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MEELAL will fight tooth and nail on Meetei Mayek

Last Updated on February 17, 2023 by SPN Editor

Meetei Erol Eyek Loinasillon Apunba Lup (MEELAL) Advisor Moirangthem Naodalenkhomba said that the Lup has adopted three key resolutions in a day-long national convention on Meetei Mayek held at GM Hall. The Lup resolved that any attempt to deter the implementation and replacement of the 27 letters of Meetei Mayek script recognized by the government will be fought back tooth and nail, and any individual or organization which acts against the resolution adopted in today’s national convention will be considered as the enemy of the land.

The meeting also decided to urge the government to take up necessary measures to strengthen the implementation of the 27 scripts of Meetei Mayek script in consultation with the experts.

MEELAL General Secretary in-charge Nongmailembi in her keynote address said that the current 27 scripts of Meetei were implemented in the State following strong movement. She said that since the pre-colonial period under the British, various individuals and organisations including that of Barak valley in Assam have been striving hard to implement Meetei Mayek.

She recalled that during the tenure of Manipur king Maharaja Churachand, one organisation called Beebodh Janani Shabha published a book “Meetei Yelhou Lairik” in 1934 and urged the then State Durbar to implement Meetei Mayek. Then, Meetei Mayek Thougal Marup published “Meetei Mayek Ahanba” in 1946 and pressurized the then Manipur State Council. Several experts and lovers of Meetei Mayek held a meeting on March 13, 1958 at the office of Manipur Motor Association and constituted “Meetei Mayek Luptin Committee” and spearheaded mass movement for implementation of Meetei Mayek, she added.

A series of meetings were held from March 1958 to February 1959. A meeting was also held at Aryan Theatre. Meetei Mayek sub-committee resolved to accept the use of 18 Meetei Mayek scripts in early days and reading of the scripts as “Kok, Sam, Lai, Mit, Pa, Ma …”. The committee also adopted nine scripts of Lom Mayek including “Cheising & Cheitap Mayek” (Numbers). The committee adopted 27 scripts, she recounted.

Nongmailembi also recollected that 10 years after the formation of Mayek Luptin Committee, one organisation christened “Lol Amasung Mayek Neinaba Apun Lup” organised a public conference from February 12 to Febuary 1969 on Meetei Mayek and later on, a meeting of the judges held on November 9, 1969 accepted the 18 scripts of Meetei Mayek contained in Puya as genuine scripts and recommended the State Government to recognise it as Meetei national alphabet.

Both the conferences held in 1958 and 1969 thoroughly discussed 10 different scripts and subsequently the majority of experts accepted the 27 scripts and rejected the others, she maintained.

She conveyed that Progressive Writers Association organised a consultative meeting from September 11 to 12, 1976 at GM Hall, after which a series of meetings were held at Writers Building for more than two months. In the consultative meeting, except the groups endorsing 27 scripts, no other parties failed to produce any Puya written about Meetei Mayek. Hence, the meeting held on November 13, 1976 recommended the government to implement 27 scripts. The State level meeting held at TG Higher Secondary School in May 1978 also endorsed the 27 scripts, she claimed.

After the Meetei National Front spearheaded a movement this year, the State Government constituted MEETEI Mayek Expert Committee on November 16, 1978. The committee, having conducted a series of meetings, finally adopted the 27 scripts, following which the government published the gazette (Extra ordinary) no. 13 adopting the 27 scripts.

Despite various meetings and movements, the 27 scripts of Meetei Mayek could not be implemented properly in the State till 2005, she continued.

She also said that following a strong mass movement spearheaded by MEELAL, a conglomerate of different Meetei Mayek organisations, the State Government issued an order implementing the 27 scripts of Meetei Mayek on May 18, 2005 and started teaching the script in the schools from Class 1 and 2 from 2006.

The script has been taught up to MA level in the Manipur University. Around 500 MEELAL activists were arrested and 20 were detained under NSA in the Meetei Mayek movement, she said.

Despite the Meetei Mayek being taught up to MA level, objection to the 27 recognised scripts continued unabated. The script was implemented by MEELAL with public support, she added.

She said that the convention was organised by MEELAL in view of the pressing need to fight back the elements trying to deter the implementation and promotion of the 27 Meetei Mayek scripts.