Manoj Bhawuk’s love of his mother-tongue Bhojpuri and the academic interest in it is the hallmark of his unique journey as an artist and a man of letters. Right from his early years the potentialities of his mother-tongue fascinated him. Today he is not only a well-Known writer in Bhojpuri literature but also a key-figure in promoting Bhojpuri language and literature locally and globally. Being techno savvy he made the Bhojpuri language easily accessible on the Net and did pioneering work in bringing together the Bhojpuri artists, writers, activists and professionals . He played a crucial role as the UK moderator of the Global Bhojpuri Group in popularizing Bhojpuri language outside India and providing a significant voice and vision to the Bhojpuri diaspora.
Born in a respectable Rajput family in Siwan district of Bihar Manoj Kumar Singh alias Manoj Bhawuk received his early education at Kausar and Renukoot. Then he moved to Patna for his further education. It was during this period that art and literature beckoned him. He completed the diploma course on dramatics at the time when he was doing his B.Sc. Hon’s in Zoology at Patna. His involvement in Bihar Art Theatre, Kalidas Rangalaya, Patna found its full flowering later. Meanwhile, the young and ambitious Manoj completed his PG Diploma in Plastic Processing Technology from CIPET, Patna which helped him go abroad and shape out the artist in him. His career as an Engineer in Uganda and the United Kingdom exposed him to international influences and paved the way for his passionate interests in acting, journalism, anchoring, stage direction and coordination, editing and script-writing, lyrics, ghazal and writing well-researched scholarly papers and books. Despite his profession as an engineer and his promising career abroad it is the emotional attachment with his mother-tongue that has brought Manoj Bhawuk back to his motherland.
Manoj Bhawuk was a brilliant student who showed his natural predilection for art and literature from his student days. He acted in the various plays staged by the leading theatre groups in Patna and received accolades for his acting. Sixteen years ago, he started his career as a journalist and in 1998 acted in the first Bhojpuri Serial ‘Sanchi Piritiyaa’ and in 1999 again was associated with the serial ‘Tahare Sanghe Ghar Basaib’ as a script-dialogue writer and lyricist. Early in the year 2012 his first film ‘Saugandh Ganga Maiya Ke’ was released. His 2nd film ‘Rakhawaala’ is expected to be released this year. He has played a role of an honest Police officer in both the movies.
When we talk about the present state of Bhojpuri Cinema, ruefully he says- “There is a directionless situation and anonymity of Bhojpuri Film industry, and he is more concerned about how one can prove his/her own identity.” He is very keen in making good Bhojpuri cinema to show the Bhojpuri presence worldwide. Mr. Bhawuk has done intensive research about the success journey of Bhojpuri Cinema and he has made a documentary film on the development of Bhojpuri Cinema through the six decades of its origin since 1948 to the present. Mr. Bhawuk tells that Bhojpuri has the ability to stand up to make its ways, and he is trying his best to prove the existence of Bhojpuri Cinema in India and abroad.
Manoj Bhawuk has combined the traditional tempo and style of the Bhojpuri language with his own contemporary sensibility in his songs and ghazal. His Bhojpuri collection of Ghazal ‘Tasvir Zindagi Ke’ has been awarded the Bharatiya Bhasha Parishad Award from the hands of Gulzar and Girija Devi. He has also received ‘Bhaurav Devras Sewa Samman’ ‘Bhikhari Thakur Samman’, ‘Rahi Masum Raza Samman’ and dozens of prizes.
Manoj Bhawuk is also known as the ‘Encyclopedia of Bhojpuri cinema’.His research paper on the scope and future of Bhojpuri drama “Bhojpuri Natak ke Sansar” was published by Bhojpuri academy. It is a pioneering work in the field of Bhojpuri theatre and has been included in MA (Bhojpuri) course. Bhawuk is regularly contributing to Bhojpuri Magazines such as “Vibhor” and “Bhojpuri Academy Magazine”. His widely acclaimed work is “Bhojpuri Cinema ke Itihas” (History of Bhojpuri Cinema) which includes interviews with bigwigs of cine world as Amitabh Bachchan, Sujit Kumar, Rakesh Pandey, Kunal Singh, Manoj Tiwari, Ravi Kishan and others .This has been included as one of the reference books in many universities. It contains the whole gamut of film making of more than 250 Bhojpuri films, dozens of teleserials and telefilms.
Manoj Bhawuk’s talent is not confined only to a Song, Ghazal, and Script writing he is also an expert in organizing a stage show and TV anchoring. He further says, “Yes I have just started my career in the field of acting but I am not new to the Bhojpuri industry. All the big wigs of this industry are very well known to me. But it was during the shoot of ‘Rakhwala’, I came closer to Dinesh Lal. He is a very simple and honest man.” Recently Manoj Bhawuk has started his new innings with Anjan TV as an executive producer, after ending his four year long stint with Hamar TV. He has successfully conducted various Bhojpuri shows related to entertainment, literature and various contemporary issues.
Manoj Bhawuk’s journey began with Patna Doordarshan almost a decade and a half ago as a journalist. Year 1998 saw him making a foray into acting with maiden Bhojpuri serial ‘Saanchi Piritiya’ and, since then he ventured in various avenues of media and entertainment, donning a different role every time. He has been given “The Best Actor Award” in his acting diploma course and received “Bihar Kalashree Award” for his special contribution in field of acting.
Today Bhojpuri is spoken by about 90 million people in India as their first and second language. It is also the language spoken in Guyana, Suriname, Fiji, Mauritius, Brazil, South Africa and Trinidad and Tobago. The world of Bhojpuri art and literature has immense expectations from Manoj Bhawuk. We hope that he will extend further the great tradition of Bhojpuri established by such prominent personalities like Raghubir Narayan, Mahapandit Rahul Sankrityayan, Swami Sahajanand Saraswati, Rai Bahadur Bhikari Thakur to name a few.