Saturday, 26 February 2011

An Unified Dream

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Fiction
By Parivita Sinha

All flavor fades away with time. Is it with her only or with everybody? She is pondering why nothing gives her any desire? She is yet to reach her mid-thirty but life seems to her fulfilled dream.

Gopa had a rising career but she never chased ambitions. She sees her world in her husband. She always wished to be with him and now when they are married, nothing has left for her to gain. But he is unrest. He has big dreams that makes him unrest and sometimes annoyed.

Those were the days when they would spend hours together in the class, canteen and in the bus stand. He would do flirting silently, subtly with no friend to ever understand his intention. He was so romantic in those days and it all started then.

Time has changed the mood and restrained the endurance. It could be the reason why romance ends when love begins. Time has brought them a new phase of conjugal life and it has its own demands, needs and off course adjustments. Nemesh still loves her but his world is much bigger than her. He has dreams to follow, friends to talk and a market to cater. He has lot more engagements to meet with.

Gopa gropes for the mobile in dark. It is quarter to two. There is still long time for dawn to show its light. It happens to her often when many thoughts consume her and makes sleep her estranged friend. Tomorrow will be hectic for her as Nemesh will go early morning for an urgent meeting with his new client. She has also a bucket full of clothes to wash. Sweeping, swabbing, and cooking as usual. Gopa closes her eyes and hopes for the successful deal and a good day to come. 

Thursday, 24 February 2011

Do movies have anything meaningful to teach us?

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Children's Corner

Ritwick Sinha, Class-IV,
Don Bosco Sr. Sec. School, Guwahati.

Cinema plays a very significant role in our lives. It teaches us many things. The most important use of cinema is its educative value. What cannot be taught through dozens of lectures and volumes of books can be taught through one movie show. No doubt, some good movies have a healthy impact on the youth and such movies create feelings of patriotism, help in national integration and uphold human values. But unfortunately, some people misuse this form of entertainment. Nowadays, they show violence in films, which does more harm than good. If used properly, cinema can be of great help to all people.


Bishnupriya Manipuri writers recall MK Sinha

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Courtesy: The Sentinel 

By our Staff Reporter

GUWAHATI, Feb 23: The Bishnupriya Manipuri Writers’ Forum has observed the 52nd death anniversary of Mahendra Kumar Sinha, a great Manipuri historian, poet, dramatist and social activist of the Bishnupriya Manipuri community at a simple function in Guwahati on Tuesday.

The function began with the paying of floral tribute to the great historian by distinguished guests, intellectuals and social activists. A symposium on the life and works of Mahendra Kumar was also held on the occasion. It was presided over by advocate Bimalesh Sinha. Poet Dils Lakshmindra Sinha gave a detailed account on the contribution of Mahendra Kumar Sinha. During the British period some Kolkata-based writers made their propaganda that the “Manipuris are uncivilized and uncultured people”. It hurt the sentiment of young Mahendra Kumar who had graduated from Kolkata’s City College. In 1917, he went to Manipur to have an in-depth research on records and sources on the history of Manipur. His revelation, according to Dils Sinha, can be summarized as

(i) The Manipuris are a part of the great Aryan race and they were civilized and cultured from the Vedic age.

(ii) The present Manipur is the Manipur as referred in the Mahabharata.

(iii) The existence of Vedic culture, civilization and Brahminism in Manipur.

(iv) The existence of Tantrism, Saivism, Saktism, Buddhism, Ramaundi Vaisnabism and Gaudiya Vaisnabism in Manipur.

(v) The close relationship between Kamrup and Manipura – the origin of Moirang dynasty in Manipur.

(vi) The origin of Pancha Bishnupriyas – Khomul, Moirang, Angom, Luwang and Khuwairakhfams.

(vii) The origin of Bishnupriya Manipuri language.

(viii) The ancient nomenclature of Manipur – Kasma, Kashe, Kathe, Manibhadrapur, Mekhali and Madhyanagar etc.

According to Dils Sinha, the Secretary of the Assam Franchise Committee had issued an urgent gazette notification on March 21, 1932, and classified the Manipuris as tribals. “This has hurt the sentiments of the Maipuris as a whole, the Bishnupriya Manipuris in particular. A general meeting jointly organized by both the Bishnupriyas and Meiteis at Tarapur in Silchar on June 12, 1932, strongly protested and raised their objections to it showing historical records and documents. The British Government was pleased to see the justification of their objection and reconsidered their decision, and notified afresh the Manipuris as OBC considering them as caste Hindus. It was Mahendra Kumar Sinha who played a key role in submitting the historical records,” Dils Sinha said, and added: “Mahendra Kumar Sinha had played a key role in the formation of the Nikhil Bishnupriya Manipuri Mahasabha. He had edited the first Bishnupriya Manipuri journal, Bishnupriya, published in 1956-58, ushering a modern age in Bishnupriya Manipuri language and literature. He had composed a number of verses and valuable essays in addition to the famous drama Atiya Guru.”

