By Monjib Mochahari
The Northeast India’s largest ethnic Bodo community relaunched its agitation for a separate homeland – Bodoland today. A massive number of people from across Assam are participating in today’s National Highway Blockade jointly called by influential All Bodo Students’ Union (ABSU), National Democratic Front of Boroland (NDFB) and other organisations engaged in the liberation struggle.
The Bodos have been demanding for a separate federal state within Indian union under Article 2 & 3 of the Constitution since the past six decades. ABSU and NDFB have been in peace talks for in the past several years, however, the successive Indian government fail to initiate any pragmatic political step to fulfil their political aspirations. Today’s call for national highway blockade in Assam is a renewed effort to pressurise government to re-initiate peace talks which the BJP governemnt at the Centre has been derailing in past two years.
Since the Modi government game to come to power in May 2014, not even a single peace talk was held. In contrast to their legitimate political demands, the Union government chose engaged in massive militarisation of the region leading to targetting of innocent civilians in fake encounters. Since 1986, thousands of people have been killed both by the state and non-stators actors. Frequent eruption of ethnic disputes among the interdependent communities have also resulted in displacement of thousands of people for several years. While women and children have fallen prey to the state actors.
Bodoland is a proposed state of India consisting of areas located in the extreme north on the north bank of the Brahmaputra River in the state of Assam, in north east region of India, by the foothills of Bhutan and Arunachal Pradesh. It is one of the most beautiful regions in eastern India. The region is predominantly inhabited by over one million indigenous Bodo people. Currently the map of Bodoland includes the Bodoland Territorial Area Districts (BTAD) administered by the Bodoland Territorial Council (BTC) and other parts covering over twenty-five thousands square kilometres. The territory came into existence under the BTC Accord in February 2003. The map of Bodoland overlaps with the districts of Kokrajhar, Baksa, Chirang and Udalguri in the state of Assam. At present, Kokrajhar serves as the capital of Bodoland Territorial Area Districts, an autonomous council formend under Sixth Schedule of India Constitution.