Tripura civil organizations win over govt on renaming Tripura Palace

TRIPURA, September 23: A massive rally of at least 8000 people, mostly youths, held the biggest ever candle-light rally of Agartala on Sunday evening demanding immediate stoppage of renaming Ujjayanta Palace, the erstwhile abode of the Tripura monarchs as Tripura State Museum.

The rally was organized by the Twipra Students Joint federation (TSF) and Joint Action Committee constituted by a number of NGOs including the Indigenous Youth Federation of Tripura (IYFT), Royal Tripura Foundation (RTF) and others.

Meanwhile, anticipating a mass uprising, the cornered Tripura government is a Press release on Monday had stated that the state Museum will be known as “Tripura State Museum,Ujjayanta Palace” and the state government had also agreed to install a statue of the builder of the palace Radha Kishore Manikya very soon.

The civil societies in Tripura in a release stated that it is a moral victory that the government has been finally been cornered on the issue and that they have responded, but the mass movement would continue since there popular demand to name the palace as Ujjayanta Museum.

The palace has been a breeding ground of one of the biggest controversies of recent time for past two weeks or so. The Indigenous Nationalist Party of Twipra (INPT), regional tribal political party of Tripura, first raised the issue over the renaming of the palace.

Deletion of the word Ujjayanta is aimed at hurting sentiments of tribal populace of the state, INPT president Bijoy Kumar Hrangkhawl said.

Vice President Hamid Ansari is scheduled to inaugurate the museum on September 26.

Hrangkhawl, in a letter to the Vice President recently stated that renaming Ujjayanta Palace is likely to cast serious effects on the indigenous populace if not amended.

The TSF had organized a deputation to Governor of the state, Devanand Konwar on September 21 protesting against the omission of the original name of the palace in its new avatar.

The candle light rally held today is in continuation of the agitation, a leader of the student body said.

The candle-light rally organized by TSF covered over 7 km of the city including several significant public places.

Speaking to reporters at the end of the rally, Pradyot Bikram Kishore Debbarma, current head of the Tripura royal family, who led the rally this evening said, “Ujjayanta Palace is a historical spot. It does not belong to the members of erstwhile royal family alone, neither is it solely belonging to the government. Ujjayanta Palace belongs to Tripura and somebody in the government can’t suddenly impose a decision to change its name one fine morning.”

The to-be museum now sports a large plaque with ‘Tripura State Museum’ written on it at the top of the entrance. There is no trace of Ujjayanta anywhere near it.

Organizers of the rally added that in accordance with section 5 (2), clause C of the Tripura Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act, 1997, the decision of the state government in changing name of Ujjayanta Palace is against the law. They also sought a rethink over the decision if there is any Heritage Conservation Committee formed in the state.

Tripura Chief Minister Manik Sarkar recently announced, Ujjayanta Palace would be declared a heritage building which brings it under the jurisprudence of the Ancient Monuments and Heritage Buildings Act Archaeological Sites and Remains Act, 1958, later amended in 2010. It would be completely illegal to conduct such a name-change which potentially destroys the very identity of the palace, Pradyot Bikram Kishore maintained.

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Courtesy:ISTV Imphal


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