Question of Political Liberation of the Bodos

By Monjib Mochahari

A Gandhi’s poster and India’s flag affront the indefinite hunger strike in Kokrajhar town, has its own message. Is the government reading it? This a call for peaceful liberation of the Bodos from the political entrapment of Indian state Assam where tribal communities have a very little say in the political affairs of the states.

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An indefinite mass hunger strike for Bodoland enters third day. “This fight will continue till we see Bodoland in India’s geopolitical map,” says youth who is participating in the strike organized in Kokrajhar town. Three influential Bodo organizations – All Bodo Students’ Union, National Democratic Front of Boroland and People’s Joint Action Committee for Boroland Movement are leading the strike calling for an immediate for political solution to the long standing demand for complete bifurcation of Assam into two states.

At least seven thousand people, including women from across the region have participated on the first day of the strike. Heavy rains couldn’t stop people from flocking to the venue. It is growing in numbers on the third day. Physical weakness is seen in everyone’s face. They have taken neither food nor water in past two days – but firm on their decision. People are willing to fast unto death till the Union government initiate a political dialogue on the issue that has been lingering for over six decades in India’s federal state – Assam.

Regional political player, Bodoland People’s Front which shares power with BJP in Dispur and also governs the 46-member Bodoland Territorial Council (BTC), is however not in the vicinity although most of the present BPF’s members were leaders of the erstwhile Bodo Liberation Tiger Forces (BLT), an armed group which demanded for creation of a separate Bodo homeland between 1996 and 2000.

Since the late 1980s, over ten thousand people have died in the agitation, but peace is still illusive. Two peace accords were reached in 1993 and 2003, but failed as the demand for political autonomy is not event part of the peace accords. “The BTC accord with BLTF reached in February 2003 didn’t address this demand for separation of Assam into two states instead created a dysfunctional territorial council which cannot even fulfill the basic socioeconomic aspirations of over four million populations living in four districts under its jurisdiction,” says a former influential leader in Udalguri district.

“After BJP came to power in the Center not a single meaningful dialogue was held although the party promised to look into the matter during the last general elections in 2014. Nothing has happened yet,” says another activist who has been associated with ABSU for over three decades. Armed revolutionary group, NDFB entered into ceasefire with Indian government in 2005.

After twelve years, political dialogue with the outfit is to take off. “The Union government has neither honoured the demand nor serious about finding a long term solution to the issue. The government is simply testing our patience in the ceasefire camp. Moreover, the successive state government has only shown its smartness in opposition to the peaceful settlement of the demand. We will not give up nor will surrender to the ill political game plan of the Centre,” feels a NDFB leader.

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The demand for political autonomy is significant politically, economically and even in terms of governance. It is a proposed state consisting of areas located in the extreme north on the north bank of the Brahmaputra River in Assam, by the foothills of Bhutan and Arunachal Pradesh. The region is predominantly inhabited by over two million indigenous Bodo people. Currently the map of Bodoland overlaps BTC and other parts covering over twenty-five thousands square kilometres.

“This region is one of the poorest regions in India. All communities, including tribal and non-tribal are equally deprived off by the successive state and the central governments. While Upper Assam region which has produced almost all Chief Minister since 1947 – is better off due to its oil and tea industries and implementation of various government schemes in the past several decades. Most development schemes – whether setting up industries, academic institutions or colleges, it is the upper Assam which always gets priority. The lower Assam particularly the Bodoland region however is always placed in the footnote of development map. Look at the recent Assam budget there is hardly anything for people in the region,” feels one assistant professor associated with Bodoland University, Kokrajhar. “It is the only University in the entire region. How can people develop when there is a total abdication of state responsibilities towards this huge region having over ten million populations,” he argues.

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The demand for a separate homeland is contested in politics and academics as the exclusive demand of the community, and thus overlooking the development aspirations in the entire region. “It is not just the Bodo community, but all communities who continue to experience state apathy when it comes to development. Bodo community, which is the largest group in the entire Northeast India, only gets the blame for speaking the language of development, political autonomy and illegal Bangladeshi immigrants who are endangering the local communities across Assam. This demand is for all, people have to realize it soon than later. Non-tribal communities who oppose our demands have two choices – either they extend support or face the music of illegal immigrants who will one day occupy their lands inch by inch,” says an academician in Gauhati University.

