An NGO has slammed the Tripura government, for using the Durbar Hall of Ujjayanta Palace to host a dinner for delegates to the Science-20 conference under India’s G-20 presidency in Agartala.
It was the home and headquarters of the erstwhile ruler Manikya dynasty.
Royal scion and convenor of the Tripura chapter of the Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH), MK Pragya Deb Barman, while condemning the dinner held on April 3 at the Durbar Hall of Ujjayant Palace, said that as the name suggests , Durbar Hall is not just a room but a historical and holy place.
She said- Durbar Hall is our identity and respected in our state for more than 122 years. It was used for the coronation of the rulers of Tripura which were religious and important in nature, for official purposes and never for entertainment or food!
A two-day Science-20 conference under India’s G-20 presidency was held in Agartala on Monday and Tuesday with the participation of 150 delegates, including representatives from 12 G-20 members including China, the US, the UK, Australia and Brazil.
Deb Burman said that while Ujjayant Palace was used as the state assembly building in the past, before becoming the state multicultural museum in 2013, it was used for official purposes by the speaker of the assembly.
INTACH Convener said- Unfortunately, the identity of the Durbar Hall is now being tarnished by the state government and it has shocked us. On one hand they talk about respecting our age old Indian culture, visionary Maharajas and our rich historical past but on the other hand there are parties, such hypocrisy the public should know and condemn.
She said the dinner could be organized at the hotel but the authorities suddenly decided that the Durbar Hall should be used for entertaining the delegates.
The dilapidated idol placed where the throne used to be and the food arrangement in the hall is disrespectful and shows disrespect to our heritage.
I sincerely hope that this holy place will not be converted into a party or dining room in the future.
Deb Barman said- There was a plan by the museum authorities to reconstruct the Durbar Hall with the aim of educating our fellow citizens but with this attitude, we are afraid and request the state government of Tripura to respect our historical sites and restore it.
INTACH was established in 1984 in New Delhi with a vision of heritage awareness and conservation in India.
Historian and author Salil Debbarma told IANS that on October 15, 1949, after a merger agreement was signed between the regent Maharani Kanchana Prabha Devi and the Indian governor general, at the end of 1,355 years of rule by 184 kings, Tripura the then princely state came under the control of the Government of India.