Imphal, Nov 22: The Governor of Manipur, Gurbachan Jagat today distributed the annual award of the Sahitya Parishad Manipur to eminent persons of the state and diasporas, for their contribution in the filed of literature and art and culture of Manipur, on the second day of the year long platinum jubilee celebrations held at the Iboyaima Sumang Leela Sanglen.
The function was graced by the Governor as the chief guest, while Professor N. Tombi Singh, president Manipuri Sahitya Parishad, presided the function.
Altogether 34 awards which included Upadhi, cash awards and gold medal was distributed. Of the 34 awards 21 were for upadhi award, five cash awards and 8 gold medals.
In his speech the Governor appreciated the members of the Manipuri Sahitya Parishad, a premier literary and cultural organization of Manipur, for their contributions and devotion to the development of Manipuri language, literature and culture towards enriching the literature and cultural heritage of Manipur.
The Governor recalled that on this occasion, Manipuri Sahitya Parishad with a host of pioneers has been contributing its best towards development and promotion of Manipuri language and culture since its inception in 1935. With a view to developing and promoting Manipuri language, the Parishad has made relentless efforts for about 10 years in order to convince the authorities of the Calcutta University to recognize Manipuri as a subject in BA, which materialized in the year 1948.
It succeeded in getting the Manipuri language recognized by the Sahitya Parishad, New Delhi in the year 1972. The Parishad also played a key role in getting the language included in the 8th Schedule of the Indian Constitution in the year 1992. Such important activities taken up by the Parishad for the promotion of Manipuri language shall ever be remembered and praised by the people of Manipur. I hope that the Manipuri Sahitya Parishad, with its branches in and outside the State of Manipur, will continue to strive for further development of Manipuri, which is an ancient and elegant language, adds the Governor.
While maintaining that literature is the mirror of any society, reflecting its social and cultural mores, he claimed that a study of any literature in chronological order can give us ample insight and sufficient clues to the progress of the society through the ages, the various phases of history it has gone through. Manipur has had a long and rich literary tradition and its beauty lies in the richness and diversity of Manipur’s traditional heritage. A large part of folklore, the chronicles and manuscripts found in this language evidently prove its long and sustained existence of more than two thousand years. The present Manipuri language evolved out of the Meitei language, the language of Meitei community. With its versatility, flexibility and softness the language has been the lingua franca of all communities belonging to both hills and valley districts of Manipur and was the State language from time immemorial.
Further he said that it was a landmark in the history of Manipuri literature that the modern Manipuri literature was heralded with the entry of three overarching geniuses -Chaoba, Kamal, Anganghal – into the field of Manipuri literature in the early 20th century. Their works manifested a change in the culture, sensibilities and aspirations of their times. Such pioneers in the field of the Manipuri literature and culture ever deserve the honour and respect by the present society.
Stating that Manipur today is passing through a difficult period and mutual mistrust among the different communities, the Governor appealed to all writers and poets to focus mainly on the need to inculcate moral values and the sense of unity and integrity, hope and nationalism in the minds of the readers of their works.
In his presidential speech Professor N. Tombi stress the vital role of the writers in upholding Manipuri Language.