TODAY -

Gujarati community spirit and the Manipuri loners

Tarun Nongthombam *

Gujarati community spirit and the Manipuri loners



It is really fascinating to see the enterprising nature of Gujaratis. From being land of Ambanis to one of the most industrialized state, owning nearly half of the motels in United States and every man in the street having the ambition to excel in business. Be my college friend in Gujarat, who even before completing his studies decided himself that he would set up a cycle shop or my Gujarati workmate who said after seeing an old smalltime banana seller, "This banana seller if Gujarati would not have stayed in this pitiful condition for so long but would have progressed into bigger business." What makes Gujarat and a Gujarati click, there must be something going right for this state and the community.

Gujarat success can be traced in its early history. Gujarat is blessed with long coastline, ports and did trade with overseas long before many parts in India even learn what is foreign trade. It forms a part of Indus valley civilization, which included sites like Lothal, which is considered as one of the few early ports. Hence, Gujarat's geography and its exposure to early trade laid a good foundation of the state.

Next come the migrants. Muslim conquest of Persia and persecution of Zoroastrians led to many fleeing, including Parsis who landed on the cost of Gujarat. Parsis approached the Hindu king of that time and requested for asylum. King was reluctant initially, little apprehensive of the well built Parsis and their different culture. Finally, asylum was granted with the following conditions-Parsi should adopt local language, woman should wear local dress and they should stop carrying weapons. This led to enriching of Gujarati culture without disturbing he existing one. Gujarat reaped the success of Parsis during British days and thereafter.

Sindhi migrants entered Gujarat in large numbers after India's partition in 1947.They brought trade and commerce expertise, as they were already a successful community in Sindh province. This resulted in competition with locals, leading in an overall positive effect for the state but one can still see love hate relationship among Sindhis and Gujaratis; Sindhis even calling Ambanis as Sindhis!

Gujaratis have never shied away from exploring foreign shores for a better life. This state has had many early risk takers who paved the way for the rest of the community to follow. The result is having significant number of Gujaratis in nearly 30 countries around the world. Large portion of expatriate population of East African Asian community is Gujarati, now settled in United Kingdom. They have large presence in Tanzania, Uganda, South Africa, Mozambique and South-East Asia besides many in developed countries like United States, Canada, Australia and Europe. They have always maintained relation with their home state even after migration unlike many other Indian migrants. Just imagine the amount of remittances these expatriates must have sent their home state, contributing to the state economy in a big way.

Gujarati migration in Fiji from the first couple grew to a community that dominated Fiji trade. It's all about unity for Gujaratis, once somebody is settled in a foreign land, he takes his family along, followed by his family clan and finally his community. Willingness to help each other is what makes them thrive and make it big wherever they are. They have phenomenal success as a community all around the world.

Community spirit of Gujaratis is splendidly displayed in Gujarati Samaj they run. It is a community organization doing work in cities around the world in social, cultural, education and tourism fields. Be it cities in United States, Europe or Africa you will find Gujarati Samaj helping young Gujaratis in education, in their early Career providing subsidized food, lodging and guidance. If you visit small religious town like Haridwar or Brindavan don't be surprised if you find a Gujarati Samaj in one of the narrow alleys.

Enough said of Gujaratis, where are we Manipuris? Why are we accused by our own people of being a loner, happy to be alone in the distant land and not helping our own people? As I was writing this article I couldn't resist asking my Gujarati workmate why would a person bring another person in the field he is working or doing business, doesn't he want to be the only Mr.Success from his community in that distant land? He gave an amusing but interesting reply, "We Gujaratis are not known for our bravery and number of Gujaratis in armed forces tells the story. We are a very social oriented community and we need each other help in any distant land to survive, we are too timid to be alone. Here, our timidity worked wonderfully in our favour."

Are we Manipuris really loners or we too na´ve to think ourselves as one-man army trying to conquer the world alone? Mass Manipuri migration that started with students is hardly two decades old. Students are happy with their hostels and too busy with books to think about others. When these students settle down as a family, this is when craving for a group who speaks similar language, eats similar food and who can be there at their family emergencies starts. This is when community groups start budding. It is foolish to compare with a big community like Gujarati but just to know where we stand, Gujarati Samaj in Delhi was established in 1897,this is few years after British hanged Tikendrajit! This shows the amount of work we have to do to reach the level of these Samaj. It will take many years from now to build strong community groups and we are not so good at any form of teamwork. The only hope is, these budding Manipuri groups we see now in different cities mature in the direction of Gujarati Samaj and not like the innumerable 'LUPS', which we see presently in Manipur.


* Tarun Nongthombam wrote this article for e-pao.net
The writer can be contacted at nong_tarun(at)rediffmail(dot)com
This article was posted on November 29, 2012.



* Comments posted by users in this discussion thread and other parts of this site are opinions of the individuals posting them (whose user ID is displayed alongside) and not the views of e-pao.net. We strongly recommend that users exercise responsibility, sensitivity and caution over language while writing your opinions which will be seen and read by other users. Please read a complete Guideline on using comments on this website.




