere. I suppose those reading the post know the word “company” is not a word to sweep under the carpet. There are companies to strive of.

I wish, next time when I visit my land, I will carry the tag of the company “Google”, so that I can bring on their face a sweet and effervescent smile. I searched in Google about the puzzle – would the tag bring on their face, a smile? Aaailaa…there is no answer. Google failed to deliver the question. Hey!!!

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But We Can't...?

0 comments
New Delhi

It is altogether a different story in those areas where Bishnupriya Manipuri community is dominant, it is placed in the sub-sub section of minorities. I suppose we have other breathren communities, not to mention their names, who are enjoying an edge in the social, political and economical say in the areas. Forget media exposure focussing on the community.

In my first job in the North East Television (NETV) at the post of News Co-ordiantor, I was witnessing frantic accumulation of news, features and every tit-bit of news. I didn't find any news pertaining to the commumity passing through my hand. Though news were pouring from all over the Assam and the northeast, and were funelled, purified and later packaged.

When the North East Television were expanding their sphere of news to other regional languages, our community was sidelined. Again, it was not a new thing to dwell upon, it has been hapenning and it will keep on...

If there was anything in the NETV relishing me, that was with the Bishnupriya Manipuri boy from Shillong coming up as the News Anchor. I think he would probably be the first Bishnupriya Manipuri person appearing in the Live News television. Though he was called upon on per-day reading basis. At that time he was a student pursuing engineering from a college in Guwahati.

His diction was sharp clear, intonation perfect, looks camera friendly and carrying above his shoulder a cool head, a per-requisite condition in the electronic media. I really adored him. And he was enjoying the little bit of media exposure.

That was all about the relation I had with the media exposure. I wonder - Is it necessary that for every thing we beg, give dharna and blah..blah..in the corridors of the governement. At this time when govenrnment has become a mere authority body and not a controlling body. Can't we have television channels and private radio stations fully devoted to the community? Of course, we can.

Despite having all the opportunities lingering around us, we are not able to encash it. About its reasons, a long list can be prepared and can be dwelt upon till eternity. But we can't...? Not to forget, the Internet, at present is ours best companinon and comes as the mouthpiece of the community.

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Monday, 17 September 2007

Bishnupriya Manipuri village: My village Mohanpur

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New Delhi:We all love our village. Not to mention why we all long for the soil and the air of our village. Our forefathers leaved there and were cremated there. We have got layers of relatives, relative’s relatives, relative’s relative’s ka relatives – the chain is long, and very long. Phew!!?

We have got neighbours who know us, they know our parental lineage. They carry the graph of genetic make-up. The cobweb of linked and interlinked relatives is very clear to them. So is the case with other neighbours – extend it to the whole village, and you will find the whole village knows you. This is the only place where you don’t have to give introduction (don’t worry if someone fails to recognize you, your friend will give the whole introduction).

Another aspect of our village is that the shopkeeper knows you by name. Don’t worry if you don’t carry hard cash and there is no hole-in-wall ATM, he will be considerate towards you.

You have to just drop at the shop and will find someone offering paan. It doesn’t matter whether the person is junior or senior to you. He will heartily offer you. That’s our village, my village Mohanpur.

You wear khuttei, go to the market consisting of five or six shops and you are pried upon with hungry inquisitiveness – Aaailaaa…kungo thang…(who is he) nau chin lu (I did not recognise). Relax, soon you will be divulged, crooning …o ooo ugor putak ….(..his son).

My village is different in the daytime and in night. There is a complete changeover. Ooo …Obviously it will be – the Sun god is not visible at night and it is visible at the day time (just kidding). The main difference is that the persons you have missed out in day time will be visible at the evening time. So, this way you don’t miss anybody in our village, which is far away from the humdrum of metro (Silchar!!) activities.

Well, there is another aspect which you will see if you pay visit to my village, no lesser romantic than the fantasy land of RK Narayan’s Malgudi Days. You would not find gate in front of the houses. The houses are interlinked. You can enter one’s drawing room and come out from the other’s person backyard. This is my village.

Another aspect which you will notice if you minutely scan the whole village and that is there is greenery all around. You won’t find universal hobby gardening pursued by anyone. Greenery is all around and ubiquitous.

If you are a movie freak and enjoy watching Chak De India, you have to plan in advance, much in advance since you have to penetrate deep into the region of Silchar. If it is happened that you are in the bus heading towards Silchar, be assured that you will be asked volley of questions, not to mention who will ask. You have to tell the truth.

