Jacob Sundas, President 
Gorkha Students’ Union Chümoukedima

The special day is celebrated by the Gorkha community all over the world with a whole lot of grandeur and pomp. The day commemorates the birth anniversary of great poet Bhanubhakta Acharya. Known as the Adikavi, Bhanubhakta Acharya is celebrated for his contribution to the Nepali language. Bhanu Jayanti is celebrated by Nepalese in India and outside the country as well. In order to honour him, his birthday is celebrated as Bhanu Jayanti, every year. Bhanu Jayanti marks an important occasion in Nepali literature and is celebrated annually as an extravagant cultural festival with literary seminars and programmes amidst the presence of litterateurs. It is also a day to remember the notable contributions of Adikavi with great reverence and inculcate the values of preserving Nepali language. Thus, Gorkha Community celebrate his anniversary with self-volunteerism, as we feel that he owes this respect and honor. We celebrate his anniversary in respect to the foundation of language laid by him. It will not be sufficient just on publishing poems and literary works on his name; we should also make our new generation to know about him and pay respect to him through at least commemorating his anniversary every year.

Earlier Nepali was restricted to the oral medium and during that time poems and formal literature were in the Sanskrit language. Bhanubhakta Acharya is considered the first poet who wrote poems in the Nepali language and translated epics such as Ramayana in the Nepali language. Hence, he is considered to be the first Nepali poet. On this day, the novelists, poets and admirers of the Nepali literature celebrate the day together by remembering the great works of adikavi Bhanubhakta Acharya. In the auditoriums and halls of the towns and cities, the Nepali community get together and celebrate with garland ceremony as well. Amongst all the Nepali literary legends, Adikavi Bhanu Bhakta Acharya remains to be the most revered and loved of all time. The key features of his writings were simple yet strong making the study of Nepali literature accessible to people who were unable to read and write in Sanskrit language. His immense and significant contribution towards the Nepali literature earned him the title of Adikavi.

Bhanu Jayanti is celebrated every year by the people of Nepal, Sikkim, Darjeeling, Nagaland, Meghalaya and countries with Nepali-speaking communities such as Myanmar, Bhutan and others. Every year, Bhanu Jayanti is celebrated on July 13. To honour and respect him for his invaluable contributions, some of the State Government in India has also notified 13th July as a State Government holiday in few State. This day celebrates the Nepali culture – a culture rich with literature, poetry, rituals and the Nepali language. Bhanubhakta Acharya, was born on July 13, 1814, died in 23rd April 1868. 

Bhanu bhakta was born in a very wealthy Brahmin family of Chundiramgha, Tanahu, Nepal in 1813. His Grandfather Krishna Acharya who was very well known of his time. He received an excellent education with a strong leaning towards religion at home from his grandfather. When Bhanu bhakta was 22 years, he was influenced by an incident so much that made him to turn out a poet. One day he encountered a grass-cutter and in their conversation he found that the grass-cutter wanted to give something to society so that he could be remembered after death too. After listening to the grass-cutter answer Bhanu bhakta felt ashamed of himself. It not only sparked literary creativity in Bhanu bhakta but also inspired him to do something noble. He had used Nepali script for the first time to write a Nepali poem. Bhanubhakta Acharya is regarded as the first poet to compose poems in Nepali and translate epics like the Ramayana into Nepali. The entire Ramayana was translated into simple Nepali by Bhanubhakta from Sanskrit.  Bhanubhakta is credited to have made Ramyanya more accessible to the masses. Modern Dohori and folk songs for Nepali society are based on Bhanubhakta's straight forward Ramayana. Dohori is an example of how rhythm is used in songs and dialects. Bhanu Bhakta has been given the title of "Adhikavi" or "First Poet". 

During his life time, he wrote two master pieces. They were Bhanubhaktey Ramayan and a letter he wrote to the Prime Minister when he was in prison. He wrote a petition to the PM demanding for his release from prison as his health was deteriorating and his case was not even heard. He won his freedom from the prison with the poem. Apart from freedom, he was also awarded with a bag of money. Bhanu Bhakta Acharya is engraved in history as the most revered literary genius of the Nepali language who contributed greatly to unite linguistic and Nepali speaking communities of the world. He is known for laying the foundation stone of the Nepali language. On this day, the Nepali community promise to take the language forward, make it richer with new forms of written, oral and visual arts and keep preserving their culture and the language. This literary creation of Bhanu Bhakta has remained in the tongue, heart and hand of the people. And because of his noble work Bhanu bhakta and Nepali language became synonym in Nepali literature. Poet Bhanu bhakta was not only a romantic but a satiric poet too.

 In Nagaland, Bhanu Jayanti is celebrated by the Gorkha Community in around different District of Nagaland which is organized under the Gorkha Students’ Union with great enthusiasm. All the Students’ Union also observed the day with equal fervor and fanfare. The celebrations include an array of events displaying the best of traditional attire and ornaments, recitals from the Ramayana, procession with tableaus and offering garland to the statue of Adikavi Bhanu Bhakta, thus showcasing an exemplary harmony, unity and mutual co-existence of Gorkha Community. Bhanu Jayanti is the day to preserve, nurture and enrich the culture, language, literature and traditions to bridge the gap and further foster it for generations to come.