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সাম্প্রতিক সংবাদ
iverse names there are for it. Some call it Ishan Bangla, some call it the ‘third Bengal’. Whatever the name, one thing that is absolutely clear about it all is that this region is the home of a people whose lingua franca is Bengali. Then again, this also is a fact that the Bengali people here are, in a historical sense, strung together in string of diversity. Like it is in the ‘other’ Bengal, Rabindranath, Lalon, Michael; these names exist here as well. Here also there is kirtana and bhatiyali , and even the intoxicating melodies of twentieth century modern Bengali music. But the Bengali culture here exists within a surrounding grotto of multilingual cultures. The birds do sometimes fly into our courtyard too, with nectar gathered from those grottos. The Bengali culture here is a different thing altogether, therefore; probably quite different from the ‘other’ Bengal we know of. Sometimes, one can hear the melodies of our neighbours in the Bengali music that is born here. Sometimes our artists dip their brushes in colour to portray our neighbour tribal cultures too. Long ago it was, in the thirties decade of the last century, when a talent spotting team from HMV came across Kunjalal Singha in a remote area of this valley and selected him for a recording with the company. Qazi Nazrul Islam wrote songs which were nearly alike the melodies of Kunjalal’s Manipuri kirtana. Kunjalal’s songs were later produced by HMV. The great Tagore had brought Manipuri dance teachers to Santiniketan for the furbishing of a dance sub-genre which fitted his songs. Among them there had been people from Barak Valley – Guru Bihari Singha and Guru Senarik Rajkumar. It had been Mukundadas Bhattacharjya who had established the local folk dance forms of Barak Valley alongside the traditional classical canon of dance at Lucknow and Bhatkhande. And it is through his efforts that Barak’s indigenous dance forms are now studied as part of dance curricula throughout India. Few know the name of Varadakanta Das who first launched Barak’s Manipuri dance on the New Empire stage in Kolkata. The world came to know this wonderful Indian dance form through his efforts only. And then there are Guru Bipin Singha and Guru Kamini Singha, and also others, through whose efforts this Manipuri dance form has been made popular all over. And it is so even now. With the world of drama in Barak Valley is also associated the name of Deenabandhu Mitra who had been a resident of Silchar in his official capacity. Just as the nationalist political culture ushered in a new era for this valley’s urbanite society, so also did the first Assam State Convention of the Indian Peoples’ Theatrical Association which was held in Silchar in 1946 help accelerate the progress of a new protestant culture here. In the post-Independence era, amidst the communal tension prevalent in the country then, the communist leader Achintya Bhattacharjya dramatised Samaresh Mazumdar’s famous short story ‘Aadab’. Even before that this trend had been there, right from when the Surma Valley Cultural Squad visited Cachar. Under the leadership of the legendary communist Hijom Iravat Singha, a group of Manipuri performers participated in the historic Netrakona convention. The progressive cultural movement and its effects still make their presence felt in the valley’s cultural trends.

Besides all that, Barak Valley’s film culture began its proliferation way back. Film production, cineclubs, commercial films, short non-commercial documentaries – even though it never achieved a distinct sphere of success, yet those starry eyed film enthusiasts lived here as well. Not only in the valley, from Tollygunj to Bollywood, the people of this valley have exerted themselves.

In the eighties decade of the previous century, when the ‘bideshi hatao’ movement was spreading all over the state of Assam, no counter movement rose in protest against it from the valley. When Bengali newspapers were being banned in the Brahmaputra valley and Bengali films forbidden, when through various means and ways the Bengali speaking populace were being oppressed by the aggressors, Barak Valley had sounded the bugle of harmony. When in the Brahmaputra valley, the claims for rift and dissension had begun voicing themselves, in Silchar people were singing Jyotiprasad’s Assamese songs at Bengali socio-cultural conventions. Celebrities from the Brahmaputra valley have always been lauded and felicitated in Barak Valley. Through ways more than one, the People’s Theatrical Movement has effected its wonderfully unique avatar in Barak Valley.

As time has passed and technological advancements have advanced more, and more, there have sprung up avenues for recording and music production in the valley itself. And Barak is not backward as it is when it comes to upgrading its use of newer and newer modes of production and technological application. Folk music and Rabindrasangeet besides other genres are regularly produced here. Short films in digital format are also being produced in Barak Valley.

Even though it is a remote region geo-politically and culturally, yet Barak Valley’s Bengali populace have retained their affiliation to the common greater trend of Bengali identity through their cultural efforts. Bengali and its neighbour-cultures complement each other in this valley of harmony.

1)     Essays:~ (Bengali)

(a)Ganesh Nandi

2)     Culture- a preview:~





(e)Films & Videos

Blog: Unishe May
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