A New beginning: Reviving Meitei Mayek a blessing but still an enigma

Written By: / Editorial / Friday, 29 January 2021 17:42

From February 5, all vernacular dailies in the state of Manipur have been told to replace Bangali Script by the indigenous Meitei Mayek. There are mix responses on whether to replace the Bangali script with the Meitei Mayek in local vernacular newspapers in the state. With the Meitei Mayek script now prevalently taught in all schools and colleges as well as at University in the state today ‘To be or not to be’ haunts the publishers as youths of today felt inconvenience with the Bangali script as they were not taught with the script. But those who have completed the master degree or who were grown up before the introduction of Meitei Mayek in School will be again facing inconveniences reading the newspapers with the Meitei Mayek.
Already the revenue of the print newspaper has been hit hard with the coming of various electronic media as well as the internet technology. Web base news portal has almost replaced the newspaper across the globe. In Manipur, newspaper hawkers even protested for uploading of e-paper through websites or social media some months back as it effected to the distribution of Newspaper. Leaving aside the impact by web news portal to the print media, replacing of the Bangali Script with the Meitei Mayek certainly is going to be another issue. It is not because people in the print media do not want to promote the Meitei Mayek but because they fear the sustainability of the vernacular print media as the majority of the readers are still those who knows Bangali script. On the other hand the youths of today who knows to read our Meitei Mayek are happy with the digital news either on computer or smart phones through web sites. There is a fear that the circulation figures of many vernacular newspaper may go down if Bangali Script is replaced by the Meitei Mayek, even as all the Manipur are proud of having its own script. Huiyen Lanpao, a vernacular daily perhaps is the first newspaper published with Meitei Mayek and that was the time when people across the state are on agitation for introduction of Meitei Mayek in School. However, the paper was not very popular and the circulation too was very low despite that fact the organization like MEELAL, an organization which have been working for promotion of the Meitei Mayek have thousands of members and supporters.
Other thing that matter is that there is a possibility of academic gap between the present youths and the older generation. This is being speculated as those scholars who contributed articles on various issues may stop writing due to inconveniences of using the Meitei Mayek. Already there has been a gap as youths who cannot read Bangali scripts had stopped reading valuable articles published in vernacular dailies by various scholars.
The situation is now at critical juncture. The initiative though is the felt as the need of the hour, many in the vernacular print media have apprehension whether or not their newspaper will be able to sustain.

 

About the Author

Rinku Khumukcham

Rinku Khumukcham

Rinku Khumukcham, Editor of Imphal Times has more than 25+ years in the field of Journalism. A seasoned editor, was a former editor of ISTV News. He resides in Keishamthong Elangbam Leikai, with his wife and parents. Rinku can be contacted at [email protected] 

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