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Interview with Anjana Sinha, Editor of NUA DRISTI


                         Anjana Sinha, Editor, NUA DRISTI
                      A bilingual weekly newspaper in Bishnupriya Manipuri and Assamese
            Anjana Sinha, Editor of Nua Dristi, had put her best efforts to publish the newspaper successfully for the last 23 years. Nua Dristi is a bilingual weekly newspaper in Bishnupriya Manipuri and Assamese languages which is published at Guwahati. It's first issue was published on 02.02.1990. The Nua Dristi has been successful in its attempts to draw interest among the present generation to be a part of this weekly as writers & poets and their contributions towards the field of literature have enriched Bishnupriya Manipuri Language. The co-language Assamese is able to attract Bishnupriya Manipuri readers to learn Assamese and vice versa.

                The Nua Dristi has been included as a document for the recognition of the Bishnupriya Manipuri Language by the Registrar of News paper of India in the Other Backward Commission. Anjana Sinha has received the prestigious award of 'Tamropatra' from the Mohendra Memorial Foundation, Patherkandi, on 04.03.2012 for her effortless contribution in the field of mass media.

                In recognition to her exemplary contribution and dedicated service of excellence in the field of mass media, MEINGAL, a registered NGO is delighted to honour Smt. Anjana Sinha with the 'Meingal Bishist Seva Puroshkar' for the year 2012.


 An interview with Anjana Sinha..

                         Interviewed by Pratibha Sinha, Guwahati
                    on 10th November, 2012, at 15:00 hrs. at her residence

(Extract of the Interview)

Pratibha    :   Jethi, It's nice meeting you after a long time.
Anjana       :   Nice meeting you as well.

Pratibha    :   Well. You are popularly known as the Editor of Nuwa Dristi weekly newspaper. What made you to start this newspaper?
Anjana      :   It was a National Press Day on 16 November, 1989, I and my husband attended a program of Press at Guwahati where newspapers of different languages and communities were displayed. Not seeing a single paper in Bishnupriya Manipuri language in the press exhibition, we felt very sad. On that day, we decided to take out a newspaper for our community in Bishnupriya Manipuri language. By next year the first bilingual issue of 'Nua Dristi' was published on 02.02.1990. In the beginning of three months, Dr. Smriti Kumar Sinha and Sri Lakhi Kanta Das were the editors of Bishnupriya Manipuri & Assamese sections respectively where as I was the Chief Editor. Due to transfer of Dr. Smriti Kumar Sinha to other location, thereafter I took over the full editorship and till now for the last twenty three years the paper is being published continuously with the substantial best wishes of the readers.

Pratibha    :   Great! How much you are successful in circulating this paper among the readers?
Anjana   :  The Nua Dristi is successful in its attempts to draw interest among the present generation to be a part of this weekly as writers, poets such as Sashi Kanta Sinha, Nirmal Kr. Sinha of Dullavcherra, Prof. Vijoy Kr. Sinha of Mohanpur, Silchar, Sibendra Sinha, Manashi Sinha of Silchar, Sushil Sinha, Col. Bijoy Sinha, Prof. Kamini Sinha, Sanat Kr. Sinha, Khagendra Singha, Biramangal Singha of Guwahati, Parimal Sinha of Hailakandi, Snigdha Rajkumari of Guwahati and many others. Their contributions towards the field of literature have enriched Bishnupriya Manipuri Language.
                          The co-language Assamese has attracted Bishnupriya Manipuri readers to learn Assamese and    vice versa.
                       The paper has been circulated in different places of India and abroad viz. Delhi, MumbaI, Kolkata, Bangalore, different places of Assam, Tripura, and Meghalaya & Bangladesh on demand. For the last few years, it could not be sent to Bangladesh for some inconvenience.

Pratibha    :     How have you managed finance to publish this paper?
Anjana      :    The newspaper is being published through self finance. In the initial stage, our family income source was only the limited salary of my husband and my husband used to hand over his salary to me every month. I used to save half of the salary to maintain my family and remaining half of the salary for printing the paper. A nominal amount is granted from Government offices for publishing advertisements being a registered paper. We didn't receive any other allowances from any other source except some subscriptions from our regular readers. In this way, I tried hard to take out its weekly print regularly. Initially for 3-4 years, I used to meet the people of different locations personally for publicity of the paper and distribute the paper free of cost among the readers. Later, though we started receiving some subscriptions from some regular readers, still sufficient subscriptions are not being received by us, so maximum printing and postal expenditure is financed by us.

Pratibha  :   Earlier you used to print the paper with your own press, but it was discontinued later and printed from outside press. Why?
Anjana      :     Right, earlier the paper was printed with my own press but it was discontinued later because I find it difficult to run a press with a single newspaper only due to extra expenditure on electricity and manpower. Also due to other family responsibilities on me, I could not give enough time on my press personally and due to shortage of manpower, we started printing the paper from offset printing from outside.

