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First BM Mahabharata hits the shelf

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  23 Feb 2016 12:00 AM GMT

By our Staff Reporter

GUWAHATI, Feb 22: February 21, the Intertiol Mother Language Day, this year has turned out to be a red-letter day for the Bishnupriya Manipuris (BM) who have got their first complete Mahabharata, translated from that of Kashiram Das by Mahendra Sinha, a lawyer practicing at Silchar Session Court after the retirement from the Indian Army. He has proved that a man who can devote his life for the defence of a country can replace his gun with the pen to lead the society.

The 1,368-page Mahabharata priced at Rs 700 was released at a function organized on the Intertiol Mother Language Day at Nehru Girls’ High School, Bekirpar, rsingpur, Silchar by the Krishi O Samaj Bikas Samity and the Bishnupriya Manipuri Sahitya Sabha (BMSS), rsingpur branch. Presided over by Dr. Binoy Kumar Sinha, the function was attended, among others, by ba Kumar Sinha from Jiribam in Manipur as the chief guest, NBMM general secretary Mani Kanta Sinha, Bidhan Sinha, Madan Mohan Mukharjee, Debadutta Sinha and Ranjit Sinha as special guests. At the same function, the KOSVS conferred the ‘Itihasbid Se Singha Totvanidhi Smriti Puraskar’ and the ‘Kabyashri’ awards on Mahendra Sinha for his contribution to the Bishnupriya Manipuri literature that had no full Mahabharata till the release of this Mahabharata.

When contacted by The Sentinel, advocate-writer Mahendra Sinha said: “It took 15/16 years for me to translate the epic. The total cost of the book is Rs 1.50 lakh. The publisher is Tulsi Sinha, my wife.”

When asked for comments on his accomplishment of the enormous task, Mahendra Sinha said: “I’ve nothing to say. It’s for the readers to say after reading it.”

It is indeed a heavy burden for the translator to publish the Mahabharata for the readers of a minority community that has a very small readership that fails to reciprocate the gesture with a fitting returns. Such a situation essentially speaks volumes of his dedication and devotion for the uplift of Bishnupriya Manipuri literature.

Intertiol Mother Language Day is observed worldwide annually on 21 February to promote awareness of linguistic and cultural diversity and multilingualism.

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