“Every community wants to be recognized as “tribal” in Assam today, but not a single non-tribal community, including the political class wants to see socioeconomic and political emancipation of present tribal communities in the state,” laments a tribal intellectuals who is seriously concerned about the demand for schedule tribe status by six-non tribal communities in Assam.

“They can’t keep on forming fragile groups such as Oboros and resist the demand of the region. Political solution to Bodo demand is in the nation’s interest. If this is not fulfilled at the earliest various forms agitation will engulf the region in the days to come, as you can see now taking place in Kokrjahar now,” says another youth who is pursuing his post graduate study on peace and conflict studies.

A Gandhi’s poster and India’s flag affront the hunger strike, has its own message. Is the government reading it? It isn’t just a mental illusion, but a call for peaceful liberation of the Bodos from the political entrapment of Indian state Assam where tribal communities have little say in the affairs of the states.

 

Centre, Assam Govt Ignoring Illegal Bangladeshi Migrants Issue: Bodo Groups

19 March 2017

Bodo groups in Assam, including the All Bodo Students Union (ABSU) and Bodo People’s Front (BPF), are up in arms against the Centre and the state government for being “soft” on illegal migrants from Bangladesh, who they say are swarming Bodo-dominated areas.

ABSU, which has revived its agitation for a separate Bodoland state in October 2016, accuses the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led Assam government of adopting a “careless and mild approach” to the fast-rising population of illegal Bangladeshi migrants in their areas.

The BPF, a party in coalition with the state government, maintains that the central leaders are not willing to solve the issue as they do not understand the gravity of the problem.

“Today the situation is such that illegal migrants have encroached not just on our forest lands but also other areas. The BJP state government is extremely careless on the issue. Assam is going to lose everything, as the indigenous Bodo people are facing the threat of major illegal migrants influx,” Pramod Bodo, President of ABSU, told IANS.

He said that only Bodos have rights to areas belonging to the community in Assam, and they won’t accept any government decision to give land to illegal Bangladeshi immigrants, irrespective of whether they are Muslims or Hindus. He said the Bodoland Territorial Area Districts (BTAD) have been witnessing a constant rise in the number of illegal Bangladeshi immigrants for several years, with the population now standing at nearly 250,000. In 2012, a major riot broke out between the Bodos and Bengali Muslims in BTAD which left over 70 people dead and rendered 400,000 homeless.

BPF, which operates the BTAD, feels that the issue of illegal migrants has turned grave. BTAD areas include Kokrajhar, Chirang, Udalguri and Baksha — a total of 8,969.98 sq km. “In Assam the problem of illegal immigrants is turning grave. Whichever government has come till now has not shown any interest in dealing with the issue. Our Indian national leaders are not interested. If they were keen then the problem would have been solved much earlier,” Biswajit Daimary, a senior leader of BPF and a Rajya Sabha MP from Assam, told IANS.

According to Daimary, the central government “does not understand” the problem that rising population of illegal migrants poses in tribal areas of Assam. “If the central leaders, either the BJP or the former government, had cared to understand the problems of Bodos, then solving them would have become very easy,” said Daimary.

According to Assam Police, Bangladeshi immigrants have encroached on the land of Bodos, including reserve forest land. “There is a huge influx of illegal immigrants in the BTAD areas. In fact, large sections of them have started encroaching on the reserve forest situated in BTAD areas,” said a senior Assam Police officer, who did not want to be identified.

Asked why the Police were not evicting illegal migrants from the forest land, the officer said, “There needs to be an order by the government. Until there is an order nothing can be done.” The BJP has, however, denied that it is “soft” on the issue of rising illegal Bangladeshi migrants in Bodo areas or the rest of Assam.

