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Jingta Koro Imar Thar

The Bishnupriya Manipuri language is in fact an eco friendly, cholesterol free language. It does no harm if spoken moderately, at least at home or with fellow Bishnupriya Manipuris. Injecting into the child the habit to speak in Bishnupriya Manipuri should be as crucial as polio vaccination is.

By Henryy Sinha, New Delhi

Grant me the privilege for a constructive crib!

On the 21st December 2008, a Mahila Samiti was formed in New Delhi by the Bishnupriya Manipuri Nagarik Samiti, (New Delhi- NCR). Needless to say, it’s a great initiative. Most importantly, an important initiative. But somehow a wicked voice in my head says, this Mahila Samiti might end up as yet another feel good, cosmetic outfit. Sorry for my premonition. I might have just fallen prey to facts. Maybe plain history.

It’s ritualistic to offer ‘privileges’ to a woman with a patronizing tone for the men. Be it America, Afghanistan or Japirbon, the plot remains the same. And this ritual, I bet is very much pronounced in our community as it is in many other communities as well. To admit, we can’t claim male chauvinism is no longer a migraine for us. It very much corrupts the power that lies between our ears. The mind.

Let us confess, as confession leads to correction. Whenever a woman's forum is formed; it is mostly restricted to cuisine consultancy or flower décor! The accent of a women’s forum has been more on operations then crucial strategies or decision making. Women can do more than just cooking in a get-together or plucking flowers to garland the chief guest of a cultural event. I am more then sure about it.

With all sincerity, I believe this Mahila Samiti would not be a stereotype showcase women’s outfit. I believe it would do some serious business. New Delhi, in fact offers a very challenging task for this Samiti. The task to promote the Bishnupriya Manipuri language among the Bishnupriya Manipuris residing in the city.

A simple survey would reveal, the 5-10 families residing in New Delhi for the last 30-40 years, have butchered the growth of the Bishnupriya Manipuri language. Let us confess again. Their children DO NOT SPEAK the language. The buck goes to the parents. It is the parents who have failed in a crucial responsibility. This is a serious issue which needs to be tackled with urgency. It is here where the Mahila Samiti comes in. Women are best to tackle this issue.

This is the Samiti’s biggest challenge. Make sure whenever a Bishnupriya Manipuri child is born in New Delhi, you the Mahila Samiti should go to its parents and educate its parents not to rob the child of it mother’s tongue. Educate the parents to teach their children speak in Bishnupriya Manipuri along with English, Hindi, Tamil, Bengali, Assamese, Japanese, Spanish, Telegu or Burmese. Educate them that it is not UNCOOL to speak in the Bishnupriya Manipuri language in New Delhi or New York.

In fact, this language can be spoken in a place like Café Morrison or a TGIF. Educate them that the Bishnupriya Manipuri language is in fact an eco friendly, cholesterol free language. It does no harm if spoken moderately, at least at home or with fellow Bishnupriya Manipuris. Injecting into the child the habit to speak in Bishnupriya Manipuri should be as crucial as polio vaccination is. Forget about cooking in get-togethers or picnics. Forget about plucking flowers to garland the chief guest. This is your job at hand. This would be the Mahila Samiti’s social service to the Bishnupriya Manipuri community. Save the Bishnupriya Manipuri language.

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  1. Bishareya naapauri ki sobdo haan thakat ditu......aajikar dinor daangor baro most important issue haaan........kita oilang ta aami,ehanore bultara thang shikkhito maanu, daangoriya maanu jetaai emaar ( Bishnupriya Manipuri ) kokgotto daangor oya aaya aaji nijor jeeputore emaarangto ( Bishnupriya Manipuri Thar ) durei koriya thoitara. Esade jodi aamar gurujone kortara jetaar deki onaar ka buliya ima babai maatesi, uta oile naalger esaade sikkhito ona, daangoriya ona. Emare ( Bishnupriya Manipuri Thar ) pahurle aamar ostitto haan kumpeit?

    Hey, sikkhito daangoriya bujongi, aami gaaurapei sourta aaji e prosno ehanor uttar laager


  2. Santosh, actually let me tell you it is in fact low self esteem that leads us NOT to speak our language.It is a notion which tells us speaking Bishnupriya Manipuri is only native. It also reflects the upstart trait of those who have this notion. Little do they realise that NOT speaking the language is nothing but a plain crass and crude practice.

