Khoibu tribe seeks endangered status for language

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IMPHAL, Sep 6: The Khoibu (Uipo) Tribe Union of Khoibu Khullen, Chandel district, has decried the exclusion of Khoibu language from the list of world’s endangered languages framed by UNESCO.

A release of the Union said that the Khoibu language deserves a befitting place in the list of world’s endangered languages terming that the Khoibu people have not received any assistance from the state or Central government for preserving their language, custom and traditional rites.
The Khoibu tribes have been striving to keep their identity alive by singing church hymns in Khoibu language every Sunday, learning the Bible in Khoibu language, organizing community gatherings, meetings, seminars, symposia, traditional songs competitions with the objective of uplifting the Khoibu language, it stated.

The release also mentioned that in the post-independence time, Konai Khoibu contested the first democratic state Assembly election in 1948 from 42-Tengnoupal A/C. The Government of Manipur State Darbar also declared Khoibu as a scheduled tribe of Manipur in 1949 along with Kabui, Kuki, Kacha-Naga, Tangkhul, Mao, Maring, Kom, Chiru, Koireng, Maram, Lamkang, Anal, Chothe, Purum, Khoirao, Tarao, Moyon, Monsang, Aimol, Kharam, Thangal, Wainem and Kwatha in letter no. 2/AG/49/0659-96 dated 6th June, 1949 from the Dewan of Manipur State, Imphal, to the Secretary, Government of India, Ministry of States, New Delhi.

The Government of India later approved the list by the constitutional amendment of 1951. However, much to the surprise and shock of the Khoibu, the Khoibu language was dropped from the list of Scheduled Tribes of Manipur State in 1956 by a constitutional modification, it noted.

The Khoibu Tribe Union also appealed to all concerned, especially the Central Institute of Indian Language (CIIL) to enlist the Khoibu language as an endangered Indian language and extend all possible assistance to preserve and promote the language.

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