The Tripura rulers have been benevolent and liberal rulers-a mult-social variegated society-coexisted in harmony irrespective of faith,ethnicity and castes.The ruler followed the Indigenous animistic and vedic religion hand in hand without losing its distinct identity and therefore universal in its approach,to humanism thus spiritually evolved-encouraging social fusion of different Indigenous and non tribal cultures.
This showed that the Government and the governance of the day(rulers)were giving solutions to the peoples problem-otherwisethere would have been tension within the state amongst different ethnicities,this only proves that even though there was a monarchial system,yet it was a government of consensus of different Indigenous people with different cultures.
The plainsmen who were muslim Bengalis and hindu Bengalis,having their own distinct cultures yet they were united since they had faith and respect for each other.Each one of us recognized the feeling of warmth that existed between different sections of society.
The character of the state was of welcoming all those who sought refuge.Shah Shuja took refuge in Tripura for a short while while the Maharaja built a Mosque for him,thisonly proves the temperament of the state .It was also the tradition in our family to have Namaz in the palace and compulsory for the Fakir Sahib to visit twice a week to bless the family and ward of evil spirits.The personal bodyguards of the Maharaja’s were a mix of all sections of the society –We were a civilized people,not divided by religion or ethnicity or caste as was evident in the riots of 1980,which divided the hill indigenous people and the plainsmen.
Since independence the chief ministers of the state has always been a Non tribal ,except for a short period when an ailing Dashrath Deb was made the chief minister.While Dashrath Deb was widely respected, his age and ailment ensured that he was past his prime and hardly had any control on the administration.Is there not going to cause heart burning amongst the young educated in the indigenous people?
Yet the blame is lid on the door of those who had been victimized, ill-treated by the majority which should be sensitive to the problems of land alienation that have taken place due to Government projects,and settlement of migrants on tribal lands for which compensation has not been paid timely,forcing many to migrate to the neighbouring states like Mizoram.
When such has been the situation,a little generosity-a little warmth and understanding is expected from the Manik Sarkar government.For the Maharaja’s of Tripura never had a communal agenda unlike so many politicians who claim to be secular but are biased in their approach towards communities but their own.
The oldest Bengali literature is the result of patronage from the Maharaja’s of the Tripura,the Rajmala.
The affection did not end there-the talent of Bengal was helped and luminaries such as Rabindra nath tagore,Jagdish Chandra Bose,Subhas Chandra bose and many other deserving nationalist and talents found a place of honour.
During the 1940’s great famine of Bengal-Tripura contributed its little mite,so why is there so much of heart burning in naming the airport after the person who built the airport at a time when in the whole country very few airports existed.
Maharaja Bir Bikram is my grandfather and I am very proud of the fact that his blood runs in my veins.He was a far sighted ruler and had conferred the title ‘Bharat Bhaskar’ to the nobel Laureate Rabindra Nath Tagore .Even the great and genourous poet acknowledged this recognition as the first actual recognition from his country .
Today even the friendship between the two great individuals are being played for petty politics by the Left Front Government and some who were in the Congress and now in the Trinamool.
I think that Rabindranath Tagore would be extremely disappointed and deem it an insult to have the airport in his name for which he had not contributed in any way.He always held Maharaja Bir Bikram in high esteem and they had a great personal rapport .Iam sure had the great poet been alive he would have given much in love and appreciation to Tripura for its contribution towards Bengal and promotion of their civilization.
Therefore to wrest from the people of Tripura their own history and identity,no matter how small its size is in today be it the indian map or the parliamentary representation.
History and political compulsion of partition have forced large scale migration into Tripura. Demographic balance has given the majority to dictate their terms, we are conquered by vote bank politics, encouraging some Tripura indigenous people to take violent methods as a way of protest .
The harsh truth is that today the political classes are driving a wedge between the two groups, encouraging a tense struggle which may force a situation of confrontation,to reassert themselves as their present is haunted by their glorious past and today personal failure is staring through corrupt models of leadership in a democratic society.There are very few leaders who are willing to accept the responsibility for their failures and raising demands without actually having the consensus of an popular opinion of the people.
Every era has its own peculiar requirement,social,political and economic conditions have a different depth and meaning as per the condition of the society.Maybe today it has become the necessity of some of the leaders to wipe out the name of Bir Bikram from the annals of history,perhaps because this is the stark reminder to them about their own past.To me it’s an attempt to malign two great historical figures and friends and distrort the truth.
Media today has great powers to influence and is rightly called the conscience of the society.Media with a touch of humanism must again confirm their diagnosis in an impartial manner,even though one cannot guarantee absolute impartiality.
Therefore to understand that a debate is not a duel,but an effort to give clarity to different views and convictions in a democracy.Today if there is anything clear it is that there is an attempt to deny Maharaja Bir Bikram his due credit by certain powers to be because it suits them .
Today I see that Tripura is as divided as it has been for a long time and once again the only people who have succeeded in creating this atmosphere are the ones who remain united.Time for all of us to rethink if we should punish the Maharaja BirBikram for all that he did for his beloved countrymen.
By Pradyot Bikram Manikya Debbarma is the grandson of Maharaja Bir Bikram and the Editor of TNT-The Northeast Today , he maybe contacted at email@example.com