  3. Also the first work of any Samiti, any Sabha now at this point of time is promoting the Bishnupriya Manipuri language across not just in Delhi. But Kolkatta, Mumbai, B'lore. Even Patherkandi.

    I fail to understand, some Bishnupriya Manipuris in New Delhi can speak in Bengali but they cannot speak in Bishnupriya Manipuri! Ridiculous.

  4. Exactly Henryy!
    We become Bengalis the moment we step into Calcutta. We become Assamese the moment we step into Guwahati. I have two kids. Thankfully even though they have not been to India ever, they speak the language. We have to speak our language.

  5. Sunil Girok, haarou laagil huniya girokor sou-e IMAR THAR ditara baaire thayao........ebaka ema babare maattangaai, shikkhito baro daangoriya onaa moneyaar aami BM sou Sunil girokor deki jegoi Baahire thayao nijor sou re EMAR THAROR amrit haan piwaase

  6. Henry...miou Santosh girokor deki bishareya napauri ki sobdo han thakat ditu...Yes! this is the most important issue raised ever in this blog.


  7. I m very much proud of the gaaurapei who are very much aware of Imar Thar.I congratulate Shri Sunil for his upright thinking of
    our mother tongue, being an NRI.
    Let us find out ways and means to
    propogate what we think today.

  8. Dear henry da, very glad to read your article .. nice, fantastic ...

  9. baba sougo,

    Imar thar te jingta koro bulor, aapni baro lekhor tai english lo ... ehan te yaari kishade oilta

  10. Henrry

    Its THE MOST IMPORTANT issue , rather a crisis we BM community passing through...

    Escalation of this issue is quite commendable and the way u have depicted and formulated is phenomenal.

    Article is Better Than The Best...

    Best regards...and Love...

    Jai Ema Bishnupriya...

  11. @ Hoi...

    For your kind information, this space is not restricted to only BM people here...there are other readers, he used a general language...

    BTW, Henryda wanted to say that wen we are with manipuris only, we shud not use other languages...It's our modesty that we speak to people in their own language, instead of forcing them to follow ours...we shud be proud of that too...

  12. Thanks everyone. Yes it is indeed a serious issue. As I have written people staying in Delhi for the last 30-40 years, their children do not speak in Bishnupriya Manipuri. Therefore, in case they marry intercaste, our language would defintely go for a toss. In case they marry within the community we wont be gauranteed that the language WILL be spoken. Therefore the next generation would even go without speaking the language. Imagine the same thing hapenning across other cities, Mumbai, Chennai, Bangalore, Kolkata etcetera!Lets forget those staying abroad. Not everyone is Sunil. Trust me they will speak in Bengali but they wont speak in Bishnupriya Manipuri! To add we already have people staying within Assam only speaking in Assamese and Bengali. This chain needs to be broken urgently. I am not against speaking in Bengali or Hindi or English. But not at the expense of the language. A door to door campaign to spread this mesage needs to be spread across all cities.

    @ Hoi.
    Baba guli,
    Mator tate amar tharlo. Ikorortate English script lo. Devnagiri script han use kore thaibe nai baba. Yaari haan esade oilta. Baro mi tore hoba ko chinlu.

  13. henry girok,
    thank you very much.
    tor last paragraph haan yaam hoba oshe.
    baiyapa re ematic huckang baro yam dorkari kaam ahaan deshot.
    mi ashaa karoori baiapa-bebooni haabie paalon kartai aar mi nijeo mor gore emaar thar totoraori haante yaam para sanmoti jaanaori.
    baki thar automatic dokar hisabe nijei hiktai.