“The Assam government is certainly taking stringent initiatives against illegal immigrants in Assam. There is a legal procedure to identify them and we are doing it. The BJP is not at all soft on the issue of illegal immigrants,” Bhabesh Kalita, General Secretary of BJP Assam Pradesh, told IANS.

Courtesy: http://www.northeasttoday.in

Sisir Kumar Suni: The Founder Of Bodo Music

Sisir Kumar Suni: The founder of Bodo Musical notation in Assam.

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Doyen of Bodo Music: 

Music legend Sisir Kumar Suni is now 84 years old and confined to the periphery of his home. Forgotten by the Assamese music world, Suni keeps himself engaged with his never ending musical activities in his home at Bengbari village, five km from Tangla town in Udalguri district of the state. Sisir Suni will always be remembered as the founder of Bodo Musical notation in Assam. It was through his efforts that the Bodo folk dance, ‘Kherai’ was performed on stage for the first time in 1955.

He was also the first music director of Bodo modern song broadcast through AIR Guwahati in 1977. He was the person behind the BOOK “GWTHANG DENKHW” published in 1994. He also composed notation on Kamrupia Lokgeet in a book ‘Sodomsri’ published in 1995.Suni composed more than hundred songs which have already been published in many books. He composed Assamese notation of modern songs, Jyoti Sangeet, Rabha Sangeet, Bhupendra Sangeet, Kamrupi folk songs, Bihu songs etc.

Age may have restricted his bodily movements, but his spirit is still determined to find newer ventures and remains optimistic about systemic research and practice of traditional folk culture of Assam in their original style. Preferring to maintain a low profile, this octogenarian music maestro is now living alone at Bengbari. He loves to play violin most of the time although he plays other musical instruments like Spanish guitar, Hawaiian guitar, mandolin, piano, organ, accordion etc. While talking to Northeast Today, Suni expressed unhappiness at the present day status of Assamese ethnic folk song and dances.”If not preserved with notation, all will be lost in the midst of remix culture,” he said. He was also critical of government policy towards singers, actors and musicians.”

Anybody with Radio and TV background gets government recognition leaving behind genuine artists,” he added. He mentioned Dr Nirmal Prabha Bordoloi, Mukul Barua and Pulak Banerjee as his favourite artists. Unfortunately, even after so much of his contribution to the Assamese music society, Sisir Suni is yet to receive government pension or recognition.Suni had been a close associate of Bishnu Rabha,who was a regular visitor to his house at Bengbari when Kalaguru had been underground. Sisir Kumar Suni was born on November 20 in 1932 at Bengbari.

He was the eldest son of Dr.James Suni and singer Giribala Suni. Completing primary education at Bengbari LP School, he joined Bengbari Mission School in 1942. He also established the Bengbari ME School in association with late Nabin Chandra Medhi. Courtesy: http://www.northeasttoday.in

 

 

Three Time National Athletics Champion Now A Daily Wage Labourer

Youth Ki Awaaz, February 9, 2017
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Mrs Lilawati Daimary

 

An earlier article on Youth Ki Awaaz on Buli Basumatary was fruitful in helping her get noticed by the government.

Another story of a lady who was once a Three Time National Champion in Athletics, and is now living in poverty, casts a shadow on the miserable life of thousands of sports persons in India.

The story of Lilawati Daimary from Baksa district of Assam is indeed a testimony to how any sport other than cricket is completely ignored by most of us.

She began training for Athletics in her own village without any professional trainer and her talent was spotted by the officials of the district sports association.

She was one of the most promising players during the 1970s as she started her journey in the field of athletics by representing her district in various inter-district championships held all over the state.

She managed to outperform everyone and it was not too long before her talent was noticed by the officials from the State Athletics Association.

She participated in the 12th National Athletics Championship in the year 1974 organized by the then Amateur Athletic Federation of India which is now called Athletics Federation of India (AFI) where she managed to win a gold medal in the javelin throw competition.

She continued her outstanding performances by winning another gold medal in the National Athletics Championships held in Hyderabad in the year 1975.

