Agartala, Aug 17,
Meteis settled in Tripura, also called Takhel Leibak, are living a miserable life yet their sufferings are not reaching to the ears of Tripura government, Rajkumar Tarunjit, Editor of ‘Marup’, a Meeteilon newspaper in Tripura, said in an interview with our reporter.
He expressed the desire for the Manipur government to have a discussion with Tripura government and deal with the hardship of Meeteis and the close relationship between Manipur and Tripura.
Adding further, he said that since 1798 during Maharaj Bhagyachandra’s reign, Tripura’s history also has an important part wherein the kings married 14 Meetei women. After merging with the Indian Union in 1949, both Tripura and Manipur got statehood and went through various changes.
The Tripura of that time had around 150 Meitei villages, but there are less than 100 now, he further expressed, and Mekhli Para, founded in 1798, which was first inhabited by Meiteis, do not have any Meetei inhabitants now. It was first settled by king’s servants from Manipur and Bamons. Bhagyachandra married off his daughter to the king of Tripura and the first Raas Leela performed in Tripura had Maharani Hariswari leading the Gopis, he added.
The tradition is still celebrated by the Meeteis of Tripura till date.
He continued that Marup was first published on May 8, 1969, by R.K. Kamaljit in order to preserve Meeteilon, our culture, tradition, and news about Meeteis since no other newspaper had ever published any news about the Manipuris in Tripura.
He said that the Meeteis of Tripura have been trying to preserve Manipuri culture and they have been trying to build a Culture Centre, but failed to do so. Even the leaders from Manipur not visiting Tripura and encouraging others add up to the issues because the Meiteis of Tripura also cannot take up the job full time because they also live scattered.
He expressed his concern that though the Meiteis in Tripura are preserving the culture and language, this will also slowly disappear. He expressed the need to put words into action, and for that that they had written a letter to the former Manipur government to build a Tripura Manipur Bhavan, but all in vain till now. He added that the Manipur Bhavan is not for Tripura, it is for the Manipuri Meiteis visiting Tripura from Manipur.
Rabi Takhellambam, a resident of Kairembikhok Mayai Leikai, ThoubaI District has been in the field of Journalism for more than 10 years. Rabi, is well known for his reporting from Thoubal side and Indo-Myanmar border. Rabi is also a member of All Manipur Working Journalist Union, the parent body of Journalist Union in Manipur. He can be contacted by email at [email protected]