GUWAHATI: The BJP-led Manipur government’s move to introduce Sanskrit in the curriculum of selected schools and colleges has met with opposition.
During a visit to the Sanatan Sanskrit Vidyalaya in Kangpokpi district on Thursday, the state’s Education Minister S Rajen had told journalists of the government’s plan. He had also asserted that the Manipur University was mulling opening a department for the subject.
Later, an official statement quoting the minister had said, “The authorities concerned will be approached to speed up the process”.
However, the Manipur Students’ Association Delhi (MSAD) is not amused. It viewed the move as the “dominant attitude of RSS-oriented government of Manipur”. It said the Sanskrit texts are “too malicious” to be taught to the students of Manipur where not a single word of it is inherited to the mother tongue of the indigenous population.
“The government exposes its stupidity by trying to impose Sanskrit which is based on hatred, untouchability, sexism, domination, chauvinism... MSAD sees it as an attempt to enslave the people of Manipur academically and linguistically in furthering India’s process of colonialism against Manipur. Imposing an alien language upon the indigenous people is completely a sign of colonisation,” the students’ body said in a statement.
It pointed out that over 30 dialects, spoken by the state’s indigenous populace, would disappear unless the required measures were taken to revive them.
Describing the minister’s statement on the proposed introduction of Sanskrit as “highly condemnable”, it appealed to all organisations to stand up against the government’s move.
Manipur is home to a large number of ethnic communities with the Meiteis being the largest group. Once a princely state, Manipur was merged with the Indian Union in 1949.