Historical Keynotes on Bishnupriya Manipuri Language

  • There can be no reasonable doubt that a great Aryan wave of very pure blood passed through Manipur into Burma in prehistoric time. I see traces of this in the finely cut features seen now and then among the Manipuris” – Gazetteer of Manipur by Captain E. W. Dun, Page 15.
  • ” A tribe known as Mayang speaks a mongrel form of Assamese known by the same name..They are also known as ‘Bishnupuria Manipuris or Kalisa Manipuris” – Linguistic Survey of India, 1891. Compiled by Sir G. A. Greirson, Vol V, Page 419
  • They (Mayangs) amongst themselves speak their own language, which is dialect of Hindee” – An account of the Valley of Manipore by Mc. Cullock, 1849.

  •  ” There is, moreover, an Aryan dialect called Mayang still spoken in Manipur, the headquarters of which are two or three plain villages near Bishnupur ” – Gait’s History of Assam by Shri Padmanath Vidyavinode,1908.
  • By degrees the Meiteis became dominant and that name was applied to the entire colony. It is highly probable that these hordes oven-an a country that had been previously occupied by people of Aryan blood known in Western India and to the bards…The present population of Manipur includes a tribe called Meiung who speak a language of Sanskrit derivation they are now in a servile condition performing the duties of grass-cutters to their conquerors” – Descriptive Ethnology of Bengal by E.T. Dalton, 1872, page 48,49.
  • ” There is a also a degraded class called the Kalachya or Bishnupuria ..They speak a language which is different from that of the true Manipuris” – Assam Census Report by Gait.
  • Mayang,one of the language spoken in the polyglot state of Manipur, May, however, be classed as a dialect of this language” – Imperial Gazetteer of India, Vol I, 1907.
  • ” In 627 A.D. Khgenba introduced the Meitai Language as court language in place of Bishnupriya or Kala-chaia language.”– The Background of Assamese culture by  Raj Mohan Nath,, page-87).
  • Among the manipuris there is community called Mayang Kalichas who are more dark skinned than the Meiteis” – Religion and Culture of Manipur by Dr. M. Kirti Singh,1988,page 53.
  • It is quite probable that Khala-chais are the first cultural race in possession of the Manipur valley, and they were connected more with the neighboring kingdom of Kamrupa than with other countries, and that is why their language is more akin to Kamrupi” – The Background of Assamese culture by R. M. Nath, 2nd edn. 1978, page 86.
  • Among the Kshatriyas there is a community known as Vishnupriya( Vishnupuria) Manipuris.” – Religious development in Manipur in the 18th and 19th Century/ Dr M Kirti singh, page 20
  • “.. So. in Manipur in spite of Devanagari scripts which the kala-chaias might have been using, the Meitai when they came into power introduced the new scripts.” -The Background of Assamese culture by R. M. Nath, 2nd edn. 1978, page 90.
  •  “ The Manipuris who have been Hinduised are worshippers of Bishnu” – Sylhet District Gazetteer, 1970, page 105.
  • ” Manipuris are divided into two sections: Khalachaia or Bishnupriya and Meitei” (English rendering from original Bengali ) – Aranya Janapadey by Abdus Satter, 1974, page 296.
  • ” Bishnupuria Manipuris identifies themselves as Ksatriyas; they are pure Vaishnavs; they do not even touches wine or meat“(English rendering from original Bengali) – Purbobongo O Assam by Shri Krishna Mohan Dhar, 1909, page 106,107.
  • ” Except the Bengali speaking Hindus and Muslims,there is two community in Barak valley called Bishnupriya Manipuri and Meitei Manipuri. The difference of languages exists in these communities.” (English rendering from original Bengali ) – Weekly Desh, june 19, 1989 , An article by Dr. Dhirendra Narayan Majumdar.
  • Manipuri is another cast of this region. They are divided into two tribes – Bishnupriya and Meitei.” (English rendering from original Bengali ) -Report of National Aboriginal Roundtable Meeting, Dhaka, Page 32.
  • These people had Indo-Aryan features and called themselves Bishnupriyas. Long before their exodus they had lost control of Manipur to the rival clan of Meiteis. In their adopted land their lives and limbs were safe; but their language and culture began to lose ground against those of the majorette. Meanwhile, the Meiteis in Manipur became vindictive and imposed a de facto ban on Bishnupriya language and custom. The Bishnupriya Manipuris were caught between a rock and a hard place. Today, young Manipuris are no longer sure of their cultural identity.” -An Article By Syed Zainul Akmal Al-Mahmood , Published in the Daily Star Weekend Magazine in the Jan 21st issue, 2000.
  • The manipuris residing in Cachar district are divided into two distinct Sub-groups, viz, Meithie and Bishnupriya” – Letter of Commissioner for Linguistic minorities in India, dtd 29 August,1973
  • ” The Bishnupriya are known as the Khala chais.They were the first ruling race of Manipur.” (English rendering from original Bengali ) – Aranya Janapadey by Abdus Satter, 1974, page 297.
  • ” The Manipuris divided into three main groups – Bishnupriya, Meitei and Pangans” (English rendering from original Bengali ) – Moulvibazar Zelar Jonojibon by Prof Rasamoy Mohanto, Page 86.
  • ” Probably most controversial class of people having no homeland of their own, subsequently loosing their identities are the Bishnupriya Manipuris” – Tribals and their Culture in Manipur and Nagaland by G. K. Ghose. Page 169.

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