Sun, 28 Nov 2021

Khumulwng (Tripura) [India], November 21 (ANI): The proposal to introduce the Devanagari script for Kokborok, a widely spoken lingua franca of the indigenous community of Tripura has sparked protests in the tribal-dominated districts of the state.

According to the All Tripura Indigenous Students Association (ATISA), there has been a long-pending demand for the introduction of Roman script for Kokborok language.

But, the recent proposal of introducing the Devanagari script for the language has sparked off severe resentment among the students and protests have been taking place across the Tripura Tribal Areas Autonomous District Council (TTAADC) areas against the move.

ATISA, the student arm of the ruling Indigenous People's Front of Tripura (IPFT) termed the proposal "unilateral decision" and demanded it be scrapped.

Notably, IPFT is the alliance partner of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government.

Speaking over the issue, ATISA general secretary Baithang Debbarma said, "As many as 95 per cent of Tiprasa want a Roman script for Kokborok. We have organized a demonstration against the ongoing issue of introducing the Devanagari script. This is wrong. We are so aggrieved that we have burnt the effigies of BJP MLA Atul Debbarma who is consistently trying to impose his decision."On November 12 last, a protest was organized at the Mandwai Bazar in West Tripura district. Another protest was held at the TTAADC headquarters Khumulwng on November 17.

BJP MLA Atul Debbarma made the proposal when he wrote a letter to the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) asking the schools to introduce Kokborok language as a third language in their curriculum.

According to his proposals, Kokborok language which does not have an official script till now should be learned and imparted through the Devanagari script.

Meanwhile, Geeta Debbarma, a senior leader of the IPFT, junior partner in the ruling BJP-IPFT government said that a language commission was created named Pabitra Sarkar Commission which had recommended that the majority of the people want the language to be written in Roman script.

Renowned Kokborok author and poet Chandrakanta Murasingh also echoed the same and said that since the commissions have been proposed in favour of Roman Script there is no point to press for other scripts.

Chandrakanta Murasing opined that such kind of sensitive issues should be kept out of the purview of politics.

"For many years, the Kokborok speaking people of the state have been demanding for Roman script and the government should consider their demands. We should not impose our thoughts on the majority of people. The Roman script is known to all and if this is introduced this will be helpful for all," said Murasingh. (ANI)

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