Lokmanthan, the churn of the nation, is a journey embarked upon by Prajna Pravah to seek cultural and traditional treasures hidden in the various corners of our country. Lokmanthan is a platform to all thinkers and practitioners for whom the national interests are primary. The very concept of Lokmanthan is conceived as a “Colloquium of Nation First Thinkers and Practitoners’ that offers a common platform to not just intellectuals but all those who have excelled in their respective fields and contributed to realising the idea of Rashtra (Naionhood).
For the last ten centuries, India was in a state of insularity facing political and social precariousness which not only had an impact on its social and religious values, but also knowledge and economic prosperity. However, the essence of our Rashtriyata lays not in religious, political or administrative apparatus but on an immutable culture binding masses across the country. This is an attempt to connect intellectuals and practitioners in connecting the present to the past, and thus create a future which can secure our cultural heritage.
Lokmanthan was first organised in Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh in the year 2016 and the theme was “Decolonising of Indian Minds” which is an attempt to reinvent the national self-consciousness and linking the young generation to the lost roots of our culture. Similarly in 2018 Lokmanthan was organised in Ranchi, Jarkhand with the theme “Bharat Bodh-Jana Gana Mana”.
North East from the very Vedic period is very much bonded with Bharat and have given birth to many famous heroes. In Kalikapuran it is mentioned that Bhagwan Parashuram to evade his ills took bath in present Parashuram Kunda which is situated in Lohit River near Tezu, Arunachal Pradesh
Lokmanthan 2022 is being organised in Guwahati, Assam in the month of September at Srimanta Sankardev Kalashetra and the theme is “Lok Parampara”. North East in context of Bharat is the “Isahan Kon” of the geographical region. It is the Land of Rising Sun and connects North with the East which is considered as one of the holy place. Earth magnetic field travels from North to South and Sun magnetic field travels from East to West. These two magnetic field superimpositions happen in the North East and is our belief that our gods are based in this region, Himalaya.
Since ages past, the North Eastern region of India has either been disregarded, unexplored, misunderstood, or inaccurately portrayed in both ethos and sentiments on one hand, and on the basis of theme, contextual, and logical reasons on the other hand. The widely held belief has been that the North Eastern region of our nation not only differs significantly in its Mongoloid details, but also holds a separatist, nonconformist, and dissident perspective on its historical past and cultural present. The eight North East States including the seven sister states of Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Manipur, Tripura, Mizoram, Meghalaya and the eight brother state in Sikkim have been obtrusive examples of the other’s blurred or ignorant gaze and the insider’s distorted or misunderstood perspective.
However, North East from the very Vedic period is very much bonded with Bharat and have given birth to many famous heroes. In Kalikapuran it is mentioned that Bhagwan Parashuram to evade his ills took bath in present Parashuram Kunda which is situated in Lohit River near Tezu, Arunachal Pradesh. It is mentioned in Mahabharata that King Bhagadat was the king of Pragjyotishpur. The name Pragjyotishpur was mentioned more than 20 times in Mahabharata. Undivided North East was known as Pragjyotishpur which means “Ancient” (Prag) “Jyotish” (Astrology): City of Ancient Astrology”. In ‘Vishnu Puran’ the war between Krishna and Narakasur, King of Pragjyotishpur was mentioned.
In contemporary history, Mahapurush Srimanta Sankardeva was a great saint-scholar, poet, playwright, dancer, actor, musician, artist social-religious reformer and a figure of importance in the cultural and religious history of Assam, Bharat. He was instrumental in bonding the North East with mainland Bharat. “Hena jani naratanu nena aale jale, Katikhyan pora aashi dharileko kale. Devara durlava etu janma bharatat, Horai Chintamani jena janiba hatot” (from Bhagavata Adi Dashan) meaning It is very difficult for “Devata” (Demigoad) to be born in Bharata, so do not spend the human life in vain because a being never knows when death calls upon Him, so do the needful to serve Lord Krishna, or else you will let loose the most precious thing (Chintamani) from your hand. His main disciple, Sri Sri Madhabdev in his quote “Dhanya Dhanya Kali Kal, Danya Nara Tanu Bhala, Dhanya Dhanya Bharat Barikha”. Apa apa Jagya Tezi, Tumaro Charane Bhaji, Tuwa Naam Ghosibu Harise (Borget). Glory to the Kaliyuga blessed human birth and the land of Bharatavarsha; renouncing penance, sacrifice at your feet, let all sing in praise of Your name with blissful joy in praise of your name.
It is worth mentioning that the great leader Lachit Borphukan defeated the Mughals 7 times and saved the entire South East Asia from the barbaric rule of Mughals. Bir Tikendrajit Singh, the crown prince of Manipur, who laid down his life along with his General Thangal for protecting the territorial integrity of the state against British imperialist design, has gone down in the annals of history as a hero of supreme sacrifice and extraordinary valour. “We are free people, the white men should not rule over us,” said a 13-year-old Rani Gaidinliu of the Rongmei Naga tribe in 1927, while issuing a clarion call to all ethnic Naga tribes from remote hills of the Northeastern region.
Northeast India has over 220 ethnic groups and an equal number of dialects with rich and vibrant culture. At present prospective, if we explore and unravel, we shall find that the tradition of North East is very much related to the rest of Bharat. This Lokmanthan 2022 will be a curtain riser for the people of North East to be in oneness and bring back the tradition and ethos of its own community and assimilate the region with Akhanda Bharat.