Responding to the long-standing demand of the indigenous people of Tripura, the state cabinet finally decided to include Kokborok as a medium of writing the competitive exams of Tripura State Rifles (TSR), on July 7. Kakborok the main language of Tripuri community (Borok people) of the state, is closely related to the Boro, Dimasa and Kachari languages of the neighbouring state of Assam and is derived from the words kok meaning “verbal” and borok meaning “human”.
The members of the Tripuri community have long been demanding the introduction of Kokborok language as the medium of writing the competitive examinations held in Tripura. According to the minister of law, Ratan Lal Nath, the cabinet has finally approved the proposal to honour the demands of the indigenous people of the state. Earlier the aspirants willing to be a TSR Jawan had to write the exam either in English, or Bengali or Hindi. Now they can also take the test in Kakborok.
“With this decision, the candidates will now have quadric-lingual choices in writing the exams, including Bengali, English, Hindi or Kokborok. Our Govt is working to ensure a holistic growth with special focus on the state’s indigenous sections” – so reads a July 7 Facebook post of chief minister Biplab Kumar Deb.
The state has 12 TSR Battalion and among them nine are IR (India Reserve) battalions. First TSR battalion was formed in 1984 to combat extremism in Tripura. In the interim, a modest shelter house would be constructed in the old Council Bhavan of TTAADC, near Ujjaynta Palace for the people living in Sixth Schedule area. The NITI Aayog will fund the construction of the building with an estimated cost of Rs. 10 crore.
Interestingly, Tripura Tribal Areas Autonomous District Council (TTAADC) elections are pending in the state. The last term came to an end on May 17 this year, but due to the coronavirus pandemic the elections for a new term could not be held on time. According to people in the know, the election will only be held in ADC, once the situation improves. Political commentators of the state are of the opinion that the BJP government in Tripura is taking a pro-indigenous people move, eyeing the upcoming ADC elections.