Agartala, May 6 (Hindustan Times): The Director of the Tripura government’s Information Department has said that the government proposes to replace the local Tripuri language called Kokborok, by Hindi in news bulletins on radio and TV so that people outside the state can get to know about Tripura.
Kokborok, which is akin to Cachari, is the indigenous language of Tripura and is the second language in the State, the first language being Bengali.
But this proposal has come under fire from all the political parties in Tripura.
The CPI(M) and the Congress on Saturday lashed out at Tripura’s ruling BJP-IPFT government over its proposal to introduce Hindi as medium of news on all local TV channels “instead of” Kokborok, the second official language of the state.
The objective is to promote nationalism and also help people from outside the state follow the news, according to the proposal stated in a document of the state information and cultural affairs department. The document notes minutes of a meeting held on April 6.
The CPI(M) condemned the proposal, saying Hindi may be promoted but not at the cost of the indigenous Kokborok.
“Hindi may be promoted as third official language but the regional languages should also be given due importance. We strongly oppose the ruling government’s decision,” said Radhacharan Debbarma, leader of the CPI(M) indigenous wing, Tripura Upajati GanaMukti Parishad.
BJP’s alliance partner, the Indigenous People’s Front of Tripura (IPFT), said it was unaware of the proposal. “We don’t know about it as of now,” said IPFT leader Ananta Debbarma.
The Congress too opposed the proposal and demanded the BJP-IPFT government withdraw it.
“The IPFT should be ashamed of supporting the decision,” said Congress Scheduled Tribe department leader Dinesh Debbarma.
Amid the furore, Bishnupada Das, director in-charge of information and cultural affairs department, said on Saturday the Kokborok news would continue. Of the 13 local news channels enlisted with the information and cultural affairs department, less than five have Kokborok news slots.
“It was proposed that all local TV channels introduce Hindi as medium of news so that people from other states could know more about Tripura,” he added.
BJP spokesperson Mrinal Kanti Deb declined to comment on the proposal. Despite repeated attempts, BJP’s Scheduled Tribe Morcha leaders could not be reached for comment.
The fountain head of all these outrageous ideas is the newly elected Chief Minister of Tripura, Biplab Kumar Deb. Since he took charge of Tripura last month, he has made several remarks which have been triggered widespread criticism.
He had stated that the Internet and satellite communication existed during the Mahabharata era. He also questioned the crowning of Diana Hayden as Miss World in 1997.
He has also asked the educated youth to set up paan shops instead of running after political parties to get government jobs. He also asked youth to explore a career in the dairy field and keep cows.
(The featured image at the top shows the Tripura Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb and the Deputy CM Jishnu Dev Barman)