IMPHAL, April 27: Kshetri Bira was honored with the Manipur state award for literature 2012 for his novel titled ‘Nangbu Ngaibada’ at the fifth annual award distribution function organized by the Department of Education (S), Government of Manipur at Kangla Hall, Kangla here today.
The said award is given to honor creative writers of Manipuri Language and carries a cash amount of Rs 2,00,000 along with a plaque, a citation and a shawl.
Delivering the speech of the Awardee, Kshetri Bira said he started writing very late when he was in his 50s and had not any knowledge of literature but was fond of telling stories to friends.
Speaking at the occasion, Gurbachand Jagat, Governor of Manipur congratulated Kshetri Bira for his work ‘Nangbu Ngaibada’, and appreciated the Department of Education (Schools) for the initiative taken to recognize outstanding writers for their contribution towards the enrichment of Manipuri literature, and expressed his hope that the initiative will encourage creative writers.
“Manipuri language, one of the 22 scheduled languages under the Constitution of India, with its own script is regarded as the most advanced of the Tibeto-Burmese languages spoken in India,” he said.
In the fast changing global environment, with English becoming the international language, languages with lesser number of speakers are being wiped out and languages with more speakers are pushing out the smaller ones. It has been assessed that one language or dialect is becoming extinct every two weeks in the world, he said.
During the last few decades, Manipuri literature has grown tremendously, with books on different on different genre available. However, this is almost unknown to the outside world. Efforts need to be made for translating Manipuri literature works into English and other languages, he added.
The Governor continued that even though our creative writers are second to none, the number of creative writers who had got Padma Awards in literature and education from Manipur is still very less with 8 awardees till date and the last award in 2000.
During the occasion, M Okendro, Minister Education and CAF & PD, Manipur said much development work is needed to be done for the Manipuri language. “To encourage the creative writers of Manipur the Government has been honoring outstanding writers with the state award for literature since 2008. The first four state awards for leiterature carried a cash amount of Rs 1,00,000 which has been doubled from this year onwards,” he said.
Such initiative of the government will boost the morale of Manipuri literature and encourage the writers to contribute more, he added and appealed for suggestions as a separate language directorate will be there in the state soon.
He also appealed the people to cooperate and not to call bandh or blockade tomorrow as the first Teacher’s Eligibility Test for Meitei Mayek subject will be conducted on the day.
B Jayentakumar Sharma, Eminent Lyricist and Former President Manipur Sahitya Parishad also spoke at the occasion.