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From Lalmalsawm Sungte

Rengkai/Hmarkhawlien, April 30, 2010: Hmar language has been given due recognition by the Assam Central University. Now, students can take up Hmar MIL as an optional subject up to degree level (BA).

“The Academic Council of Assam Central University on April 23, 2010 passed an agenda accepting the Hmar language to be one of the MIL subjects,” said a press statement released by the Hmar Literature Society, Manipur.

Hmars are one of the major tribes living in Assam’s Cachar and NC Hills area.

“The decision to this effect was taken in view of the consistent efforts of the Hmar MIL Monitoring Committee, Guwahati and the Hmar Literature Society, Assam,” Hmar Literature Society secretary Pu L. Ruoivel Pangamte said. It is a major milestone and blessing for the Hmars to mark the Gospel Centenary year celebrations, he added.

Modern education was introduced to the Hmar tribals along with the advent of Christianity in the year 1910. The Hmar language is the amalgamation of the different clans’ dialects with Lusei dialect and uses the Roman script.

It may be noted that since 2008, Hmar language has been taught at Class X and XII level. “In 2008 we have 212 students (Class-X) opting for Hmar MIL which rose to 288 the following year. Now over 300 students are taking Hmar MIL under Assam Education Board,” Pu Pangamte added.

He further said that in the 2008 Academic Session, there were 255 students opting for the Hmar MIL (Class 11) under Assam Education Council. And in 2010, more than 200 students took the Class-12 Hmar MIL examination.

Another source added that Hmar MIL will be taught at the BA-II and BA-III under Assam Central University from 2011. The syllabus for the degree Hmar MIL has been discussed recently at Hmarkhawlien, Cachar (Assam) by the Hmar MIL Monitoring Committee, Guwahati and the Hmar Literature Society, Assam along with the Hmar Inpui General Headquarters and Hmar Students Association, General Headquarters.

It may also be mentioned that Hmar MIL has been taught as an optional subject under the Manipur University for the last 7 years since 2003.

As language is an evolving process, there is also a strong movement among some of the Hmar intelligentsia to improve and refine the current Hmar alphabets and language. The Hmar tribals also already have three different versions of the Bible, which can be positively seen as move to enrich literature among the Hmars.


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