Floral tribute was paid to the portrait of the great leader and writer by Bimalesh Sinha, Narendra Sinha, Biplobjit Rajkumar, Sushil Sinha, Shyamal Sinha, Sabita Sinha and others. Two of the poems of Mahendra Kumar was read out by Anita Sinha. Sanjib Sinha offered the vote of thanks.

Wednesday, 23 February 2011

5 students bag Meingal Scholarship 2010

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Meingal, a Guwahati-based NGO has declared MEINGAL SCHOLARSHIP - 2010. Total five students have bagged the scholarship. Securing 89.5 per cent, Summy Sinha daughter of Sunil Sinha and Kalpana Sinha of Kahilipara, Guwahati, has topped the list. She is followed by Sunita Sinha (87.4%), daughter of Buleshwar Sinha and Anju Sinha of  Bhakatpur, Cachar; Surajit Sinha (71%, Father’s Name : Shri Chandrakanta Sinha, Mother’s Name : Ms. Arati Sinha) of Anipur, Karimganj; Supreeti Sinha (71%, Father’s Name  : Shri Surapati Sinha, Mother’s Name : Ms. Krishna Sinha) of village Dullabcherra (Tea Estate), Karimganj; and Abinash Rajkumar (84.2 % Father’s Name  : Shri Birendra Rajkumar, Mother’s Name : Ms. Rupabati Singha) of Laitumukhra, Shillong, Meghalaya.

MEINGAL SCHOLARSHIP is awarded with an amount of Rs 5000/only and with a Certificate of Honour (Meritorious Student).

For more detail, click

Recruitment of Constables(GD) in ITBPF, 2011

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Closing Date : 04.03.2011
Written Examination : 01.05.2011

Staff Selection Commission will make recruitment to 2583 posts of Constable (GD) Male in the Indo-Tibetan Border Police Force (ITBPF). Matriculation or 10th class pass is the minimum educational qualification. The recruitment will comprise of Height Bar, Prescribed Race, Physical Standards Test (PST), Physical Endurance Test (PET), Written Examination and Medical Examination. Constabulary forms the major component of the ITBPF. The working of the ITBPF mainly depends upon the effectiveness of the personnel at this level. Therefore, it is important that only the candidates having the right aptitude, capability and fitness in all respects apply for the posts.

AGE LIMITS 18-23 years as on 01.08.2011. Candidates should not have been born earlier than 02.08.1988 and not later than 31.07.1993.

For complete detail, visit the ITBP website.

Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Sunday, 20 February 2011

Guwahati Changes its Colour

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Personal Jottings
RK Rishikesh Sinha
Resurgent Guwahati City

Is it the same Guwahati that I left half-a-decade ago! I observe the slew of changes that the city has undergone. It is beyond one’s recognition. Once black and white looking city now looks lively and colourful, as it had gone below planners’ scalpel.

My old memory, I found, was failing to grasp the new 21st century city. It has completely metamorphosed to a new one. Big colourful billboards greeted me, trying to get my attention and leaving an impression that there are lot of things to explore in the changed-city. Welcome!

The roads which doggedly seemed to remain unchanged then, now gives an impressive overhaul: wide two-lane roads with flyovers in key areas have become the recent landmarks. The main entry points to Guwahati – Railway Station, inter-state bus terminus, and airport – all now wears a new look. Something that startled me with awe was the Lokhra Road, which once gave a barren look, now it buzzes with full-throttle activities. A new visitor might mistook the settlements that have cropped up along the road to a century-old human habitation. Alas! It is not the truth.

Along the main arteries of the city – GS Road, AT Road and GNB Road – one can see once somber-looking kirana shops have been turned to sparkling showrooms of well-known brands. The paan and tea shops have been replaced by banks’ hole-in-the-wall; once low lying residential places turned to multi-storied flats, the commercial places offering then non-existent tuition centres and crèches. It seems Guwahati is slowly and steadily shedding its old skin and putting on new metro skin.

With all these frantic developments taking place, it is a natural question how the leading English newspapers of the state – The Assam Tribune and The Sentinel – could remain unaffected. They have gone partially coloured. The number of advertisements insertions has increased remarkably in this due course of time. The running of 24x7 television channels came like an awesome surprise to me.

It was amusing to watch the city-based news channels sitting cozily in a couch: 24x7 news bulletins in English, Hindi, Assamese and other northeastern languages, discussions on various topics…. To my dismay I found especially in the English News, that the reporter present on-the-spot of the scene speaks up first in English, changes his track, and finally finds solace in Assamese! In a particular channel, a layman could comment that the Assam Health minister Himanta Biswa Sarma taking the maximum prime spot in news!

