Manipur students’ group opposes move to introduce Sanskrit in schools, colleges

It says government must instead take steps to protect over 30 dialects spoken in the State

A students’ group has opposed the Bharatiya Janata Party-led Manipur government’s move to introduce Sanskrit in the curriculum of some schools and colleges.

The Manipur Students’ Association Delhi (MSAD) said the proposal reflected the “dominant attitude of the RSS-oriented government of Manipur” and that “not a single word of Sanskrit” has found its way to the mother tongues of the indigenous population.

The association’s statement followed an announcement by Manipur Education Minister S. Rajen on Thursday during a visit to the Sanatan Sanskrit Vidyalaya in the State’s Kangpokpi district. He had also said there was a plan to open a Sanskrit department in Manipur University.

“…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.

The MSAD argued that an imposed language would threaten more than 30 dialects spoken by the State’s indigenous populace. The State government, it added, should rather adopt measures to revive and protect these dialects.

Sale of schools

In State capital Imphal, an NGO named Haomee has asked the Nongthombam Biren government to probe the alleged sale of two State-run schools to private players at ₹1 each during the previous Congress-run government.

These schools had adequate number of students belonging to the weaker sections of the society at the time of the deal, the NGO said. “This happened in the middle of the academic session and the then government shifted the students to another school 3 km away,” it said in a statement.

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