Meetei Mayek

Meetei Mayek

#GS-01 Indian Culture and Heritage

For Prelims:

Meetei Mayek:

  • Meetei Mayek is the alphabet used to write the he Meitei language, the official language of Manipur state of India.
  • The earliest evidence of the script was seen in coins which dates back to 6th Century CE.
  • It was used until the 18th century, when it was replaced by the Bengali alphabet.
  • In 1709, a Hindu missionary named Shantidas Gosai came to Kangleipak, the ancient name for the independent kingdom of Manipur, to spread Vaishnavism.
  • He mesmerised the kings and the high officials of the palace, and on royal orders, all religious and other precious books in Meitei Mayek were incinerated, and new ones written in the Bengali script.
  • From 2021, the Government of Manipur started using the Meetei Mayek along with Bengali script as per “The Manipur Official Language (Amendment) Act, 2021“.
  • The earliest stone inscription in Meitei script found from the Khoibu village in Manipur is widely believed to of the time of King Ura Konthouba.
  • The earliest copper plate Meitei inscription dates back to the 8th century AD. It was inscribed during the reign of Meitei King Khongtekcha.
  • The Meitei script is a Brahmic abugida which a segmental writing system in which consonant-vowel sequences are written as units; each unit is based on a consonant letter, and vowel notation is secondary.
  • The Manipuri language was included in the Eighth Schedule of the Constitution in 1992, but in Bengali script.

Source “Meetei on the masthead as Bengali script bows out of Manipuri titles