We need a political image to succeed in our mission, a personality whom
we can trust and respect. A political platform is urgently required else our Imaar Thar is indeed in danger.
The more I think about it, the more I feel myself unfit to write about it. I am a Bishnupriya Manipuri, my parents are both Bishnupriya Manipuris, and they raised me in Assam. My father was very particular about the Bishnupriya Manipuri language insisting that all of us should speak at home only in Imar Thar. However we did not grow up with the real Bishnupriya Manipuri culture, and honestly I don't know much about it.
But while growing up, I never felt I was missing anything and in fact always held my identity in high esteem. I could compete with confidence and always felt I could be better than anyone.
It was only after settling abroad and finishing my studies and getting a job, do I now have time to reflect on my "Roots" and now want to contribute back in whatever way I can. Am I too late?
Who are the safeguards of our society? What thread holds us together so that even though we are physically miles away, we are connected?
You may have an answer in which case, I will be grateful if you can enlighten me.
Obviously there is no quick and easy solution to this issue.
And this problem of "ignorance of one's culture" is not just confined to our society. It is magnified in our society because we are so scarcely populated. We all want to "fit in" to whichever culture we are raised in. It is a human instinct, sometimes necessary for survival and success in life. But just because it is the norm doesn’t justify it to be the right thing.
It is unacceptable to forget one's roots.
I believe that the Bishnupriya Manipuri youth are much better off now than they have ever been. With globalisation and the speed of the Internet we are just a click away from each other. The future seems bright for our society now because it seems we do have the resources we need.
I want to spend some time reflecting on some possibilities for our society.
Because of our settlements in far away places we need some kind of unity. We need to be more generous in our efforts to help each other, any gesture that will keep the fire burning. I am asking how efficient is Mahasabha in uniting all of us from all walks of life. Will it help to glamorise it, give more publicity, print newsletters, having a Youth wing.
My next dream is education for all and a fair chance for the talented.
For e.g., My maternal grandmother Late Mrs Debjani Sinha from Kailashar, Tripura was a lady with a grand vision. When my grandfather used to be at work, she painstakingly used to visit many houses in the village asking and trying to solve people's problems. She used to tell me that if she had been literate, she would have been the Prime Minister of India.
My biggest concern is that are we are depriving another potential from realising his or her dreams. I am in favour of opening trust funds for the talented Bishnupriya Manipuris so that money doesn't stand in the way if one is truly talented.
Even though we are living in different geographical locations, our agenda is the same. So it is necessary to have a leader who can lead us and take all our voices to the next level. We need a political image to succeed in our mission, a personality whom we can trust and respect.
We must take it on ourselves to preserve our heritage. Every society has their "museum-like" establishments where they actually preserve things from the past and present for future generations.
It will certainly help future generations to preserve all our literature, memories of our great personalities.
Again, not being judgemental and too critical of work undertaken by our fellow Bishnupriya Manipuri will go a long way in boosting the moral of our society.
In summary I think that our Imar Thar is in danger unless we take measures to ensure that our future generations are acquainted with the Bishnupriya Manipuri language, take on the customs and be proud to identify with the culture.
Of course we need to be acknowledged and recognised in the wider world and therefore taking a political perspective of our struggle is paramount.