From Singur to Sinhalahttps://indianexpress.com/article/cities/kolkata/from-singur-to-sinhala/

From Singur to Sinhala

He is professionally state agriculture minister Rabindranath Bhattacharya’s “confidential” secretary and remained his devoted follower when the latter spearheaded the Singur land movement.

He is professionally state agriculture minister Rabindranath Bhattacharya’s “confidential” secretary and remained his devoted follower when the latter spearheaded the Singur land movement.

While being an intricate part of the movement,Bhaktiprasad Adhikari has brought national attention to Singur when he went

on to discover the royal legacy of the small Hooghly village and the deep historical significance attached to it.

Adhikari’s book “Singur Theke Singhal (Banglar Bismrita Adhyay)” [From Singur to Sinhala-A forgotten chapter of the history of Bengal has articles on Vijaya,the founder of Sri Lanka (Sinhala).

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In his urge to revive the cultural relations between Singur and Sri Lanka,Adhikari founded Vijay Singha Foundation that organises cultural meetings with both the ministers of West Bengal and higher officials of Sri Lanka.

In connection with the present political equation and the friendly relations between Sri Lanka and India,this book appears to be a very important contribution in the traditional intercourse between the two countries and calls for further research in this area.

Adhikari’s quest started in his childhood when he would be curious as to why every village’s name in Singur block has ‘Pur’ or ‘Nagar’ as suffix. He started collecting old articles,pages from history,poems,stories — in short,wherever he saw the mention of the royal legacy of Sri Lanka. He was much inspired when he found out that several historic articles were excavated from Singur.

The author’s main theme is the popular belief that Vijay Singha of Sinhapur — later changed to Singur — went to Sri Lanka and founded a dynasty there and named the country as Singhal (Sinhala) after the place of his own birthplace in Bengal.

In his book,with a highly researched reference work,Adhikari has established this fact. The author also highlights the fact inter alia that,there is still a village in Singur called “Singhalpatan” (or Sinhala Patan,Patan/Pattan meaning a city),which was the capital of Singhapur from where Vijay Singha went to Sri Lanka.

It is interesting to note here that,it is in Singur of today that the basis of political change in West Bengal was laid finally leading to a mass movement resulting in the end of the uninterrupted 34-year- rule of the Communist Party Of India-Marxist.

Singur has,thus,become a catchword for “change” in the political context and,given the historical connection between Bengal and Sri Lanka,it also signifies a very important link in international relations

While asked what attracted him to the Singur movement as he did not have any land to lose in Singur,Adhikari said,“Since my childhood,I have always been inquisitive to know about the history of Singur. I m born and brought up here. I read a lot on Singur. And I always imagined Singur to be a centre of culture and agriculture. But the Left Front government sold our land to the an industrialist,who was about to destroy its culture and its tradition. This sense of insecurity to lose the tradition of my native land was very painful and this pain dragged me to Singur movement.”

During the Singur movement,Adkhikari was assigned the responsibility to highlight the Singur movement nationally and internationally.