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Tripura (India)

Twipra - Borok Nation

Last modified: 2011-03-18 by ian macdonald
Keywords: india | tripura | twipra | borok nation |
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Flag of Tripura, India image by Chrystian Kretowicz, 19 April 2009

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Tripura (Twipra - Borok Nation)

Tripura is a state in North-East India, with an area of 4,036 sq. mi. or 10,453 km˛. Population: @ 3 200 000. Tripura is surrounded by Bangladesh on the north, south, and west. The Indian states of Assam and Mizoram lie to the east. The capital is Agartala and the main languages spoken are Bengali and Kokborok (also known as Tripuri). It was formerly an independent Tripuri kingdom and was merged with independent India on 15 October 1949 by the Tripura Merger Agreement. It was also known as Hill Tippera (anglicized version of Tipra) during the British Raj period and has a history of over 2500 years and 186 kings.
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"Prior to the merger with Indian union in Oct. 15, 1949, Twipra, a princely independent state was a peaceful and self-sufficient endowed with all resources of revenue and income. After the partition (1947) of the Indian subcontinent (India and Pakistan) and the subsequent merger of Twipra with India, there had been unprecedented influx of foreign nationals in to the state of present Twipra, particularly the Bengali Hindus from erstwhile East Pakistan, now Bangladesh and mainland India. Before the merger the Borok people who were in absolute majority in their own homeland (Twipra) and accounted for more than 99% of the total population of the present state of Twipra, have now been reduced to a mere 31% (as per 2001 Census) in the state. In fact, Twipra is the only state in India and one of the few places in the world in the 20th century whose indigenous people have been transformed from being a numerical majority and ruling community in to a minority with almost no economic and political back bone within 56 years of the merger (i.e. 1949-2005). Such a dramatic change in the demographic profile of the state has had wide ranging economic, political, cultural, religious and social implications for its people. But till now there has been no protective measures taken by either the Twipra state Government or the central to prevent the unabated process of infiltration in to the state. Thus, the demographic profile of the state has threatened the very existence of the Borok people in their native land. If this trend continues in Twipra for another 50 years the Borok people will certainly be wiped out from the demographic scene of Twipra state."

James B. Minahan (Encyclopedia of the Stateless Nations - Ethnic and National Groups Around the World - volume IV) presents a flag of the Tripuris: "The Tripuri national flag, the flag of the national movement, is a pale blue field bearing a single green five-pointed star on the upper hoist." Mr.Minahan doesn't specify what "national movement" it can be.
Chrystian Kretowicz, 19 April 2009

NLFT - National Liberation Front of Tripura

Flag of National Liberation Front of Tripura, India image by Chrystian Kretowicz, 19 April 2009

Ethnic conflict in Tripura is described in considerable detail at:
Among many liberation organization in Tripura / Twipra the most important are NLFT - National Liberation Front of Tripura, ATTF - All Tripura Tiger Force and BNCT - Borok National Council of Tripura.
"The National Liberation Front of Tripura (NLFT) was formed on March 12, 1989, with Dhananjoy Reang (former Vice-President of the Tripura National Volunteers) as its "chairman". Reang after being "expelled" from the NLFT in 1993 formed a separate outfit, the Tripura Resurrection Army (TRA), but surrendered in the year 1997. After Reang’s removal, Nayanbasi Jamatiya became leader of the outfit and later Biswamohan Debbarma took over. However, another split occurred in September 2000 following differences between the Halam and Debbarma tribal members of the NLFT. Thus, the Borok National Council of Tripura (BNCT) was formed by Jogendra alias Joshua Debbarma. Personal ambitions of the leaders and parochial religious considerations are believed to have caused yet another split in 2001 when Nayanbasi Jamatiya and Biswamohan Debbarma parted ways from the parent outfit to have factions of the NLFT under their respective leaderships. Further, the fourth split is said to have occurred in June 2003 when Biswamohan Debbarma was deposed allegedly at the behest of NLFT's patrons inside Bangladesh and Mantu Koloi was placed as the leader of that faction. Debbarma is reported to have subsequently set up separate camps on the Tripura-Bangladesh border with his followers.

The NLFT was outlawed in April 1997 under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967, following its involvement in terrorist and subversive activities. It is also proscribed under the Prevention of Terrorism Act (POTA), 2002.

The purported objective of the NLFT is to establish an "independent" Tripura through an armed struggle following the liberation from "Indian neo-colonialism and imperialism" and furtherance of a "distinct and independent identity"."