Nevertheless, the city is showing development in its length and breadth. I fear it shouldn’t become so big that I have to carry Maps to decipher the city, to track friends and friends-of-friends. Besides a question lingers in my mind: How many of us have been the part of this boom? If not, how could we participate in the boom that is unfolding in our doorstep?

Annual Conference of NBM Sahitya Parishad and NBM Sanskriti Parishad held

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The Nikhil Bishnupriya Manipuri Sahitya Parishad and Nikhil Bishnupriya Manipuri Sanskriti Parishad (Assam State Committee) held the Annual Conference jointly at Sadhuthakur Sewashram, Silchar on February 5 and 6, 2011.

The conference began with the flag-hoisting ceremony on 05.02.2011 at 10 a.m. The flag was unfurled by Dr. Ranadhir Rajkumar, President of NBM Sanskriti Parishad. Jyoti Prakash Sinha, President of Sahitya Parishad inaugurated a Book Stall of Bishnupriya Manipuri books which was opened for the two days in the venue. The proceedings of the two full-day long programme started with joint discussions by the two Parishads on literary and cultural activities of the organizations towards the upliftment of the society. The session evolved discussions on many key points and decisions taken for future action plans towards strengthening the Bishnupriya Manipuri language and literature.

A book titled “Manipuror Baatgo Baagil” written by late Sudhanya Sinha published by Lerik Leisang Prakashani and another three books titled “Bharator Shadinotar Sangraame – Pratapgarh” written by Uday Sinha, Secretary General, Mahasabha, “Amar Pourei” written by noted writer Jyoti Prakash and “Gyan Bigyan” written by Brahmagupta published by the Nikhil Bishnupriya Manipuri Sahitya Parishad were released in the conference. These four books are written in Bishnupriya Manipuri language.

Eminent Ishalpas Oja Bijoy Sinha and Oja Jawaharlal Sinha, Dakula Oja Dalamoni Sinha, Dramatist Jogendra Sinha and Poet Chanmoni Sinha were felicitated in the programme. Prabhas Kanti Sinha, Chairman of Bishnupriya Manipuri Bhasagnan Pariksha Parishad offered Degree to two Shastri Degree holders Mitali Sinha and Rabisena Sinha.

Six budding writers were awarded against the competition organised on short story writing and poem composing.

A cultural evening with songs and dances performed by prominent artists was also held on February 5 and 6.

Monday, 14 February 2011

Functioning of BMDC

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 By Rebati Mohan Sinha, Mumbai

Today the outmost challenges in front of us is of unity, discipline and obedience, may be at home, at schools, offices and even running an organization, like Mahasabha or Development Council etc.

Unfortunately, in the Bishnupriya Manipuri society, we are so busy protecting ourselves that we don’t bother about other’s problems. So no one is complaining about retrospective changes taking place around us. Today, no one figures out what a dangerous precedent we are setting. Yet no one bothered about monitoring of work being done by the contractor in our own villages, nor even the project-allotted fund being spent on road construction/ drinking water facilities etc. There is no watch-dogs system in our society.

For the benefit of the  Bishnupriya Manipuri society a questionnaire is prepared for the newly formed committee of Bishnupriya Manipuri Development Council to answer sincerely, rather educating our people by answering these questions. 

1. When the notification of the BM DC contiguous area, comprising of Bishnupriya Manipuri satellite villages, will be published by the Govt. of Assam? Will there be an inclusion of Metro-city and towns in that contiguous area?
2. When will be the publication of By Law/Constitution/Memorandum to run the Bishnupriya Manipuri Council?
3. When will be the publication of Organizational Structure vis-a-vis power and function of the council? Who will convene the council meetings, when the Commissioner and Sec, WPT& BC is the member Secretary of the council? 
4. When was the council meeting held to finalise the development plans for submission to Govt. along with the probable expenditure incurred?
5. When will the Govt. declare fund allotted to BM DC? Any time or after Budget session?
6. Can any emissary of BM DC bring documents, pertaining to fund allotment, for the State, from New Delhi? (We have heard the name of the emissary ) 
7. Will the allotted fund be spent by the Govt. departments on the development plan submitted by the council or disburse straightway to BM villages for their own development? (The council members are propagating in villages that money would be disbursed very soon.)
8. As per Govt. notification No. TAD/BC/491/07/131 dt.20 Oct. 2010, “The Govt. of Assam is pleased to constitute the BM DC, Assam” with a list of member, but nothing mentioned about its tenure, has it been made as an adhoc basis, untill the election is held?

