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January 18, 2011

An era ends with the passing away of MK Binodini

IMPHAL, Jan 17 : MK Binodini, perhaps the last standing, immediate descendent of late Maharaj Churachand Singh passed away today at her Yaiskul Police Lane residence, Imphal today at 8.04 pm. She was 89 and is survived by two sons and two grand children.
Born on February 6, 1922 at Sana Konung (Royal Palace), Binodini fondly called Wangolsana, was the youngest daughter of late Maharaj Sir Churachand Singh and Maharani Dhanamanjuri Ngangbi. .
Identifying her with only her royal lineage will not do justice to the late Binodini as she had made a name for herself as a writer of repute and cultural activist.
She is known widely as ‘Imasi’ by the people of Manipur, Binodini was a rare personality, who took the unprecedented step of returning the Padmashree awarded to her by the Government of India in protest against the custodial killing of Thangjam Manorama by Assam Rifles personnel in 2004.
Binodini had her early education at the Palace through tutors. She went to Shillong for her formal education at Pine Mount School and later at Smriti Mandir. Binodini her secondary education from Tamphasana Girls’ School (now TG Higher Secondary School) and the higher studies from St Mary’s College, Shillong and Vidyasagar College, Bengal. She also studied art at Vishwabharti University at Shantiniketan in Bengal.
Although a erudite person, it was by stroke of fluke she took to writing. With Asangba Nongjabee, her first radio play broadcast in 1965, which she later published as a collection of plays in 1967, Binodini started her writing career. But it was Nungairakta Chandramukhi, her second collection of short stories, that brought her to the attention of the world of literature. She won many awards including Jamini Sundar Guha Memorial Gold Medal in 1966 for this book. In 1976, Binodini published Boro Saheb Ongbi Sanatombi, her first and only novel based on the true life story of a Manipuri Princess, daughter of Maharaj Surchandra Singh.
For this book she got various awards. In the same year, Binodini was also honoured as Padmashree by the Indian Government for her contribution in the field of literature and arts. Binodini was also honoured by the American Manipuri Association in United States of America in the year 1992 for her outstanding contribution to Manipuri Culture. (Source - The Sangai Express)

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