UNI | AGARTALA | May 08, 2018

The state government has no plans to replace Kokborok with Hindi as the medium of news telecast in the local news channels, Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb said here today.

Clarifying the stand of BJP-IPFT government in Tripura, the chief minister said that the opposition parties have been doing politics without going into the depth of the fact over a discussion on telecasting news in local channels in Hindi language.

He said no such move has been even been proposed to the government for discussion, but Congress and CPI (M) want to trigger controversy on communal lines, in a coordinated manner just to get a foothold among indigenous people.

The controversy triggered over the minutes of a meeting of Media Circulation Committee comprising senior journalists and officials of the Information department held on April 6 last.

The chief minister said, in the minutes it appeared that one of the committee members while discussing on the languages of TV news telecast opined to include Hindi to reach out at larger audience.

This was merely an opinion of a member of the committee but the opposition is campaigning it as the decision of the government.

He said the state government has been working to promote Kokborok and recently, a committee headed by MLA Atul Debbarman has been constituted in order to develop the language.

“There is no scope of creating controversy unnecessarily and obstructing the government from developing tribal languages, culture and socio-economic status. Instead the opposition parties have to help in the process,” Deb added.

The minutes, referred by the opposition read, “It has been proposed that instead of using Kokborok (tribal language) as a medium of news telecast, Hindi may be introduced as it would promote nationalism and people from outside state also could follow the news.”

However, Director of the Information department and Chairman of the committee B P Das denied the allegation of the opposition.

He said, “The committee doesn’t have any power to decide anything and it did not involve in the process of replacing Kokborok with Hindi in news bulletins. It proposed to ask the news channels to furnish details about the languages they were able to use in their news bulletins – Kokborok, English, Hindi and other languages. These details would be needed for categorisation of the channels.”

Upset with the controversy Das said, the draft minutes of the meeting brought for discussion, stating that it was the decision of the government to replace Kokborok with Hindi as medium of news telecast in local news channels, were far from the truth.

He also mentioned that the department has several committees, comprising journalists, that have been playing catalytic role for development of media in the state.

“In a meeting, if anybody raises something according to their logic, the idea may be accepted or rejected. But, it has to be included in the minutes and taken forward for discussion in the next forum. It doesn’t in anyway mean that it is the proposal of the committee or decision of the government. In the democratic set up, no one can dictate what others should say or raise in a meeting. Unfortunately, this happened in the case,” Das added.


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