Debate over 'Kokborok' script sparked afresh by Mebar Kumar Jamatya, Ratan Nath recapitulates history

By Our Correspondent

Agartala, Updated: January 20, 2022, 09:46:10 AM   

Debate over 'Kokborok' script sparked afresh by Mebar Kumar Jamatya, Ratan Nath recapitulates history

The longstanding debate over an appropriate script for tribal 'Kokborok' language has been sparked afresh by the minister for tribal welfare department Mebar Kumar Jamatya. In yesterday's official 'Kokborok' day programme in Rabindra Shata Varshiki Bhawan, Jamatya as one of the guests of honour  said that 'Kokborok' as an official language of the state had been notified on January 19 1979 but there was no reference to the script to be used for the language. "It had taken the then state government twenty years to frame rules for the usage of the language but the confusion over the script still remains" said Mebar. He asserted that the 'Kokborok' speaking people are still confused over which script to use-modified Bengali or Roman-and the language is being written in both the scripts, adding further to the prevailing confusion. He rued that even though forty four years have passed the controversy over the script is yet to be set at rest.

Replying to this, the minister for education Ratan Lal Nath said that a number of language commissions had been constituted earlier for resolving the script issue but no commission came out with a definitive answer or solution. "If there is no script how the language is being taught ? At one point of time late linguist Kumud Kundu Chowdhury and poet Chandra Kanta Murasingh had headed a commission to find out a suitable script but they did not give any concrete opinion ; this was followed by another commission headed by late Shyama Charan Tripura who suggested the use of Roman script on the basis of public opinion, specially the opinion of youths but then the left front government had constituted another commission headed by famous linguist from Calcutta Dr Pabitra Kumar Sarkar who also kept from giving any concrete opinion on the script issue" said Ratan Lal Nath .

He added that late chief minister Dasharath Deb had pleaded for use of modified Bengali script in view of Tripura's bilingual situation but no concrete decision is still there. "Neither the state government nor the ADC has taken any decision on the issue and in the given situation the matter has to be decided by public opinion ; already both the universities of the state have 'Kokborok' courses and there are more than hundred schools where 'Kokborok' is the sole medium of instruction ; we therefore should wait for what emerges from public opinion" said Nath.