A Letter, a Thought.

Monday, June 19th, 2017 To My Gorkha Friends: A Letter of Solidarity, We’ve forgotten the days of 2003! The armed struggle for a separate State led by Kamatapur Liberation Organisation was terminated by rampant State Terror in the month of December that year. It was indeed an end to one era of the struggle of…

The second sex: a glimpse of the Rajbangshi women

Simone de Beauvoir suggested in The Second Sex that “One is not born, but rather becomes, a woman. No biological, psychological or economic fate determines the figure that the human female presents in society; it is civilization as a whole that produces this creature, intermediate between male and eunuch, which is described as feminine. Only…

Fomer Nodi- Remembering Mr.Faustus

“I paint the words as water in my mind” -Abhijeet Barman (1979-2008) Wordsworth of Rajbangshi/Kamatapuri literature, Abhijeet Barman, bade adieu to life at 29, leaving behind a trail of memories buried in Jorpokhri, North Bengal University, Bombay Tata Cancer hospital. Those memories now await its’ complete resurgence before our eyes, to be pressed close to…

Nathikhela-The Ancient Stick

On 25th  May, Dhupguri football ground was a celebration hub, where an ancient folk festival Nathikhela, a form of martial arts, associated with the Rajbanghi Muslims, or the Nashya Sheikhs was performed. The celebration began with rice grinding in the traditional Indian wooden mortar and pestle by local women. Nashya Sheikh, also referred as Bengali Sheikh, is…

Narratives

“…unless the minds of men are particularly directed to the impressions of sight, objects pass perpetually before the eyes without conveying any impression to the brain at all; and so pass actually unseen, not merely unnoticed, but in the full clear sense of the word unseen.” [Modern Painters.Ruskin, John] Photographer and independent filmmaker Buddhadeb Barman…

The Irreconcilable​ Rajbangshi Minds

West Bengal is populated with approximately 91 million people; out of which Rajbangshis lead with 3,801,6771 people. Cognizing with the fact that Rajbangshis are sufferers of a prolonged identity crisis, population count presents a contradicting narrative. This statistical revelation amounts to a grievous sigh- from a paradox, a sigh for the mass amnesia pertaining to the…

Folk Healing

“There is a significant relationship between culture and system of health. Culture defines sickness and sick roles, its causes and believe systems and practices associated with it.”  As mentioned, sickness and disease have a cultural perspective which shapes the remedial mechanism. Thus the use of folk medicine among indigenous communities is intrinsic to their healing…

Learning through the Familiar

Author, poet, and academician Premananda Roy has for a long time, been part of Siliguri literary circle. His new book is titled “Okkhor Chiner Pohila Pauthi” (First step to learn alphabet). For an unthinking eye, it is nothing more than an addition to workbooks written for young Rajbangshi students; but for observers, it is a…

The Looking Glass.

Celebrating the birth anniversaries of Bir Chilarai and Thakur Panchanan Barma has somehow captured imaginations to experience our glorious past and identity by valorizing history’s great men and their heroism. There are no tales of great women in Koch-Rajbangshi history, no great queens shedding blood and sweat, but only goddesses worshiped and mythologized. But one…

The Revolutionary Road

“Bhashatak kolapithi korir nagibe.” – Professor Dr. Dipak Kumar Roy Literary fests are always enlightening, the second Rajbangshi Sahitya Utshab, was no exception. The speakers did not comprise of any distinguished literary historian to present a full-fledged historical development of the Rajbangshi literature which was a bit disappointing but comprised few of those men who…

Mantar- A Cynic’s Approach

It is faith that subsides, subdues and dismisses skepticism, disbelief. But should that draw a concluding line to doubt or skepticism? Does mantra possess a healing power? And why does the Koch Rajbangshi community still nourish it?  Nagendranath Roy, the recipient of 2011 Sikhyaratna Award, says “it is a source to our roots”. In his…

The Solidarity of Lies

The first ethic in writing a newspaper article is, verifying the facts, upon which he will process his point of contention. As Pijush Sarkar in his poem Putuler Dyash says “chale kolomo bonduk hoya phutibe”. Although in a different context,  his words capture the deadening force of words. In an article by Mr. Pranpratim Pal in Uttar Banga Sambad, dated 4th of…