Views & Reviews
‘LATE MANIK BHATTACHARJEE’
An Unforgettable Personality
ON HIS 80TH BIRTHDAY
Avijit Bhattacharjee & N. Dutta
On behalf of MANIK BHATTACHARJEE FOUNDATION,
“You brought with you the deathless life,
you have gifted it to us through your death”
[dropcap]E[/dropcap]very individual in this world has his own place. The world is a stage and we all are playing our respective role here. Many people, we come across everyday but forget most of them. It is only a few, who are imprinted in our memory forever, because they possess some unique qualities. Such a person was late Manik Bhattacharjee. He was endowed with many rare qualities – a great social worker, a talented organizer, an educationist, a poet, a journalist and what not. His life speaks volume of his dedication towards the distressed humanity. He is enthroned in the hearts of the people of Nagaland.
Born in the family of freedom fighters of Assam province in undivided India, he was greatly influenced by his father late Rajendra Chandra Bhattacharjee, a renowned lawyer, who was a keen lover of his motherland. From his very childhood, late Manik Bhattacharjee developed a different outlook towards life. Rich tradition and strict discipline of his family made him set feet right on the footprints of the seniors in the family and thus, he could develop a rational mind to imbibe idealism and optimistic attitude towards life.His father came to Dimapur in 1939 and later on, after the World War-II, his family was also shifted to Dimapur. Due to lack of appropriate educational institution in Dimapur in those days, he had to go to Lumding and pass his Matriculation from Lumding Railway High School. During his school days, he was straight forward and had the guts to fight for noble causes.
His career started as a Teacher in S.D. Jain High School. As a teacher, he felt the necessity of a book stall and opened Pramila Book Book Stall, the first of it’s kind in Dimapur along with a newspaper corner. He may well be called the first Journalist in Nagaland. He was the correspondent of Hindustan Standard, Assam Tribune and Ananda Bazar Patrika, a Bengali daily of Kolkata. He was the publisher and columnist of Ura Mail, a popular English weekly published form Dimapur. Late Chalie Kevichusa was the Editor.
Late Manik Bhattacharjee, basically a regionlist by heart, was a founder member of Democratic Party of Nagaland (DPN), the first political Party of Nagaland. He contested the Assembly election from Dimapur-I constituency in 1989 with U.D.F. ticket. He was the member (two tenure) and Vice-chairman, Dimapur Town Committee. He shouldered a series of assignments and performed them with due responsibility. He was the state committee member of petroleum product, the member of Telephone Advisory committee (three times) Founder and Trustee Board Member, Shri. Ramakrishna Society, Dimapur Kalibari, Hindu Milan Mandir, ASHDA. He was also the founder vice-chairman od Urban Co-operative Bank, Ex-Director, Nagaland Co-operative Bank and MARCOFED.
Late Bhattacharjee was a keen lover of education in the truest sense of the term. He was associated with a number of educational institutions, He was the Member, later secretary of Dimapur Railway High School, Member and Advisory committee member of Dimapur Government College, He himself set up a number of educational institutions. He was the Founder Secretary, Pranab Vidyapith Higher secondary School, Pranabananda Women’s College (first of it’s kind in Nagaland) Chief organizer and General Committee Member, Bharat Sevashram Sangha, Founder, Pranab Vidyapith High School, Bokajan, Karbi Anglong, Assam.
As a poet and writer of repute, he has several poems and write-ups in his accounts, which are appreciated by the elites in and out of Dimapur. He was the Life Member of Assam Sahitya Sabha and Red Cross Society of India, Member, Khadi Board etc.
He was out and out a cultural personality. He himself organized and was also associated with many cultural organizations.
In a recognition of his dedicated service to humanity, he was awarded commendation Certificate by Governor of Nagaland for his Social Work and on the 15th August, 2005, he received very prestigious Certificate for Governor’s Gold Medal from Chief Minister, Nagaland at Kohima. He was also awarded ‘Karmayogi’ award by the Lions Club International Dist. 322 D during 2005. In 2006 Bharat Sevashram Sangha recognized his immense services towards the cause of the downtrodden humanity and felicitated him with ‘Manav Ratna’ Award.
He breathed his last on the 13th February, 2008 at 9:00 pm at his Khermahal, Circular Road residence. Till his last day, he remained dedicated to all the various Social Welfare activities, day- to-day administrative works of Pranabananda Women’s College (last visit at 1:30 pm on 13/02/08 and Pranab Vidyapith Higher Secondary School and Bharat Sevashram (visited at around 2:10 pm on 13/02/08)
Today, on his 80th Birthday, we pay our best homage to his departed soul. He is not in front of our eyes. He is in the middle of our eyes. Physically, he is no more with us. But his immortal spirit is a source of never-ending inspiration to all of us. He is the Pole Star, which is showing us the way in the darkness of ignorance and impiety.
May his cherished blessings be showered on all of us.