Imphal, Dec 2:
Democratic Students’ Alliance of Manipur (DESAM) has submitted a memorandum to the Chief Minister and Education Minister of Manipur urging the government for inclusion of Manipuri Performing Art (MPA) as an optional paper in Class 9 and 10 of BOSEM and introduction of Manipur’s Sagol (Pony) Riding as mandatory Co-Curricular activities as well as practical of MPA and Thang-ta in School Education.
“ In the interest of the students of Manipur, DESAM) is submitting herewith the proposal to Government of Manipur for opening an optional paper of MPA (Manipuri Performing Art) in class 10-0 and Pony Riding Course in School Education. As a matter of Policy of the State Government as well as a follow up action of NEP 2020 optional papers of Manipuri Performing Art may be introduced in the school of Manipur from 9 to 10 standards to enable the students to understand and appreciate the rich cultural heritage of their own state before they do undergraduate in different fields of their choice. The Manipur Pony Conservation and Development Policy also encouraged for introducing the Pony Riding to the students so as to popularize the Pony amongst the youths of state of Manipur”, the memorandum stated.
It further added that the National Education Policy 2020 of India focuses in different aspects which would promote language and culture of every community. In NEP (4:31) local contents and flavor are clearly mentioned to Incorporate in the school curriculum. It is also mentioned very clearly that cultural awareness and expression are among the major competencies considered important to develop In children, in order to provide them with a sense of identity, belonging, as well as an appreciation of other cultures and identities. It is through the development of a strong sense and knowledge of their own cultural history, arts, languages and traditions that children can build a positive cultural identity and self-esteem. Thus, cultural awareness and expression are important contributors both to individual as well as societal well being (NEP 2020, 22:2), Schools/school complexes will be encouraged to hire local eminent persons or experts as “master instructors” in various subjects, such as in tradition local arts, vocational crafts, etc (NEP 20205:6).
The DESAM memorandum also stated that performing arts of a community is a mirror that reflects the culture and value system of the community, performing art is the window through which one can see the cultural history of the society.
“Manipur is well known for her unique and rich cultural heritage. Her culture represents the perfect blending of aesthetic and ethical aspects in an extraordinary way which are very much necessary to cultivate in the present education policy of the State as well as the Nation. The famous Manipuri Rasa Dance which has been one of the classical dances of India and the Sankirtana of Manipur which has been listed in the Intangible Heritage of UNESCO are the clear examples of the aesthetic aspects of Manipur culture while the international famed ‘hockey on horseback’ later came to be known as ‘Polo’ and Manipuri Thang Ta (Indigenous martial arts of sworn and spear) are the clear examples of chivalry and ethical aspects of Manipuri culture.
On other hand, The importance and significance of Manipuri Sagol (Pony) which is also a part of our History, Culture and Identityis in critical stage and became endangered, It is the need of the hour to introduced a Pony riding course to the school education so that the new generation could understand the strong sense of our own cultural identity, belongingness and self esteem”, it said.
In UPSC (IAS) Main Exam paper of Manipuri, there are units on performing arts, such as, Lai Haraoba, Maha Rasa, Indigenous games-Sagol Kangjei, Khong Kangjei, Kang, Legend, Folk tale, Folk Song, Ballad etc. However, many of our students are quite unaware of the performing arts. It is strongly felt that with the aim and objective to promote and preserve rich cultural heritage of Manipur within the Institutional mechanism, optional paper on Manipuri Performing Arts may be introduced in phase-wise in High School and Higher Secondary level in order to provide the students a sense of identity, belonging, as well as an appreciation of other cultures and identities.
The curriculum of the Performing Arts may be In the following: 1. Dances of Manipur: Traditional Dances of Manipur including the tribal dances,Classical Dances of Manipur. 2. Music: Folk Song, Musical Intruments, Khongjom Parva, Moirang Parva, NarrativeArt (Wan liba), pena etc. 3. Manlpuri Sankirtana, the Intangible Heritage (UNESCO) 4. Lai haraoba, Laithou Touba. 5. Theatre, Sumang Kumhei. 6. Art of Arambai, Sagol Kangjel, method and technique of Pony Riding etc.