LATEST IN E-PAO.NET
  • NEROCA, 2nd Div League winner:: Gallery
  • Thounaojam Loiyangamba :: Gallery
  • Nachom Arts Residency #1 :: Gallery
  • Bombing of a bridge in 1944 during WWII
  • Road side hawker culture in Khwairamband
  • Maharaja Bodhachandra Samadhi :: 360 °
  • Jadhav case: Return to India will need more
  • Admission Counselling in NE, Delhi
  • Inner Line Permit (ILP) Demand :: Timeline
  • Letting professionals run DIPR
  • Articulating freedom of speech
  • HSE 2017 : Toppers in Science :: Gallery
  • CCpur victims laid to rest :: Gallery
  • Class XII result announced :: Gallery
  • 2nd Startup Weekend Imphal
  • Interdependence is key to #endTB
  • Urban flood effective mgmt strategies #2
  • Public Meet resolves No Oil Exploration
  • UG admission info for Delhi University 2017
  • College Principals' Conference at NEHU
  • Mortal remains of CCpur victims laid to rest
  • Redefining Manipuri Hindu
  • Last rites of CCpur bodies performed
  • Private tuition : Financial burden on parents
  • Nungbi Chaphu - Ukhrul Pottery :: Gallery
  • International Yoga Day #1 :: Gallery
  • New Government, New Hope #2
  • Auditorium of High Court of Manipur :: 360 °
  • Book publishing as a career option
  • Simplifying the pursuit of happiness
  • Shirui festival: Let us not go with words..
  • Count pigeons around you
  • The Killing Fields :: News Timeline
  • Hill dists : Lagging in Science stream
  • The lesser truth of National media
  • HSE 2017 Result :: Science Toppers
  • HSE 2017 Result :: Arts Toppers
  • HSE 2017 Result :: Commerce Toppers
  • HSE 2017 Result :: Science Stream
  • HSE 2017 Result :: Arts Stream
  • HSE 2017 Result :: Commerce Stream
  • Barak Spring Festival @Senapati :: Gallery
  • Phalneilhing, Sinchui :: eMing
  • Incarnations of Goddess Nongthang Leima
  • Ebudhou Thanjing Laishang #1 :: 360 °
  • Media & Contemporary Manipuri Society #2
  • Cleaning up the air we breathe
  • 'Maj Rati Keteki', an author's insight
  • SC notices in Biren son case
  • Army act extended by six months
  • Timely acted, but need to rethink...
  • Lamkang Cultural Day @Chandel :: Gallery
  • Ambassador Of Japan with CM :: Gallery
  • JNIMS Ortho scripts history
  • Indigenous people are ST, so are Meeteis
  • Grooming security experts in admin service
  • Parents are supposed to be cheer leaders ..
  • Applauds CM for Building Peace & Harmony
  • 2 trucks carrying logs seized
  • Japan to invite 25 people from Manipur
  • Bomb blasts rock border town in Manipur
  • Shirui Lily Festival, Ukhrul #2 :: Gallery
  • Eyek Tamba :: Learn Manipuri script
  • 73rd anniv of Battle of Imphal :: Gallery
  • Nachom Arts : Encouraging Artists
  • Manipur: In the waiting room of justice
  • Cheiraoba Ching Kaba :: 360 ° View
  • Of storms, flying saucers & lazy thoughts
  • Anti-Terrorism day observed
  • Ex-Servicemen Meet organised
  • Managing natural resources
  • Ksh Bhaktakumar- Mr India 2017:: Gallery
  • Tanglei Music Festival :: Gallery
  • Effort To Bridge The Hills And Valley
  • Colloquium: Japanese Culture & Nationalism
  • Meet rejects oil exploration at Khaidem
  • Training on Service Marketing in Healthcare
  • Illegal migrant detection with 1951 cut-off
  • Indo-Naga Talks 2017 :: News Timeline
  • Ghost of 2010 continues to haunt
  • Brahmacharimayum Roji - Actress :: eRang
  • Handloom @Temporary Market #1:: Gallery
  • New Government, New Hope #1
  • Nightmares of event management
  • Big data for big impact
  • Free Counselling & Awareness Program
  • One belt one road
  • Jobs: Counseller for Family Court, Ukhrul
  • Sadar Hills Demand 2011-2017 : Timeline
  • Total shutdown against blast in Moreh
  • Tribals reject MoU signed- govt, JACAATB
  • Naga Hoho appeals NIA over arrests
  • First visible step to check corruption
  • International Dance Day :: Gallery
  • Gudui Ngai @Majorkhul #2 :: Gallery
  • Manipur Children Club:: 360 ° View
  • Take smart choice before admissions
  • Love one another ... for living together
  • Shirui Lily Fest off to a grand start
  • On Shirui festival
  • Seminar on 'Life of Gangmumei Kamei' #2
  • Shirui Lily Fest @Shirui, Ukhrul #1 :: Gallery
