Young Shilajit's 'Tripura after the Manikyas' introduces readers to the eventful post-independence history of Tripura

By Our Correspondent

Agartala December 06,2018: Tripura-or the hilly part of it where a mixed populace co-exist side by side now-had merely been a geographical expression as one of the umpteen number of royal domains in subcontinental India. Under the benign rule of kings of Manikya dynasty since at least 1400 AD , as historically attested, princely Tripura had welcomed outsiders in its soil . A succession of kings of Tripura had richly contributed to the authors, litterateurs and poets of Bengal including Rabindra Nath Tagore and scientist like Jagadish Chandra Bose. Many institutions in Bengal including the 'Viswa Bharati' flourished on royal bounties from Tripura. But Tripura's princely history never forms part of academic study across the state owing to lack of serious research and lack of political will .

But the post-independence decades that rolled by in the state turned out to be eventful as a princely state steadily evolved into a representative and participatory democracy. The troubled merger of the state with the Indian union as per stated wishes of the last king Bir Bikram Kishore Manikya through his formal edict and letter to the constituent assembly on April 28 1947 was followed by a brief spell of rule by a regency council headed by Maharani Kanchan Prava Debi. This was followed by the rule of chief commissioners , aided by three advisors. Then came the rule of territorial council with limited power, union territorial rule and finally the full-fledged state assembly with effect from January 21 1972. 

This chain of momentous developments beginning with communist armed struggle and political movements-violent at times and peaceful at others-leading to establishment of ADC for tribals have been artfully penned by young author Shilajit Kar Bhowmik . Shilajit in his maiden venture has artfully put on record the long series of epoch-making events that marked the post-independence  Tripura's history till the assumption of power by the incumbent BJP-IPFT combine.

What enriches young journalist Shilajit's book is the brief life-story of the leading lights of Tripura's political history . Down the decades the people in Tripura, specially the non-indigenous people,have shown a bizarre lack of sense of belonging. Consequently, people of Tripura know more about Kentucky than Kanchanpur. It is therefore natural that historical personalities of the state have remained unknown to generations of Tripura people . Shilajit has contributed richly to the state by drawing brief life-sketches of the state’s leading political personalities of yesteryears. Apart from this, the sequence of insurgencies in the state have also been referred to in a coherent manner, outlining the intricacies of ethnic politics. Shilajit introduces readers keen to know about Tripura to eventful  decades that unfolded since the peaceful idyllic Tripura's merger with the Indian union on October 15 1949.  'Niharika' publishers have done a good job by producing a sleek volume of this book.


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