Detoxification in Progress: After Marx-Engels Sarani, Agartala Airport Renamed after Maharaja Bir Bikram Kishore Manikya
Organiser   05-Jul-2018

The cabinet decision to rename the Agartala airport as a befitting tribute to the last king of Tripura, Maharaja Bir Bikram Manikya Kishore, creates euphoria among tribals




The Union Cabinet, chaired by the Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, gave its approval to rename the Agartala Airport in Tripura as ‘Maharaja Bir Bikram Manikya Kishore Airport, Agartala on July 4. The decision comes in the wake of the long pending demand of people of Tripura as well as the Tripura Government for paying tribute to its last king, Maharaja Bir Bikram Manikya Kishore.

Maharaja Bir Bikram Manikya Kishore, who ascended the throne of the erstwhile Tripura Princely State in 1923, was an enlightened and benevolent ruler. Agartala Airport was constructed in 1942 on the land donated by Maharaja Bir Bikram Manikya Kishore. As a visionary ruler, who had travelled extensively across the globe, he took several steps for the all-round development of Tripura. Due to his initiative, an aerodrome at Agartala was constructed that has evolved as the second busiest airport in the North East and provides crucial air connectivity to Tripura. Hence, it is apt to rename the Agartala Airport after his name, which will be a befitting tribute to Maharaja Bir Bikram Manikya Kishore.

Renaming it after the state"s erstwhile tribal king was a poll promise of the BJP which went on to capture power by ousting the Left Front. The state"s royal family welcomed the Centre"s decision.  
"I welcome the move. It was in the manifesto of BJP as well as Congress. I am glad that the promise has been kept by the government. Maharaj Bir Bikram had built the airport when there were very few airports in the country. His contributions were not recognised by the Communists. Today is my birthday. So, it"s a birthday gift for me," Maharaja Bir Bikram"s grandson and Congress leader, Pradyut Kishore Manikya, told the media.

Deputy Chief Minister Jishnu Dev Varma, a member of Vanvasi community, hailed the decision. "I express my deep gratitude to the Hon"Ble Prime Minister Sri @narendramodi ji for taking this magnanimous step in naming the Agartala Airport as Maharaja Bir Bikram Manikya Airport. This is indeed a historical moment for us," the Deputy CM tweeted.

As a part of ideological detoxification of the state ruled by Communists for quarter-century, it has been a key agenda of the BJP to highlight nationalistic views in all spheres of life. As the first right step forward in this direction, the newly elected BJP government had renamed Marx-Engels Sarani as Dr Syama Prasad Mookherjee Road in April.