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Views & Reviews

Who Will Go For Us?

By EMN Updated: Jul 04, 2019 10:21 pm

In the year 1999, I was elected as General Secretary, Kuzhami Literature Committee at the General Meeting of KuzhalhüZahwe at Pfütsero College, Phek District, and later elected as the Chairman in the next General Session and since then I have been actively working for the Literature of KuzhaleChakhesang Naga. Again in the General meeting of 13 Nagaland Literature Boards meeting in the Zonal Council Hall, Kohima I was elected as its President and till today, I am actively working with my team.

In the year 2008, Mrs. Z. BanoJamir, the then Commissioner & Secretary, Department of School Education, Govt. of Nagaland, spoke in the meeting of Nagaland Literature Boards Executives and the Language Officers, Nagaland with the Director, School Education at Ura Academy Hall, Kohima and there she took much interest in the study of Mother Tongues, Nagaland and enquired all the Chairmen of the different Languages of 17 as approved by the Government of Nagaland. During that year, KuzhaleChakhesang Naga was being studied till Class- IV, while some other Languages were above that. She encouraged every Literature group to help in the study of their Mother Tongue to Matriculation level and beyond, whoever was able. With much assurance from our Commissioner & Secretary, Education, Nagaland, we encouraged our students to study our Mother Tongues and many of us reached up to Class- VIII by the year 2012 itself. The students who got promoted were to go for Class- IX in the year 2013, continuing with their Mother Tongue as the additional subject. But to our surprise that was not allowed by the Chairperson of NBSE stating that it will not be allowed without Government Order, even though the language textbooks for Class-IX had already been printed by many of the tribal literature boards. After that we hurriedly applied for the permission, but it was not granted and the students of that batch had to take up another Language in Class- IX in the year 2013 and they were faced with a miserable situation. Seeing the acute problem faced by our students, we approached the Chairperson of NBSE again, but she questioned as to how many languages should the Government of Nagaland approve! And the matter stopped there. This sentence has been repeatedly ringing in my ears and my question is, “Why should Nagaland Government be partial in development of the Mother Tongues of the backward tribes of Nagaland?” Yes, Nagaland Govt. has allowed all the four Languages, viz. Angami, Ao, Sema and Lotha to Matriculation and above. Why the 13 other Languages, viz, 1. Chang, 2.Chokri, 3.Khiamniungan, 4.Konyak, 5.Kuzha, 6.Kuki, 7.Liangmai, 8.Phom, 9.Pochury, 10.Rengma, 11.Sangtam, 12.Yimchunger, and 13. Zeme are stopped to go beyond Class-VIII?

Seeing the difficulties faced by the 13 backward Literature Boards, we decided to convene a General Body Meeting in the year 2016, and the 13 Nagaland Literature Boards formed an association under the aegis of “Association of Nagaland Literature Boards” to jointly pursue the permission for the studies of our Mother Tongues in the Secondary level. We moved up and down incurring lots of time, energy and finance, without success till today.

A UN report has declared alarming figures for the disappearing of languages in the world and India too is worried for the extinguishing of its Languages. There are 6000- 7000 Languages in the world today and 90% of world languages will be disappeared in the next 100 years, according to UN. There were 1100 languages in India in the year 1961 and in 2013 there were 880 languages only in India. India has lost 220 languages in the past 50 years. With the Government of India striving to uplift the studies of Mother Tongues in the Schools, His Excellency the Governor of Nagaland, Shri P.B. Acharya is encouraging the State Government for the development of Mother Tongues in Nagaland as well.

Now the Government of Nagaland has ordered all the Schools in Nagaland to study their Mother Tongues and that Alternative English will be abolished in all the schools across the State in the year 2019 up to Class- VIII level. We see that this is a good sign, but not quite forward-looking as without the permission for studies of Class-IX and X for the 13 Mother Tongues in Nagaland, our children are faced with the same problem as that of the batch of 2012.

Faced with this predicament, we, the Executive Members of ANLB have travelled up and down looking for the respective high officials and Legislators in their offices for help, but to no avail for reasons best known to them. However, sooner or later, the permission for the studies of Mother Tongue for these 13 tribes will have to be granted for the welfare of our children, in line with the 4 advanced tribes, if the Languages of all 17 tribes of Nagaland are to be given equal status. As languages are a creation of God, one cannot question the fact that He has created so many Languages in our small state of Nagaland. The Government of the day should not be dissuaded to take corrective measures by just a few individuals in official capacity, if the cause is for the greater good and development of its citizens.

Because of our helplessness, I am therefore questioning as to who will help in the development of the 13 (Thirteen) Backward Tribal Languages. I am left wondering, “WHO WILL GO FOR US?”. I request any right thinking person to come out and help our cause as we have been struggling for all these years without any positive outcome till today. May God help us all!!!

Yours Sincerely,
Dr. Ditsolo Kapfo,
Association of Nagaland Literature Boards, Nagaland.

By EMN Updated: Jul 04, 2019 10:21:35 pm