  • Civil Service Tennis Tournament :: Gallery
  • Barak(Spring) Festival at Senapati
  • When will India cashless island go cashless
  • The winsomeness of human mind
  • Jobs at NIELIT centers
  • Aadhar Registration & Distribution Program
  • Work starts on Trilateral Highway in Myanmar
  • AI plans NE expansion, to inject more flights
  • People's Day Bridging the gap
  • Reality bite - something seems fishy
  • Meeyamgi Numit hosted by CM :: Gallery
  • Andro AMMA FC : Winner of Doon Cup 2017
  • How great is my mother's love for me
  • Boat House, Kangla :: 360 ° View
  • Pinch of love :: Poem
  • Fingerprint & Iris code for Aadhaar
  • Sharmila solidarity with Africans
  • Trust deficit in Framework Agreement
  • Equality in place of majoritarianism
  • A hope for better Manipur
  • Kangleipak Kang Trophy #3:: Gallery
  • Featured Photo for 2017 #2 :: Gallery
  • Gudui Ngai : Festival of Zeliangrong
  • Fishery as an agenda for Barak Festival
  • Supermom :: Poem
  • 2nd Startup Weekend Imphal
  • May Day #2 :: Essay
  • For inclusion of Meitei in ST category
  • Hands that rock the cradle rule the world
  • Film Personalities #1 :: eRang Classic
  • Handicrafts of the Zeliangrong #2
  • High Court of Manipur :: 360 ° View
  • From head-hunters into money-hunters
  • Importance of dialectic in Philosophy
  • Binalakshmi Nepram threatened by Police
  • Cleanliness drive conducted at CCpur
  • Gudui Ngai @Majorkhul #1 :: Gallery
  • Bringing TB out of the shadows
  • Women are the salt of the earth
  • Superstition and its side-effects
  • Temples of learning
  • Guidelines of play schools
  • Bucket of cold water after a hot shower
  • Breaking the barrier
  • Lai Lamthokpa @Yaiskul #2 :: Gallery
  • MIMS (MU) - ManFete #4 :: Gallery
  • Impact of October Revolution Manipur #2
  • Bir Tikendrajit Park :: 360 °
  • Nurses are heart beat of healthcare
  • Go to the hill districts too
  • Beginning of a new era; but ...
  • Seminar on 'Life of Gangmumei Kamei' #1
  • OORJA football Closing ceremony :: Gallery
  • May 10, 1942: first bomb hit Imphal in WW2
  • Manipur killings: Amicus Curiae on Army...
  • A white paper on good governance
  • Butterfly a living parable of resurrection
  • Global Manipuri Mega Photo Contest
  • Inquiry on "School Van accident"
  • Inking an MoU with CCpur JAC
  • Calls for human security
  • Laishram Lalitabi - Actress :: eRang
  • Manipur & Nagaland CMs :: Gallery
  • Cheirao Ching Kaba #1 :: 360 ° Photo
  • MLA - defection politics in Manipur
  • Japan interest to develop Education in NE
  • CM floral tribute to Martyred Jawans
  • More than a 'courtesy call'
  • Development & security matters
  • Thongjao potters adapt to modern reqt
  • Prize Distribution- MU Sports :: Gallery
  • Handicrafts of the Zeliangrong #1
  • Imphal Intl Airport : How International?
  • The mystery of nine :: Poem
  • RIST popular talk 29 - Molecular Electronics
  • 122nd rank in the list of cleanliness
  • Consumers' rights
  • Sagol Kangjei Exhibition :: Gallery
  • Musuem, Kangla :: 360 ° photo
  • Keeping workforce healthy-smart business
  • Brief story of Karl Marx (199th Birth Anniv)
  • Manipuri resurgence & Jewish lessons
  • Visit of Japanese Ambassador to MU
  • Poems released at Barapani, Meghalaya
  • CMD, NHPC Visit to Loktak Power Station
  • Right venue for seminar on bridging the gap
  • Landscape of Manipur #6: Wallpaper
  • Lai Lamthokpa @Yaiskul #1 :: Gallery
  • Shwedagon Pagoda, Yangon #1 :: Gallery
  • Arbind Soibam - Emerging Singer :: eRang
  • MIMS (MU) - ManFete #3 :: Gallery
  • Traditional Thabal @Pourabi :: Gallery
  • Henjunaha - A folk play :: Gallery
  • The Mighty Mystic Manipuri Women
  • Arambai show #2:: Gallery
  • Shakuhachi meets Pena, Manipur & Japan
  • Laishram Birendrakumar recieve Padmashri
  • Kei Onba Kom Gi Eshing :: Funga Wari
  • 'Nura Pakhang'(Video) @Portugal:: Gallery
  • Mr India 2017- Ksh Bhaktakumar :: Gallery
  • Purul, Senapati :: 360 View Panorama
  • Ethoi Oinam #1 (Actress) :: eRang
  • CM N Biren visit to Ukhrul #2 :: Gallery
  • Manipur Sangai Festival 2016 #4 : Ooba
  • Nungshiba Khongel @Sylhet :: Gallery
  • Maphou Dam :: 360 View Panorama
  • SPONSORED ADS