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This famed Manipuri dancer from Barak is now in deep financial crunch

By Correspondent
This famed Manipuri dancer from Barak is now in deep financial crunch

National level mridangam player and dancer Lakshman Sinha (Photo: AT)

Hailakandi, June 15: Octogenarian mridangam player and prominent Manipuri dancer of Barak Valley, Lakshman Sinha is now facing extreme financial crisis and unable to proceed for treatment. Once a national level mridangam player and dancer, Sinha is bed ridden now at his native village Nayadahar in Assam-Tripura bordering Patherkandi area. Once his name was famous as eminent dance guru and mridangam player and his disciples are now scattered in Bangladesh, Tripura, Guwahati and various places of Barak Valley.

Due to old age problems, 'now there is no mridangam wrapped around his neck and no sound of ghungroo on his legs', said one of his neighbours. One of the eminent dance gurus who once represented India with various dance techniques, is dying of old age with no sources of income, he lamented.

In the middle of his life, he moved to Delhi with Nilmadhab Sinha of Silchar, Guru Bipin Sinha and Senarik Rajkumar. However, before leaving for Delhi, Lakshman Sinha learnt the original form of Mridangam playing and Manipuri dance from his guru Suryamani Sinha of Cachar. He spent some time with various dance gurus and mastered various dance techniques in Delhi. Later, at the invitation of Songs and Drama Division of the government of India, he held important posts like choreographer for some time. He also performed many dance dramas in different programmes there.

Dance guru Lakshan Sinha was once the promoter of the "peacock" dance, which was created in complete Manipuri style. This form of dance is now on the verge of extinction if not properly practised by the present generation, Sinha lamented. If it does not come to light, it will not last long, he added.

He had good family relations with former Prime Minister late Lal Bahadur Shastri and Sinha performed many programmes at the invitation of late Shastriji. Due to his versatile quality in dance art, many film directors in Delhi and Mumbai at that time took advice for choreography. He had to return to his native village due to the critical illness of his wife and had to do hard labour to earn the bread and butter for the family comprising wife, five sons and two daughters.

The veteran artiste, who has not come to light due to his introvert nature, is not only the pride of the region for today, but for most of his life he has worked tirelessly to bring the various dances of India before the world. Many of his disciples today admit it and they regret that the state government has not given any financial help and recognition to such a talented guru till date.

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