Today no one should compete or delete the accomplishments of Manju or make claims because this part of Baul history was complete decades ago. There are only a few if any of the authentic Bauls alive today.
Bauls were Guru's and the spiritual messengers to the villagers, they were the Hare Krishna singers and dancers, delivering messages of humanity and the highest Divine Love in a Mystic Trance.
Today we have preachers, newspapers, books, TV and the internet.
The villages have changed, the world has changed Bauls were the indigenous peoples of Birbhum. Todays Bauls are tourist attractions, they acting and all wanting to repeat the history telling I am this I am that.
Today's Bauls are trying to remake the wheel it just is not possible, Baul has done everything and is completely Archived and Preserved.
Today the stories being said are culturally appropriated stories of new lineages and trying to remake the wheel by changing history and herstory.
It is only this family (lineage) that paved a road for all New Baul singers to follow and follow they did, from signing all their songs, to dressing like them, to traveling to all the places they traveled to and meeting their friends.
This is natural to follow Bauls, if the whole world followed Baul Humanity would be better off, the only problem is the world stopped supporting Baul and Baul stopped being authentic, it because a fight to survive and this brought what is called the Nakal (fake) Bauls who followed Nabani Das Baul and Purna Das Baul in the 1970's but cut their names off and put there own names on, even poisoning to Purna Das Baul one time at the Joy Dev Mela so that they could take his place on the stage. This story will be told in the book.
Lets call these new Bauls the 'the fake it til you make it Bauls', mostly refugee's from what today is known as Bangladesh. Stories that have never been told only because Baul is now watered down, reduced, it has been deconstructed and the history of Baul will be washed away completely if it had not been preserved and archived by Babu Kishan with the help of many including the late Manju Dasi. Never in a million years would they have thought that others would come and make up stories because Baul was actually a very small sect and now others have come 'riding on their coat tails'. They have taken their names out of the picture and created stories of lineages and Guru's who followed them.
Nabani Das Khyapa Baul the only Baul who initiated Rabindranath Tagore into Baul. A young Purna Das Baul
1895 - 1969
Baya, Ektara, Napoor and (a mystical voice) were only worn by Nabani Das Khyapa Baul, everybody followed Nabani this was his signature. Any Baul who replicates this follows Nabani, any Baul who sings his songs copies Nabani Das Baul, please observe if you see his name mentioned, if it is not this is a Cultural Mis-Appropriation.
Nabani Das Khyapa Baul was the symbol of Baul, everybody follows this lineage otherwise how would they even have songs to sing? All recorded and archived, preserved by this lineage and I repeat decades ago.
"Ektara, Baya, Napoor & a Mystic Voice' are the symbols of Nabani Das Khyapa Baul. All who wear them follow Nabani Das Khyapa Baul.
Maybe, it was the generation, she only cared about her husband's success and only dedicated herself to that success. We will list her awards in Babu Kishan's new book. To write about Manju's Legendary Baul life would have to be a book all by itself, dedicated just to her. Then another book dedicated to Brajabala Dasi the last authentic Baul Women in History. Each of these Baul Women in this lineage and family deserves a book, they are history and to change or claim that history or her-story in the light of Baul extinction should be a crime against humanity, if the UN says that Baul is an oral history of humanity to change the stories, to make up lineages, to steal the songs of this lineage and put other poets names on should be a crime.
Manju was the first Baul to add a Harmonium to Baul song and kritan, before her no Baul used a harmonium, yet you will see it in every Baul performance and nobody has a clue how it got there. The Harmonium is not indigenous to Baul or Indian Music either.
She was told Purna Das Baul could be found at the 'Hindu Mission' or at his supporter 'Kali Das Gupta a Purna Das Baul well wisher and an Assamese Folk Singer', who had a house in Ballgunge in Calcutta where Purna Das Baul used to stay sometimes.
Manju met Purna Chandra Das Bauls when his popularity had just started on the 'Radio Station' and he had just started to record at Hindustan Records. At this time there were no other Bauls in Calcutta or on the radio, this is important to understand only because many people are making up stories, even in Calcutta there were no Bauls, they were only deep in Birbhum and not anywhere else.
When people have nothing to loose they make up all kinds of stories.
The rest is history Women's modern Baul History and will be detailed in BabuKishan's 4th book coming soon.