The union civil aviation ministry has decided to make flight information announcements at the Agartala airport in a tribal language in addition to Hindi, English and Bengali, a Tripura MP said on Monday.
“Civil Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju in a letter informed me that announcement on flight information in tribal Kokborok language would be made at Agartala airport in addition to the present broadcast in Hindi, English and Bengali languages,” Lok Sabha member from Tripura Jitendra Chaudhary told IANS.
“The issue was raised by me in the budget session of Lok Sabha last month.”
Tribals constitute a third of Tripura’s 3.7 million people. Of the state’s 1,166,813 tribals, over 60 percent communicate in Kokborok language, which is also an official language of Tripura since January 1979.
Chaudhary, who is also the deputy chief whip of Communist Party of India-Marxist in parliament and a former Tripura minister, said that the state government has been demanding to include Kokborok language in the eighth schedule of the constitution.
“The Borok or tribal Tripuris are inhabited not only in Tripura state but also in other northeastern states, Uttaranchal and neighbouring countries like Bangladesh, Myanmar, Nepal and Bhutan comprising about 1.5 million in numbers,” he added.
He also said that the Tripura government had set up a separate directorate for development of Kokborok language and other minority languages.
Kokborok is being taught now in schools and colleges in Tripura as one of the language subjects up to degree level and Tripura (Central) University has also introduced short-term course in Kokborok.