Ending all speculations and responding to the concerns of the opposition party and tribal students’ body over the issue of Kokborok language script, the BJP-led coalition government in Tripura maintained status quo and allowed choice of ‘Roman’ script for the Kokborok language speaking students appearing for Madhyamik and Higher Secondary examinations by the Tripura Board of Secondary Education (TBSE).
Addressing a press conference here in the conference hall of the civil secretariat on Monday evening, minister Sushanta Chowdhury said, “The Kokborok language speaking students will have the choice of writing their papers either in Roman and Bengali script, but this shall be applicable only for the TBSE examinations.”
The statement announcing the decision of the state government has come up amid the indefinite strike called by the tribal students’ body.
“Earlier also the TBSE had allowed Roman script in addition to the Bengali, where less than 2% candidates were found to have turned up choosing Roman script for writing their examinations,” he added.
He said, “Although the TBSE will maintain the status quo, we are not sure about the CBSE if they are to allow Roman script. Chief Minister Dr Manik Saha had already written to the Chairman of the CBSE for allowing Roman script, but we are yet to receive a reply from the CBSE.”
The Minister however appealed to the tribal students’ body to call off their ‘bandh’ and resume road and train service.
Responding to the decision of the government, the Tipra Indigenous Students Federation (TISF), the student wing of TIPRA Motha Party (TMP), which is Tripura's main opposition party on Monday evening called off their indefinite ‘bandh’. One of the students’ body activists said, “We have decided to call of our strike as the government allowed Roman script and met out demand. This is a victory for our tribal students and the community as a whole as our students will now be able to write their examinations in Roman script.”
On the other hand, the former Chairman of the opposition TIPRA Motha Party Pradyot Kishore Deb Burman thanked the government for allowing ‘Roman’ script and declared celebration for the indigenous community.
In a video post on his social media handle, Pradyot said, “I appeal to our Tiprasas to go back home and celebrate the government’s decision of allowing Roman script. I also appeal to our people not to indulge in any violence but you need to get ready for another conspiracy that might come in future, where we should speak in a single voice.”
Pradyot however demanded for a permanent solution in writing over the choice of Roman script for Kokborok language.
Meanwhile, he urged the TTAADC administration to purchase books which have history of Tripura in the syllabus and also be made available in English language and script.
“The only solution will come when Govt of India gives us a constitutional solution. Today we have won but tomorrow similar challenges will come, we have to protect our next generation and that can be done by safeguarding us constitutionally,” he added in his social media post.