Agartala, Feb 9 (PTI) The Tipra Motha, Tripura’s main opposition party, has increased pressure on the state government on its demand for allowing students to write their Kokborok language papers in Roman script in the class 10 and 12 board examinations.
Leader of the Opposition Animesh Debbarma of the Tipra Motha urged Chief Minister Manik Saha to provide examinees with this option, while the party’s student wing announced an indefinite road-rail blockade from February 12 to press for the demand.
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.
Tripura Board of Secondary Education (TBSE) said the examinees will have to write that paper in Bengali script in the exams next month, as it would be difficult for teachers to evaluate answer papers written in Roman script.
Earlier, Tipra Motha supremo Pradyot Kishore Manikya had demanded the removal of TBSE President Dhananjoy Gonchowdhury if students were not allowed to write their Kokborok papers in both Bengali and Roman script.
The Leader of the Opposition said, “It is very unfortunate that the board sticks to its decision on allowing the students to write their Kokborok papers only in Bengali script citing resource constraints.” The board had allowed students to write Kokborok in both Bengali and Roman scripts for 15 to 17 years and this means it has facilities to evaluate that paper in both languages, Debbarma told reporters.
As the chief minister who also holds the education portfolio, Manik Saha will be responsible if anything goes wrong during examinations, he said.
“There may be agitation, movement or road blockade by angry students. There is also apprehension of a law and order situation on the script issue,” the Tipra Motha leader said on Thursday.
The Tipra Indigenous Students’ Federation (TISF) on Friday announced that it will resort to road-rail blockade for an indefinite period from February 12 demanding that the students be allowed to write kokborok papers in Roman script.
“TBSE President Dhananjoy Gonchowdhury had said that students will be allowed to use Roman and Bengali scripts for Kokborok paper. Now he took a u-turn saying that the students will not be allowed to write Roman script in the board’s examinations,” TISF president Sajra Debbarma said in a press conference.
During the blockade, movement of vehicles will not be allowed on national highways, state highways and railway tracks, he said adding that ambulances and cars used in wedding ceremonies can move without problem.
“Our agitational programme will continue till the chief minister or the education department gives written assurance on our demand for Kokborok in Roman script,” he said.
The Tipra Motha had promised to introduce the Kokborok language in Roman script in its election manifesto.
The class 10 and 12 examinations conducted by the TBSE will begin on March 1.
The Tipra Motha has 13 MLAs, mainly in tribal majority areas, in the 60-member state assembly, 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. PTI PS RG NN