She won a hat trick of gold medals when she won a gold medal for the third time in the year 1976 in the National Athletics Championships in Kottayam.

Though she won many medals in different championships all over the country, she couldn’t carry forward her career in sports. She couldn’t get much help from the government either.

She says, “I had a dream to represent India in different International Championships and that dream seemed to be practical when I won three gold medals in three consecutive National Championships but later I realized that it is difficult to excel in sports in a country like India”.

When asked about whether she got any financial help from the government, she says,”Till today I did not get any financial help from the government and I feel it is futile to expect any help from the government”.

She is now an old lady living in poverty and she has to sometimes work as a daily wage labourer to sustain her family. She lives with her husband and a son.

Her story is indeed one among the thousands of talented sports persons who are leading a miserable life.

It is a sad reality of how difficult it is to excel in the field of sports when you come from an economically weaker background.

It should not be surprising for us to hear our parents saying not to take up sports as a career as it is very difficult to excel in the field of sports.

Unless the government takes steps to encourage sports persons by helping them, the stigma that it is very difficult to excel in sports will always deter talented sports persons from excelling in International Events.

Buli Basumatary : from National Award winner to street vendor

Buli Basumatary, an award winning archery player from Assam is now living life as a street vendor.

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Buli, who is from the Chirang district of Assam was once a famous name in the world of sports. Buli, had been trained by the Sports Authority of India (SAI) in 2004, and bagged two gold and one silver in the National Sub Junior Archery Championship held in Rajasthan. She also bagged a gold medal and a silver in the National Junior Archery Championship held in Maharashtra. Buli made it to the news after she claimed the gold medal in 50 metre event in the National Senior Archery Championship held in Jharkhand. Apart from these, she also has many state and regional awards in her account.
Buli’s life took a turn in the year 2010, after she sufferred physical injuries that compelled her to stay away from sports for a long time. Buli is just another name in the world of sports that faded away due to economic constraints. “She was compelled to quit her practice, as we were not able to purchase the expensive bows and arrows for her. We never got any help from the Government either” said Buli’s family members.
Buli, a wife and a mother of two children at present, sells oranges on the street today to feed her family. Buli could be seen as a street vendor on the streets of NH-31 at Samthaibari, near Indo-Bhutan borders. During free hours, Buli trains 4 aspiring students at Sidli-Koshikotra Higher Secondary school.
“I have tried multiple times to get into Paramilitary Forces, but failed,” said Buli.
Courtesy: G-Plus

Understanding the history of the Bodos

By Kalidash Brahma

Understanding the history of ancient Assam has been a difficult task for the historians as well as the conscious masses since long. It has been so for there is dearth of historical remnants or monument of the past Kingdoms or the civilization. Sir Edward Gait remarked that ‘the science of history was unknown to the early inhabitants of Assam, and it is not till the Ahom invasion in 1228A.D. that we obtain anything at all approaching a connected account of the people and their rulers. For several hundred years previously some scatter fact may be gleaned from a few ancient inscriptions and from the observations of a Chinese traveler. Before then nothing definite is known, and our only information consist of some dubious and fragmentary references in the Mahabharat, and in the Purans and Tantras and other similar records.’[1] This paper will make an attempt to understand the history of the Great Bodos with the help of the toponamy of the entire north and north east India for it will help us to reduce some of the controversies   regarding the original inhabitants of the entire region. Here the term ‘Bodo’ will be used to meant all Bodo groups of people like Bodos (Boros), Rabhas, Dimasa, Garos, Lalungs and Tripuris who were once upon a time known as Kiratas, Mlecchhas, Danavas and Asura and ruled the entire north and north east India for many centuries.

History says that the Bodos, known as Kiratas, Asuras, Danavas and Mlecchhas in the ancient period of time, were the earliest inhabitants of the Northeastern region of India. However, it has been challenged by many scholars who believed that the Austric were the earliest inhabitants of the region. This paper makes an attempt to argue in favour of the former i.e. the Bodos were the earliest inhabitants of the region. Here some of the nomenclatures of the place and rivers in ancient India (i.e. its North and Northeastern Part) are explained for our understanding.

