more on Manipur and Meetei Mayek script

Harold F. Schiffman haroldfs at
Thu Mar 24 20:54:49 UTC 2005

>>From Sangai Express

Language Bill defeated, DESAM stir on

Imphal, March 21: Even as a private member Bill to adopt the Manipur
Official Language (Amendment Bill, 2005) moved by Dr Nimaichand Luwang was
defeated by a voice vote in the Assembly, 12 members of DESAM were
arrested earlier in the day for staging court arrest in pursuance of their
demand to implement Meetei Mayek from this year. After a marathon debate
stretching late into the night, the Bill moved by Dr Luwang was defeated
by a voice vote.

After Dr Nimaichand Luwang moved the private member Bill, Chief Minister O
Ibobi made it clear that though the SPF Government is not against Meetei
Mayek, the reality is such that the script has to be introduced gradually.
Reasoning, the Chief Minister said that if the Bill is passed now, then it
will mean that Meetei Mayek will have to be introduced from the primary
level upto the university level from the next academic session.

This is not practical, observed the Chief Minister and appealed to Dr
Nimaichand Luwang to withdraw his Bill. Appealing for good sense to
prevail, the Chief Minister said that the problems that will be faced need
to be discussed thoroughly first before such a Bill is passed. Ibobi added
that the legal tussle over the number of letters of the script has made it
all that more difficult for the Mayek to grace the currency notes. Despite
the appeal from the Chief Minister, Dr Luwang refused to budge and even
said that the SPF Govt is not ready to promote and develop the indigenous
script. A number of political leaders including RK Dorendra, L Ibomcha, S
Ibohal, O Joy, Thangso Baite, L Lala, Dr Nara and Works Minister Th
Debendra took part in the discussion. Earlier in the day State security
forces arrested twelve DESAM volunteers for trying to stage a mass court
arrest at Mapal Kang-jeibung this afternoon at around 1.30. Despite the
deployment of a large contingent of Manipur Rifles personnel in and around
Mapal Kangjei-bung, twelve volunteers of DESAM sneaked into Ma-pal
Kangjeibung thro-ugh the Kangjeibung Mela Gro-und and tried to stage a ma-
ss court arrest.

However, security personnel deployed nearby immediately swooped in and
arrested the DESAM volunteers.

The arrested protesters were later made to stand in line in front of the
State Museum and thrashed by the security personnel. The DESAM volunteers
who were arrested by the security personnel includ-ed L Romesh (president
DESAM) Y Ratan Kumar (Asst Gen Secy), S Jina Cha-nu, Sh Sulochana Chanu, W
Hitler Meetei, Aribam Md Kabir, Khullapam Saphau-ddin, Oinam Deepak, W
Rorrkychand, Y Joy Meetei, RK Winner and H Mang-lem.

Mention may be made here that DESAM had declared that it would launch a
mass court arrest in a phase wise manner at Pologround from today as a
mark of protest against the State Government's indifferent attitude
towards the demand to implement Meetei Mayek from this year.

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