Imphal: Novelist Beryl Thanga alias Laishram Biramangol Singh received the 12th Manipur State Award for Literature 2020 for his book – Ei Amadi Adungeigi Ithat’ (I and the then island), here on Thursday.
The award given by Governor La. Ganesan carries a plaque, citation, Rs. 3 lakh (in cheque) and a shawl.
Speaking at the ceremony as a Chief Guest, Governor La. Ganesan congratulated Beril Thanga and said that the Manipuri language, one of the 22 scheduled languages under the Constitution of India, with its own script, is regarded as the most advanced language among Tibeto-Burman speaking people in India.
Though some scholars have contested the classification of Manipuri language as Tibeto-Burman, most accepted the classification made in the Linguistic Survey of India (LSI) conducted under the leadership of George Abraham Grierson of the ICS from 1894 to 1928. While the LSI described 364 languages and dialects, the 1991 Census recorded 1576 mother tongues with separate grammatical structures, he added.
The Governor further stated that in the fast-changing global environment with English becoming the international language, languages with a lesser number of speakers are being wiped out. It has been assessed that one language or dialect is becoming extinct every two weeks in the world. Hence, there are tremendous challenges for its survival for posterity.
The richness of Indian literature is mainly contributed by the works in the different Indian languages, many of which await translation to either English or other languages. Hence, this richness is left unknown to those who do not know the particular native language. This is true for Manipuri literature, he added. Manipuri literature, he said, has grown tremendously with books on different genres available. Unfortunately, this is almost unknown to the outside world, he added.
While appreciating the Directorate of Language Planning & Implementation for its initiative in recognizing outstanding creative talent, the Governor also suggested that Manipuri literatures and books should be translated into English and other languages so that this will enhance the popularity of the language.
The Governor contended that conferring the Manipur State Award for Literature will no doubt encourage our creative writers but more needs to be done and hoped that more support and patronage will come from the State government.
Addressing the gathering, Chief Minister N. Biren Singh recalled that Biramangol’s book “Ei Amadi Adungeigi Ithat” has also received various literary awards such as Sahitya Akademi Award 2019, State Kala Akademi Award 2016-17, BM Novel Award etc. Such Book has huge relevance in today’s life, he added.
Biren also disclosed that all the Chief Ministers of the Northeast region had already requested the Centre to include the history and culture of region in the curriculum of NCERT.
Minister for Education, Fisheries & CADA S. Rajen Singh, Commissioner M. Harekrishna, Director Language Planning & Implementation Th. Chitra Devi and others also attended the programme.