  1. Barak Valley/ River: This Valley/River exists in the southern part of present state of Assam which was a part of the ancient Kamrup Kingdom. The Kachari Kingdom came to an end in the year 1854 in this Valley.  If we analyse the term ‘Barak’ it can be assumed that the term has been derived from the word ‘Bara’ or ‘Boro’, the original inhabitants of the region. In Kok Borok, another group of the great Bodos the word ‘Barak’ means man. Perhaps because of the manly attitude of the river it was named as or became popular as Barak (Man) in the region.
  2. Dinajpur (West Bengal): Dinaspur exists in the present West Bengal. Once upon a time the region was under the Kingdom of Mahipal-i, descendent of Asura dynasty. The term ‘Dinajpur’ can be explained as Di+na+pur i.e. Di= River or Water; Na=fish; and pur=Land or Place. Thus the complete meaning is Land of fish cultivation or abode of fishes. The land is identified as Matsyadesha (i.e. land of fishes or fishermen) of the epic era.[2]
  3. Bodorpur (Barak Valley): Badarpur exists in the Barak Valley of Assam. This land was a part of Cachar Kingdom. But as a result of the Badarpur agreement 1824(between Kachari king Gabinda Chandra and the British East India Company), the land was transfer to the control of the British East India Company. The name of the place can be explained as Bodo= Bodo and pur=place or land. Thus the complete meaning is the land of the Bodos.
  4. Dimapur (Nagaland):  Dimapur exists in the present Nagaland. Once upon a time it was the Capital of the Kacharis (i.e. the Bodos). They ruled there up to 1536 and then sifted their capital to Maibong or Maibang. The term can be explained in Bodo as: Di= river; ma= big; and pur= place. The complete meaning is, Place of a big river. To be true, this place exists near the river Brahmaputra, the longest river of Assam. The Dimasas, a section of the great Bodos are known as the son of this big river. (i.e. Di= water; ma=big and sa=son).
  5. Dipu: (Karbi Anglong): This place exists in the Karbi Anglong district of Assam. The term without any doubt is of Bodo origin. In Bodo, the term Dipu means flowing river with much current (i.e. Di= river; pu= flowing with much current).
  6. Haflong: Haflong is a town and headquarters of North Cachar Hills district of Assam. It was part of Kachari Kingdom of Maibang. The term Haflong perhaps derived from the Bodo word ‘Hafulung’ which means fertile land.
  7. Habung: The earliest reference to Habung comes in the 10th century copper plate grant of Ratnapala of the Pala dynasty, when it was a principality of the Kamarupa Kingdom. After the downfall of the Kamarupa Kingdom it became a dependency of the Chutiya kingdom. The region was finally annexed by the Ahom king Suhungmung in 1512.[3] In Bodo ‘Ha’ means land and ‘bung’ means filled.
  8. Dikrang: Dikrang is the name of a river which was the eastern boundary of ancient Kamrupa dynasty[4]. The western boundary of the kingdom was Karatoya River, which exists in the Jolpaiguri district of present North Bengal. In Bodo language, ‘Di’ means river and ‘krang’ means strong or current i.e. strong or Current River.
  9. Kamakya: Another controversial name in the history of ancient Assam is the term Kamakhya. It was a temple in the river Brahmaputra (Brahmaputra is the corruption word of the term Burlungbutur) in Assam which still exist.  Dr. Banikanta Kakati says that the term is of Austric origin. However, his analysis of the term is not found so much convincing to us as it lacks sound evidence. Dr. Binoy Kumar Brahma says that the term is of Bodo origin. He said, “The term ‘Bodo’ is a compound word and may simplify in Bodo with their Bodo meaning as: Kham or kam= to burn; ai= mother goddess; kha= structuring. Complete meaning reads as, mother goddess, being structured out of burned ashes.  Siva and Parvati (Sati) are regarded as Kirata god and goddesses. Siva Purana says that to escape from the injury of insult done against her husband Siva by her father Dakhsva, sati jumped into the burning fire of yajna and died.”[5]
