Purba Midnapur, Paschim Midnapur
Religions - Tribes
Drought - Disaster
Tamluk Contai Midnapore Kharagpur

Bengali original : PRANAB BAHUBALINDRA

Rendering into English : BULBUL GAYEN
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Scholars are of opinion that history can be written in 3 ways. Firstly, a few outstanding incidents are selected and enlisted or often an analytical searchlight is focused on some exceptional and memorable events. Secondly, different regions, countries or insurrections are highlighted and discussed at length in all their multifarious aspects. Thirdly, some historians submerge themselves lifelong in their quest for the eternal truth that lies beyond the dynamic, transient and incessant march of time. History presents an unceasing chiaroscuro of conflict, harmony and cosmos —— the basis for achieving sublimation. By an yardstick, this is the most cerebral and arduous exercise. This requires any insight that is recherche and inspiration that is sublime. Evidently some people are blessed with this gift while others are not.

Writing of history in this unfettered and manumitted method has gradually widened its range and increased its multifariousness. It has become, at once, both simple and complex. It is both subjective and objective, realistic and romantic. Clarity and mystery are woven together. One needs to be much involved as it is necessary to remain detached. Then, must a historian possess the aesthetic sense of an artist, the confidence and analytical brain of a scientist and the ceaseless, abysmal perception of a philosopher? If one can add to it statistics from the field of Economics and all the logical inferences of the socio - political issues then history will automatically shine in its own glory like full moon. Those who lack this erudition and enlightenment, yet possess an instinctive and unsullied keenness for history, or those who can view the endless panorama of history in the light of their own literary predilection — shall they stand and wait outside the scintillating area of history ? Encouraged by a ceratin discernment of the significance of history, if one ventures into its

exploration, it might seem a daring act, but it will not definitely be overstepping into forbidden territory.

The problem of writing the history of a particular region is that whether it will be considered as detached from the main stream. If it is not, then how will it be assimilated with the wide world rotating on the wheels of eternity ? Where lies the distinctiveness and where the integration ? Whatever it may be, the main hurdle in writing this type of history is that from its very sources to the conclusion — all are greatly dependent on conjectures. It is difficult to collect any information apart from those available in legends, ballads, myths, heresay and aphorisms . On the other side there is a dearth of authentic documents with the established families. Bright sunlight is obscured by the haze of mystery. It is often difficult to discern whether a rational hypothesis in based on hard rocky foundation or on treacherous quicksand. From where should we start the history of Moyna? Is the relinquishing, saintly ruler lausen, well-known in Dharmamangal, a real protagonist or is he just a figment of a poet's imagination ? Such facts will, perhaps, always remain shrouded in mystery.

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The fact is that all available old documents, relating to Moyna, from the middle Ages to the modern, relate to the Bahubalindra family. It seems that the deft hand of a magician has wiped out the populace leaving only the shadow of this family that looms large. customarily in any historical study, the nameless, identitiless multitudes are relegated to the background; they are victims of apathy and oblivion. It is naturally embarrassing for me to write about the Bahubalindras. There is no way I can escape from this predicament. The danger lies in speaking either too little or too much. My condition is similar to that of odysseus when during his sea-voyage he found himself caught between scylla and charybdis. It is an arduous task; but I shall endeavour to delineate and analyse facts as indifferently as possible. I do not know how far I will be successful. Moyna has undergone various stages rotating on the wheels of Eternity. The Buddhist Pals, the Hindu Oriyas, the Islam Afghan - Mughals, the christian East India Company or the British crown — all these are part of a larger political canvas. from Orissa it has changed its direction towards Bengal ; for some time it had been the nucleus of Jalauti Dandapat ; it had been once estranged from Sabang and Pingla and joined to Tamluk sub-division. Being firmly implanted in the soil of Medinipur, it has sought inspiration sometimes from Varanasi - Bhubaneswar - Srikshetra - Puri ; sometimes from Gour Murshidabad --- calcutta. It has spread the glory of the folk deity Dhama Thakur just as it has accepted, willingly, without protest, the Vaishnab, Shakta, shaiva faiths. It has transferred the seat of Government from Balisita in Sabang to Tileswarigunj of Pingla and thence, from the unstable river-port area to the natural surroundings of the thriving Moynagarh. There is no end to this drift. The question often rises in one's mind --- wherein lies the uniqueness of Moynagarh ? Unveiling the mystery of this small piece of land seems almost impracticible.

My ancestor jagadananda stimulates my imagination very much. yet there is no documentary evidence in hand apart from those preserved in the archives of the old district records during the British rule. Nobody remembers him; neither the historians, nor the local inhabitants, not even his progeny. he is, as if, a solitary tragic hero neglected in history. In fact, it is his antagonists that have kept him in reckoning for posterity. In fact , i have a boundless compassion for this ill-fated fighter. I have tried to paint his picture with an imaginary brush in my mind. In his chequered career he had recovered a part of his own kingdom from the usurper kashijora; brought the unruly and wayward Sabang sub-division under control; successfully thwarted the ferocious Bargis; increased his infuence, authority and wealth, received unimaginable acclaim at the court of the Nabab of Murshidabad ; climbed to the top of the social order in no time thereby captivating admiration and respect from the people. yet he could not comprehend the change of time. and was unable to
deal with the aggressiveness of the British. Not once, but twice he disappointed the British by giving them the slip, thereby keeping his honour intact. His sudden disappearance can easily claim a place in the unexposed and mysterious chapters of history . He is the first revolutionary in the whole district. In spite of this colourful, eventful career, the silence about him in the pages of history poses a surprising and baffling query .

Of the 181 letters that we have compiled from old records 95 directly refers to Moyna choura, the next 86 may not be as much relevant. But they will help in understanding contemporary society and situation and the motives of the British rulers. Each letter clearly exposes their hunteur and our helplessness. All these provide a graphic representation of those days .The times, the country and its people become vivid even after such a long time. Many letters about Moynachoura, however, remain beyond this compilation. It needs to be mentioned that though there is no trace of many official documents, a book, written in Bengali, by Surendranath Jana (1889 - 1958) --- `The History of greater Moyna' is important. Surendranath was the avant gardist. The manuscripts of the book was ready by 1955 56, he worte to me once. By publishing it at his own cost in 1971, Sukumar Maity deserves gratitude of all. The name, Gadadhar Bhatta, the earliest compiler of the Bahubalindra family tree or genealogy is very well - known. In any age the rise and fall of human civilization, whether it is long - lived or of a short span, depends upon the overall assiduity or its absence to break the fetters of dependency --- be it political, econmic or in transparency of unencumbered thought. This is true in any corner of the world --- of a small region or a boundless kingdom, in the middle ages or modern, in the East or in the west. Heaven may be glorious, its greatness is not safe unless there is a constant vigilance to maintain its sanctity.

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