Martyrs and Martydom

By Monjib Mochahari, The Password. 09.07.2015

Today is 26th death anniversary of Bodoland Martyr Domonik Mochahari. He hails from remote Niz Jamphrabari village in Udalguri district. At the age of 24, he joined the Bodo movement launched by UN Brahma on 2nd March 1987. He remained a formidable force and an uncompromising revolutionary till his last breath on 9 July 1989. Most of his revolutionary comrades also died in the same year.

Bodoland Martyr Domonik Mochahari. (1956-1989)
Bodoland Martyr Domonik Mochahari (1956-1989)

He belonged to a generation during which most Bodo youths, including women were truly driven by the waves of nationalistic aspirations – Homeland. Obviously, an idea of nation, nationality and territory were at the core of their agitation. Like many revolutionary, the purity of his commitment for the marginalised Bodo community is reflected his martyrdom and sacrifice which the present Bodo leadership is afraid to make. He was dedicated, sincere and uncompromising personality which made him close confidante of UN Brahma. The language of his political imagination is still clearly audible in the region. Seriously.

Bodoland Martyrs' Memorial, Deborgaon, Kokrajhar.
Bodoland Martyrs’ Memorial, Deborgaon, Kokrajhar. Unfortunate the name plates of these martyrs were stolen in June 2015. No arrest have yet been made.

However post UN Brahma’s premature death in 1990, the situations have changed drastically as large sections of people, who claim to be the harbinger of change, are picking up the Bodoland issue as a licence to enter into power politics in search of greener pastures or self fulfilment or power. The larger political interest, say, the desire to be liberated from the colonial style political system is laid buried beneath the ground which we proudly say “OurHomeland”. In recent times, it’s power politics that drives the struggle.

Bodo leaders participating in the tripartite talks in New Delhi. June 2015
Bodo leaders participating in the tripartite talks in New Delhi. June 2015

Specifically, an ideological bankruptcy, which has become a sever problem in contemporary Bodo society, is putting the community at the risk of being extinction. And, those who died heroic in the course of the struggle, aproximatelty five thousand Bodo people, are fast disapearing from the nationalistic and political discourse. I would say, fantasy of patriotism is fast disappearing. Unless the originality of ideas of Bodo Movement is reimagined and reinvented, sooner than later, there is nothing tagible one may expect in the near future.

UN Brahma, 1987.
UN Brahma’s imagined Bodoland.
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