TODAY -

CTLLSM concerned over dying tribal languages
Source: Hueiyen News Service / Newmai News Network

Imphal, March 05 2014 : "Manipur tribal languages are always dying thanks to state government apathy and more importantly by tribal leaders elected by the people of the community who in their selfish endeavors forget to nourish and preserve them", said Ragongning Gangmei, chairman, Council of Tribal Languages and Literature Societies, Manipur (CTLLSM) .

Ragongning was addressing the media today at Manipur Press Club, Imphal highlighting the grievances of the tribal languages committee of Manipur.

The chairman suspects that there may exist an invisible, linguistic racism and anti-tribal languages agenda to hinder the growth of tribal languages in the state which is immensely felt by the tribal people living in the state.

Even as the Linguistic Commission Minorities, Government of India has bestowed every right to protect and empower the tribal languages in the state, the Manipur government has not shown any sign to safeguard them but instead are directed with apathy towards the concerned, Gangmei added.

The state government is only interested in grooming other languages like English, Hindi, Manipuri and Meitei Mayek which is very disheartening, Ragongning also stated.

No funds have been divulged in the state budget to promote tribal languages in the Education department of Board of Secondary Education Manipur (BSEM) and Council of Higher Secondary Education Manipur (CHSEM).

Only a small amount of Rs 1 lakh has been sanctioned for the purchase of tribal language books and for no other purposes, funds have been sanctioned, Gangmei alleged.

For enlisting tribal languages into mother tongue education, several procedures are required which also includes state cabinet's approval.

This process also takes a long time which also encloses improper and unlawful ways, which in the long run, discourage the idea insteade of promoting the tribal languages, Ragongning observed.

He also mentioned that due to the non-funding of the tribal languages from the government side, Dialect tribal officers in charge who used to be present at BOSEM and COHSEM office no longer exists in the state.

Even as reports regarding the protection of Linguistic Minorities are submitted by the state government annually, the reports submitted are fakes and concocted by the concerned authority just to make it presentable before the Commission, Ragongning pointed out.

According to the Government of India, standing policy and instructions, tribal languages text books should be supplied free of cost, but the state government has not been complying with this decision.

And even though proposals have been submitted at the 13 and 14 finance commission for incorporation of funds for the development of tribal languages in the state, the state government has not paid any heed to the grievances faced by the tribal community, the chairman rues.

He also mentioned that the Hill Area Committee (HAC) had in 2011, already given approval for Tribal Language Policy of Manipur to which the state government has been remaining mute without any implementation of the same.

Lamenting that many tribal students are unaware of their mother tongues and have been denied to learn the languages, Ragongning Gangmei urged that the the tribal languages be made a part of education in the state so that they can be preserved and protected from extinction.

The press conference was also attended by John K.Ngaihte, president, Paite LS, Khaimang Chongloi, secretary TKLS, A.Kholi, Mao Academy, Henjagin Vaiphei, president VLS and Mangpu Karong Kom, secretary, KLS.


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