Kokborok, the native language of Tripura’s indigenous communities, has been a subject of neglect and marginalization in the state. Despite being recognized as one of the official languages of Tripura, Kokborok is seldom used in official proceedings, educational institutions, and even in everyday conversations. The neglect of Kokborok is a shameful reality in Tripura, and urgent steps need to be taken to address this issue.
The marginalization of Kokborok can be attributed to several factors. Firstly, the dominance of Bengali in Tripura has resulted in the marginalization of Kokborok. The Bengali language, which is widely spoken in the state, is the language of commerce, education, and governance. This has resulted in the neglect of Kokborok, which is considered a language of the rural and tribal communities.
Secondly, the lack of infrastructure and resources for the promotion of Kokborok has contributed to its neglect. There are very few educational institutions that offer Kokborok as a subject and even fewer that use the language as a medium of instruction. As a result, Kokborok-speaking students are forced to learn in Bengali or English, which puts them at a disadvantage.
Thirdly, the apathy of the state government towards the promotion of Kokborok has worsened the situation. Despite the language being recognized as an official language, the government has done very little to promote it. There are no significant efforts to create awareness about the language or to develop resources for its promotion.
The neglect of Kokborok is not only a cultural and linguistic issue but also has significant implications for the socio-economic development of Tripura’s indigenous communities. The marginalization of Kokborok has resulted in the loss of the cultural identity and heritage of the indigenous communities. Moreover, the inability to use their native language in education and employment has resulted in discrimination and exclusion of indigenous people from mainstream society.
To address this issue, urgent steps need to be taken at the policy level. The state government should take the lead in promoting Kokborok by developing resources for its promotion and making it a medium of instruction in educational institutions. There should be efforts to create awareness about the language and its cultural significance.
The neglect of Kokborok is a shameful reality in Tripura, and it is time to address this issue urgently. The promotion of Kokborok is not only a matter of linguistic and cultural preservation but also has significant implications for the socio-economic development of Tripura’s indigenous communities. The state government needs to take proactive measures to promote Kokborok and ensure its recognition as an equal language to Bengali in Tripura.