Sunday, 13 February 2011

Statues of two martyrs unveiled

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Courtesy: The Sentinel
By our Staff Reporter

GUWAHATI, Feb 10: The statues of martyrs Rajbabu Sinha and Sudeshna Sinha were unveiled by Bishnupriya Manipuri Development Council (BMDC) vice-chairman Banabir Sinha, Nikhil Bishnupriya Manipuri Students’ Union (NBMSU) president Anilkrishna Rajkumar and Algapur MLA Rahul Roy at Chiporsangan in Algapur Legislative Assembly Constituency (LAC) in Cachar district recently.

Guwahati Mahila Samiti (GMS) president Sushila Sinha hoisted the flag on the occasion. Besides poet Brajendra Sinha, the function was attended, among others, by former Nikhil Bishnupriya Manipuri Mahasabha (NBMM) president Manoranjan Sinha, Samir Sinha, Mathura Sinha, Bhanumati Sinha, Patali Sinha and others.

The two statues were installed by the Guwahati Mahila Samiti and Arjuni Sangha. GMS president Sushila Sinha thanked the Bishnupriya Manipuris of Guwahati for the help she had got from them during the installation of the two statues.

To Set Up Unit in Noida: BN Sinha

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New Delhi-based Candela Lighting Systems Pvt Ltd, a company that specialises in LED lighting solutions for architectural lighting, plans to expand operations in the country’s western region in 2011. “We would like to appoint projects-centric distributors in Mumbai, Pune and Indore by next year. The dealers must be connected to prestigious architects and interior decorators, as they play a critical role in interior lighting projects,” informs B N Sinha (info.candelalighting@gmail.com), joint director of the company.

Candela has a wide range of products to offer, including downlighters, track lights, spot lights, cove lighting and linear LED strips for interior applications and inground up-lighters, facade flood lamps and IP68 approved under-water LED lights for exteriors. And to market these, Candela has distributors in Delhi, Bangalore, Kolkata, Kanpur, Chandigargh and Himachal Pradesh. It is now looking for more distributors in western India.

Sinha informs that the company plans to set up a new facility in Greater Noida, UP. “Noting the unabated growth opportunities in the LED segment, we are setting up a new plant in 2011,” he says. The company currently produces LED luminaires and lighting systems at a facility at Baghpat in UP, from where it also offers lighting design consultancy and customised LED concepts. “We do not use any sub-standard components and our LED chips are mainly imported from Edison and Nichia. We manufacture our own LED drivers, right from 1W to 150W as well as high quality luminaires, in addition to lighting control gear using technologies like DMX, Optima, Visual and Master,” avers Sinha.

Candela mainly markets to projects and specialises in offering customised decorative lighting solutions for hotels, resorts, restro-bars, shopping malls, corporate offices, farmhouses and residences. “Our prestigious clients include ITC Rajputana, Sheraton New Delhi, MBD Radisson Ludhiana, Eros Shangrila, Jubilant Organosys and the British High Commission,” adds Deepak Tyagi, the other joint director of the company. “We focus on the aesthetic side of lighting and customise luminaires to facilitate architectural requirements of the client.”

According to Sinha, Candela has created a niche in interior lighting projects, unlike its competitors who have fl ooded the market with low priced low-quality imported LED lighting products.

Saturday, 12 February 2011

Lord of the Land by Dils Lakshmindra Sinha

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By Dils Lakshmindra Sinha
Translation: Karunamay Sinha
Courtesy: Indian Review

‘Pranaam, Babu!’

A voice called from behind just as he was walking out of the refugee camp. Brajamohan Muktiar turned round to see who it was and found himself eying up Kanai – Kanailal Das. Hands folded, eyes tear-misted, Kanai was making a plea, ‘Babu Pranaam, I …I had a petition!’

Braja had seen much of this man during his visits to the refugee camp. A man of understanding. A very affable, compassionable man. Braja was instantly moved to deep fellow-feeling.

‘Yes, yes, speak up… yes?’ Braja could not wait to hear him out, his right hand round the shoulders of Kanai, he said reassuringly, ‘We are always by your side! It’s our duty to see your well being here. That is what we’re here for! c’mon speak your mind, have no qualms!’

‘Babu! I… I… want to stay back! I do not want to be back to that land of fatality…!’ for a moment, Braja stood transfixed trying to comprehend what Kanai was trying to say. Kanai expatiated on the matter at great length. The war had ended. General Yahiya Khan had released Sheikh Mujibor Rehman. Refugees from Banglades i.e. East Pakistan were all returning to the liberated homeland of theirs. But Kanai did not want to be back to that land of uncertainties. He would rather live a life of penury here, provided Braja allowed him to erect a small sack on his land by the side of the road. Braja was rich, noble and kind. It would cost him almost nothing to accommodate a poor man on a few square feet of his land. Braja, magnanimous as he was, did not deem it fit to be given a thought. ‘Alright, alright, if that’s what you want, I’ll gladly grant you that,’ he said with grace. Kanai dived to his feet, tears of gratefulness coursing down his cheeks.