  14. Henry it was a nice post and your concern for Bishnupriya language is highly commendable.
    But lets not get carried with all these, its a matter of choice for individuals.
    You have mentioned about people settling abroad don't find the language uncool. My dear brother first of all its so damn difficult to raise kids abroad without any family support or backup.
    As a Indian parent my main concern could be that my child should atleast learn Hindi, so that at least he could communicate with Indians and by the way how many BM's he is ever gonna find if he is in New York or any place abroad...
    The same story goes for people who have stayed in Mumbai, Delhi some 20-25 years ago.
    I was in Mumbai in early 1980's we had just 3-4 BM families in entire Mumbai those days.
    One was Rebati Uncle's family, one family in Mahalakshmi and one in Andheri...these were the families I can recollect.
    Everybody were so busy with there lives that we hardly met, maybe once in a blue moon.
    Our parents did what was right for us, we learn't the language of masses so that we could fit in.
    No doubt they tried but we showed no interest and nobody compelled us to do anything against our wishes.
    In fact i am one of those Unfortunate ones who doesn't understand a word of BM, nor can i speak Bengali or Assamese fluently.
    But i do like to get involved into matters pertaining to BM community.
    Now the situation is very different lots of BM people have come over to Mumbai, Delhi,Bangalore etc.
    So now atleast we have more chances for people to interact with each other in our own language.

    You can't just blame the parents, even the children have to show the interest.
    Our parents will only do what is good for us. A good parent is one who does the best for his family, then the rest things comes later.
    Our parents are above any God, religion, caste, mother tongue etc....


  15. Respected Dream On,
    Let me tell you some facts. There are Marawari families staying in Silchar for the last 50 years. They all speak Hindi(naturally). They also speak in fluent Syleti.
    But they can all speak in fluent Marwari. Staying outside your cultural geography does not make it impossible to continue in conversing in one's mother tongue. There are hardly 5-7 Punjabi families in Silchar who have been staying again, for the last 30 years. They all speak in FLUENT Syleti. But this has not prevented them from speaking in their mother tongue. When someone is staying outside, it is even more important to speak your mother tongue, atleast within your own family. I refuse to agree, it a demonic task.

  16. I strongly do agree with Mr. Henry, people who give excuses not to speak mother tongue should not be granted. People who say that they have to speak in other languages in home and with own community people to keep the pace of steps with outside world are just making excuses. If somebody away from family and staying in such a environment where no BM person is there is different thing. But having family and speaking in other languages with family members is just not acceptable.

  17. Henry, you cant compare a Marwari business people with my examples...
    There livelihood depends upon speaking with the customers obviously if his customers are Syleti then he has to learn the local language to sell his products.
    How this example fits in with a Educated working class family, who is just trying to fit in with different culture.
    If you don't agree with me that's fine its your opinion, we all have our own different views and opinions. And i do respect your views.

    About Mr Santosh, who the hell are you decide what is not accepted and what is not granted.
    We are living in a free world we have the right to choose.
    Speak for yourself and please try to use your words in a way that it should not sound you are forcing someone.
    To be precise use your words like Henry......


  18. I appreciate Mr.Dreams observation
    regarding 'Imar thar gore totorani'
    In early days,whenever our grand fathers met in public places,they talked in (tuta -futa)broken Meithei language,our 'chakrian'
    whether staying in police quarters,school campuses or towns
    always speak Bengali.It is a trend
    being followed in generation after generations.
    We can sum up like this: We
    are very much proud of talking other's languages,be it Meithei Bengali,Hindi or Eglish.No one had given any importance to our own language,otherwise Gokulananda Geetiswami had never been neglected by masses.He wanted to wake up BM people; but no one listened him.There are three B.M villages in Cachar district: Masughat,Dudpatil and Rakhal tila,where till today the Meithei languge is spoken by at least 25%.What should we say about them?The change has taken place.

  19. Dream On, of course it is a free world and everybody has indivisual right to make their own decision. Well, who the hell are you to make a comment on BM language since you dont have the right as you dont know the language even. An illetarate of English language should not talk about English literaure, otherwise poeple will laugh at him. First of all, learn your mother tongue and get the eligibility and then you are cordially invited to make comment on articles, otherwise your words are just invalid.

