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Talk with children in IMAR THAR

By Ramanuj Sinha, New Delhi

Language (IMAR THAR) is one of the most fundamental aspects of a people’s culture. We all want our children to speak the language of their heritage. Let us discount the opinions of those who say that it is better to forget “IMAR THAR” and to concentrate on speaking “MAYANG THAR” well. These people are just wrong. It does not hurt your “English/Hindi/Bengali/Assamese/………..” to speak your own language; it helps. 

My dear friend Henryy has rightly said in his recent Article “JINGTA KORO IMAR THAR” that “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………Their children DO NOT SPEAK the language…….”

I have come up with an “APPEAL” to all those Bishupriya Manipuri people. Please try to speak in “IMAR THAR” with your children. Do not be afraid of "confusing" the child. Children can identify speakers of different languages as they grow up. 

Make your children be able to speak with their relatives in “IMAR THAR”. Thanks to improved phone service which is entering the most remote villages of our country. Today a phone call is economical enough, so the question of away-from-home doesn't arise. The thrill of being able to talk to their uncles, aunts, and cousins will get the kids interested in keeping up their language. 

Another good reason for you to work at your children's learning to speak “IMAR THAR” is because it will make you proud to hear the compliments of your friends and countrymen because your children are able to speak your language. You grow in prestige as a person who values your roots. 



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  1. So far many of you have made passionate statements but I am a bit disappointed no one had tried to analyze the reason why the language is losing ground among the diaspora who are far away from roots. It is damm too easy to be critical of the BM families for not inculcating the virtues of speaking IMAR THAR as much as it is downright silly to praise an odd BM living in US over the moon for his sheer bravery of staying connected to roots. Damm desperate measure, I must add...applause.

    But by simply speaking broken IMAR THAR is in no way going to save the language. Does anyone know our language has 3,500 Meitei words. Gosh, I will eat my hat even if anyone of you bloggers know more than 100 to 200 Meitei words. Many a times, I had come at receiving end of many fascist Bishnupriya Manipuri rednecks for my inability to speak BM fluently but to my dismay I have found many of the rednecks themselves do not know the language or its history in depth and are fanatic for the heck of it.

    For any language to survive and for further growth, it needs to have a robust literature and it is also important for the people to have a willingness to learn the BM script i.e. Eastern Nagari Script. This is where the role of BM Sahitya Sabha comes to play. Well I do know the politics of language will continue and we are still experiencing difficulties to implement the language in school but it should not stop the Sabha from churning out literature.

    To be honest, I don't how much influence Sahitya Sabha has over society but I believe they need to get innovative in their delivery of literature and our people should also encourage them instead of only depending on the Mahasabha.

    It is about time instead of churning out only fat serious heavy political to historical material, they need to target audience and accordingly develop literature based on different taste. For starter, a BM to English dictionary would do fine. We have so many rich folk tales, I am looking forward to not less than BM Comics to capture the imagination of a kid. We need to encourage freak writers and artists and Sahitya Sabha has a huge role for the survival of the language as well as the society.

    Can anyone elaborate what the Sahitya Sabha are upto and who are in the leadership and what are their vision??

  2. @Pink Floyd

    5 lakh Bishnupriya Manipuris speak in broken Bishnupriya Manipuri without having a robust literature in place. Do you suggest unless and until Sahitya Sabha establishes a pure Bishnupriya Manipuri University we all cease to speak in the Bishnupriya Manipuri language?
    The first step is let is retain the language by speaking it.
    Next as you said and correctly there has to be a body which takes the onus to nurture the language. But at an personal level one can do his bit by atleast speaking the language. Broken, so what the heck?Atleast by speaking it atleast you know whats your word whats not.
    Your last para is bang on.I agree with you Sahitya Sabha has failed in its role. In fact we seriously do not know what have they been doing so far apart from passing the buck to Mahasabha.

  3. Why english is the most spoken (by 2050 spnish speaking number is going to takeover english, till then......) language in the world and Why not Zulu? Coz most of the word in English are taken from non english speaking language around the world. So its natural for us to do the same. Even Bengali, Assamese, Oriya have some kind of similarity. This "Gora's" are clever people so they adopted those word which is easy to pronounce them and included them in dcitionary. Now suprise, "Sari" is a English word which you will find in a Oxford or Cambridge Dictionary.

  4. NO language is totally exclusive...Every language have a few or a lot of words from other languages...Mother in English is taken from Matri in Sanskrit, which in turn is similar to Mutter in Germany...It's hard to tell which one came first and which followed, but the truth is u can find lots of commonalities...That's not surprise...It's common...


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