FLAG: The Flag of NLFT (or TNLF - Twipra National Liberation Front - that's how they prefer to be called) shall be Tri-colour in the ratio of 3:2 size(length to breadth) comprising of green, white and red colour and a star shall be affixed on the middle of green portion.
(1) Green colour - It signifies 'Sovereignty' of the land (country) where we live.
(2) White colour - It signifies 'Peace' of the land who are peace loving and they shall continue to fight/struggle for their peaceful means.
(3) Red colour - It signifies 'Revolution'. The peace loving people will get down to revolution to achieve their goals/right at the cost of even bloodshed if it so warranted.
(4) Star - A star on the green portion of the Flag signifies to be the guiding anchor for the whole Borok nation.

My rendition of this flag has a "fat" star slightly tilted, while Jaume has a straight star on Catalan wikipedia:'Alliberament_Nacional_de_Tripura. Those must be variants, as the shape of the star is not elaborated in the constitution of TNLF.
Chrystian Kretowicz, 19 April 2009

All Tripura Tiger Force (ATTF)

Flag of All Tripura Tiger Force, India image by Jaume Ollé, 19 April 2009

The All Tripura Tiger Force (ATTF) was originally founded as All Tripura Tribal Force on July 11, 1990, by a group of former Tripura National Volunteers (TNV) terrorists, who under the leadership of Ranjit Debbarma dissociated themselves from a faction of the TNV led by Lalit Debbarma which surrendered arms in accordance with the August 1988 Accord concluded between the TNV and the Union government. According to the ATTF, the outfit rechristened itself as All Tripura Tiger Force by substituting the word 'Tribal' with 'Tiger' sometime in 1992.

It was initially a small group of tribal extremists who operated in pockets of North and South Tripura districts. Gradually, it began mobilising manpower by recruiting tribal youth and enhancing the firepower of its cadres. And by year 1991, it emerged as a formidable terrorist group in Tripura. However, more than 1,600 cadres surrendered by March 1994, under an amnesty scheme offered by the State Government. A group of ATTF cadres which did not surrender revived the ATTF. It was subsequently banned in April 1997 under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967. Over the years, the ATTF either formed or was associated with fringe terrorist/criminal groupings such as the Tripura Tribal Youth Force (TTYF), the Tripura Liberation Organization (TLO), the Tripura Young Rifle (TYR), the Tripura Lion Force (TLF) and the Tripura National Army (TNA). Most of these groups, however, have ceased to exist.

According to the available literature, the outfit's objectives are:
1. Expulsion of all Bengali-speaking immigrant settlers who entered Tripura after 1956.
2. Restoration of land to tribals under 'Tripura Land Revenue and Land Reforms Act', 1960.
3. Removal of names of migrants who entered Tripura after 1956 from the electoral roll.
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All Tripura Tiger Force has a beautiful flag - a tiger in full sprint on the green field.
Chrystian Kretowicz, 19 April 2009

I wonder if a faulty zoology is at play here, because the animal is spotted, not striped, and looks rather like a cheetah at first sight?
Knut, 24 February 2011

Also, it might be questioned if the tiger should be depicted in natural colors; the Constitution of the All Tripura Tiger Force, Article No. 14 - Flag and Symbol says:

(i) A. The flag will be coloured as green base with red colour organisation symbol. The measurement of the flag will be 3 :2.
(ii) B. In case if need the symbol of the flag with its colour will be changed.

Unfortunately, there is no further description of what that symbol is. Obviously, from the name of the organization it would be logical to think it may include a tiger, but that is not explicitly stated. And whatever it is, the main version should have it in red, although variants are possible.
Ned Smith, 26 February 2011

Tribal Youth Federation

Flag of Tribal Youth Federation, India image by Chrystian Kretowicz, 19 April 2009

There is also the flag of the "Tribal Youth Federation (in Bengali Upajati Juba Federation) which is an organization affiliated to Democratic Youth Federation of India in Tripura. TYF organizes youth from the tribal populations of the state. TYF has a separate central committee and publishes Bini Kharad (Our Voice). The supreme body of TYF is the Central Conference. TYF was founded in 1967 to counter the influence of Tripura Upajati Juba Samiti. TYF works in close coordination with Ganamukti Parishad and is often considered as the youth wing of GMP."
Chrystian Kretowicz, 19 April 2009

Borok National Council of Twipra

The flag of Borok National Council of Twipra (Tripura) is still elusive.
Chrystian Kretowicz, 19 April 2009