Language builds a bond - Misings & Adis to use common modified script

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  • Published 21.02.13

Guwahati, Feb. 20: Two indigenous communities spanning two states of the Northeast are scripting a linguistic bond.

The Misings in Assam and the Adis in Arunachal Pradesh are working to use a modified form of the Roman script, suited for both the languages.

After a successful discussions between Adi Agom Kebang (Adi Sahitya Sabha) and the Mising Agom Kebang (Mising Sahitya Sabha) in Guwahati in June last year, the two organisations will hold another round of discussions in Arunachal Pradesh to come to a final agreement.

The Misings are the second largest indigenous community, after the Bodos.

The Adis are a major indigenous community in Arunachal Pradesh, constituting around three-fifth of the population of the state.

The Adi language is spoken with minor dialectical variations among all its subgroups — Shimong, Karko, Millang, Minyong, Padam, Pangi and Pasi.

“We — the Mising and the Adis — belong to the greater Tani community. So, the learned among these two communities came forward with the view that the script of both the languages should be the same,” said Purnakanta Singte, the general secretary of the Mising Agom Kebang.

The Misings belong to the greater Tani community, which comprises many indigenous communities in Arunachal Pradesh and Tibet Autonomous Region in China.

All communities under the group share linguistic, cultural and ritual similarities.

Somewhere around the 13th century, the Misings started migrating towards the plains of Assam, most probably in search of fertile land.

Singte said the languages of both the communities have close resemblance.

Although the Misings have forgotten many words of their ancient language, they can understand the language of the Adis.

“The two communities can talk to each other using their own languages. In the meeting in Guwahati, we decided to use the same script. We decided to sort out the phonetic and grammatical differences between the two languages in a scientific manner,” Singte said.

The first meeting was presided over by Tabu Taid, the founder of Mising Agom Kebang and the most revered person in the Mising community. “The changes that Taid sir has made in the Roman script has been accepted by all,” Singte said. He added that in the future, all the books of the two communities would be published using the same script.

General secretary of Adi Agom Kebang, Obang Tayeng, said that both the sahitya sabhas have constituted a committee each to look into the issues.

“Two committees, one from each sahitya sabha, were formed. The two committees have done separate study on the issue. The study reports will be produced at the joint session of the two sabhas,” Tayeng said.

He added that the date of the joint session has not been fixed.