IMPHAL, March 5: An interactive session was held at the Manipur Press Club on Wednesday to discuss the status of tribal languages in Manipur.
The interactive session, organised by the Council of Tribal Language and Literature Society, Manipur, was attended by various tribal litterateurs belonging to different communities, representatives of political parties like AAP and CPI and student bodies.
Chairman of the Council of Tribal Language and Literature Society Ragongning Gangmei said that Manipur is a collective of various communities like Aimol, Anal, Chothe, Gangte, Hmar, Inpui(Kabui), Thangal, Koireng, Kom, Kharam, Lamkaeng, Liangmei(Kacha Naga), Mao, Maram, Meitei, Meitei Pangal, Mizo, Mongsang, Moyon, Paite, Purum, Rongmei (kabui), Sehte, Simte, Tangal, Tarao, Thadou-Kuki, Vaiphei, Zou and Zeme (Kacha Naga) , all combining together to make a strong Manipur. But unfortunately, the Manipur government still neglects and deprives tribal languages by a deeply rooted apathy.
“The education budget sanctions only one lakh rupees by the concerned department. Tribal language needs government approval for being turned into medium of instructions but the approval process is disgusting, discouraging.”
He said that a proposal was raised at the assembly in 2011 by the Hill Areas Committee for the approval of the tribal language policy in Manipur but it is still deprived by the government. We suspect a linguistic racism and anti tribal language in play here.
Thadou literature society secretary Khaimang Chongloi said that the inclusion of tribal language as a medium of instruction needed funds and a long plan for publishing text books but unfortunately the society is bearing all the expenditure of publishing books.
Kom literature society secretary Mangpu Karong Kom said we have around 40 tribal communities in our state and a fund of only one lakh rupees is ludicrous. We don’t have tribal language teachers in every school of Manipur. We must urge the government to recruit tribal language teachers in the education sector. 164 posts were approved but rejected due to financial constraints.
Henzagin Vaiphei said there are no vision for the tribal language and no hope for future. Tribal society printed the examination questions on its own not from government funds.