Manipur Revolutionary Peoples Front (RPF), India

Manipur Freedom Fighters Ban Hindi Movies

L. Varadarajan

TAMIL TRIBUNE, May 2001 (ID.2000-05-02)

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Definitions:

Hindians: People whose mother tongue is Hindi (similar to Tamil speakers are sometimes referred as Tamilans or Tamilians).

Outline

1. Introduction

2. Manipur's Revolutionary Peoples Front

3. Tamil Nadu's Opposition to Hindi Imposition

1. Introduction

Tamil people are not the only one to oppose Hindi imposition. Telugus, Kannadigas, Malayalis and Bengalis also oppose it, although not as vehemently or intensely. Until recently we did not know much about the opposition to Hindi in the northeast, namely, Assam, Bodoland, Manipur, Mizoram, Nagaland, Tripura, etc. Recent events show that they oppose Hindi imposition and Hindian domination also forcefully.

2. Manipur's Revolutionary Peoples Front

In September 2000, Manipur's Revolutionary Peoples Front (RPF), fighting for independence for Manipur from Indian rule, issued a notice banning the use of Hindi. They specifically banned Hindi movies and television shows  in Manipur because they are destroying the Manipuri culture and language (they call it the "Indianization" of Manipur). The Revolutionary Peoples Front also called a 36-hour general strike from October 16, the "anti-merger day" to protest the merger of Manipur with India on that day in 1949. The general-strike met  with total response from the people of Manipur. On October 16, volunteers of RPF confiscated several thousand videocassettes of Hindi films and music and burnt them as a protest against the "Indianization" of Manipur. Movie theaters stopped screening Hindi movies. Because Hindi movies had throttled the local Manipuri movie industry, there were very few Manipuri films to screen. Some theaters showed the few available English movies. Others closed their theaters rather than screen Hindi movies and disobey Revolutionary Peoples Front's ban on Hindi movies. Cable television stations also shut down or operated only a few hours because there were not sufficient Manipuri programmes to telecast. (Again Hindi programmes have suffocated local Manipuri production of television shows). 

3. Tamil Nadu's Opposition to Hindi Imposition

People of Tamil Nadu have opposed Hindi imposition and domination from as early as 1938. Under the then provincial Congress government, police shot and killed two unarmed anti-Hindi protesters. Tamil people's anti-Hindi agitation reached a peak in 1965. For almost three weeks, starting from January 25, 1965, Tamil Nadu was boiling. Indian security forces rushed into Tamil Nadu to crush the protests in a most brutal way shot and killed well over a hundred unarmed Tamils, many of them students, in just 5 days. Opposition to Hindi imposition continues to today. People are fuming at the constant broadcast of Hindi programmes in Indian Government operated television channels. More details about Tamil Nadu's opposition to Hindi imposition may be found in the articles listed at the end of this article. 

Tamil people stand in solidarity with the people of Manipur in their struggle against Hindi imposition and domination. We wish them well!

RELATED ARTICLES

Hindi Imposition and Independence for Tamil Nadu (by Thanjai Nalankilli), TAMIL TRIBUNE, December 1999 (17 KB)

Archived articles on Opposition to Hindi Imposition in India (OR Search the internet with the following key words: Hindi imposition India Thanjai Nalankilli )

THESE BOOKS MAY INTEREST YOU:

Ethnicity, Security, and Separatism in India (by Maya Chadda)

Book-18: What's Happening to India? : Punjab, Ethnic Conflict and the Test for Federalism

Book-20: The Sikh Diaspora : The Search for Statehood

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