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Looking Back

We are on the threshold of completing another year in September 2019. Present Executive Committee always feels itself accountable to all the Samaj members. Standing at this juncture, the committee is considering enunciating the works they have undertaken and completed over the past little over one year for the awareness of the members.

The most significant work the committee has undertaken and completed is scrapping of the damaged cement floor of the Prayer Hall and having it replaced with one of marbles and stones.

The other works completed over the period are as follows-

(A) The entire building of Sadhanashram being in a bad shape, we are considering a proposal of its renovation. But the work needs a considerable amount of money which, at this moment, the Samaj does not have in its fund. We have, however, repaired all the outside walls of the building to stop water seepage. The building has got a fresh coat of painting too.

(B) Debalaya Trust building has been in a dilapidated condition and on the verge of crumbling. Roots of tree had spread over the walls and the floors. To prevent further damage, all these trees have been felled and removed. Outside wall source of water ingress has been thoroughly repaired with cement plaster. The damaged parts which required immediate repair have been repaired.

(C) Brahmo Samaj Balya Bhavan was lying in neglect for long, resulting in damage of the walls, doors and windows. We have repaired them fully and the old electrical lines have been thoroughly repaired to ensure that normal activity resumes at Balya Bhavan.

(D) We are concerned over the worsening condition of the Mofussil Brahmo Samajes. There is not much left of the Krishnanagar Brahmo Samaj building. The greens which once used to surround the samaj beautifully have withered away due to negligence for years. The boundary walls were nearly crumbling and the entire premises were under the illegal occupation of the outsiders. However with sincere and timely efforts and support from the local district administration, the courtyard has been cleaned and moderately restored. A day-long Utsava has been held at the Samaj premises. The total area under the Samaj has been barricaded and a gate has been set up which is under lock. The condition of Baniban Brahmo Samaj was also more or less same and it was being kept under lock except on a day in a year when the day -long Utsava was held. The neighbours occupied the portico of the prayer hall and other places for the rest of the period. Now, we have stopped this by fencing the parts. Prayer is being held on the first Sunday morning every month. Sitting arrangements have been made and steps are being taken for electrical connection. Another notable effort is the revival of Darjeeling Brahmo Samaj. Repair of the inside of the Prayer Hall has been completed and the rest of the works would be hopefully completed before the day- long Utsava slated in early December 2019.

Bhownipore Padmapukur Brahmo Samaj has been renovated after many years. Second Sunday morning Service in every month, weekly Brahmosangeet and series of other programmes, already reported in different issues of Indian Messenger, are being held with enthusiastic participation of the local people.

Publication of Samaj’s English organ The Indian Messenger is now up-to-date. This has not been done by clubbing two or three months in single issue like in the past, which the members may remember. For instant availability, we have introduced on-line edition. Bengali organ Tattwa Kaumudiis are now available in quarterly form.

Membership Register is now fully digitised with facility of generating membership due list. Emphasis is being given nowadays on social media, e-mail, on-line communication etc. in tune with the spirit of the time. All programmes and reports are now promptly available electronically.

During the period of review, the Pending Audit for four years’ accounts has been completed and the Income Tax Returns which remained pending for years have been duly filed. At present, the accounts for 2018-19 are under audit. Members will be happy to note that all the above jobs are being completed while keeping the Samaj corpus not just untouched but marginally raised.

Things would remain incomplete if we leave out the activities of the Publication division. New book publication started with Abalabandabh and till now, we have published Rammohun Charcha, Sab Sera Mukul, Rammohun, Devendranath, Keshab Chandra O Onyanya Baktitwa and Brahmosangeet Swaralipi 10th volume. We have also completed reprint of Brahmosangeet Chayanika and Brahmosangeet after incorporating corrections. Two new books titled Shivanather Sesh Jiban and Sashibhusan Boser Atwma Jibani are slated to be released on 30th September. All the recently published books are being reviewed by Boier Desh and some leading newspapers. Marketing of books is not our strongpoint and it is resulting in stacking of books, working capital blockage and ultimate damage to the books beyond sale. The committee has taken stock of the situation and has started selling these books through channel partners. Samaj books are now available in the famed College Street book market. We have also started on-line sale of some selected books through Amazon. All such new endeavours have yielded wonderful result and the sales growth graph is a phenomenon.

This committee, however, believes that all it has done or it is now doing is not enough to tide over the grim crisis hanging over the samaj which was once the beacon of light for the enlightened section across the country. It is firmly of the view that all these works could have been completed much earlier if the previous committees had initiated timely action. That would definitely have saved money, arrested property damage and the like. This committee is determined to take all issues head-on. It would definitely go far ahead in reviving the old glory of the Brahmo Samaj in time to come with the dynamic participation of all the members.

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