[lg policy] India (Manipur): 'Give patronage to tribal languages'

Harold Schiffman hfsclpp at gmail.com
Sat Jan 10 15:46:56 UTC 2015

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'Give patronage to tribal languages'

Source: The Sangai Express / Newmai News Network
Imphal, January 08 2015: Council of Tribal Languages & Literature
Societies, Manipur (CTLLSM) today urged the Governor through a memorandum
to direct the Manipur Government to give patronage to all tribal languages
of the State by allocating budget for their promotion.

There is a firm rooted "linguistic racism" in Manipur with an unseen agenda
and it is found in the State budgetary documents since the creation of the
State of Manipur, the memorandum to Governor Dr KK Paul said.

It said the decades-old State-sponsored linguistic racism has suppressed
and ruined the cherished hope and vision of tribal languages in Manipur,
apart from weakening the spirit of belongingness of the tribal people.

Thirty-four tribal languages of the State need funds to the tune of Rs
289.70 lakh per annum but there is no fund allocation for these languages
in the State budget, it said, adding CTLLSM has submitted several
representations to the State Government in this regard but no response has
been given till date.

It said the Manipur Government is ruining the fabric of "unity in
diversity" of the State by adopting anti-tribal language policy, creating
an artificial gap between the linguistically advanced people of the plain
and linguistically backward people of the hills.

The State Government is promoting Meiteilon (Manipuri), Hindi and English
only by totally neglecting tribal languages, it alleged.

The State-sponsored linguistic racism is quite visible in Manipur since the
Council of Higher Secondary Education, Manipur (COHSEM) is charging Rs
15,000 as language and visiting fees from schools which want to introduce
tribal languages as subjects, which has discouraged many schools and denied
opportunity to tribal students who want to learn their own languages, the
memorandum said.


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