Behind the Scene
Anil Kishon Sinha:
A Man for Monipuri Culture
In the cultural scene of Sylhet, Thokchome Anil Kishon Sinha is well known. According to many people of the region, it is impossible to talk about Monipuri culture without mentioning him. Son of Police Officer Thokchome Ashwini Kumar Sinha and Atolshij Devi- Thokchome, Anil Kishon Sinha was born on 25 May of 1937 at Laladighirpar area of Sylhet city. He lost his mother in his childhood. Anil did not have the option of getting institutional higher education, but he always cultivated a love for books.
Anil translated a book written in Monipuri by Thokchome Monihar. A widely traveled man, Monihar was born in Sylhet and is quite well known in the Monipuri community. He is the winner of several awards and is the editor of the literary magazine named Lasani published from the Indian state of Monipur.
Sahitya Prakash of Dhaka published Anil Kishon's translation, Khongchoth. Anil started playing the flute with minimum lessons from his neighbor H Jitendra Sinha. “I got a lot of appreciation from people as I had played flute for many years in radio and on stage”, Anil says. He stopped playing flute about two decades ago. The Tipra flute, made by the Tipra people, was one of his favorite instruments. In 1962, he joined Sylhet Radio while another Monipuri celebrity Sonamoni Sinha played sitar along with him.
Later, Anil became a staff artiste on the radio in 1967 along with Sonamoni. They were the pioneer artistes from the Monipuri community. In the sixties, Anil organized a seminar in Sylhet on Monipuri culture. Anil attracted cultural personalities from all over the country. In the same year, he led a Monipuri cultural team to welcome the Chinese Chairman Leu Shao Chee in Dhaka. He played a great role in promoting the cultural activities in Sylhet as the Joint Secretary of Pakistan Arts Council, Sylhet Chapter since 1965.
The Monipuri Cultural Association was formed in 1969 with a patron of Monipuri culture, Nrityaguru Ustad Brojodhon Sinha as its Chief and Thokchome Anil Kishon Sinha as General Secretary. Anil traveled the different corners of the country with Monipuri teams to present the rich and culturally interested aspects of the community. Meanwhile, he has yet been conducting a fortnightly program from Bangladesh Betar, Sylhet since 1976. He is also associated with organizations like Bangladesh Monipuri Sahitya Sangsad and others. Anil is not only working with his own community, he is actively working in other fields also. He is active in the District Shilpakala Academy, the Kendrio Muslim Sahitya Sangsad, a unique literary organization, and a Sylhet regional library. In addition, he is affiliated with the divisional chapter of Nritya Shilpi Sangstha.
He has used his talent for dance to be a judge for the BTV's popular program Notun Kuri, in addition to children's contests organized by Bangladesh Shishu Academy.
As chief of the Sylhet Divisional Chapter of Bangladesh Nritya Shilpi
Sangstha, he was honored with the GA Mannan Award of the Central Nritya Shilpi Sangstha in 2003 in the capital.
At seventy, the man is still active with his writing. He served as the General Secretary of the 'Silot Academy' (sic) since its inception in 1978.
Anil translated an autobiography-travelogue of Thokchome Monihar, who wrote the piece Khongchoth in Monipuri. This book was translated as Poth Choltey Choltey.
Anil is the proud husband of Shanti Rani Devi and father of two daughters and a son.
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