Tripura govt allows Roman script for Kokborok exams; rail-road blockade called off

Feb 12, 2024

Agartala (Tripura) [India], February 13 : The Tripura government has allowed the students to write Kokborok language board exam paper in the upcoming class 10 and class 12 exams in both Bengali and Roman scripts, a state minister said on Monday.
State Minister Sushanta Chowdhury, while addressing a press conference here on Monday, said the decision marks a significant breakthrough in the state's political and social landscape, addressing a deeply rooted cultural issue that has seen numerous protests, strikes, and agitations under various administrations.
"The resolution came after intense deliberation, culminating in a landmark decision to permit the use of the Roman script for the Kokborok language in examinations. Now, the students can write Kokborok language papers in class 10 and class 12 exams in both Bengali and Roman scripts," he said.
Following the decision, the indefinite rail-road blockade in Tripura was called off on Monday evening.
The blockade was called by the Tipra Indigenous Students Federation (TISF), the students' wing of the Tipra Motha, the main opposition party in the state.
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.
Both the exams conducted by the Tripura Board of Secondary Education (TBSE) will begin on March 1.
Soon after the minister's assurance, the TISF said the state government has now officially announced that the status quo shall be maintained and students shall have the option to choose between Bengali and Roman scripts for writing their Kokborok paper.
"We thank all the warriors, all other student organisations (esp. #TSF), all the socio-political organisations, intellectuals and others who came forward to support our demand and stood up for the rights of our next generation. Hence, we withdraw the rail-road blockade", the TISF said in a Facebook post.
The government, in an official statement, said that the swift resolution of this crisis not only averts the immediate threat to public safety and economic stability posed by the blockades but also represents a significant step towards fulfilling the cultural and linguistic aspirations of Tripura's tribal communities.
"This event is likely to be remembered as a pivotal moment in the state's history, showcasing the power of constructive dialogue and responsive governance," it added.