Kolkata/ Agartala: Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah should do their paperwork before any televised speech on Tripura, said former Tripura chief minister Manik Sarkar in reply to the PM's virtual speech on January 21 on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of Tripura's full statehood.
Sarkar said the prime minister insulted the Janashiksha Andolan, which through a democratic manner, paved the way for an end to princely rule in the state of Tripura. "History is straight and the truth is the mainstay of any history. Those who try to distort history will go into oblivion one day," Sarkar said about the PM's speech on that day, where he forgot to mention the role of the Janashiksha Andolan even once.
The Janashikhsha Samiti led the Janshiksha Andolan in Tripura and was headed by firebrand communist and tribal leader and then Chief Minister Dasarath Deb. Names of communist stalwarts like Nripen Chakraborty are also associated with the movement.
He also referred to the speech of Shah as an attempt to confuse the population of the state. In his speech, Shah said that the 50th anniversary of the Tripura state was an important event in the democratic movement in the state. "This had not happened out of the blue. Right from 1945 in Tripura, the call was made to end the rule of Tripura rulers. According to folklore, a total of 184 rulers had ruled the state," Sarkar said. During the Indian independence movement, before 1947, the call for ending monarchy reached a new height that positively affected Tripura. The former CM also traced the history of that time whereby Maharaja Birbikram Singh, before his death, decided to join the Indian state.
After the king's death, his queen Kanchanprabha Devi became the chief of the regency council. At the same time, parleys were taking place inside the king's court, and a nefarious attempt to side with Pakistan was nipped in the bud as a democratic movement of the state rose in rebellion against that attempt. In 1950, Tripura became enlisted in the Indian union as a 'd category' of state, and on January 21, 1971, it became a full state under the Indian Union.
He also highlighted that the Janashiksha Samity had waged a 27-year-long fight to install democracy in the state, and this valiant role of the organisation was embedded in the history of the state. However, the PM's speech said that Tripura was relieved of its princely rule by the kings themselves. "The PM has omitted the role played by the people of the Tripura state, both tribals and non-tribals, to relieve the state of the princely rule and to install a democratically elected government in its place," Sarkar added.
According to the former CM, in the seven to eight minutes of virtual speech, PM Modi glorified the princely rule of the state, and the notion that he tried to put forward was that the kings themselves installed the democracy. "This is a simple distortion of history and is politically motivated, as mentioning the Janshiksha movement and the democratic movement will highlight the glorious phase of progressive politics in the state," Sarkar said.
He also took a potshot at Home Minister Shah's speech, saying that the world has seen the "jugalbandi" of the prime minister and the home minister in Gujrat and the "genocide" that happened there. Criticising Modi's take on the communists that the communists had done nothing for the state, Sarkar gave a detailed account of the state's administrative advancement and the experience of defeating terrorism.
He also said that the Bharatiya Janata Party-led Tripura government has spent four years but is yet to deliver on its poll promises made in the last Assembly elections. "People are now saying that the BJP means jumla, and the vision document it made is also a jumla. Now it has made another jumla document saying 'target 2047'. Who has given them the audacity to say what will happen after 25 years? The government is elected for five years only," the Left leader said and added that the peace of crematorium was prevailing throughout the state.
"Voting rights have been snatched from the people. An attempt is being made in the state to install a one-party rule," he said, adding, "So far, the prime minister was seen accolading heaps of praises on the chief minister, and now it is being shared by his deputy chief minister Jishnu Debbarma too."
In the virtually televised speech, both the PM and the Home Minister tried to say that development was happening at a high rate in Tripura. They claimed that during the communist rule, development was stalled, and the Left tried to torment the opposition. "While in real life, it is seen that during the present BJP IPFT alliance government, 22 Left workers have attained martyrdom. In 2021, between September 7 and 8, as many as 44 left front offices have been demolished throughout the state," Sarkar said, adding that even the state headquarters of the CPI(M) was not spared, while the bust of former Chief Minister Dasrath Deb was vandalised and demolished by the attackers .
Various media offices were also attacked in this period, and 67 shops and establishments were looted. After coming to power in the state in 2018, upto June 2021, the CPI(M)'s 662 offices and 204 offices of mass organisations were apparently attacked and vandalised. A total of 3,363 houses belonging to Left supporters or activists have been looted or gutted by the BJP hooligans, 659 shops were destroyed as well as over 1500 ponds and rubber plantations, according to the Left's estimates.