Imphal: Manipur’s titular King Sanajaoba Leishemba Friday urged the Central government to include Manipuri language on currency notes.
“Manipur language or Meetei-lon was included in the 8th Schedule of Indian Constitution on 20th August 1992 along with other languages like Konkani and Nepali. Accordingly, these languages were already included on our currency notes,” said the member of Rajya Sabha, in Parliament on Friday.
He informed the House that Manipuri language is being taught up to MA 1st Semester in the Manipuri scripts (Meetei Mayek).
“I, therefore, request the government through this august House to include the Manipuri language in Manipuri scripts in our currency notes which is a wish and long-cherished dream of our Manipur people and Chief Minister of Manipur, N Biren Singh,” the King added.
In September last year, then newly elected Rajya Sabha member also appealed to Assam Chief Minister, Sarbananda Sonowal to include Manipuri language as an associate official language of Assam.
In a letter addressed to the Assam chief minister, he said he was making this proposal on behalf of the Manipuri people living in Assam.
“If you do so, not only the Manipuris of Assam but Manipuris all over the world will be indebted to you and your government. This would be able to protect the identity, history, culture and tradition of Manipuri in Assam. Moreover the historic love, bond and relationship of Manipur and Assam would be strengthened,” said Leishemba in his letter.
It may be noted that during a Lok Sabha debate in 2016, former lawmaker and Congress leader Dr Thokchom Meinya also strongly demanded the inclusion of Manipuri scripts on the Indian currency notes, which it didn’t happen.
“There has been a persistent demand for inclusion of Manipuri language on the currency notes. Earlier, the language was written in Bengali script. Now, the original script is being used to write the Manipuri language and students of Class X had appeared in their HSLC examination using the original script from 2015. We were expecting that the new Rs 2000 and Rs 500 currency notes shall have Manipuri script printed on it. Unfortunately, it didn’t happen. We do feel really neglected,” he lamented.
The Eighth Schedule lists languages that the Government of India has the responsibility to develop. the Constitution (Seventy-first Amendment) Act, 1992, amended the Eighth Schedule to the Constitution so as to include Konkani, Manipuri and Nepali languages. Konkani and Nepali have already appeared on the currency notes.