GUWAHATI, Jan 17 - The Nikhil Bishnupriya Manipuri Mahasabha in a memorandum to the Prime Minister has called for correction of nomenclature of the language and the mother tongue of Sl. No. 11 (Bishnupuriya) of Statement Part B of the Census of India 2001 and 2011 as Bishnupriya Manipuri.
Stating that in the Census of 2001 and 2011, the nomenclature of Bishnupriya Manipuri was wrongly recorded as ‘Bishnupuriya’ despite repeated persuasions and peaceful agitations by the community, the Mahasabha – the apex organisation of the Bishnupriya Manipuri linguistic minority community – said that after long persuasion, the Registrar General of Census and Census Commissioner, Government of India, had provided a separate code structure as Bishnupriya Manipuri vide letter No. 9/27/78 - CD(CEN), New Delhi Dated 22/08/1980 which was recorded as per return of the speakers for Census of 2001 and 2011 (Annexure-1).
“But surprisingly, the basic demand was completely ignored by the authority concerned by keeping the nomenclature of the language as ‘Bishnupuriya’ instead of correcting it as Bishnupriya Manipuri as desired by the speakers,” it added.
Reasoning that the governments of Tripura and Assam had introduced the language as Bishnupriya Manipuri in the primary stage of education in 1995 and 2001 respectively, and started imparting education in the language in a big way, the Mahasabha said that both the governments had decided to upgrade the language in the higher levels of education and that through Prasar Bharati and Doordarshan Kendras of Silchar and Guwahati, the Government of India had been broadcasting Bishnupriya Manipuri cultural programmes since long back.
Terming the nomenclature of the language as Bishnupuriya as against the desires of the speakers of the language, the Mahasabha said that there was a “big conspiracy” against the traditions, culture and history of the Bishnupriya Manipuri community and its language which has been enlisted as endangered language by UNESCO in its recent report.