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Manipuri people on the verge of losing their identity

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New Delhi: The ever growing fear of losing one’s own distinct identity has plagued the people residing in the bordering areas of Myanmar and Bangladesh and in the north-eastern states including  Assam and Tripura.

Notably, Manipuris have their own script and they are the only mountain tribes who extensively follow the ‘Vaishnavite’ branch of Hindu religion.

Community leader K Sunder Gopal Sharma told reporters, “today, Manipuris in Myanmar hardly number 10,000 as against over one lakh decades ago. Thousands of Manipuris, including devout Vaishnavas, have since converted to Buddhism”. He said military rulers in Myanmar did not encourage the community members to study their own language in schools or converse in it at social gatherings.  Gopal said he feared that if nothing is done, the Manipuris in Myanmar will soon see their distinct cultural identity lose out to the native population there.

He said military rulers in Myanmar did not encourage the community members to study their own language in schools or converse in it at social gatherings.

Sharma feared that if no prompt move is taken then the Manipuris in Myanmar will soon lose their distinct cultural identity to the native population there.

The Manipuri villages in Assam and Tripura have seen a huge reduction of the population since Independence.

While over one lakh people dwelled in the area in 1947, only 10,000 people remained in the villages at present. Khaidem Kanta, vice president of Manei, an organisation of the Manipuri diaspora in Barak Valley in Assam, said, the Manipuris in the state are facing cultural and linguistic challenges.

“The younger generation of Manipuris getting schooled in Assam cannot speak fluently or write their mother-tongue. There is job reservation for people of Manipuri origin, but most educated youths do not get through in the absence of an elected leader to champion their cause.”

However, the situation is quite different in Bangladesh as Manipuri people remain connected to their roots. They are still able to maintain their custom and rituals and their cultural heritage remains preserved due to the connection with their natives in India.(Inputs IANS)

 

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Khaleda Zia granted bail in 2008 corruption case

Khaleda is a two-time Bangladesh Prime Minister, having ruled from 1991-96 and again from 2001-06

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Khaleeda Zia granted 64 months bail. IANS

Bangladesh Nationalist Party Chairperson Khaleda Zia, convicted in a corruption case, was granted bail on Monday.

BNP leader Zia secured a four-month bail in the Zia Orphanage Trust corruption case in which she was handed five years of imprisonment by a Bangladesh court.

“Now, there is no legal bar to let Khaleda walk out of prison on bail,” Bangladesh Daily Star quoted BNP Advocate Sagir Hossain Leon as saying.

Earlier today, a bench of Justice M Enayetur Rahim and Justice Shahidul Karim passed the bail order in response to a petition moved by Khaleda before a high court back in February.

Her bail was considered on four grounds, including her health condition.

Further, the high court directed the concerned authority to prepare the paper book of the case within the next four months for hearing the appeal she filed against her conviction in the case.

The high court sentenced Zia’s eldest son and Bangladesh Nationalist Party’s (BNP) Vice-Chairman Tarique Rahman and four others for at least 10 years with a fine of 2.10 crore Bangladeshi takas (Tk).

The Anti-Corruption Commission had earlier filed a case in 2008 with Ramna Police Station, accusing six persons including Khaleda and her son Tarique.

Khaleda is a two-time Bangladesh Prime Minister, having ruled from 1991-96 and again from 2001-06.

In a political career spanning almost four decades, Khaleda went to the jail several times but was never convicted. She was detained several times during the anti-Ershad movement between the 1980s and 1990s.

In March 1983, she was made vice-chairperson of BNP after her husband and former Bangladesh President Ziaur was assassinated.

She went on to become the party’s chairperson in 1984, a position which she holds today. May 10, 1984.

Since the last three decades, Bangladeshi politics have been dominated by Zia and current Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.

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UN: Rohingya Children Face Perpetual Life in Limbo

UNICEF says the nearly 700,000 Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh will not return to their homes in Myanmar without guarantees of safety

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