TODAY -

Manipuri language in the 8th Schedule
a brief recollection and the challenges ahead

Jeet Akoijam *

 Approved Meitei/Meetei Mayek :: Per Manipur Govt Gazette No 33 - April 22, 1980
Approved Meetei Mayek , Per Manipur Govt Gazette No 33 - April 22, 1980 :: Pix - Michael Meiraba Khumancha



Manipuri Language Demand Coordinating Committee was formed under the Sahitya Parishad Manipur to intensify demand for inclusion of Manipuri Language in the 8th schedule of the Indian Constitution as Sahitya Parishad is the only Govt recognized body working for the development and recognition of Manipuri language at that time.

As part of the ongoing efforts, exhibitions of the Puya (sacred ancient Manipuri scriptures) were held at Delhi and presentations made to central ministers by intellectuals and even the MP from the state to impress upon the rich and ancient traditions of the Manipuris but without much success or desired attention.

Meanwhile, Teachers' Forum comprising of around 300 teachers from schools, colleges and even the university was formed and functioning mainly in the present Thongju Kendra area in the early eighties.

The forum slowly started mobilizing other teachers as well as students and create awareness for the need to develop and support the demand for inclusion of Manipuri in the 8th schedule besides publishing articles and suggestions/opinions on the school textbooks prescribed and used in the schools, with regular meetings and discussions being held in the schools every weekend which led to a large annual gathering at Manipur University Canchipur.

This group drew the attention of the language demand committee who announced a statewide bandh at that time to press their demand which was later dropped after a compromise with the state government, but a large number of supporters took to the streets and carried out the bandh, even torching vehicles where a driver died in the ensuing mob frenzy, all because of the utter lack of coordination which resulted in a change of office bearers of the language movement due to public backlash.

The committee then approached Professor Dr MS Ningomba of Linguistics Department, Manipur University who was the president of Teachers Forum to head the Coordinating Committee who accepted the proposal and soon started mass mobilization throughout the state spreading awareness about the need and benefits of including Manipuri language in the 8th schedule.

The movement for inclusion of Manipuri language in the 8th schedule of the Indian Constitution took a dramatic turn in the beginning of the nineties when various other modes of demand was taken up including public rallies and hunger strike which was carried for the first time at the footpath near Johnstone Higher Secondary School and from there various organizations and individuals started coming forward in support of the movement and thus hunger strikes and rallies were held concurrently in different places of the state.

Feeling the need to take the movement to the centre, funds were mobilized and a few members and volunteers headed by Professor Dr MS Ningomba went to Delhi in April of 1991 after entrusting the continuity of the movement in the state which have, at this point of time, garnered the support of even a number of state government employees' associations.

The efforts of the committee hit a major roadblock when the state's elected representatives to the centre refused to lend support to the demand and even tried persuading the team from Manipur to give up the plan for staging the hunger strike at India Gate, fearing repercussions and reprimands from the centre, but nevertheless the plan was carried out after due formalities were completed including obtaining permission from Delhi Police.

Prof. Dr MS Ningomba and his associate who were undergoing the Hunger strike were arrested by Delhi Police into a week of the planned 15-day event and were forcibly admitted into a hospital while the remaining volunteers including manipuris from other states such as Assam, Tripura etcetera continued with the Hunger strike.

All throughout these happenings, the MPs from Manipur continued trying to persuade the team to wind up what they perceive as unnecessary intimidation on the central government. There were however some very encouraging incidents from unexpected quarters when the MP from Sikkim expressed her support of the demand to the volunteers and an MP from Silchar actually went out of his way to secure a written communication from the home secretary to the team stating that the issue for which they were staging the hunger strike merits discussion and will definitely be put up for deliberation during the next winter session of the parliament.

Having secured a written surety of the demand being discussed in the parliament, the hunger strike was called off and the team returned to Imphal, and true to their words and much joy for everyone who supported the movement, the Government of India included Manipuri language in the 8th schedule of the Indian constitution on 20th August 1992 by 71st Constitutional Amendment Act.

Inclusion of Manipuri in the list of languages of the 8th Schedule meant that the language was entitled to representation on the Official Languages Commission, and that the language would be one of the bases that would be drawn upon to enrich Hindi, the official language of the Union The list has since, however, acquired further significance.

The Government of India is now under an obligation to take measures for the development of these languages, such that "they grow rapidly in richness and become effective means of communicating modern knowledge. In addition, a candidate appearing in an examination conducted for public service is entitled to use any of these languages as the medium in which he or she answers the paper.