Granting Kanai a piece of land wasn’t the end of Braja’s magnanimity; he was his enthusiastic self in overseeing the construction of a hut too. Soon a hut for Kanai came up on the piece of land he had given Kanai. Kanai began living on Braja’s land. Besides himself, he had in his family his wife and two kids – a daughter and a son. For a living, he took up selling fried nuts. His wife worked as a domestic. The well-off in the neighbourhood always valued a trustworthy maid-of-all-work. The family was on the track in no time. Rumours did the rounds that Kanai’s wife slept with other men. Kanai seemed to turn a deaf ear to such tittle-tattle. The village women often lambasted Kanai’s wife. ‘Refugir jaat’ (a community of refugees), they would snap at her in a mock-serious tone. But Kanai’s wife did not mind that, nor for that matter anyone in the family. They could not afford to take offence at such things. They had devised a way of dealing with such offences. A hearty laugh: that is what they needed at such moments; a forced laugh that would make them appear amused at the love-hate mockery. Bagindra, Braja’s bloke of a son appeared on the scene one day. He seemed to take it upon himself to salvage the family’s self-respect. He began spending most of his time at Kanai’s house. The villagers wouldn’t find the bravado to hang about the house when Bagindra would be camping there.

As time passed, Kanai’s shop grew in size. A table replaced the winnowing fan which he used for displaying his wares. Then there appeared a showcase. From selling nuts, Kanai now graduated to selling pappad, pies, poratha- curries and pollows. And lo! In no time, before people could note, Kanai’s shop turned into a popular restaurant. The small veranda now added an extra patch giving the humble enterprise the shape of a regular sweetshop. Then he paid Braja whatever price he could for the piece of land – some in money and the rest in obeisance. Braja gave him papers for the land. Comfortably positioned, Kanai now brought in some of his close relations from Bangladesh. A few more families followed suit, strayed in in ones and twos. Small houses began showing up at unlikeliest of places. The small, wobbly houses amused the local populace no end.

Bagindra’s endless time continued to be spent in Kanai’s shop.

‘My shop, this…,’ he used to make a casual declaration to half-known people from different localities who would be curious to know about the owner of the shop. The words he used to utter with the airs of a busy-yet-humble shop owner who had no intention to mix pride with business. Members of Kanai’s family also gladly gave their approval to what he said. Come evening, Kanai’s wife flushed him with strong, locally brewed liqueur and fed him with what he wanted.

Drunk as a lord, Bagindra would then return home late in the evening, hurling all the way torrents of unutterable abuses at fellow villagers who had dirty thoughts about him and gave his hangout a wide berth.

Brajamohan, at that time was an important political figure in the locality. He was chairman of the local committee of the state’s ruling party. Besides, he was an influential member of the Village Panchayet. Whenever a leader from Karimganj, Silchar, Guwahati or any other parts of the state paid a fleeting visit to Dullabhchera, it was always Brajamohan the leaders would want to meet. You can count on your fingers the names of leaders who visited Dullabhchera and returned without savouring a hearty meal at Brajamohan’s house. Most political leaders of the state reminisced his hospitality, and the tasty Manipuri dishes they had savoured at his place. This was one accomplishment Braja took immense pride in.

Whenever there was breach of peace in the locality – be it dispute on land holdings, be it confiscation drive on the part of the local co-operative or mere clash of interests on distribution of ration – it was invariably Braja who had to play the role of the peacemaker. His own family, his children never mattered to him. In fact nothing mattered to him other than serving his party which was to him serving his motherland, serving society in general. The more people appreciated his selfless service to mankind, the more selfless he became. He never expected anything in return – other than people’s gratitude and political leaders’ pat on the back, of course. It would be inconceivably mean of him to wish anything for himself. How could he do that? Leaders couldn’t be self seekers. Braja was a true leader of the people. Even the opportunities that came his way without his asking for them, he doled out to the less fortunate. And who could be more unfortunate than the refugees from East Pakistan who had to begin life right from the scratch? Kerosene permit, petty government jobs, quotations for construction of Government establishments, all he would dish out to the wretched lot. No one in his view could be poorer than those who had no land to till and produce their livelihood. Naturally, the new settlers found in Braja their savior. They would not stop praising his leadership qualities before big political leaders.

‘There cannot be a man of such greatness and magnanimity in the whole wide world!’ they would tell any visiting state leader. Braja would find life’s meaningfulness in those spontaneous outpourings of the grateful souls. Nothing, to him, was more rewarding than a great leader or minister appreciating his work.