Pratibha    :   Any recognition received so far for your service rendered in the field of mass media?
Anjana       :   Yes, my service has been recognized by many people and social bodies. Notable achievement received so far is the inclusion of the 'Nua Dristi' newspaper as a document for the recognition of the Bishnupriya Manipuri Language by the Registrar of News paper of India in the Other Backward Commission. I also received a prestigious award of 'Tamropatra' which includes a cash award of Rs.5000/- & a shawl from the Mohendra Memorial Foundation, Patherkandi on 4 March, 2012.   

Pratibha    :   What are your other interests & hobbies apart from your normal routine?  When did you start writing?
Anjana       :   To speak the truth I had a mind to proceed with more higher studies which could not be fulfilled due to my early marriage, though my husband got me admitted in college after marriage but I had to give up the studies due to unavoidable circumstances. I have interests in music & literary field. As regards hobby, kitchen, gardening, horticulture and make people amusing with humor or jokes, reading books of different subjects and studies related to religious books. Though in my childhood I liked to write small poems but my interest in writing grew higher after starting the paper.

Pratibha    :   What was your aim in life?  Is your aim or dreams achieved?
Anjana       :   My aim in life was to take higher education, become self dependant or employed and serve the society. In my early age as a student I got associated with the language movement of Bishnupriya Manipuris. It is God's will that my dream to be self employed has been achieved being a part of the process of publishing the weekly newspaper "The Nua Dristi". I am always thankful to my husband, whose constant support and contribution helped to fulfill my dream of publishing the newspaper.

Pratibha    :   Please tell some of your exceptional contributions towards society and family.
Anjana       :   There is no great achievement in my life, but I have been toiling hard to encourage my Bishnupriya Manipuri brethren to come forward to enrich the mother tongue through their invaluable writings and I hope I have got good response from them which may be revealed from the continuous publication of "The Nua Dristi" for the last 23 years. In the same way, I have been a successful house wife to assist my husband to look after our family affairs as he is associated with so many social organizations beside his official assignment.
[Shri Santi Kr. Sinha, husband of Anjana Sinha was interviewed in between while talking with her]

Anjana Sinha with her husband Santi Kr. Sinha
Pratibha  :   Jethu, it's nice to know about your constant support and contribution in the Nua Dristi paper.  How did you manage time for the paper inspite of your busy schedules and responsibilities of your service and family? 
Shanti Kr. :  Thank you. It's right that due to my higher responsibilities in my service, I could not give much time for the paper. It's Anjana's desire and dedications that with her initiatives we have tried our level best to continue with the paper and thus completed a long recordable journey. I also consulted with our Bishnupriya Manipuri writers and Assamese writers to take suggestions to improve paper, collect news and articles and talked with people for collecting advertisements for the paper. In this way, I helped her. After my retirement from service, I also fully involved with the paper.

Pratibha  : Have you ever faced any difficulties in printing the paper and thought of discontinuing the paper?  Did you find Ajana jethi in any case losing her dedications from the paper?
Shanti Kr.:  Though, we had faced some difficulties at the initial stage like negative comments from readers, lack of articles & advertisements, crisis of finance etc. But, we never lost our hope and dedications. Inspite of many up s and downs, Anjana had never gave up her dedications and tried to put her best effort. I also encouraged her and gave my full support.

Pratibha    :   Great!, it's really nice to learn about your contributions and full support to her and for the 'Nua Dristi'.  It's nice to talk to you.

[Again back to Anjana Sinha] 

Pratibha  : Well jethi, apart from your role and activities, I wanted to know some opinion about the condition of women folk. According to you, what is the status of women in Bishnupriya Manipuri Society?
Anjana     :   The role of women in Bishnupriya Manipuri has not risen to the occasion as the women are still subdued by the passions of males. The society did not give due weightage to women. They were deprived in getting higher education due to conservatism of religion. Whatever a woman achieved in the past was due to high magnanimity of very few families. But time has now been changed. The Bishnupriya Manipuri community has also been realizing the evil affect of conservatism and now extending their moral support to educate their female children according to their ability. In this regard, many genius girl students of brighter future had been nipped in the bud due to financial backwardness. If the generous people come forward extending their greatness and moral support I hope the women of this community will be able to bring some new rays of hope for the all round development of the society.
                       It is also evident that our Bishnupriya Manipuri women are showing their credibility in the field of education by better performance than males and also in the field of various Government public sector and private sector, women of Bishnupriya Manipuri are not lacking and in some field of activities they occupy the highest rank like women of other societies.

Pratibha  :   Highlight some measures that can be initiated for women empowerment in different fields of excellence and improve their skills.
Anjana   :   There are numerous fields in which a woman can take initiation.  Initially she should be properly educated or experienced in her pre-selected arena so that her experiences can influence the misapprehended people of the society. There is a misconception among the Bishnupriya Manipuris that girl child will not contribute any beneficial prospect to her parents whereas a male child will ensure their securities in their old ages. This misapprehension may be removed. A highly educated self established woman can better shoulder, also the onus of the parents at their old age. Secondly, an educated woman can convince the youngster showing them the right path to proceed not only with studies but also serve the people with sincerity in a disciplined manner. She can also inspire the uneducated women to achieve in preserving the national culture such as weaving national clothes etc. There are numerous roles to be chosen such as social, cultural and religious reformation specially conservativeness which is a great barrier in our community.
                         To franchise equal right, the women folk have to come forward braving the obstacles ahead of them such as conservativeness and superiority of the male people and unite all the Bishnupriya Manipuri women under one platform. Once the unified platform is formed their manifold genii can render useful purpose in different field of excellence removing evils of the society and exhibit better performance than male and by and by their skill will also be enriched.

