Tripura celebrates 43rd Kokborok Day
Tripura on Tuesday observed the 43rd Kokborok Day with a grand procession that started from Umakanta Academy in Agartala.
The occasion witnessed people from different indigenous communities of Tripura participating in the celebration, dressed in their traditional attires.
Kokborok, the native language of Tripura, is formed by two words ‘Kok’ which means language and ‘borok’ means people and is one of the branches of Tibeto-Burman languages.
The language is spoken by various Tripura tribes, such as Tripuri, Jamatia, Noatia, Kalai, Riang and others.
It is also widely spoken in the northeast and neighbouring Chittagong hill tracts of Bangladesh.
Education Minister Ratan Lal Nath said the state government has decided to reward students who get higher marks in Kokborok language from secondary to Master's degree.
He said that the written script in Kokborok language started 300 years ago during the reign of King Mahendra Devvarma of Tripura.
"There are about six and a half thousand languages in the world. Many languages are lost and the Kokborok language is getting lost," Nath lamented.
He informed that the state government had sought an application to take on Kokborok teachers at the postgraduate level where only two applied for the post.
"People from this part of the world should not just come forward to protect it," he added.
It may be reminded that the tribal people of Tripura had submitted a memorandum of four-point demands in 1974 demanding the recognition of Kokborok as the state language.
And it was in 1979 that Kokborok was recognised as an official language in Tripura. Since then, January 19 is celebrated as Kokborok Language Day in Tripura.
Kokborok is now taught in seven to eight hundred primary schools, 62 secondary and higher secondary schools, 22 colleges and one university, informed Radhacharan Debbarma, a former chief executive officer of the ADC in Tripura.
He said 70 to 75 per cent of Tripura's tribal population speak Kokborok.
(Edited by Iban Mawrie)