Manipuri Literature  |  Manipuri Dance  |  Manipuri Culture

Sudeshna Singha : A Tribute

Bishnupriya Manipuri Language Movements



The Bishnupriya Manipuri language was originated in the land of Manipur from the pre- Historic era. This matter is clear and no question should be raised about it. Also The Govt. of India of British regime and later independent India can attested by the following facts:

  1. Sir George Grierson in his Linguistic survey of India Vol -V, Part I has described the Bishnupriya Manipuris by the term" Bishnupuriya Manipuris".
  2. In the statistic of students of the School board, Cachar, during the British regime, the main heading "Manipuri" was sub-divided into "Meitei" and "Bishnupriya".
  3. In the Census report of India 1961, also the main heading "Manipuri" was sub-divided into "Meitei" and "Bishnupriya".
  4. In the census report of India 1971, the nomenclature " Bishnupriya Manipuri" was strongly defended.

It is a constitutional validity that Each Linguistic Minority in India has got the fundamental right to receive instruction at primary stage of education through mother tongue, according to Constitution Act 1956, Article 350A and 350B. But provision for receiving Primary Education through mother tongue not been honored in respect of Bishnupriya Manipuri Children. Though the demand of the Bishnupriya Manipuris are constitutional and justified, they were deprived of enjoying it only due to the illegal and unwarranted interference of the Govt. of Manipur. [1]  



The 1961 and 1971 census of India was full of fake and imaginable information's which are purely intentional and politically designed. in 1961, the Census authority recorded -

  • only 1(one) lady in place of nearly 22,000( twenty two thousand) population in Patharkandi.
  • only 13(thirteen) male in place of nearly 20,000( twenty thousand) population in Tripura.
  • only 15,155 in place of nearly 66,000( sixty six thousand) population in Cachar.

Biological Miracle in Census of India

Bishnupriya Population 
According to Census of India 1951, 1961 and 1971

  1951 1961 1971
Manipur 114 NIL NIL
Assam NIL 15,169 33591
Cachar NIL 15,155 33440
Patharkandi NIL 1 (Female) 10164
Tripura NIL 13(male) 9884

 From the above Table we can conclude some points -

  1. In 1951 there was no existence of BPM population in Assam and Tripura, though Sir G.A. Grierson found a considerable number in 1981.
  2. In 1961, the figure of BPM population recorded in Assam and Tripura came where from ? Its not possible from Manipur as with a initial stock of 114 only.
  3. In 1971, BPM population of Assam increases to 33591 from 15,169. The rate of increase is population is 121.46, which is even unimaginable.
  4. Bishnupriya Population in Patharkandi in 1961 and 1971 increses from 1 (female) to 10,000 within 10 years.
  5. In Tripura, the Census authority forced 13 male's to produce nearly 10,000 kids in 10 years without a woman !       

Meitei Population 
According to Census of India 1951, 1961 and 1971

  1951 1961 1971
Assam 89433 89057 87279
Cachar 81127 75116 72290

The decreasing figure of Meitei population recorded by the census, in 1951,1961 and 1971 can be taken as a realistic statistic when entire India is suffering from population explosion.  

It can be concluded that the census authority had been guided by a mischievous force all through. Such a underground conspiracy was sufficient to throw a linguistic minority into long deprivations and indeed to verge of extinction. [2]  


Chronological Development of Language Movements

 A resolution was passed in the Nikhil Bishnupriya Manipuri Mahasabha in 1955 urging upon the Govt. of Tripura and Assam to provide such facilities to BPM children at an early date. The Govt. took no steps in this regard even after deputations were waited upon them explaining the necessity for such facilities. The Mahasabha, therefore directed the BHASA PARISHAD to arrange a democratic movement aiming at speedy fulfillment of this language demand. Also a deputation of the Bishnupriya Manipuri Sahittya Parishad met the govt. so Assam for fabour of action in the matter. Later Manipuri Bishnupriya Andolan Parishad was formed and started Satyagraha Movement manner with the Following Seven Point Demands -

Seven Point Demands

  1. Immediate implementation of introduction of Bishnupriya Manipuri language as a medium of instruction in the primari stage of education in Assam and Tripura.
  2. Broadcast of Cultural programs in Bishnupriya Manipuri at the AIR station, Gauhati.
  3. Financial assistance to the Nikhil Bishnupriya Manipur Sahitya Parishad.
  4. Proper representation in the Central and state Legislatures by way of Reservation or Nomination.
  5. Reservation of special Quota in Govt. and Semi-Govt. services.
  6. Financial assistance to all students of this linguistic minority irrespective of Divisions
  7. Correction of Census of 1961

Language Movements (1961 -2001)

July 2, 1961

Bhasa Parishad of NBMM chalked out programs and observed this day as The Bhasa Dabi Divas.

July 25,1961

The matter was communicated to the Govt. of Assam, Education department

March 22,1963

Shri D.N bajpei met with a deputation of the Nikhil Bishnupriya Manipuri Sahitya Parishad.