Kanai Das wasn’t long in discovering what went best to feed Braja’s ego. He left his now-well-established shop to his wife and son who he knew would run it better with Bagindra’s patronage and turned himself into personal assistant cum all-time companion of Braja. On Braja’s recommendation, the local branch of a bank granted Kanai a loan with which he stocked up a range of goods in his shop and erected a pukka house. Then again, leaving a better established shop to his wife and son, he obtained a timber license through Braja and busied himself in a trade of logging and supplying timber. All this, however, he did without ever neglecting his political work as an active party member and trusted ally of Brajamohan, the most influential leader of the area. Slowly but steadily he was becoming a name in the political circles. With full support and go-ahead from Braja, he made every new refugee from East Pakistan member of the party. Unused Khas land, gochors and choras of the area were allotted to the refugees whose settlements sprang up everywhere dotting the wild looking landscape with meticulously groomed homesteads that looked more firmly grounded than the age-old ones. Most of the newcomers were Kanai’s cognates and agnates. And they proved to be more zealously devoted to Braja’s party. One thing Kanai had learnt for a price: the local Bengalees held the Manipuris in unshakable awe, respect and love. They would not simply say or do anything against the Manipuris without whose valiant role Dullabhchhera would have been part of East Pakistan. Kanai made sure that such loyal elements stayed on the sidelines and knew as little as possible about party affairs.

The Manipuris on the other hand had little time for political activity. Their Kirtans, dance festivals, holi, nine-day-long Rathajatra festivals, thirty-day-long autumnal discourses of the scriptures and an endless list of all-important occasions kept them busy. Over and above all this was factionalism that inevitably cropped up in the observances of these festivities. The rumbling echoes of these festive-time factional eruptions would, with supplementing as well as complementing flare-ups, keep them mortally busy and active all the year round. Straightjacketing their adversaries with ingenious game plans was their favourite pastime. And they celebrated their petty victories over their rival factions with extravagant community feasts, meant to put a whole faction of people to mortal shame and ignominy. The inherent tribalism which constantly egged them on to score over their rivals often led them to sell off pieces of their land property. With immeasurable self-contentment they would call the new settlers ‘refugees’, and yet pester them whenever they needed money for organizing celebrations or feasts without which their vainglories would fall to pieces.

In course of time, Braja’s health began to fail. The ‘tiger’ who once prowled in the area unchallenged was fast becoming a shadow of his former self. It was Braja, who on 14 August 1947, led a force against Pakistani invaders and beat them off. People from East Pakistan had come in a wild trainload that day. The train had flags of Pakistan adorning it. Shouts of ‘Allah-ho-Akbar’ and ‘Long live Pakistan’ rent the air. People on this side had been anticipating such an invasion. Still there were no sight of any military or police parties. Braja had organized the people of the area, toured every village and held meetings to awaken people as to the impending danger. His fiery speeches had magical effects on the Dullabhchera youth. From nobody knew where, he had collected a ‘selpung’ (a giant bell-metal gong used by the Manipuris and the Kuki-Chin tribes of the region), which only he could lift. On 14 August, when the wild train was in sight, Braja sounded his gong and the Manipuri youths of the area rushed to the spot where Braja had instructed them to assemble for advancing in proper formation. People belonging to other communities had already fled Dullabchhera. Oh, what a moment of glory it was! Braja could still visualize the scene. Manipuri youths from Kehur gang, Khilua, Gergaon, Chandor gang, Shyamar gang, Paanchdali,Chamtilla, Baskantilla, Oringtilla… all coming out as should true Kshatriyas, armed with whatever they could lay their hands on. Manipuri martial traditions in those days were still to go into oblivion! Braja’s Manipuri force had that day beaten off the trainload of Pakistani invaders. But for Braja, the history –and geography too – of Dullabhchhera could have taken a very different turn that day.

One day Braja collapsed while attending a party meeting. Kanai bought some medicine from a chemist’s shop and sent Braja home with a party worker to escort him. Kanai could not leave the meeting. It wasn’t an ordinary meeting. An annual general meeting it was where new committees were to be formed. The Manipuri members were all absent, busy as they were settling a social dispute. So, while the Manipuris were going for each other over whether it was the old-king’s clan or the new-king’s that deserved the seat of honour in the sitting arrangement of the kirtan mondop, Kanai proved his being the chosen one of Braja and made sure most of the committees were formed with new settlers forming majority in them. Displaying great sorrow and regret, he also made it clear in the meeting that Braja’s health was no longer permitting him to carry out the party responsibilities. The president of the meeting called upon the members present at the meeting to suggest the name of an incumbent who would fill in Braja’s place. One of Kanai’s followers lost no time in proposing Kanai’s name and a host of other Kanai-followers supported the proposal. The old members, the denizens of the area only looked at each other and said nothing. After being appointed the new Chairman of the party’s Area Committee, Kanai went to seek Braja’s blessings. Braja had to suppress a big sigh while passing his hand over Kanai’s genuflected form.

