| Members of civil society groups take out a candlelight rally in Tripura on Sunday. Picture by UB Photos |
Agartala, Sept. 24: The state government’s decision to retain the words Ujjayanta Palace in the official name of Tripura State Museum has been welcomed across the state.
There had been strong protests against the state government’s move to omit the name of the palace from the official name of the museum, scheduled to be formally inaugurated by Vice-President Hamid Ansari.
The department of higher education issued a statement last night at the behest of chief minister Manik Sarkar, saying that the name will be retained.
The museum will henceforth be known as Tripura State Museum, Ujjayanta Palace, retaining the name of the abode of the state’s Tripura’s erstwhile princely rulers.
A statue of Tripura’s former king Radhakishore Manikya (1896-1909) who had completed the construction of the palace in the heart of Agartala town in 1901, will also be installed in front of the museum.
Indigenous Nationalist Party of Twipra president Bijay Kumar Hrangkhawal expressed satisfaction over the change in the state government’s stand and welcomed this as a “positive move”.
“We have to have respect history. Ujjayanta Palace is not mere brick, cement and marble but a historical site and a living symbol of our pride and heritage. The state government had erred in omitting its name earlier. However, it is good that the government has backed off from its adamant stand,” said Hrangkhawal.
The scion of Tripura’s royal Manikya dynasty, Pradyot Bikram Manikya Deb Barma, also welcomed the clarification issued by the department of higher education.
“It is a welcome decision and now there is no point of discord. After the new name of the government-run museum had been announced, I contacted minister for forest and industry Jiten Chowdhury and he was convinced of my stand,” he said.
The naming of the state museum had become a major political issue as the indigenous people, cutting across political affiliation, had come out in strong protest against the name.
Besides the INPT and IPFT, other groups had also launched protests over the issue.
The Tribal Students Federation (TSF), the student wing of the INPT, had taken out massive candlelight processions on two successive nights on Friday and Saturday.
PCC president Sudip Roy Barman had pledged the Congress’s support to the protest. He also welcomed the state government’s decision, saying the sentiments of the people must be respected.