IMPHAL, May 14: Noted writer Nongthombam Kunjamohon has lamented the state of language with regard to Manipuri language which was officially included in the 8th schedule of the Indian constitution in August 1992.
Best known for his novel ‘Elisha amagi Mahao’ N Kunjamohon was honoured with the Lifetime Achievement award in the field of literature on Sunday by the Manipuri Sahitya Parishad.
The Lifetime Achievement award was earlier given to Pandit N Khelchandra, Hijam Guno and E Sonamani and N Kunjamohon is the fourth reciepient of the prestigious award.
In an interview with IFP Kunjamohon said he feels elated by the recognition yet it has had a humbling effect on him to be in the elite club of literary giants of Manipur.
When asked about the state of Manipuri language Kunjamohon said, “We are indeed sad that we have not been able to do anything for the development of the language although its status has been officially elevated by its inclusion in the 8th schedule of the Indian constitution.”
He said, the task for furthering the development of the language is our responsibility and we have seriously failed in that.
Some of the serious lapses on our part are the pending standardization of spelling and resultant effects on print media and the young generation.
“It is free for all in terms of usage of the language in our vernacular newspapers which is one of the most important mediums for the language and it is indeed sad,” he lamented.
Every newspaper writes in whatever way it likes and it is leading to degeneration of the language, he added.
He further lamented that even among our literary writers a tendency to use their own kind of spelling has developed in the last few decades.
“They simply do not seem understand that their books are meant for others to read and replicate,” he added.
He said, “One very serious issue is that our young generation is increasingly becoming deficient in own mother tongue and we have failed to convey the richness of our language to them.”
N Kunjamohon also lamented on the inability to produce a standard Manipuri dictionary and a history of our culture till date.
He expressed the need for reputed publishing houses and advanced printing technology in the state for furthering the cause.