Pratibha     :   In today's society, how much women are safe from both domestic and public harassment?
Anjana    :   In today's society, the women are not safe from both domestic and public harassments. In many domestic affairs, the dowry system and polygamy has become a regular feature of harassment towards women. In public life also the women are the prey of lust of unsocial, uncultured men being raped and murdered. In this respect the infant and minor girls are also not spared. There are many illustrated incidents published in newspaper.
                         As regards the protection, the steps adopted by the Human rights Commission are limited and in many cases the justice or protection are delayed. So, justice delayed means justice denied. In this respect, prompt action against the wrong doers should be instantaneous.

Pratibha    :   What measures should be taken to give/have protection to women or by the women?
Anjana      :  As stated earlier, the women victims don’t get justice instantaneously due to the red tapism. The Government should ensure immediate measure to curb the evil activities on woman and made some statutory laws to punish the wrong doers on women. The atrocities on women is increasing in geometrical progression and are being uncontrolled which can be taken for granted from the daily newspapers and other medias.
                      The women too should prepare themselves protected from such atrocities on them taking refuge of law, statutory organization such as Human right Commission, Women Commission etc. They can be emboldened to face bravely so as to set exemplary instance to encourage other victims of atrocity. They are to explore means to communicate to other sister concern also.

Pratibha    :   What is your opinion about the practice of gambling, use of drugs, alcohol etc. and insulting women's dignity and respect through excess media publicity? What do you think to stop such unsocial activities?
Anjana      :   Any addiction is condemnable. Being addicted to gambling, being drug addicted and alcoholic, a man lose his property and the family may be completely ruined. As a result of which a wife, a woman may be neglected and tortured by the husband insisting her to provide money either from her father or even compel her to earn by illicit way which certainly lower the dignity and earn disrespect from the society. Ultimately when such heinous activities of addiction, are exposed in media, the family members as well as society's position are certainly lowered.
                        To eradicate such addiction, people should come out openly with protest and addicted people should be made more convinced that their addictions have not only ruined their family but also the society. If necessary, punitive measures within the frame work of law should be taken. Especially role of woman in this respect is greater.

Pratibha    :  According to you, do you feel the role of NGOs is also essential to empower our Bishnupriya Manipuri society?
Anjana       :   Yes, the social N.G.O. may take a big role if the aim and object of the N.G.O. are observed in true sense of the constitution and byelaws of the organization. A registered N.G.O., it can certainly empower our community if that organization serves sincerely.  The field of activity of the N.G.O's is vast. Preliminary an N.G.O. may take up steps to enlighten the women about their franchise and educate them pulling out from the claws of conservative ideas of the society. Unless the women are enlightened a society is not endowed with great man. Secondly, a reputed N.G.O. may bring back the strayed young generation to the mainstream of the society by engaging them in different field of activities. But it is of great concern that there are only few N.G.O's in our Bishnupriya Manipuri community.

Pratibha    :   Please give a message to the Bishnupriya Manipuri youths and to the society as a whole.
Anjana      :   With the little knowledge and experience I have no audacity to send any message but I may humbly beseech my Bishnupriya Manipuri people of the society to be free from narrow conservativeness and create a new horizon where woman may equally take part in developing the community and enrich the society in the field of education, culture specially in literary arena. Lastly, I request my society to preserve the various achievements of the great pioneers of the society, such as of Sahid Rajbabu, Geetiswami Gokulananda, Sahid Sudeshna and many other besides Sadhu Thakur who got acquainted with the Bishnupriya Manipuri community with the rest of the people of India, by establishing a Museum as well as Library so that the next generation may get acquainted themselves with the deeds of our social, religious pioneers.

Pratibha  :   As you are aware, Meingal, a registered NGO is taking some small initiatives to help the students, women and other required sectors of the society.  Any message for the Meingal (NGO) please.
Anjana       :   "I wish long live the Meingal."
                      "The Meingal" will bestow light to the needy meritorious students through your incentive. Your effort to spread empowerment among women will certain pickup momentum and the Bishnupriya Manipuri women will be able to acquire self respect and personality. The best wishes of the people of Bishnupriya Manipuri will be showered on the “Meingal”.

Pratibha    :   It was nice meeting with you jethi. Thank you for sparing your valuable moments and sharing your opinion.  I wish you both, all the best in your life and on behalf of the "Meingal"(NGO) too.
Anjana    :  Thank you too and Meingal team also. It was so nice talking to you today and gave me an opportunity to share my views. 
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