Me And My Manipuri Things

Rabindranath Tagore and his influence in Bishnupriya Manipuri Society

Posted on: April 21, 2008

Rabindranath Tagore (রবীন্দ্রনাথ ঠাকুর), the Nobel laureate poet, writer, philosopher is probably the most prominent figure in the cultural world of Indian subcontinent and also was the greatest patron of the Manipuri dance and culture. It was him who popularized the Manipuri style of dance with its high zenith among the people of the world. He deserves the honorable place in the style and regarded as the “Pioneer of Manipuri dance and culture”.

From Tagore’s writings and other historical accounts we can learn a little bit about his visit in Sylhet (in present day Bangladesh) . It was 1919 when the historical event had taken place. In November 6th, Rabindranath had a visit in the Bishnupriya Manipuri (বিষ্ণুপ্রিয়া মণিপুরী) village of Machimpur(মাছিমপুর), a remote village not far away from the town situated on the bank of the river Surma. He was given a warm reception there from the Bishnupriya Manipuri people. He was so impressed after seeing a dance composition, the Goshtha Lila presented by the Bishnupriya Manipuri women. After seeing the demonstrations Rabindranath introduced himself to the people and wanted to be informed more about their dance and culture. He also met that time exile superintendent Mr Tanu Singha and looked for a Manipuri Oja (dance teacher) who was capable of communicating in Bangla. Mr Tanu Singha introduced the poet with great Guru Nileshwar Mukharjee (গুরু নীলেশ্বর মুখার্জ্জী )of Baligaon. Tagore intended to bring the dance teacher to his idyllic institute, Shantiniketon. In November 7th 1919, in the speech in a historical gathering of students at Sylhet M.C. College hall, Rabindranath mentioned about his experience in Machimpur and the Bishnupriya Manipuri people. The speech was published in a literary journal “Akangkha” of Shantiniketan (1920).

Tagore brought back Guru Nileshwar MUkharjee to serve in his Visva-Bharati University at Santiniketan. He immediately decided to open a new department of Manipuri Dance in Shantiniketan. Later many other Bishnupriya Manipuri Oja’s and danseuse like Guru Senarik Rajkumar, Nabakumar Singha, Muhu Singha, Guru Bipin Singha, Sri Bihari Singha and Sri Adityasena Rajkumar was invited to Shantiniketon in presence of Rabindranath. They assisted Tagore to choreograph several of his dance-drama. After that period Manipuri dance took its special place in Shantiniketon with Bhatnatyam, Kathak and Kothakali, the other classical dance forms India. In fact Manipuri dance was not as popular as the other classical dance forms. But the subtlety of the tender dance form and the variety of the rhythm impressed Rabindranath Tagore so much that he is credited with introducing this enchanting style to the other parts of the world.  Later many other  renowned gurus from Manipur and Assam were invited from to teach this dance form in Shantiniketan. Gradually the practice of this dance form extended outside the Manipuri community and was practiced with great enthusiasm, especially among the Bengalis and other indian people.

There is also influence of popular Manipuri tunes in many songs of Rabindranath. There are many Rabinra Sangit’s which involves Manipuri dance and dance –

1) Sribas kache theke dure… (শ্রীবাস কাছে থেকে দুরে..)
2) Aji basanto jagrata dware… (আজি বসন্ত জাগ্রত দ্বারে..)
3) Rodono vora a bosonto… (রোদন ভরা এ বসন্ত..)
4) Baki ami rakhbo na… (বাকী আমি রাখবো না…)

The compilation of the dance drama, “Chitragada” was fully based on various elements of Manipuri dance. Another of his literary work “Bhanusingher Padavali” depicts the influence Manipuri songs and philosophy. The Vasihnavite work “Bhanusingher Padavali” was compiled during Tagore’s visit in the state on Tripura and during his contact with the king Virchandra Manihya. The King of Tripura was married to a Manipuri princess named Monomohini Devi alias Thoraleima. Queen Thoraleima contributed a great deal in the movement of
wiping out Satidaho, a discriminating Hindu custom for women.

No doubt, Rabindranath Tagore provided a vital link towards the progressive cultural revivalism to the Bishnupriya Manipuri people and produced a band of local artists who enriched their culture. Rabindranath was the source of inspiration for the stimulation of our own dance, songs and music which were on the path of extinction.