My village has changed. Yes my village in the Cachar district of Assam has changed. Those people who knows me very well, now I fail to recognize them. Every time it has to be feed into the memory the person’s name, and the terms my uncles and aunties maintains. Some people who were there in my last visit are no more, they have expired. It is very sad. These people are real testimony of my village. They were the people knowing my grandfather, grandmother and their life. They are going to heaven. It is very sorry that these people will not be there to guide us.

This was all about my village Mohanpur. You can visit my village and feel what I have mentioned. Not to mention you will be having your relatives there in my village. So, next time you visit, please drop at there. You can go from Silchar taking the Masimpur route (15 or 20 km) or Kalain route. It is up to you.

If you have liked the story. Recommend it to your friend. Do Comment.


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Bishnupriya Manipuri Status in Google

Bishnupriya Manipuri Juggles Over Inter-Caste Marriage

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Sunday, 16 September 2007

Peep into the Bishnupriya Manipuri Culture

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By Remuna Sinha
Kailashar,Tripura


Language, culture and literature - these three are the essence to mankind. The co-coordinated developments of these three characteristics are the determinants of progress for any community. It is a truth a community which has lost its culture and civilization exists like a dying or withering entity. Hence, culture and literature both together is like a soul to a community.

Language is the carrier of culture and civilization of the men. Language is an inborn acquisition to the men. Language is so natural which seems as autonomous faculty like the movement or respiration. The social temperament sprouted in the primitive men through the language, this temperament or trend expanded in different way in different direction and restored the primitive men rational and reflective.

There is a Bishnupriya Manipuri language in India which belongs to the Indo-Aryan branch of language. Its structure and grammar follows the system of Sanskrit and Hindi. The initial form of this language, according to Dr. K.P.Sinha is found in a rain invoking song of 1515 A.D. But a comprehensive grammar of the language is yet to be composed.
About the Bishnupriya Manipuri language, it is a language talked by a community called Bishnupriya Manipuri.

The beautiful and delicate form that emerges on the refinement of physical life is called culture. Thought, idea, art and literature, religion, entertainment etc. of the human being are manifestation of the culture. The social life is one of the means to make man's spiritual nature towards betterment. It is closely related with the social system. The culture of Bishnupriya Manipuri community is based on spiritualism.

The Bishnupriya Manipuri embraced Chaitanyaite Baishnavism in the 18th century. Since, the initiation to Baishnavism the Bishnupriya Manipuri was influenced enormously by the Baishnavic philosophy and thought. This community has considered the Baishnavic scriptures as a means for liberation and accepted it as stair for attainment of devotion to Hari.

Probably for this reason Rasa Lila (sports of Lord Krishna with gopies, samkirtan, rakhal dance etc.) has got pivot role as a form of classical dance. There are certain very valuable and praiseworthy customs and traditions in the Bishnupriya Manipuri society. We may mention about the absence of any caste system. There are only one or two Brahmin families in a village who act as the priest in the village and perform all rituals and pujas, remaining all others are Kshatriyas.

Secondly, the Bishnupriya Manipuri does not practice dowry system which is a very significant aspect in India. Thirdly, there exists a bond of unity and fellow-feeling. For instance, when death occurs in any family of the village, it is expected that at least one male member from each household shall attend the funeral. Each family also shall have to contribute a fixed amount for performance of the rituals. Such community assistance is very helpful for the poor families in distress.

Fourthly, the aged and the superiors are always respected and given preferences in social receptions and gatherings irrespective of their economic, educational or administrative position.

Besides these, below are some of the notable common cultural features of the Bishnupriya Manipuri –

1. Avoidance of non-veg food i.e fish and flesh in rituals.

2. Wearing of garlands made of tulsi (basil) beads / wooden apple.

3. Use of tilaka is an auspicious occasion is applied at ajna chakra- the space between the two eye brows at the space of third eye.

4. To lie down in bed with head either towards the east or south.

5. Compulsory initiation irrespective of male and female.

6. Ban on shradha on the day of eleventh moon or ekadasi.

7. Planting and worship of tulsi (basil).

No human society exists without believing in super natural entities like God. The BPM community is also not an exception. The religious believes and practices which find place in the socio-religio-cultural life of the Bishnupriya Manipuri is undoubtedly derived from the Gaudiya Baishnavism which essentially saturated with the tenets of Srimadbhagavatam and other Goswami works.

Bishnupriya Manipuri which is a minority community having no home land is known to the multi cultural people in India alone for its culture.

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Bishnupriya Manipuri Juggles Over Inter-Caste Marriage

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