Doubts raised over authencity of Meitei Pung as classical instrument

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Source: Imphal Free Press

IMPHAL, Sep 18: After clearing several rounds of competition in classical instrumental solo (percussion) in the inter-college youth festival organized by Manipur University, the student who has bagged the first position in the competition has been rejected to represent the Manipur University in the upcoming east-zone inter-university youth festival to held from September 23 to 27 at Kailani university, West Bengal, on the ground that the instrument which he had used all throughout the competition “Meitei Pung” is not a recognized classical instrument.

The student who has been rejected by the selection committee is one Leitanthem Santosh Singh of MA first semester in English, Manipur University, and also a post-diploma student of JN Manipuri Dance Academy, Imphal.

He had participated in the competition of classical instrumental solo (percussion) right from the university level competition and bagged the first position but he has been disqualified for participation in the east zone inter-university youth festival even if the first position holders in other fields of competition, namely theatre, music and literary events have been selected by the selection committee to represent Manipur University at the east zone inter-university youth festival to be held at Kailani University, West Bengal.

With regard to his disqualification, Santosh told IFP that all throughout the competition he had used the Meitei pung as a classical instrument and bagged the first trophy which carries the inscription “first position in classical instrumental solo (percussion)” in the inter-college youth festival organized by Manipur University from September 14 to 16.

He expressed discontentment over the conduct of the selection committee saying that he has taken part in the inter-college youth festival with the hope to get an opportunity to exhibit his artistic talents outside the state, but much contrary to his expectation he has been deprived of such an opportunity even though he had outshone other participants at the youth festival.

Santosh also drew the attention of the concerned authority to look into this matter and give him a chance to represent Manipur University at the inter-university youth festival.

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