ibnlive » Politics

For Tripura, elections mean changing language


Deborshi Chaki,CNN-IBN
Feb 21, 2008 at 06:24pm IST

Khumlung, Tripura: Campaigning in Tripura will end on Wednesday for the Assembly polls on February 23.

For the state, one of the major issues is the status of Kokborok – the native language of Tripura’s ethnic population – and the medium of instruction for its students.

Political parties have now entered into a major tug-of-war over the matter for each insists on a different script for the language.

While the ruling Left Front prefers to impart Kokborok in the Bengali script, regional parties like the Indigenous Nationalist Part of Tripura insist on the Roman script.

In the past, the script has been changed thrice. Once again, the language is an issue of prestige for the Left and the opposition, ahead of the Assembly elections.

There are apprehensions, now, that a change in government may result in a change in script once again and politicians hardly help to contain this.

"If we come to power, we will definitely change the script back to Roman," asserted INPT Spokesperson, Shrutoranjan Khisa.

For students, the ever-changing medium of learning can only hinder their learning process.

"We feel that our children will never learn their mother-tongue properly since, with change in government, the script of our language Kokborok is changed too. This is really affecting the language and learning of children and we are fed up,” complained a primary school teacher, Niranjan Debbarma.

The future of the language remains as uncertain as the election results. The game of political one-upmanship, however, ensures that there may not be any respite in the future for Tripura’s children.

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