Imphal: Beryl Thanga has bagged 12th Manipur State Award for Literature award for his his book ‘ Ei Amadi Adungeigi Ithat’.
The novel was published in 2015.
Governor La. Ganesan conferred the award to the 65 year old writer at Jawaharlal Nehru Manipur Dance Academy, here.
The awardee was selected for the year 2020 by a board of eminent persons set up by the government.
Ganesan conveyed his deep appreciation to the directorate of language planning and implementation for the initiative taken to recognise outstanding writers for their contribution towards the enrichment of Manipuri literature and hope that this initiative will encourage creative writers.
Manipuri language, one of the 22 scheduled languages under the Constitution of India, with its own script is regarded as the most advanced of the Tibeto-Burmese languages spoken in India. Though, some scholars contested the classification of Manipuri language as Tibeto-Burmese, most accepted the classification made in the Linguistic Survey of India conducted under the leadership of George Abraham Grierson of the ICS from 1894 to 1928. Incidentally, the LSI describes 364 languages and dialects, while the 1991 Census recorded 1576 mother tongues with separate grammatical structures, Ganeshan said.
It has been assessed that one language or dialect is becoming extinct every two weeks in the world. Manipuri and its sister dialects face tremendous challenges for its survival for posterity. So, the richness of the Indian literature is mainly contributed by the works in the different Indian languages, many of which await translation to either English or other languages. Hence, this richness is left unknown to those who do not know the particular native language. This is true for Manipuri literature also as during the last few decades, Manipuri literature has grown tremendously, with books on different genre available. However, this is almost unknown to the outside world, he added.
The governor advised the audience that awareness on Manipuri literature is very small, especially with the influence of TV which has taken the younger generation away from reading. Even though our creative writers are second to none and the number of creative writers who had got Padma Awards in literature and education from Manipur is still very less. This is mainly due to the fact that the richness of Manipuri literature is largely unknown to the outside world, though every year there is a Sahitya Akademi Award.
The award includes a plaque, a citation, cash component of Rs 3 lakh and a shawl.
The Manipur State Award for Literature is the highest Official recognition for Manipur literature in the state.
Chief minister N.Biren Singh and education minister S. Rajen were present at the function.