Rebirth of Jodha Chandra Sanasam in Manipuri literature

Surjitkumar Loitam
Contd from previous issue
In fact it was a difficult mission. Fortunately Jodha Chandra Sanasam knew the troubles and difficulties faced by me in those days. The moment when he came to know it, I could dare say that he was the happiest person.
Another unforgettable character of Jodha Chandra Sanasam is that he used to get himself involved in the organisation of his own functions and programmes instead of keeping himself aloof from the arrangements. It is, indeed, a good precedent to be followed. There is an undeniable fact that almost all the distinguished writers have been writing several praiseworthy books and writings and articles and accordingly Manipuri literature has been taking ceaselessly several shapings with the reflection of the present trend of literature. However it is not wrong to say that the members of their own families do not give attention to their interest and devotion to Manipuri literature. In short their sons, daughters and relatives do not appreciate their works. It may be due to the lack of knowledge about the value and taste of literature on the part of the family members and relatives of the renowned writers and scholars. We can see that only a few families of the renowned writers are coming out boldly to develop Manipuri literature.
Mention may be made of the names of some selected families in this regard, such as Romani and RK Sanajaobi, the son and the daughter-in-law of Mahaka-vi Hijam Anganghal, RK Jayanta, the son of Sanahal BCom, Lamabam Brojen-dra, the son of Dr Lamabam Kamal, Kangjam Radha-kumar, the son of Kangjam Padmakumar, RK Dilip, the son of RK Maipak, the collective family of Chongtham Jamini Devi, the sons, daughters and daughters-in-law of Arambam Dorendra- jit. There are other renowned and distinguished figures of literature in Manipur, but after their death, there has been no relation between their families and Manipuri literature. Recently our rare personalities like RK Jhalajit, Aribam Chitreshwore Sharma, Elangbam Sonamani Singh, etc. were no more. They were shining like bright stars in different genres of Manipuri literature, art and culture. However, non of the members of their families comes out to follow their footholds in order to commemorate their lifetime achievements and works. It is really unfortunate.
However, Jodha Chandra had realised such situations from the earliest times along his literary journey. He was so cautious always to drop out such loop holes. Jodha Chandra could see himself while he was alive the vivid picture of several programmes which were taken up by any group of writers and literary organisations with the support of his family to appreciate his works and his own lifetime achievements.
It is an open fact that those rare books written by the pioneers of Manipuri literature would have been untraceable if they were not careful to save them and they were bound to take up proper steps in time in this regard. The sympathisers and followers of those pioneers must take up sinceremost responsibilities to turn their objectives into action. The pioneers while they are alive, if any, must get themselves involved in those unavoidable tasks. Only their self indulgence and appeasement is not sufficient. The idea, ‘I am writing, running hither and tither with far sightedness and I have given the message of my life, these are rare pieces and let the research works be taken up by the interested scholars if they want.’ It is better to give up such self indulgent acts. The writers and research scholars must work together with their friends and sympathisers who are working restlessly in their support.  The most important thing of a writer or scholar during his life time is to keep in mind that he should take care his own career and works.
It is not necessary to think of the classification of low or high grade. This is, in short, an ideal and valuable footsteps to be followed by the future generation who will take the fruit of such journey.
In fact, it is the primary source for a research scholar in his research work. It is suggested that a long lasting guide must be given to the future generations and the irresponsibility and the ignorance of critical hours in life must be avoided.
Relation with Literary and Cultural Organisations:
1. Manipuri Sahitya Parishad, Imphal (1917/18), the oldest Manipuri literary organisation.
2. The Cultural Forum Manipur.
3. Patriotic Writers’ Forum (President)
4. Writers’ Forum, Imphal
5. Short Story Society, India
6. Apunba Manipur Matam Ishei Kanglup (AMMIK), Imphal (President)
7. Union of Writers, Manipur (President), etc.
He was the president of the Translators’ Forum, Manipur and he wrote several works of prose and poetry in the sixth monthly journal, Tamna (2014-2016). He translated several works of many writers and inserted those translated works in that journal. He became the editor of Manipuri Culture and Literature, the 6th monthly journal of Manipur State Kala Akademi till his death. He was also the editor of Piwits (an anthology of short stories translated from Manipuri) produced by the Sea Waves, Manipur.
