Guwahati, Sunday, September 09, 2012
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Manipur folk singer in fray to cleanse the system
Sobhapati Samom
 IMPHAL, Sept 8 – Popular folk singer Guru Rewben Mashangva is now using his Roland ampli-speaker for not belting out new compositions but for campaigning his Pradhan candidature in the ensuing Panchayat polls.

Rewben Mashangva, responsible for reviving the musical tradition of Tangkhul folk songs by using traditional musical instruments, has settled with his six-member family at Nagaram tribal pocket in Imphal under Laipham Khunou Gram Panchayat, a reserved seat for Scheduled Tribes.

“Absence of a public friendly candidate in our Gram Panchayat (GP), public pressure and the reserved Scheduled Tribe seat converted me into a Pradhan candidate this time,” says the Father of Naga folk blues at a flag hoisting ceremony at his Nagaram residence recently.

“As a musician I tried to revive our tradition through music and now I will try to bring a change in the society and remove corruption.”

“Unless we come forward and take up the initiatives for the welfare of the general public in our localities, our share always went missing or misappropriated and ultimately our locality remains underdeveloped,” the Bob Dylan of the Nagas who won many national awards felt.

Guru Rewben has almost completed his door to door campaign across the Laipham Khunou GP in Imphal East district which has as many as 5,936 voters in its seven villages including tribal pockets of Fairy Land, Nagaram, Tangkhul Avenue and Khongsai Veng.

But the deciding factor for Guru Rewben’s triangular fight with a fellow Tangkhul candidate Benjamin Hungyo and Kuki lady Chingboi Khongsai in the Septemer 13 Panchayat poll result lies on its nearly 5,000 voters belonging to three Meitei villages – Laipham Khunou, Kairang and Ahallup.

“Chances of Guru Rewben winning are there as the villagers have seen the activities of both the candidates (Hungyo and Khongsai) in the past,” felt a former Pradhan M Khellen.

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