‘Greater Tipraland’ arouses concerns, but authorities assert that it is necessary for the development of NE tribal peoples. Amid opposition and skepticism from all major political parties, tribal party ‘TIPRA Motha’. Which won the politically significant Tripura Tribal Areas Autonomous District Council (TTAADC) in April 6 elections by defeating the ruling BJP-IPFT alliance. The CPI-M, and the Congress, passed a resolution in the council on Friday to create a “Greater Tipraland.”
TIPRA Motha asserts that it is essential for the socio-economic development of indigenous tribal peoples. Who live in eight northeastern states and neighbouring countries, including Bangladesh.
The TIPRA (The Indigenous Progressive Regional Alliance) Motha (‘Motha’ is a tribal word meaning tribal unity) demand for Greater Tipraland has sparked intense debate, doubts. And fears in the mixed-populated Tripura ever since the newly formed party led by Tripura’s royal scion Pradyot Bikram Manikya Deb Barman raised the demand in 2019.
The TTAADC, which covers two-thirds of Tripura’s 10,491 square kilometers. And is home to over 12,16,000 people, 90% of whom are tribals. Was establish in June 1985 under the Sixth Schedule of the Constitution. For the socio-economic development of tribals. Who has historically played a significant role in Tripura politics, accounting for one-third of the northeastern state’s population.
Runeil Debbarma, a TTAADC member who introduced the resolution at Thursday’s council session. And which was approve the following day, said that the resolution will now be submit to the Governor. The state government, and the Centre for the purpose of establishing a Greater Tipraland.
“Under the Greater Tipraland idea, a strong council would be establish to oversee. The overall socio-economic development of indigenous tribal peoples living in the eight northeastern states and neighboring nations, including Bangladesh. These councils exist in a number of European nations. We aim to permanently address the tribal people’s fundamental issues,” Debbarma says.
Royal descendant Deb Barman, the former Congress state president. In Tripura and a close friend of Rahul Gandhi, resigned from the party in 2019 over the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) issue. He said that the Greater Tipraland idea is only for tribal preservation and socio-economic development.
“The demand is not directs at any non-tribal group, nor is it political or electoral in nature. This is only for the benefit of a marginalized group,” Deb Barman says. Adding that his party is commits to the development of tribals across the northeast area and neighbouring nations.
He said, however, that their agitation and campaigning will continue until the Central government accepted the Greater Tipraland proposal.
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Prior to the April 6 elections to the TTAADC, the ruling and opposition parties. Including the BJP, CPI-M, and Congress, had strongly opposed TIPRA Motha’s Greater Tipraland demand. And the Tipraland (separate state for tribals) demand the Indigenous People’s Front of Tripura (IPFT), the BJP’s junior ally.
Since 2009, the IPFT has been advocating for the establishment of a distinct state via the upgrade of the TTAADC.
According to the leaders of the three national parties, the TIPRA Motha leadership must now explain the idea of Greater Tipraland.
Subrata Chakraborty, the BJP’s top spokesperson, said that TIPRA Motha supremo Deb Barman’s position on Greater Tipraland must be crystal clear before the BJP’s position can be declared.
Rebati Tripura, a prominent tribal leader, and BJP Lok Sabha MP. Said that TIPRA Motha’s Greater Tipraland demand remains unclear, and unless they disclose their transparent goal for Greater Tipraland, they would be unable to evaluate their purpose.
“Prior to the April 6 TTAADC elections, TIPRA Motha leaders, particularly Pradyot Bikram Manikya Deb Barman, spoke about tribals. Now, a resolution has been approved at the council session declaring that Greater Tipraland is open. To all people regardless of caste, race, or religion,” Rebati Tripura told IANS over the phone from Delhi.
Reati Tripura, who is also the head of the Tripura chapter of the BJP’s Janajati Morcha (tribal front). Said that TIPRA Motha leaders should also establish the physical boundaries of their planned Greater Tipraland.
“TIPRA Motha and all other political parties must be honest and open regarding backward tribal development,” the 45-year-old lawmaker said.
When the council approved the Greater Tipraland motion on Friday. Nine TTAADC members and the party voted in favour, while one Independent member abstained.
Tripura state Congress President Pijush Kanti Biswas said that his party has no problem with Greater Tipraland provided. It is for the socio-economic development of tribals and is permitted by the Constitution, but the demand is impractical.
Jitendra Chaudhury, a veteran tribal leader who is also the national coordinator of the CPM-backed Adivasi Adhikar Rashtriya Manch. And President of the Tripura Rajya Upajati Ganamukti Parishad. A frontal organization of the CPI-M said that the idea of Greater Tipraland demand is unclear.
“Prior to the April 6 TTAADC elections, Greater Tipraland expressed a desire to establish a separate tribal state. However, TIPRA Motha leaders now claim that it is for the tribals’ socioeconomic growth.
“If the TIPRA Motha seeks unity between tribals and non-tribals, as well as socio-economic growth for tribals, we can support them,” Chaudhury, a former minister, and Lok Sabha member says.
In northeast India, ten autonomous district councils (ADCs) facilitate the socioeconomic development of tribals, who account for between 27 and 28 per cent of the region’s overall population of approximately 45.58 million.
Three ADCs each in Assam, Meghalaya, and Mizoram, and one in Tripura comprise the ten ADCs established under the Sixth and Seventh Schedules of the Indian Constitution. The Manipur government established six ADCs to oversee tribal development.
Though the Central government repealed Article 370, which granted special status to the erstwhile state of Jammu & Kashmir, the Indian Constitution contains numerous special provisions under Articles 371 (A), 371 (B), 371 (C), 371 (G), 371 (H), and 244 to safeguard tribal traditions, culture, and overall development.
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Additionally, the Inner Line Permit (ILP) system is in effect in Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, and Mizoram, and was promulgated in Manipur on December 11, 2019, to permit inbound movement of Indian residents into ILP-enforced regions for a certain time with written approval from the state government.
Since 2019, Meghalaya has been agitating for the promulgation of the ILP, which is currently in existence under the Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulation, 1873.
The Central government has previously said that the Citizenship (Amendment) Act 2019 (CAA) will not apply to parts of northeastern states controlled by the ILP and ADC.
According to the 2011 census, tribals constitute 60% or more of the population in four of the eight northeastern states – Mizoram (94.4%), Nagaland (86.5%), Meghalaya (86.1%), and Arunachal Pradesh (68.8%) – while the remaining four states – Tripura (31.8%), Manipur (35.1%), Sikkim (33.8%) – have a reasonable tribal population (12.4 percent).