Other States

Assam to look into demand to include Manipuri in list of associate languages

There was jubilation among the Manipuris who have been in Assam, Tripura and other northeastern States for generations, as the Assam government will translate into action the Manipuri language demands. The assurances were given by Assam Education and Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, during a meeting in Silchar, Assam, on September 26.

Arambam Nandababu, vice-president of the Manipur Language Protection Coordination Committee, said, “Manipuri language is not one of the official associate languages in Assam. As such the Manipuri candidates of the Assam Public Service Commission and other recruitment tests conducted by Assam government departments are handicapped.”

The officially recognised associate languages for such tests are Assamese, Bengali and Bodo. Mr. Nandababu said if Manipuri is made an official associate language, the Manipuri candidates could write in their mother tongue in the competitive examinations.

The Assam government had recognised Manipuri in the lower primary schools in 1956. It is taught at the graduate level under the Gauhati university.

Mr. Nandababu said the Assam government had recently started granting ₹5 lakh as annual financial assistance to the Assam Manipuri Sahitya Parishad. Besides it created a corpus by sanctioning ₹6 crore for the development of the Manipuri language.

Mr. Sarma said all other demands can be conceded in a matter of days. However, he sought some time to look into the demand of inclusion of Manipuri in the list of associate languages of Assam. He said the government would like to examine the mechanism of such a demand in other States.

The population of the Manipuris in Assam, Tripura, Myanmar and Bangladesh is considerable. Many of them had fled Manipur to dodge the marauding invaders from the bellicose neighbours. Some others were taken as prisoners of war.

In case of Assam, a prince had married a princess of Manipur. The Manipur king had decreed mass migration of one or two villages to Assam so that his daughter would not feel insulated due to language barrier.

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Printable version | Oct 25, 2020 8:32:34 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/minister-to-look-into-demand-to-include-manipuri-in-the-list-of-associate-languages-of-assam/article32707194.ece

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