Tripura Education Board Controversy: Threats From Opposition Party Over Kokborok Language Script Options for Class 10 and 12 Exams

Tripura Education Board Controversy: Threats From Opposition Party Over Kokborok Language Script Options for Class 10 and 12 Exams

Tipra Motha threatens action if students are not allowed to write class 10 and 12 exams in Kokborok language in either Roman or Bengali script.

PTIUpdated: Monday, February 05, 2024, 07:33 PM IST
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The Tipra Motha, the largest opposition party of Tripura, on Monday threatened that heads will roll in the state education board, if students appearing for their upcoming class 10 and 12 exams are not allowed to write their papers on Kokborok language in either Roman or Bengali script.

Kokborok, an indigenous language spoken by nearly 24 per cent people of the northeastern state, does not have a script. Students generally write papers for the language in the Bengali script.

The Tripura Board of Secondary Education (TBSE) President Dhananjoy Gonchowdhury, however, said the examinees will have to write that paper in Bengali script as it would be difficult for teachers to evaluate answer papers written in Roman script.

“Forcing students to write Kokobork paper in Bengali script cannot be allowed. Mr Gonchowdhury, change your stand and provide the option to students to write Kokborok in Bengali and Roman script within two or three days. Else I will change you,” Tipra Motha supremo Pradyot Kishore Manikya Debbarma said.

Debbarma, whose party has 13 MLAs in the 60-member state assembly, was addressing its third foundation day.

Senior Tipra Motha leader Animesh Debbarma last week demanded the removal of Gonchowdhry from his post for allegedly instructing exam supervisors to file FIRs if any student writes answers in Roman script for the Kokborok paper during the upcoming board examinations scheduled to start from the first week of next month.

He said that when Pakistan wanted to impose the Urdu language in erstwhile East Pakistan, a language movement broke out there leading to the creation of Bangladesh.

Nine sub-tribes of the Borok community speak this language. According to the 2011 census, 8,80,537 (23.97 per cent of the state’s total population) people speak this language.

The indigenous people are not given equal status yet and the Tipra Motha has been speaking for their rights, the state’s erstwhile royal family claimed.

“In the Assembly, our 13 MLAs raised the issues related to the Tpirasa (indigenous) people including Greater Tipraland and the introduction of Roman script for Kokborok,” he said.

‘Greater Tipraland’ state for Tribals is a core demand of the Tipra Motha. It is supposed to include parts of several other northeastern states and Bangladesh, besides Tripura.

No indigenous leader in national political parties is allowed to speak for their community, Debbarma claimed. 

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