Dream of Bodoland Cut to Size

By Monjib Mochahari |https://posttruthinfo.wordpress.com

In poll moods, Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi has bugled to create a separate Boro-Kachari Autonomous Development Council for Bodo-Kachari people living outside the BTAD. This is part of his decision to create six new development councils and 20 civil subdivisions. The United Bodo People’s Organisation (UBPO), formed by Bodo-Kachari people living outside the BTAD already welcomed the decision.

This a good news for people who saw no hope in Bodo politics controlled by leadership from Kokrajhar district. Such decision is against the interest of the Bodo nation. Assam has seen a record number of dysfunctional autonomous councils in recent years. It will potentially harm the Bodo political imagination. It is not convincing whether there is any reason to celebrate over this untimely decision of the government afterall it is unlikely to be created under any Constitutional framework.

Northeast has seen a record number of dysfunctional autonomous councils in the past. Such Councils neither enjoy any political or financial autonomy nor included in the Sixth Schedule of Constitution, but tied to party politics in order to consolidate their presence in tribal domains. More often these Councils are formed to silence tribal leadership as well as to siphon off public funds.

Seiously, this immatured political decision will go a long way in deminishing the very notion of Bodoland which spreads from Sankosh River in the West to Sadiya in the East covering over 25 thousand square kilometres (all recognised tribal belts and blocks). It pains us that such conspirarcies are being staged to further divide the community. Arguably, inability and infighting among the Bodo leadership immensely contributed to this prompt decision of the Gogoi govt who saw it as an opportune moment to derail the territorial demands of the Bodos.

Over the years, the successive Bodo leadership irrespective of the party they belong, were not able to hold unto the notion of united Bodoland. This symptom was reflected right from the formation of Bodoland Autonomous Council (BAC) in 1993 when All Bodo Students’ Union (ABSU) decided to settle for a quarter of its total geographical demand. It has repeated in the formation of Bodoland Territorial Council (BTC) in February 2003 when Bodo Liberation Tiger Force (BLTF) agreed to the settlement plan of the govt without considering the larger territorial demands of the community. In fact, the leadership from Sonitpur, Lakhimpur, Dhemaji and other places, at the time of peace negotiation with BLT were kept in the dark till the last minute. What is even more disapointing is that not even a single provision is included in BTC Act for people living in those areas. Absolutely nothing. How can Bodo leadership go terribly so wrong?

In the recent past, particularly when Telengana was created two prominent Bodo MPs were seen holding the maps of BTC and urging it to convert into Bodo state. Thus signalling that the demand for Bodoland does not extend beyond BTC. Newly formed People’s Coordination for Democratic Rights (PCDR), now renamed as United Poeple’s Party (UPP) also failed to walk in the political terrains outside BTC. And thus, adding a thick layer of confusion in the minds of Bodos living outside BTC area who need an equal political rights to escape from the political entrapment of the state government.

Isn’t it the case of not feeling the pains of our fellows who sacrificed equally for Bodoland for decades? Have we forgot the Gophur Genocide of 1989 when hundreds of innocent Bodo people were killed? What matters most: the power politics or the fight for UdangBodoland?

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