This landmark achievement has however lost its flavor and significance as the state government have so far failed to take proactive interest in the development and awareness of the language other than setting up of Directorate of Language Planning and Implementation whose vision and mission as appears in its official website is still in future tense with activities report from that of the previous government.

According to Professor Dr MS Ningomba who retired as Head of Department (Linguistics) of Manipur University, it would be futile and pointless to spell out suggestions and personal opinion on ways and means to develop the Manipuri language, or any other language for that matter. If the state government is sincere in its intent to develop the language, it must approach the intellectuals and persons who have dedicated so much to bring the Manipuri language to the present level so that serious and positive discussions and deliberations can be conducted to achieve the desired result.

Mere translations and printing of textbooks will not prove adequate to popularize and develop the language. People should be made to feel proud of the rich cultural heritage and understand the beauty of the language. It would take much more than setting up directorates and departments to achieve such complex and vital objectives, especially when there is a perceptible shift towards English as the preferred means of communication amongst the children as well as the burgeoning 'elite' class.


* Jeet Akoijam wrote this article for Imphal Times
This article was posted on August 21, 2020 .


* Comments posted by users in this discussion thread and other parts of this site are opinions of the individuals posting them (whose user ID is displayed alongside) and not the views of e-pao.net. We strongly recommend that users exercise responsibility, sensitivity and caution over language while writing your opinions which will be seen and read by other users. Please read a complete Guideline on using comments on this website.


