Editorial

Mass Literacy Day….The Background

Gana Mukti Parishad the GMP observed 76th Mass Literacy Day on Sunday. Main discussion program was organized in Agartala Town Hall. Former MP Jitendra Chowdhury and minister Aghore Debbarma were among the attendees. Opposition leader Manik Sarkar also attended the discussion program. Earlier Jitendra Chowdhury hoisted a party flag in CPI-M party office to mark the 76th Janashiksha Diwas in Tripura. On 27 December 1945 AD (11th Pousa of 1352 BE) the “Tripura Janashiksha Samiti” came into being at Durga choudhury Para under the Jirania Block. This organization was established by some enlightened Tripuri youths with an avowed object to set up schools and spread education among the children of the down-trodden Tripuri’s in the state of Tripura. At that time, the movement of the Janasiksha Samiti speedily transformed into a mass movement. The Samiti could establish 488 primary schools in different remote areas of the state with the active co-operation, financial help and labour of the mass people. Subsequently in 1950-51, most of these schools were recognised by the State Government. The Samiti also published the first Kokborok Magazine “Kwtal Kothoma” in 1954 AD under Sudhanya Deb Barma. Till 1949, there was not a single primary school in the tribal areas, the literacy rate was 3 per cent, there was no health care system, not a single kilometre of road had been built and not a single state welfare scheme existed for the common people. Under these circumstances, a group of tribal youth led by Comrades Dasaratha Deb and Sudhannya Debbarma, who are popularly known and respected as the apostles of Tripura’s literacy and democratic movement, formed the ‘Janashiksha Samiti’ (Movement for Literacy) on December 27,1945. Despite the lack of support from the feudal lords, the movement gained tremendous momentum, which helped in setting up more than 400 schools, completely based on peoples’ contributions. The Janashiksha Samiti became a democratic movement and formed the ‘Tripura Rajya Gana Mukti Parishad’ (GMP) in May 1948. In its first public appearance on August 15, 1948, the GMP raised the following slogans: We want a government elected by the people and the immediate abolition of monarchy; down with the puppet regime dictated by the Delhi dovernment; release of all political prisoners without any pre-conditions; withdrawal of all warrants against the leaders of the mass movement; stop the police and military atrocities upon innocent people; none can be arrested without assigning any valid charges; inquilab zindabad. Since then the GMP has been a formidable force in building the Left and democratic movement in Tripura. In its long journey of more than six decades, the GMP has always been one of the strongest vanguards of communal harmony, defending the rights of the downtrodden and advocating the ideology of social emancipation. This made it possible to send Communists to the Lok Sabha since 1952 as the voice of the poor and underprivileged. 

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