Translation Works and Collection Works of Literature and Culture Jodha Chandra Sanasam had taken up critical analysis of different works written by several writers.
Mention may be made of those works and writers namely, Zahera of Hijam Anganghal, Madhabee of Dr. Kamal, D Cgee Loinabee, a translation work of Salam Tomba, achievements of B. Jayentakumar Sharma. He wrote a well made analysis about the life story and achievements of the highly respected scholar, Ningthoukhongjam Khelchandra Singh. He contributed several critical writings without losing a single moment after getting himself relaxed during his leisure hours. He knew very well that only the creative writing would not bring complete development of Manipuri literature. Keeping in view the Achilles’ heel of Manipuri literary criticism he had contributed several writings of criticism with encouragement to increase the number of crititics. He had translated many collection works into English over and above his unavoidable tasks to translate several voluminous books written by well reputed writers and lyricists. He also knew the importance and necessity of translation in Manipuri literature. He translated into English the prose and poetry works and the lyrical poems written by himself including those works written by other writers. Besides he wrote his own prose and poetry works and lyrical poems in English. In the midst of such heavy engagements it was difficult for him to spare even a single day for his ownself.
Jodha Chandra Sanasam translated several book reviews into English such as, critical study of Zahera by Nongmaithem Tombi and some of the poems from his poetry book, Gandharigee Mitkhumphi, critical study of Maibam Nabakishore on Yaithing Konu, critical study of Thambal by IS Kangjam, critical study of Khamba-Thoibi Sheireng by Elangbam Nilakanta, critical study of Khamba-Thoibi Sheireng and Loktak by Khangembam Shamungou and others.
It was in such of his heavy engagements that he translated into English a critical study of 50 pages written by me about the life and achievements of Prof. Nongmaithem Tombi Singh. He wrote several prose and poetry works for the journals and magazines like Tamna, Manipuri Culture and Literature of Manipur State Kala Akademi, Piwits of the Seawaves of Manipur, etc. and inserted other translation works in these journals.
Awards Donated in the Names of Mother, Father and Brother: Jodha Chandra Sanasam had donated a literary award in the name of his brother Sanasam Sharat to Rotary Club, Imphal in 2017. The two young writers namely Debchand and Sharungbam Deben were awarded successively for two years. Later on he was planning to deposit the requisite amount for the award in the name of his brother as ‘Sanasam Sharat Literary Award’ to the Manipuri Sahitya Parishad, Imphal so that the conferment of the award might be commenced from January 2021. He could not complete his planning during his lifetime.
But his wife Mrs. Biona Kharubon is reportedly prepared to execute the planning which was entrusted by her husband to her.
The literary award in the name of his mother, ‘Sanasam Ongbi Maipakpi Sahitya Mana’ had been donated to Naharol Sahitya Premi Samiti to be commenced from 2019-20. The award was for the novel only. The first novelist who was honoured with this award was BM Maisnamba. He had donated a literary award to Manipuri Literary Society in the name of his father as ‘Sanasam Tomal Sahitya Mana’ to be given commencing from 2021.
It is a fact that the whole of 19 years of his life from 2002 to 2021 he had done whatever he could for the sake of Manipuri literature. To keep in view his sacrifice, sometimes it is felt fearful and wonderful. Now I remember the proverb that the yardstick to measure the value of a man is not his personal age but his work.
Sources of Donation for Awards:
It was a fact that Jodha Chandra Sanasam had never took no rest along his literary journey and as a result of which the reward for his labour had stood by him in time. The Sahitya Akademi, New Delhi had declared the conferring of 2012 Sahitya Akademi Award for Manipuri literature to Jodha Chandra Sanasam with the selection of his second novel, Mathou Kanba DNA.
Since then everybody had come to know that he was a literary figure. Consequently, several members from different circles of society began to extend their love and affection towards him with deep honour. At the same time his books were increasingly read over and appreciated at large. Indeed he received a large sum of money from the sale proceeds of his books. At the same time he could produce second editions of his several books and publish his new books as well.
Out of those books his translation of the epic, Khamba-Thoibi Sheireng of Mahakavi, Hijam Anganghal into English had given the opportunity for him to become a famous writer. Thus he could procure a large sum from the sale of the translation work within a short period.
(To be contd)