Then came the Panchayet Election. Kanai was now the all-in-all in selecting party candidates and strategy. But he could not turn a blind eye when Braja suggested his son Bagindra to be made a candidate. However, clever as he was, Kanai secretly engineered the candidature of a neutral candidate against Bagindra. Bagindra lost election. Most of his supporters had not doubted Bagindra’s victory; many hadn’t even bothered to go and cast their votes. The intimate circle of Kanai voted for Nirmal Das, the neutral candidate. Even a child could tell how Bagindra was sabotaged by Kanai.

An enraged group of Bagindra supporters, baffled and disorientated at the sudden, unexpected turn of events, lost their cool. They braced themselves with country liquor and proceeded to pull down Kanai Das’s house. Bagindra had some political acumen inherited from his father. Drunk though himself, he went to stop the agitated lot whose action might trigger communal tension in the area and help Kanai garner sympathy.

Before Bagindra could overtake and stop them, stones thrown by his supporters broke down some of Kanai Das’s windowpanes. Bagindra somehow managed to be at the forefront of all to stop them only to be faced by Kanai Das’s son who had come out with a razor-sharp, menacingly oversized dao. Behind him were emerging an army of incredibly well prepared refugees, armed with sharp weapons. Bagindra’s supporters were not prepared for such preparedness on the part of the refugees. They broke into desultory runs. But not Bagindra. He knew if he ran away that day, he and his people would have to be running away from everything all their lives. Some of Kanai Das’s supporters hesitated. After all, they were used to treating Bagindra like a demigod all these years. Precisely at the moment, a police van arrived at the spot.

Bagindra was taken to the police station where charges of larceny and attempt-to-murder were framed against him. Non-bailable charges; Bagindra was sent to court from where he was sent to Karimgunj jail.

Brajamohan tried his best to save his son. But the case took unusually long serpentine turns. On returning from Karimgunj court one day, he realized he was left with no means to fight the battle. He made a solemn admission of his defeat, asked his wife to do what she could and took to his bed.

Brajamohan may have chosen to resign. But recollections and echoes from the past would not desert him. He remembered how he would go out of his way to help the helpless lot. He also remembered how the other day, when there was a clash between the locals and the new settlers over a piece of khas land, he had heard one of them saying ‘Manipuris go to Manipur, Deshowalis go to Bihar, this is our Bengal!’ There is nothing he could do now. He had made his bed and he must lie in it… and wait for the great eraser that would come in slow, painful steps to erase all the imprints he had left on this soil. He had inherited this soil from his forefathers. He had one day risked his life to save it. Never could he imagine someone could remove it from under his feet in… in such a way… Can a hundred lives sacrificed save this soil now…? The question rambled through every nook and cranny of his consciousness unanswered.

Friday, 11 February 2011

AAMSU flays MLA Kartik Sena

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Courtesy: The Sentinel

Special Correspondent

SILCHAR, Feb 2: All Assam Manipuri Students’ Union (AAMSU) in a statement as endorsed by its executive committee meeting held under the presidentship of L Surendra Singh has flayed Kartik Sena Sinha, Patharkandi MLA who deserted BJP to join Congress, for his upmanship to claim credit for the declaration of Manipuri Development Committee by the State Government on January 19 as approved by the Cabinet.

The AAMSU criticizes Kartik Sena for playing politics of divide in order to create conflict and confusion in Manipuri community with a design. Behind the fulfillment of long pending demand of the Manipuris of Assam scattered in different districts lies the sustained and concerted move of different organizations like Meira Paibi, AAMSU, Diaspora and Sahitya Parishad. Besides, the Union expresses its gratitude to the three ministers of Barak Valley, Dinesh Prasad Goala, Gautom Roy and Ajit Singh.

The Union advises Kartik Sena not to meddle in the affairs of Manipuri Development Committee. They are competent enough to handle their own affairs and to ensure smooth functioning of the Parishad for the socioeconomic development of the community. The Union at the same time favours the selection of an efficient and qualified as well as dynamic person from the community as chairman of Manipuri Development Committee. A delegation of AAMSU led by its president Surendra Singh which included former president Sontosh Rajkumar, N Nanda Mohan Singh, L Loyatan Singh met the Urban Development and Housing Minister Dinesh Prasad Goala on the matter. It also laid emphasis on giving leadership to the youth of the community for successful implementation of the objectives of the Development Committee.

Patharkandi had seen lot of development: Kartik Sena Sinha

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Courtesy: The Sentinel 

Special Correspondent

SILCHAR, Feb 5: For the over all development of Bishnupriya Manipuris living in different parts of Assam, rupees one crore has been sanctioned by the Congress-led Tarun Gogoi Government, pointed out Kartik Sena Sinha, Patharkandi MLA, while addressing a press conference in the newly set up office of the Bishnupriya Manipuri Development Council. The sanction for another Rs 10 crore, he said, was being awaited. Since no scheme or project could be taken up with the meagre fund of rupees one crore, demand from the Council was made for more accommodation of unemployed and educated persons under self-help groups, financial assistance to youths for auto rickshaws in order to make them self-sustaining, besides laying stress on implementation of schemes for women.

