Sinlung /
15 March 2012

Tripura Withdraws Imposing Mizo Language on Halam People

Agartala, Mar 15 : The Tripura state government has decided to withdraw the imposition of Mizo language on Halam communities following a protest from the latter saying that the Mizo language was forcibly imposed upon them since 2009 despite no plausible connection between Halam-Kuki linguistic group and the Mizos.

A delegation of the Halam-Kuki linguistic tribal stream spread across a wide stretch of land of Tripura today met Chief Minister Manik Sarkar in a deputation at the Civil Secretariat here today. The State Council of Educational Research and Training (SCERT) approves formation and functioning of advisory committees for tribal languages and dialects.

The Advisory Committee for Development of Mizo Language had suggested running educational courses of the tribes covered under Halam community through Mizo language way back in 2009. Since then, the state government has been paying for subsidies in purchasing books from Mizoram in Mizo dialect for students from the first till fifth standard. While most of the Halam communities are not actually linked with the Mizo dialect or script, they have finally rebelled against the practice.

Thomas Halam, Debthang Halam, Ganga Bahadur Halam, Bokhathang Halam and others who met the CM in the deputation today said, “The Halam community is shocked to see that the Advisory Committee for Development of Mizo language which is formed with the approval of higher authority vide no. 1.32/ MIN (SE)/ 09 dated December 31, 2009 had taken such a step”.

“The Halam has a culture, tradition and language different from the Mizos. The language of Halam and Mizos are not the same. Instead of developing the Halam language, the Committee imposed the Mizo language which is not the mother tongue of the Halam people”, added the delegation invoking rights provided under Article 350 A of the Indian Constitution.

Speaking to reporters at the Civil Secretariat here later this evening, Health Minister Tapan Chakraborty said, “The state government appreciates their protest against this practice. In fact, we presume that the protest has been much delayed than usual”.

“The Chief Minister has assured them that the practice of using Mizo dialect as medium of instruction for Halam-Kuki students would be revoked shortly. Principal Secretary of School Education Department Banamali Sinha has been asked to issue a notification declaring the practice withdrawn with immediate effect”, added the minister.

He also stated that a separate Advisory Committee for Development of Halam-Kuki language would be set up very soon to fulfill the gap in developing the language. It seems, good sense has prevailed at last; though in late!


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