'Without mother tongue a separate State will have no identity'


AGARTALA, Jan 20: Tripura Chief Minister Manik Sarkar accused a section of the tribal middle class for their indifferent attitude that is blocking the development of their mother tongue ‘Kokborok’ and also for fomenting demands like separate State. “Their attitude is self defeating,” he said.

He was addressing a gathering on the occasion of 38th Kokborok day at Muktadhara auditorium here. The first Left Front government led by Nripen Chakraborty had recognised the language spoken by majority of the tribals in Tripura as the second official language on January 19, 1979 and since then the day is being observed in the State as Kokborok day.

This year the day assumed special significance as the state is going to hold village Committee election in the Tripura Tribal Areas Autonomous District Council where the regiol party IPFT is posing a serious challenge to the ruling Left Front with the demand for a separate state.

Without ming anyone Chief Minister said those who are raising such demand are trying to divert the attention of the tribals from their real issues. ‘They are demanding for separate state but not telling their people how their language got the official recognition’, he said adding that without own language no community can maintain their identity.

He criticized the Maharaja’s who ruled the State for 1300 years and the Congress who were in power for 30 years after the State’s merger with India for not doing anything for the development of the language. Now there are facilities to study Kokborok up to University level.

He came down heavily on the tribal middle class for encouraging their children to learn English instead of their own mother tongue.

“Without mother tongue a separate State will have no identity,” he remarked.

He urged for enlarging the scope for research on the language and to involve intellectuals from other Northeastern States as well as from Bangladesh. “There are many tribal intellectuals in the neighbouring country who are working in the field,” he said.

The TTAADC also observed the day at its headquarter Khumlung where chairman Ranjit Debbarma and the Chief Executive Member Radha Charan Debbarma urged the tribals not to fall in the trap of the divisive forces. Kokborok writer Shephali Debbarma and Rabindra Kishor Debbarma were given Dasarath Deb award for their contribution in the field of literature.

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Sentinel Assam