Sources and references :
1. Kothika Matek – Prof Ranjit Singha, Sylhet 1992
2. Gayotri Chatterjee / Bharoter Nritokola
3. Tarun Kumar singha / Manipuri Nritya Probesika, 1968
4. Nripendralal das / Sribhumi sylhete Rabindranath
5. Manipuri Rasleela Udyapan Parisad, Bangladesh / Suvenir, 1996

Photographs:
Weekly Desh
Assam tribune

21 Responses to "Rabindranath Tagore and his influence in Bishnupriya Manipuri Society"

thanks for the blog. It’s really excellent to learn about some unknown things about Tagore . I must add, i like Tagore’s poems very much.

Ashim,
a great piece. i was knowing this fact: my bini told me Rabindranath Tagore influence to the Bishnupriya Manipuri community.

But reading is something different and that u gave me and to the whole world.

the contribution is excellent.

pay a visit to the bishnupriyamanipuri.blogspot.com

my adding the link to the blog bishnupriyamanipuri.blogspot.com

Your topics are always excellent and you are simply the best..

Regards….Ranita

http://bishnupriyamanipuri.blogspot.com

i feel a sense of contentment reading your article.. u r always informative and that r highly valued.
wish we ‘ll meet someday…

Wishes and regards,….

remember me? zindabazar ibit??today visited ur bangla blog site somewherein.net where u wrote about sudeshna,girindra,bisu etc and from there i come to this site.when everyone is running for only money u r doing at least something but no one knows this. i hope oneday they will relise.pl 4give my poor english.best luck.

Wow….I didn’t even know….thanks for enlightening me 🙂

hello…I am happy to say that I have heard of Rabindranath Tagore and his contribution in manipur art and music . you did yourself proud in this one, there is a wealth of information here, and I have not heard of his role before , but his background and information you gave on him are very interesting, especially that he took manipuri tunes for his rabindra sangeet , that by itself is worth knowing. A lot of work and research went into this piece and it deserves being featured, Congratulations!

Dear Ashim
Namaskar,
Really I knew nothing about this world of Bishnupriya Manipuri in internet.

Am very happy to see such acriticles. Now am triying to visit these sites regularly.
Ranjit Sinha, Arunachal Pradesh

Beautiful site. Being a Manipuri women I loved the site. Though married to a bengali, I still love to study Manipuri history.

Hi There,
Sorry for posting this here. I didn’t knew where to post to get answer for my query. I am looking everywhere for the answer.
First of all, the website is very informative. Kudos to you in maintaining the website
I need to hv some information, dont know who will be helping me.
I am planning to learn manipuri language. (atleast vegetable names, grocery names and regular housework names (like cleaning, washing etc) and regular cooking names like boiling,cooking, cutting,chapati, curry etc so that it wil be easy for me to communicate with my helper who is from manipur.
Can you pls let me know the links?
I tried finding online. but couldnt find any.
thanks a lot for help. hopefully you can throw me somelight over it.

the article is about Tagore and his contributions to bishnupriya manipuri society, so highlighted the contributions of bishnupriya manipuri dancers and dance teachers only. In fact from 1919 to 1941, when the poet Tagore died, several Manipuri Meitei teachers served as faculty members at Shantiniketan, and gradually Manipuri dance became well known in Calcutta, then later Ahmedabad and other parts of India. The 1st one was Guru Buddhimanta Singha followed by Guru Navakumar and RK chandrajit singh. The last of these teachers was the well-known guru Atomba Singh.

swethlala, you can try e-pao.net,there is a tutorial.

Are you looking for Online jobs?!!!

U can do this online jobs from ur home or from office and u can do this from cybercafe(browsing centre) also …………….

in this job there is no limited earnings(salary), from this job u can earn unlimited because this gives the commisions for ur work……
ican challenge you that u can earn 1000$-2500$ for a week by spending one hour time/day.the earnings may increase with increase in ur time in this job …..

definitely u will earn more than the other ways………………….

its realy nice to see all the details about our culture.

Thanks for an enlightening piece. But I wish if you could also mention about more articles written by Tagore himself that particularly focuses on the form of dance he envisioned and later introduced.

