ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Learning from EPW

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It was enlightening to read “Literary Cultures in North East India: Shrinking Frontiers” by Tilottoma Misra (EPW, 17 September 2016). The author has meticulously studied the history of literary languages as they evolved from ancient oral, to precolonial scripts and postcolonial print forms. It clearly reveals how the lingua franca of the North East lost its importance at the behest of the colonial powers.

The lesson learnt is that the colonial administration made us slaves of their concepts, ideas and strategies, the brunt of which is still borne by us. This process of enslavement had widespread ramifications. Even Rabindranath Tagore was victimised. Thus, the present discrimination, oppression, and resentment seen across the region are rooted in the battle that started in the form of language chauvinism, the legacy of colonial rule.

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