Tripura: Indefinite Blockade in state Over Script Demand in Board Exams

Northeast Desk, 12th February: Traffic movement in various parts of Tripura, notably in the Tripura Tribal Areas Autonomous District Council (TTAADC), has come to a standstill following indigenous student bodies and civil society organizations’ call for an indefinite blockade on national highways and railways. The demand centers on the use of the Roman script for writing the Kokborok subject in the board exams conducted by the Tripura Board of Secondary Education (TBSE).

Indigenous student organizations such as the Twipra Student’s Federation (TSF) and Tipra Indigenous Students Federation (TISF) have organized road blockades at more than 50 locations. Speaking to India Today NE, the Vice President of TSF expressed that the protest, ongoing peacefully in Madhab Bari in the West District, serves as the gateway to TTAADC.

“We are advocating for the use of the Roman script for the Kokborok language in the board exams. Despite submitting a memorandum to the president of TBSE, we haven’t received any response from the government. The imposition of something unwanted by indigenous people violates students’ fundamental rights. The indigenous community feels threatened, and the government’s forceful imposition of the script is unacceptable. There’s a failure on the government’s part to safeguard indigenous rights,” he emphasized.

Meanwhile, Jagadish Debbarma, senior leader of Tipra Motha and Chairman of TTAADC, clarified that they neither oppose the Bengali script nor the Roman script.

“For Kokborok-speaking individuals, the Roman script is preferable, but the sudden instruction from the state government, threatening action if students use the Bengali script in TBSE board exams, is regrettable. Therefore, the TISF student organization of Tipra Motha initiated an indefinite blockade on roads and railways, demanding the use of the Roman script for the Kokborok subject,” Debbarma explained.

Attributing the need for the strike to the state government’s misstep, Debbarma expressed optimism that the government would take corrective measures to address the issue.

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