Hello webmaster
I would like to share with you a link to your site
write me here preonrelt@mail.ru

thanks for this very much valuable article.
bye
rk suranjeet
guwahati

online jobs are many but most of them does not pay well enough so choose an online job well “”

Iam very happy to read it.We should write about GURU BIHARI SINHA of village Rengti SILCHAR.Ihave collected and published a story about GURU BIHARI SINHA 15 years back and also publish a book from ARJUNI MANIPURI PRAKSHANI Kalinjar sikchar which is included in class X of private BM School run by SAHITYA PARISHAD Assam.
SHIBENDRA SINHA. SILCHAR.
28-9-2014

Thanks ASIM for this great work which may help a writer social worker and the man related with culture and literature. Iam very happy to get it.Actually some Bhatt from Delhi has requested me to write an article based on a NEW YORK program and need help from INTERNET then I have found it nd compelled to search some other documents. I came to know that some reports are also found wrong but not in your report.
shibendra sinha.29’9’2014′

I am feeling very proud.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog Stats

  • 74,202 hits

RSS বরন ডাহেকুরা

  • জেন য়ারি দুহান
    জেন য়ারি এতা নিয়াম পুরানা য়ারি। লোকগাঁথা। মুলত থাইনাকার আমলর জাপান দেশে য়ারি এতা মানুর থতাত্ত থতাৎ রচিত অসেতা। জেন মহাযানী বৌদ্ধ র্দশনর ডেঙ আগো। এপেই বিশ্বাস বারো ভক্তিত্ত ধ্যান, আত্মজ্ঞান বারো আত্মপোলব্ধিরে বপিয়া গুরুত্ব দেনা অর। ‘জেন’ (Zen)ওয়াহি এগো … বিস্তারিত পড়ুন → […]
  • মার্টিন নেমলারর কবিতা আহান
    তানু যেবাকা কমিউনিস্ট ঔতারে দরিয়া নিলাগা মি কিত্তাউ নামাতেসু, কিয়া মাতলে মি’তে কমিউনিস্টগো নাগৈনায়। তানু যেবাকা শ্রমিক ইউনিয়নের মানু ঔতারে দরিয়া নিলাগা মি কিত্তাউ নাতারাসু, কিয়া মাতলে মি’তে শ্রমিকগো নাগৈনায়। থাংনাত তানু ইহুদি ঔতারে দরিয়া নেনারকা আলথক আইলা মি ইঙ্গ … বিস্তারিত পড়ুন → […]
  • অগস্ত্য
    লেরিক এহান না পাকরেসি উতাই বিষ্ণুপ্রিয়া মণিপুরী ঠারর ডাঙর দিক আহার লগে উনাউনি নাসি। থেরেক থেরেক করের ঠার এহানলো ইমে এলা-কবিতা-য়ারি নাগৈ, চৌকষ গদ্যও যে ইকরানি অকরের উহান কুমারী দেবলা মুখার্জ্জী গিথানকে দেহুয়াদেসে। পয়লা পাকরলু সমেইত ভাষাতত্ব্ব বা বানান বিতর্ক … বিস্তারিত পড়ুন → […]
  • মুক্তবুদ্ধি
    ১. সময়আহাৎ নিউজফিডর বারাউগদে চেয়া হারদিন ঠুনিংশ্বা বেললু। মারুপর তালিকা উহান সিংহ সিনহাই বুজেসি। বপতাই নুয়া প্রজন্মর শৌ। তানুর য়ারিপরি চিন্তাভাবনা মনস্তত্ব চেয়া হতাশ অইলু। হারপেইলু মুঙেদে আমারতা জড়বুদ্ধি প্রজন্মআহান আইতারা। কোনতাই রাস রাখুয়ালর ফটো আকেইগ দিয়া ডাঙর অইতারা। কোনতাই … বিস্তারিত পড়ুন → […]
  • এন্ড্রয়েড মোবাইলে বিষ্ণুপ্রিয়া মণিপুরি
    নুয়া মোবাইল উহান গুতাগুতি করতে গিয়া আজি অন্ধকপা হারৌ আহান লাগিল। বাংলা এনাবল করিং উনিয়া ল্যাংগুয়েজ সেটিং এ গিয়া চউরিথাং আমার ঠারর নাঙহানৌ আসে। নর্থ-ইস্ট ইন্ডিয়ার বিতরে ইমে অসমীয়া, বাংলা বারো আমার ঠারহান মাল্টিমিডিয়া মোবাইলে হমাসে। মোর মোবাইল এহার ব্র্যান্ডহান … বিস্তারিত পড়ুন → […]

Top Clicks

  • None
%d bloggers like this: