Socio-Cultural and Spiritual Traditions of North East Bharat, L Khimun, Heritage Foundation, Pp 507, Rs. 320.00
THE whole of North-East Bharat is politically divided into eight mini states— Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Manipur, Mizoram, Nagaland, Tripura and Sikkim. Arunachal Pradesh is not only surrounded by China but often is claimed by China. Sikkim too is very close to this enemy country. Assam, Arunachal, Meghalaya and Mizoram are adjacent to Bangladesh. Manipur and Nagaland border Myanmar.
These surrounding countries are hostile to Bharat and are haven to many anti-national terrorist organisations. The nexus between ISI, Christian militant organisations, Muslim militant organisations, Maoists, Black House – China’s intelligence agencies, church, masjids and madrasas, CIA and some of the national and regional political leaders and foreign sponsored NGOs also are working to slit the 30 km narrow Siliguri neck and over two dozen secessionist terrorist organisations are put at work.
With a view to trace and dig out the ancestral Hindutva root of all these major and minor Janjati communities of North-East Bharat, a most wanted workshop was organised from 22 to 24 October, 2010 in Guwahati under the aegis of Janjati Dharma Sanskriti Suraksha Manch (Janjati Faith and Cultural Protection Forum) on the theme –Philosophy and Spirituality of the Eternal/Primordial Religion and Culture of the Janjati’s of North-East Bharat. The 262 delegates from 31 Janjatis of this region were engaged in serious musing. This was a unique endeavor wherein the papers were invited exclusively from Janjati scholars/experts/elders of this region. In total, 72 papers belonging to 38 Janjatis were received in the workshop. All these research papers were prepared by taking clues from existing genuine books and by collecting the information from elders/experts and pujaris. The effort was made to reach at grass-roots level and collect and compile the abundant oral treasure of knowledge pertaining to philosophy and spirituality in every religious and cultural activity in their day-to-day life.
Surprisingly rather hopefully, the central theme of all the papers have corroborated the age-old belief and practice that the Janjati communities of North-East Bharat are an integral part of greater Hindu samaj and the central philosophy and embedded spirituality in every religious and cultural celebrations are aimed at elevating the state of mind and expanding the spheres of thought that encompasses the whole Universe. The approach towards every creation of Universe – living and non-living, stars, sky, planets, sun and moon, gods and goddesses and the God Almighty are one and the same with minor variations because of the regional impact, which is quite natural.
Church condemns the cultural practices and religious poojas of Janjati communities as satanic practices. When these tactics failed, the church started using folk dances for alluring the masses. But church congregations for folk dances are fraught with culture of “eat, drink and be merry”. It spoils the youths morally and leads them to hedonic consumerism.
In the absence of an authentic, all-inclusive and all-accepted book on this theme, it was difficult to counter the condemnation and educate the young generation about the cultural treasure. This book, Socio-Cultural and Spiritual Traditions of North-East Bharat, has filled this void and fulfilled the need. In his foreword to this book, Shri Ranjit S Mooshahary, a member of Bodo community and Governor of Meghalaya says, “This volume is appropriately titled for it is a fine catalogue of folk narratives embedded into traditional rituals and practices.” Er L Khimun writes in his preface to book, “Their (Janjati’s) beliefs and concepts are either same or similar to one another. It is outer projections that differ from community to community, which is needless to count. The concept of God is same not only for Janjatis but also for whole Bharat following Sanatan Dharma. Therefore the Janjatis are also the follower of Sanatan Dharma.”
The book edited by L Khimun of Arunachal Pradesh focused on different aspects of Sanatan Dharma and Sanatan Sanskriti of Janjatis of North-East Bharat.