ANSAM to resist assimilation

Dimapur, July 17 (MExN): The All Naga Students Association of Manipur (ANSAM) has reminded the people of Manipur that just as much the Meiteis campaigns for identity and dignity, so the same space should be given to the Nagas. The language issue raised by the Manipur tribal has today snowballed into an issue far greater and beyond the matter itself, the ANSAM stated in a statement received here.  
“The language/syllabus issue raised by the tribals would not have snowballed into an intense campaign had the Meiteis given due space and respect to the identity and dignity of the tribals. Today it is slowly getting merged into the movements for self-determination of the tribal groups” ANSAM vice-president Sounii Khapa stated. 

Taking cognizance of a memorandum submitted to the Manipur Chief Minister by pro-Meitei script protestors, the students organization wondered that the state of the Manipuri people today. “Today where does Manipur stand? Myopic, vocal and vociferous Meiteis in the plains of 2238 sq. kms and disgruntled and alienated tribals in the hills of more than 22,327 sq. kms. While we do think with our brains, let (they) be reminded that even in this age of cellphones and internet, globalization and urbanization, the tribals still continue to feel with the heart. The deceit and the subtle machination behind the visible justifications are too obvious to the discerning hearts of the tribals” the association stated. 

The ANSAM asserted that the “Meitei imagination” cannot even for once appreciate the fact that their hearts would ‘bleed’ if they were maneuvered into a position. There, they would be advantaged only if they learned and accepted a tribal language as their lingua franca and then gradually find that education is useless without mastery of that alien language, idiom and culture, it reminded. 

“But this process of assimilation is happening to the tribals of Manipur. However, the Meiteis in their ethnocentric consciousness are conveniently oblivious to their ban on Hindi songs and movies. What Meiteis feels about Hindi songs and cinemas is not any different from what tribals feels about Meiteilon, Meitei Mayek and Meitei history and Meitei culture imposed on them” the ANSAM stated. 

It added that language, history and culture are dear to the tribal. “Without them they will have no identity. Take away the sense of identity and he is lost, just as the Meitei ceases to be a Meitei without his Meiteilon and Meitei idioms” ANSAM reminded.