LATEST IN E-PAO.NET
  • Sajibu Cheiraoba @ Mysore : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 16 Apr : Govt of Manipur
  • Johnstone Higher Secondary Scholarship
  • COVID-19 : Impact in Manipur :: News Timeline
  • Bonfire :: Poem
  • 'Film Producers need to understand craft'
  • Choose difficult & make it easy
  • Eyes on Wangkhei AC
  • Dzukou Valley Landscape #6 : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 15 Apr : Govt of Manipur
  • Is sports dwindling in Manipur's education
  • Startup Acceleration Program for NE
  • Applications for Agri Innovators & Startups
  • Focus on pre-production - Manipuri cinema
  • Harassment of Laishram Herojit
  • Coconut oil for summer beauty
  • Consultative Meeting on RIIN
  • Crossing the two lakh barrier
  • Marathon @ Yaoshang Sports : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 14 Apr : Govt of Manipur
  • Conference on Algebra & Applications
  • 14th April, 1944: Its significance ..
  • Investigation regarding Lamhainamdi incident
  • Demise of passionate filmmaker, EM Kay Jeet
  • World Art Day at Manipur University
  • Human rights organization NCHRO
  • Mount Koubru caught in a storm
  • Friend or foe
  • Sajibu Cheiraoba Chak Katpa : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 13 Apr : Govt of Manipur
  • Athoubasinggi Numit tributes #1 : Gallery
  • Application : Medical Financial Assistance
  • The Power of Prayer
  • Pharmaceutical Sales Representatives
  • What issues will decide 2022 Assembly poll
  • Sajibu Nongma Panba Shopping : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 12 Apr : Govt of Manipur
  • Importance of film preservation: Cine Dialogue
  • Decline in number of Cinema Halls
  • Moment With My Pen :: Poem
  • Michelangelo in my drawing room
  • Get vaccinated call
  • Nongpok Ningthou Phoudamba #2 : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 11 Apr : Govt of Manipur
  • Sajibu Cheiraoba (Meitei New Year Day) :: Book
  • Golden Jubilee of Manipuri Cinema : Report
  • Think it differently
  • 2nd wave poses an increasing danger
  • Interesting twist to pending ADC elections
  • Yaoshang Sports @Laipubam : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 10 Apr : Govt of Manipur
  • Of Nambul River & Prof Rajendra Ksh #2
  • Lok Adalat at various places in Manipur
  • Covid-19 Survey : for science community
  • A Slave or A Master ! :: Poem
  • Spiritual flight journey
  • Workshop on NEP at Lilong
  • Old Manipuri Movie #2 : eRang Classic
  • COVID-19 Status 09 Apr : Govt of Manipur
  • Yurreipem, Zingyo, Changton: eMing
  • can the dignity of menstruation be increased
  • Incentivize vaccination for success
  • Need for Flexible Education in Manipur
  • MoU with Film Heritage Foundation
  • Unwanted deafening silence
  • Hun : Thadou biggest cultural festival
  • COVID-19 Status 08 Apr : Govt of Manipur
  • Licypriya addressed UN Youth Forum 2021
  • Status of women in the 21st century
  • ..we will fail to achieve Health For All
  • Monolith at Manipuri cinema Golden Jubilee
  • Complaint filed to MHRC on Sanaton death
  • Indifference to the fast spread of virus
  • Abridged Translation of Sanamahi Laihui #2
  • COVID-19 Status 07 Apr : Govt of Manipur
  • Ningtham Kummei @JNMDA #2 : Gallery
  • Career in Poultry Science
  • Form independent investigation commission
  • Need of actions to control air pollution
  • Politics surrounding call for ADC polls
  • Nongpok Ningthou Phoudamba #1 : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 06 Apr : Govt of Manipur
  • Journalists' Sports Meet #2 : Gallery
  • COVID test a must for all incoming flight
  • World Autism Awareness Day 2021
  • Architects @ Makok Technologies, Keinou
  • Bridge :: Poem
  • Second wave spreading swiftly
  • Yaoshang: Cooking Competition : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 05 Apr : Govt of Manipur
  • World Veterinary Day, 2021
  • What is it in the name? Famous 'Michaels'
  • The Last Night :: Poem
  • Rehabilitating drug users
  • When Money matters, sincerity is out
  • Cultural Fest of Manipur #1: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 04 Apr : Govt of Manipur
  • Mai-Own : Produces from Manipur #3: Gallery
  • 'Manipur Model' of Homestays gets booster
  • Manipur Lokayukta: Today's Imperative
  • Second wave could delay economic recovery
  • Give teeth to war on drugs
  • Thabal Chongba @Bamon Leikai #2: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 03 Apr : Govt of Manipur
  • The Joy of Easter Sunday
  • What's happening in Myanmar
  • Easter : A strange & unique celebration
  • For One To Faithful :: Poem
  • Executive member : Physics Academy NE
  • Abridged Translation of Sanamahi Laihui #1
  • COVID-19 Status 02 Apr : Govt of Manipur
  • Relief @ Rajaimei, Senapati : Gallery
  • The Ultimate Sacrifice
  • ST demand may become redundant
  • Addiction to drugs & alcohol
  • NHPC visit 510 MW Teesta-V
  • Creating space for super spreader
  • Day 3: Yaoshang Sports Meet : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 01 Apr : Govt of Manipur
  • Journalists' Sports Meet #1 : Gallery
  • World Autism Awareness Day 2021
  • Cut Money: The Virus of Illfare in Welfare
  • Vigyan Vidushi : Physics for women students
  • Mulling over the absolute
  • Arrest of former Salai Chairman
  • Yaoshang Nakatheng Chatpa : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 31 Mar : Govt of Manipur
