By Monjib Mochahari |https://posttruthinfo.wordpress.com |16 July 2015
A NEW TWIST in the nationalistic struggle of the Bodos in India’s northeast region is gradually taking a definite shape under the nose of the Bodo leadership. The call for an Autonomous Council by United Bodo People’s Organisation (UBPO) for Bodos living outside BTC area is doing the round. The State Government is likely to look into the issue of granting an autonomous council to the Bodo community people residing outside the BTAD region. UBPO was formed in the year 2010 at Sanjari Nwgwr, Simen Chapori in Dhemaji district to keep united all indigenous Bodo groups of people and to address their grievances. One may term it a political conspiracy, but unhealthy political culture in BTC itself laid the spadework for this new and dangerous political adventure.
During the 2nd annual conference of United Bodo People’s Organization (UBPO) held at Joypukuri, Sisupani in Golaghat district for two days concluded on 19 July 2015 with some important resolutions for the cause of the Bodos living outside the BTC region. The session witnessed participation of atleast 552 delegates from districts of outside BTC. They collectively decided to fight for creation of Boro-Kachari autonomous council outside BTC region for the protection of Boro-Kachari and other indigenous tribal people across Assam.
In a development, replying to Bodoland People’s Front MLA Pramila Rani Brahma and Congress MLA Bhupen Bora in the Assembly on 14 August 2015, Tribal Welfare Minister Sumitra Doley Patir said that she ‘would inform the Chief Minister about the demand for an autonomous council for the Bodos outside the BTAD.’ Earlier, raising the issue, Brahma said that while the Bodos in BTAD have secured certain rights after formation of the BTC, around seven lakh Bodo community people reside in areas not covered by the Sixth Schedule.
She said a Bodo Kachari Autonomous Council should be formed for protection of their language, culture and heritage and to solve their basic problems. Congress MLA Bora also supported the issue. “There are seven lakh Bodos residing outside the Sixth Schedule areas. Many communities, which are less numerous, have got autonomous councils,” he said. But the fundamental question remains perplexing, what energised Pramila Rani Brahma to single out the issue without raising her voice for Bodoland state? Is BPF choreographing new political move?
This is a defeat in the collective political imagination of the Bodos whose territorial demand spreads from Sakosh River in the West to Dhemaji in the east covering covering half of Assam’s geography. I would say, this political manoeuvre is a severe failure to Bodo leadership who started legitimizing BTC region as “Bodoland” after the peace settlement with Bodo Liberation Tigers (BLT) in February 2003. Unfortunatley, during the formation of Telegana state, both BPF MPs, Sansuma Khungur Bwiswmuthiary and Biswajit Daimary made a sever blunder by calling for creation of Bodoland by displaying the geographical map of four BTC districts (see in pic). Such callous display in public domains is exceedingly contributiong to reconceptualising the notion of Bodoland and creating a mental map among the younger generations whose political knowlegdge is not beyond disfunctional Bodoland Territorial Council.
The newly floated United People’s Party (UPP), a political party sponsored by All Bodo Students’Union (ABSU) and dysfunctional People’s Coordination for Democratic Rights (PCDR) is also contributing to marginalisation of the Bodos outside BTC. As decided, the party will have nine vice-presidents and 13 secretaries. It will have 23 organising secretaries and 17 CWC members from the four BTAD districts. Perhaps there is none from outside the Council. But why such an insenstive political decision was taken, if the genuine concerned is Bodoland state?
For Bodos living outside BTC, especially those whose confidence on present Bodo leadership is declining fast; this is clamour for an autonomous council is very significant that would lead to fulfilment of certain sociocultural and political aspirations in the long run. Both BAC Accord (1993) and BTC Accord 2003) marginalised them to the point of no return. At the time of BAC accord in 1993, more people in Sonitpur and Lakhimpur district died than the rest of Bodoland. Half of revolutionaries who are now celebrated as “Bodoland Martyrs” are from these two districts. Unfortunately, their sacrifice in the course during the agitation for homeland laid buried in the contest for accumulation of wealth and power struggle. Past two Bodo Accords gave them no oxygen to breathe. Not even a single provision was included in BAC/BTC peace-meal for Boros outside the Council.
If the current trend gains currency in the political corridors of Assam, the larger political ambition of the Bodos will crumble soon. And, those who oppose the very notion of Bodoland, will be more than happy to escalate this fraction within the Bodo political discourse. Seriously.