By RK Rishikesh Sinha
The UNESCO paper Language Vitality and Endangerment identifies many factors to characterize a language’s overall situation. The one factor among it that is the Response to New Domains and Media is very interesting at the present moment for the Bishnupriya Manipuris to vitalize the language. Since Internet as a new domain for engagement has recently come up frenziedly; and other probable new domains like school, media, and new work environments that the paper mentions has not being created yet. The only new domain that has been participated vigorously is Internet.
According to recent Google’s search report, a tsunami of Bishnupriya Manipuris have reached the Internet shores and they have googled “Bishnupriya Manipuri” in the search engine. The “Bishnupriya Manipuri” search term starts appearing from February 2010 onwards and reached its peak in December 2011. Before 2010, the volume of search (people searching the term “Bishnupriya Manipuri”) was not enough for Google to show results. But post 2010, there has been consistent and steady growth. A piece of good news which has got many ramifications!
Going by the UNESCO paper, the degree of endangerment for Bishnupriya Manipuri language probably falls in the bracket of “coping” language i.e., the language is used in some new domains. Here the new domains could be movies, songs, and peoples’ engagement in the Internet.
We could very well use the Internet domain and mold it to bring vitality to the Bishnupriya Manipuri language by creating — web media, language tutorial, a platform of discussion and debate, a storehouse of music, films, and literature — and also by launching Bishnupriya Manipuri-centric products and utilities; henceforth bringing more active and passive “Bishnupriya Manipuri” interaction among the netizens.
The paper cites, “A language is in danger when its speakers cease to use it, use it in an increasingly reduced number of communicative domains, and cease to pass it on from one generation to the next.” Presently, when there is a huge Bishnupriya Manipuri diaspora all over the world and in various states of India, creating and maintaining a robust Bishnupriya Manipuri communicative domain is the pressing need of the time. Since Bishnupriya Manipuri language “embodies the unique cultural wisdom” of us. Its loss is “a loss for all humanity”. Though there is no lurking danger of its extinction, enrichment of the language with extensive use is important.
In this initiative, Learn Bishnupriya Manipuri Language Online is public now. It will help to learn Bishnupriya Manipuri language through English, Hindi, Bengali and Assamese and vice versa. Besides, it creates a repository of Bishnupriya Manipuri words and phrases.
Bisarei-The Bishnupriya Manipuri Search Engine- has collated news and information related to Late Tripura Health Minister Bimal Sinha.