  • Manipur Champion in Natl Thang-Ta C'ship
  • Yaoshang Pichakari : Gallery
  • Eyek Tamba :: Learn the Manipuri script
  • We are all Human ! :: Poem
  • Adequate nutrition for productive society
  • ADC elections assured, but when? ATSUM
  • Thabal Chongba @Bamon Leikai #1: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 30 Mar : Govt of Manipur
  • April Calendar for Year 2021 : Tools
  • Marathon Race- Kanglei Sports: Gallery
  • Paradise found. Paradise made.
  • AR organises anti drug awareness campaign
  • Fire @ Shirui, Ukhrul [Mar 29] : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 29 Mar : Govt of Manipur
  • Yaoshang MeiThaba @Kwakeithel: Gallery
  • Relief at Rajaimei & Tumuyon Khullen
  • Mask up to beat the second Covid wave
  • Yaoshang MeiThaba @Bamon Leikai: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 28 Mar : Govt of Manipur
  • Promotion of science @Senapati : Gallery
  • In need of a savior: the wailing of Myanmar
  • Science Awareness Programme at Senapati
  • World Sleep Day 2021 #2
  • AR interacts with ex-servicemen
  • Journalists' Sports Meet- Opening : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 27 Mar : Govt of Manipur
  • Film Preservation & Archiving Workshop
  • Fullmoon :: Poem
  • Appeal for assistance to Myanmar victims
  • Holi colour can cause dangerous side-effect
  • Training Program on Mushroom Cultivation
  • On Equality
  • Saroi Khangba @Imphal #2: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 26 Mar : Govt of Manipur
  • Mai-Own : Produces from Manipur #2: Gallery
  • War on drugs & sports movement
  • Yaoshang (Holi) Festival :: Book
  • Will advances in TB outweigh Covid-19 ?
  • Expecting Rs 14567 crore from the Centre
  • Still making waves in the the year 2021
  • War on Drugs: The uncheck loopholes
  • Junior Men & Women Hockey : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 25 Mar : Govt of Manipur
  • Account Assistant @ Amber & Arthur, Imphal
  • Principle of Self Determination & Peace
  • A Poem's Story
  • NDPP delegation visited Assam
  • Climbing cases in the last few days
  • Human Rights issues & Tangkhul Women #4
  • COVID-19 Status 24 Mar : Govt of Manipur
  • World Water Day Water
  • The Night :: Poem
  • Demand to book Lamhainamdi incident
  • Five Films for Freedom, LGBTIQ+ campaign
  • Touch stance with look at past 'mistakes'
  • For a little bit more
  • Mai-Own : Produces from Manipur #1: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 23 Mar : Govt of Manipur
  • Lamjing Meira Episode 1 - AMAND Ladies
  • World Sleep Day 2021 #1
  • Science Awareness Program at Wabagai
  • Towards Special Agricultural Zone in Manipur
  • Office Bearers- Manipur Soccer Futsal Assn
  • Of forest and water in the world
  • Chingu Paokhollei Leirang - Ingellei
  • COVID-19 Status 22 Mar : Govt of Manipur
  • Manipur: Team champion, Natl Bodybuilding
  • One Midsummer Dream :: Poem
  • Public auction theory & policy
  • BJP likely to retain Assam
  • Imagination: Not a child's play
  • Climbing cases across the country
  • TAPASYA Foundation day #1: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 21 Mar : Govt of Manipur
  • Of Nambul River & Prof Rajendra Ksh #1
  • Khengjang-Yangoulen Fish Conservation
  • Workshop on NEP 2020 at Manipur Univ
  • Cyclist Philem Rohan reached Bengaluru
  • Delhi Citizens extend solidarity with Myanmar
  • Create ADCs first ultimatum
  • Saroi Khangba @Imphal #1: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 20 Mar : Govt of Manipur
  • Measures to contain COVID-19 in Yaoshang
  • Science Education @ Chandel : Gallery
  • Consultants @ The Property Geo, Imphal
  • The Myanmar crisis & our options
  • Whither Homeland... :: Poem
  • Course in Kinanthropometry
  • Awareness of science education in SC school
  • Understanding value of 'Time' & 'Money'
  • Human Rights issues & Tangkhul Women #3
  • Book- 'Critics forum Manipur' : Gallery
  • Realization in the dark :: Poem
  • 39th Orientation Program at MU
  • Gauri Healthy Heart Mission at Kakching
  • State of democracy in Thailand : Discussion
  • Disturbing reports of deaths
  • Stop sand mining from River bank
  • Sharungbam Rameshor: Yuva Puraskar
  • COVID-19 Status 18 Mar : Govt of Manipur
  • Brewing Bio Entrepreneurships in Manipur
  • Mayasvi festival of the Tsou of Taiwan
  • Accountants at R-Square Design
  • Myanmar Memories
  • Staring at second wave of the virus
  • Inauguration and Launching Galore
  • Shopping List for Shivaratri #2: Gallery
  • Causes & solutions of unemployment
  • Where Fate Leads :: Poem
  • 'Dry fish' from Chittagong
  • Education for CWSN
  • ST demand: Gearing up for stir
  • Gadgets matters
  • Houses @Yangkhullen, Senapati : Gallery
  • World War II, INA & Manipuri Literature #3
  • Is there a perfect referee in football ?
  • Naga Peace Process :: News Timeline
  • The way to equal future
  • The magic of Coriander in skincare
  • From a high of 426 to zero
  • So far so good
  • My memories of Imphal from 1941 #20
  • Mushroom training @MayangImphal: Gallery
  • Rih-Ngai Fest @Kakhulong : Gallery
  • Imphal City from Nongmai Ching #2: Gallery
  • Aries Haoneo Kuki : Singer Profile :: eRang
  • Featured Front Page Photo 2021 #1: Gallery
  • COVID-19 vaccination [Jan 16] #2 : Gallery
  • Downloadable Manipuri Calendar :: 2021
  • 'Zehara' - Manipuri Movie :: eRang Classic
  • SPONSORED ADS