July 7,1964

Bhasa Parishad submitted a memorandum to chief Minister of Assam.

July 28, 1964

The Matter was Forwarded for consideration to the Political Department

July 2,1965

Bhasa Davi Saptaha( Demand week ) observed ( july 2 -july 8 )

May 23,1966

A deputation of the Nikhil Bishnupriya Manipuri Bhasa Parishad met shree K.K Sharma, Secretary, state board of elementary education and discussed the necessity of immediate and speedy implementation of BPM language at Assam.

July 2, 1967

The Demand Week of 1967 was extended to 12 days and public meeting and processions were organized all over Cachar, during this period expressing strong resentments over the Census conspiracy.

November, 1967

Bhasa Parishad started a self operated Census and showed the Govt. that total amount 66,623 as against a farcical figure shown in the census 1961 as 15.055 only in Cachar.

May, 1968

Token strike all over district by picketing of Schools, colleges and demonstration with aggressive Slogans.

July, 1968

Public meetings and processions , picketing at schools and colleges, burning of Token of infamous Census Report of 1961.

July 25, 1968

J. B Hagjer, EDuaction minister, Assam explains Government view on Manipuri Bishnupriya Demand.

August 30, 1968

A memorandum was submitted to the cheif minister, Assam by leading citizens of Cachar in support of the demands.

October 15, 1969

Raktakshar (Bloodsign) throughout Cachar, Student and youths.

October 22, 1969

Katigarha Bandh, 7 arrested.

October 15-29, 1969

Narsingpur,Ratabari,Salchapara Bandh

October 30, 1969

Jaffirband Bandh, 26 arrested including girls.

October 31, 1969

Meherpur Bandh, 13 arrested including 5 girls.

November 1, 1969

Picketing and DC's and ADC chair occupied, 29 arrested.

November 3, 1969

Picketing at DI's office and offices of Package, silchar town,  385 arrested including girls.

November 4-5,1969

Picketing and chair occupied, 111 arrested and released.

November 6,1969

Deputaion to the Education Minister settled. The GS of the Mahasabha refained from suggesting any measure to DC.

November 11-13,1969

Picketing, Mass procession in Silchar town jerked the urban area. 144  Broken at Silchar , Narsingpur, Hailakandi and Patharkandi. Total arrested 238.

November 17,1969

Silchar Bandh,Picketing continued, at least 300 Satyagrahis arrested.

November 21,1969

Hailakandi Bandh, Mass arrest nearly 1500, Public meeting at O.S.A. Ground, Hailakandi.

December 14, 1969

DC of Lingustic minorities in India arrived at Silchar and held meetings with Mahasabha.

April 19-30, 1970

24 hour Gana Anashan ( Mass Hanger strike ) all over Cachar Tripura and shilong.

December 12, 1972

48  hour Gana Anashan ( Mass Hanger strike ) all over Cachar.

March 9, 1974

72 hour Gana Anashan ( Mass Hanger strike ) all over Cachar.

December 2, 1978

Sankhynaghu Bachaou Dicvas ( Save Minorities Day ) all over Cachar and Karimganj.

February 21,1979

Avashthan Dharnaghot, (stay -in-Strike ) all over Cacher.

January 25, 1982

Meeting Between Bishnupriya Manipuri Student Union and Ministry of Industry, Assam.

August 5, 1983

NBMM and BMSU submitted a memoradum to Chef Minister , Assam to take early action for implementing the BPM language.

October 25,1983

The Govt. Of Assam in their Cabinet meeting decided to introduce Bishnupriya Manipuri Language at the Primary stage of education as a medium of instruction in the districts of Cacher and Karomganj.


[1]To The Meitheis and Bishnupriyas by K.P. Sinha Ph.D,D Lit
[2]Let History and Facts Speak About Manipuris,Edited by Bhimsen Sinha, LL B.


  1. Let History and Facts Speak About Manipuris, Edited by Bhimsen Sinha, LL B. (cal), Assam, 1984
  2. To The Meitheis and Bishnupriyas by K.P. Sinha Ph.D,D Lit
  3. Memorandum to The Honerable Cheif Minister of Assam, by Bishnupriya Manipuri Shahitya Sabha, Dated 09.03.1990
  4. Memorandum to The Honerable Prime Minister of India, by Bishnupriya Manipuri Shahitya Sabha, Dated 30.08.1990.
  5. Memorandum to The Honerable Prime Minister of India, by Bishnupriya Manipuri Shahitya Sabha, Dated 07.07.1992.
  6. Memorandum to The Honerable Prime Minister of India, by Bishnupriya Manipuri Student Union Dated 30.08.1990.
  7. Bishnupriya Identity Threatened by Nikhat Kazmi, Times of India, Dated 11.08.190.
  8. Manipuri and Culture: Drifting towards oblivion in The Daily Star weekendMegazine, jan 21,2000 Bangladesh

Last in August 15, 2002 
Copyright 2001,2002  Ashim Kumar Singha All rights reserved