Kartik Sena Sinha claimed during his tenure as MLA, Patharkandi had seen lot of development and the socioeconomic scenario has changed for better. He was confident of being given nomination to contest election on Congress ticket since he deserted BJP on the specific assurance of the Chief Minister, party high command Bhubaneswar Kalita, ministers Himanta Biswa Sarma and Rockybul Hussain of fair deal.

The turn-coat MLA further claimed how he got funds released for various development schemes since his priority was to ensure welfare and well being of all sections of people irrespective of their caste and community. Unfolding the wave of development brought about by him, he cited sanction of rupees five crore for a modern hospital, rupees eight crore for market, Rs 15 crore for three bridges on Longai river, Rs 19 crore for Lylapur-Katamani Road, Rs 50 crore for flow irrigation, rupees six crore for six PHE plants, irrigation schemes involving Rs 90 lakh, Adamtila Road Rs 90 lakh, Rs 55 lakh for PHCs in tea garden areas, Rs 2.25 lakh for veterinary dispensary, Rs 4.64 lakh for E and D schemes.

On the progress of work on Rajiv Gandhi Rural Electrification Programme in his constituency, Kartik Sena Sinha had no specific answer, except to say that it was for the Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi to provide necessary inputs on the matter. He looked confident about his nomination by Congress from his home constituency of Patharkandi and asserted “there is no candidate or party to defeat him at the husting” as he had the support of people. Since the Tarun Gogoi Government was offering development councils indiscriminately as election sops, he would press for similar bodies for Rabi Das community and Koibartas.

DARLING, a poem by Debojyoti Sinha

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DARLING
By Dils Debojyoti Sinha


You are my heart,
You are my song,
I have ruined my life
Only for you.

For you, I am self-oblivious
Though to others, a trash.
Yet people know that
You are my great darling.
I have ruined my life
Only for you.

You are my hope,
You are my faith,
Even if this life gets withered
No remorse.

As I have already offered
This life to you.

Let me turn to ashes
Burning in the fire of misery,
I know I will be in heaven
If I can die for you.
Even if this life gets withered
No remorse.

As I have already offered
This life to you.

(Based on “THOIGO”of Madan Mohan Mukharjee, one of the pioneers of Bishnupriya Manipuri modern poetry.First published in SELPUNG,1997)

‘Preserve manuscripts of B Manipuri dramas’

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Courtesy: The Sentinel 

By our Staff Reporter

GUWAHATI, Feb 7: The Bishnupriya Manipuri Writers’ Forum (BMWF) conducted a seminar on “Bishnupriya Manipuri Drama” on Sunday evening at Radhamadhab Sebashram at Maligaon in Guwahati. It was followed by a poets’ meet.

Speaking at the seminar presided over by noted poet Sashi Kumar Sinha, BMWF president DILS Lakshmindra Sinha and Dr Smriti Kumar Sinha, professor and Dean of Students’ Welfare, Tezpur University, dwelt at length on the origin and development of Bishnupriya Manipuri drama. Dr Sinha gave a detalied account on Bishnupriya Manipuri drama vis-a-vis elements of Indian dramas and western theatre found in them.

Dr Sinha threw enough light on Indian drama and the role of Bharat Natya Shastra on them, and the artistic blend of Bharat Natya Shastra and the folk elements of the Bishnupriya Manipuri community. He also threw light on performances like Udukhal Leela, Gostha Leela, Lankakanda, Kurukshetra and the like seen in the Bishnupriya Manipur dramas, apart from historical and social dramas. He, however, expressed his displeasure over the present plight of drama in the Bishnupriya Manipuri literature. He appealed to the litterateur in the community to prevent the manuscripts of Bishnupriya Manipuri dramas that are on the verge of being destroyed due to lack of proper preservation and lack of archival activities in the community. He made mention of the drama movement that had taken place in the community at Narshingpur near Kabuganj in Cachar district.

In his speech, DILS Sinha threw enough light on the drama movement that had taken place in Durlabchhara and Pratapgarh now in Karimganj district. Earlier DILS Sinha gave a detalied account on the BMWF and the present plight of Bishnupriya Manipuri language and literature. Noted social worker advocate Bhimsen Sinha also spoke on the occasion, while poets like Narendra Sinha, Namita Sinha, Krishnacharan Sinha and others read out their self-composed poems.

Meanwhile, Dr Sinha launched the website of the BMWF (bmwritersforum@gmail.com) at the function. Pratibha Sinha, who developed the website, gave a brief account on the website.
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