  20. It is an ethical responsibility for all the members of every community to do their bid in order to conserve its own cultures and dogmas, even though there is no legal compulsions to do so. Its all depend on the individual's choice and interest. However , in case of community like BM , if we the educated coterie who happens to reside outside our core territory are reluctant to speak our mother tongue , its really unfortunate. BM is a tiny community and we all the members must be concerned enough to save our language to fall into endangered list. There may be no of reasons to not follow the social norms. But it is always condemnable if any individual feels a pride by pretending not knowing its own mother tongue. Moreover it has also been noticed in few cases that people loves to ridicule their own cultures and creeds. Its shameful and definitely a disadvantage for the person who is ignorant about its own genes , DNAs and the dogmas he inherits. It throws the person into an identity crisis..

    If we are ignorant of our culture and language etc. then it is never late to start learning... but advocating instead of the ignorance is very much unfortunate and disgraceful.. We should at least accept our lacuna and must encourage the person who escalates the issues and propagates for the conservation of our language and cultures...

    Its all about ethics, dignity and responsibility....

  21. This comment has been removed by the author.

  22. Dream On,
    I have nothing personal against you. You might even turn out to be my relative. Possibilities. But I am surprised at your explanation mode. In this context, its either right or its wrong. What is wrong is wrong. Not to speak your mother tongue in the Bishnupriya Manipuri context is wrong. There is no democracy in it. Is speaking in Hindi the only way to be a patriot in India? There are hundreds of south Indian musicians and non Hindi speaking sportspersons in the country. Are they all NOT Indians? Is NOT speaking one's mother tongue the only way to prove your patriotism for your country? Let me inform you. Read the Times of India,28th December, page 16. There is an article on how there is movement now to revive mother tongues in India. Jero the language in the Andaman Islands is now extint because these guys have all been speaking in Hindi .FYI,the Government of India is now taking initiative to revive this language and several other languages.
    Now coming to your argument, "Henry, you cant compare a Marwari business people with my examples...There livelihood depends upon speaking with the customers How this example fits in with a Educated working class?"

    Are the Marwaris not educated? Also the 40-50 families staying in Silchar, NOT all of them are businessmen. What about the Punjabis staying in Silchar for more than 3 decades still speaking in Punjabi? How is a Marwari family staying in a remote village of Nagaland is able retain his mother tongue? How is our case different from theirs? How have been the Bengalis staying in Delhi for the last 100 years continue speaking in Bengali? Not speaking in our mother tongue is not because of a demonic difficulty but because of a mind-set. The people that I have cited in my article, the 5-10 families staying in Delhi for the last 40 years have not encouraged their children to speak the language.It is AS SIMPLE AS THAT. I would have agreed if the parents had not known the language themselves. But when parents themselves know the language inside out, how come and HOW is possible for children not to speak it? To learn Hindi or English, you do not have to sacrifice your mother tongue.There are hundreds of Bishnupriya Manipuris who know atleast 4-5 languages apart from their mother tongue.
    Please speak your language, that will be a social service. That ways you will retain a language of this great nation,India.
    This will be your patriotism.

    Let me give you an example,
    Dr. Nirmalay Sinha, my boss in the Bishnupriya Manipuri Nagarik Samiti, does not speak in Bishnupriya Manipuri. But he had once admitted in a public gathering that not speaking in one's mother tongue is absolutely NOT a right trend. And believe me he did not blame it on 'city ways of life', career or because he had to fit into the mainstream. He confessed it was his parents who did not inculcate in him the habit to speak the language. Just because he admitted it does not mean we would disrespect him or his parents.
    That is the greatness of
    Dr. Nirmalay Sinha and the hallmark of a true leader.
    What is wrong IS wrong. No explanations should be furnished.

  23. henrry sinha is mentioning this article in the Times of India, Delhi edition dated 28 december -

  24. haabir uddaishya,
    mor shaugo dangor aiya jadi emaar thar nuarer utaile dush haan mor haan mi hika nuareshu may be busy aiya or atelpiya ,
    mi uhaanor responsibility lona thok.uhaanor loge ainya excuse dile naa khater.
    mor personal view ehaan jadi karoor mane aghat oor more maaf karedibang.

    bipul sarma

  25. Henrry da!!

    You just found yourself another follower in me. With due respect to the concern, i like the way you put things across. By far the best i came across. It does make an impact.

    Hoping to catch up with you some day!!

  26. Thanks Prabal. You words have humbled me. Surely we'll meet someday.


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