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Tripura tribal leaders cancel ‘Tring’ festival in protest against CAA

‘Tring’ is the Tripuri new year and is observed on December 22 every year. The twelfth bell on December 21 midnight marks the onset of this tribal new year. It is usually celebrated by music, dance, bursting crackers, food and a multitude of activities.

Written by Debraj Deb | Agartala | Updated: December 21, 2019 6:23:53 pm
Tripura tribal leaders cancel ‘Tring’ festival in protest against CAA Speaking to indianexpress.com, Movement for Kokborok general secretary Binoy Debbarma said they have announced to cancel this year’s state-level Tring festival as a sign of protest against the CAA. (File)

Tripura’s tribal leaders have cancelled celebrating ‘Tring’, or Triuri new year observed by ‘Boroks’ – indigenous people of the state, in protest against Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA).

‘Tring’ is the Tripuri new year and is observed on December 22 every year. The twelfth bell on December 21 midnight marks the onset of this tribal new year. It is usually celebrated by music, dance, bursting crackers, food and a multitude of activities. ‘Tring’ is celebrated as per the Tripura calendar started in 590 AD during the reign of Maharaja Jujarufa, whose descendants later assumed the Manikya title. 2019 was supposed to usher in 1430 Tipra era.

Speaking to indianexpress.com, Movement for Kokborok general secretary Binoy Debbarma said they have announced to cancel this year’s state-level Tring festival as a sign of protest against the CAA.

Kokborok is the lingua franca of most of Tripura’s tribal communities. Movement of Kokborok is a joint forum of 26 tribal organizations working on different aspects of the language including literature, performing art, etymology, culture, history etc. The forum held ‘Tring’ festival since 1991 but formally organized it in the state level since 2004.

“We have been organizing state-level Tring every year since 2004. This year, we have protested CAA and cancelled state level festival. However, area-based Tring festivals would be held by local committees under our supervision,” Binoy Debbarma said.

He informed that as a sign of protest, even local ‘Tring’ festivities would be devoid of bursting crackers or other extravaganzas this year.

Tripura royal scion Pradyot Kishore Manikya Debbarma, who presided over ‘Tring’ in many previous years, announced that he would not be participating in ‘Tring’, Christmas or New Year.

“When people have been killed and atmosphere between communities divided, when laws are passed without taking our views into consideration when the very idea of current democracy is no longer tenable, I don’t think I can be selfish and celebrate or participate in any celebration/festival this year – be it Tring, Christmas or New Year. I will not be participating in any programmes as we are all in mourning and there is nothing to celebrate #CitizenshipAmendmentAct”, Pradyot wrote on his Facebook page on Friday.

His post got a massive response from the netizens, many of whom said they would celebrate Tring in their houses with candlesticks instead of observing the day through festivities.

Meanwhile, ‘Amra Bangalee’, a regional political party of Bengalees, held a rally at Agartala city on Saturday and said, “India is burning today against CAA and NRC. These are anti-democratic, anti-constitutional and anti-people. We will not agree to NRC or CAA. CAA is against the basic constitutional tenets of secularism. We demand immediate withdrawal of both these initiatives forthwith,” Amra Bangalee secretary Harigopal Debnath told reporters Saturday.

Amra Bangalee, a Bengalee organization, held anti CAA rally at Agartala on Saturday. (Express Photo)

Bengalee consolidation, which was also seen before the 1980 ethnic riots in Tripura, has shown up in different ways in the aftermath of CAA protests. Local organizations like Unnayan Mancha, Nagorik Suraksha Mancha, Bangali Oikya Mancha etc., grew overnight in parts of Dhalai and North Tripura districts, where pitched violence was seen during CAB protests as different tribal parties called consecutive strikes against the legislation. After CAA was passed in the Parliament, the tribal agitation has largely mellowed down as their leaders met Home Minister Amit Shah over a dialogue in New Delhi and decided to wait for his next step.

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