Gangtok, 30 Jul:

BB Muringla, the torchbearer of the preservation of Limboo language and script, was felicitated today at a state-level program hosted at Chintan Bhawan on his being conferred the Padma Shri earlier this year.

Hailing from Lingchom in West Sikkim, the iconic language crusader was born to Lalman Subba and Sancha Rani Subba in 1943.

While congratulating Mr Muringla, Chief Minister Pawan Chamling, who was present for the programme as the chief guest, described the writer as a multifaceted personality and underlined that he richly deserved the honour bestowed to him for his contributions in various fields, especially in Limboo language and culture.

The Padma Shri, it may be recalled, is the fourth highest civilian award of the country.

In his address, the CM also also pointed out that it was only after the SDF government took office in Sikkim that personalities from the State started receiving civilian awards at the national level. He explained that these awards are decided by the Centre based on the recommendations from the respective state governments.

He further remarked that it has now been 50 years since Limboo language has been taught in Sikkim and of how it was now taught up to the University level.

Further, appealing to all stakeholders to work in earnest for the construction of the Limboo Study Center in West Sikkim which has been delayed for a long time, the CM highlighted that such centres would help preserve the culture and heritage of the community for future generations.

The CM also delved on the LT seat issue in his address and contended that “everything was now ready” for the two communities to get seat reservation and that all that is now awaited is for it to be brought to the Union Cabinet and then the Parliament.

The Chief Minister also informed that a new rule which will be drafted under which land belonging to the Limboo-Tamang communities will not be protected against alienation to other communities.

Congratulating the respected writer on his Padma Shri, the CM remarked that such awards were important for the emotional integration of the Sikkimese people to the Indian Union.

Mr Muringla, in turn, while thanking the government, briefed the audience about his own journey in literature.

He informed that Limboo language was introduced as an optional language in Sikkim schools in 1966, fifty-one years ago.

He admitted that some concerns about the continuation of the same came up with the merger, and added: "However now the language is taught in university".

He credited the government for its efforts towards conservation and preservation of the language. He also stressed that no community can flourish in isolation and hence there should be convergence and cooperation from all.

He further appealed the young to not be dependent upon the government and start pursuing their interests.

Minister RB Subba also addressed the felicitation programme.

MLA and chairperson of the felicitation committee, Chandra Maya Subba, while delivering her welcome address, held up Mr BB Muringla as a source of constant inspiration for all and also thanked the State government for recommending such names for prestigious civilian awards of the country.

The program was also attended by the Deputy Speaker, Cabinet Ministers, MLAs, Advisors, Chairpersons, bureaucrats, other Padma Shri winners from the state, teachers and students.