  10. Kamrupa: This name of the place is found mentioned in the Uttarbarbil Plate of Balavarmana iii.[6] Regarding the origin of the term Dr. Banikanta Kakati associates with the Puranic legend Kamdeva, the god of love. Kamdeva regained his form (rupa) in this locality after having been burn to ashes by lord Siva. [7] But he could not find out the root of word ‘Kamru’ in Santali language to which he thought of having relation.  It was said that Kamdeva, the God of love was burn to ashes by Lord Siva in anger while the former was trying to break the meditation of the latter. Though he was burned to ashes he was restructured. The term Kamrupa may be of Bodo origin. In Bodo, the term may be explained as:   Kham or Kam= to burn; ru or rubu= dust or ashes[8]. Complete meaning is, restructured after completely burned into ashes. Thus the term Kamakhya and Kamrupa may be the Sanskritised form of the Bodo word Kamaikha and Kamru. Kamrupa is also known as Pragjyatisa or Pragjyatispura, perhaps the corruption of the Bodo word Purgajwngtipur meaning land of cleanliness and light.
  11. Laoti/ Dilao: The river Brahmaputra was earlier known as Dilao or Laoti[9]. In Bodo, the term Dilao or Laoti means long river i.e. Di or Ti= river and Lao= long. The complete meaning is the long river. The Brahmaputra River is the longest river in Assam. Banikanta Kakati stated that in Ahom Buranji also the river Brahmaputra is very frequently referred to as Tilao.[10]  In many of the instances like in the manuscript 36 f. No. 4(a), Department of Historical and Antiquarian studies, Guahati, Assam, the river is also referred to as Luit or Louhita.[11]
  12. Kashpur: Kashpur is the last kingdom of the Bodos in Assam. It lasted upto 1854. King Gabinda Chandra, the last king of the Bodos in Assam died in the year 1830. However, after the death of the king some portion of the kingdom was ruled by Tularam senapati and his two sons up to 1854. This place exists in the Cachar district of Assam.
  13. Maibang: The Kacharis shifted their kingdom from Dimapur to Maibang after the defeat and death of Detsung in the hands of the Ahoms in the year 1536.[12] This land exists in the North Cachar Hills of present Assam. In Bodo, the term ‘Maibang’ means ‘much Paddy’ (i.e. Mai=Paddy; Bang=Much).
  14. Dispur: Dispur is the capital of present state of Assam. For many decades the Bodos were living in this region. This area was created as   South Kamrup Tribal Belt (Gauhati) by Govt. order RD/74/46/172 dated 27/02/50 which comprised 7,72,454 B-0K-0L of land area. However, 1,229,202B- 0K-0L of land were deconstituted under Govt. order No RSD/26/64/PI/38 dated 30/07/69 from the total land area for construction of the State’s Capital complex.[13] In Bodo language, Dispur means land of river i.e. Di= River; Pur= land or Place.
  15. Mairang: Mairang is a name of the place near Guahati city (Six Miles). The land came to be known as Mairang because once upon a time a Bodo king named Mairang Raja (later Sanskritised as Mahiranga Danava) better known as Danava was ruling the entire region.
  16. Dhansiri Dima: This River exists in the present Dimapur. Here the word Dima means big river (e.g. Dimapur=Land of Big River).
  17. Lamding (Nagaon, Assam):  This is a place in the Nagaon district of Assam. When we analyse the term it seems that it is a Bodo word. In Bodo Lamding means a road where it changes the direction i.e. lama= road; ding=changed direction.

Above discussion makes it clear that the Bodo word ‘Di’ or ‘Dwi’ or ‘Doi’ or ‘Ti’ which stance for water forms the first syllable of the most of the river names of ancient Assam. It also became clear that the term ‘pur’ which stance for land or place are found in many places of the region. This seems that the Bodos had a long historical relationship with rivers and the lands of the entire region. Here a list of few more rivers of north east India is given below.

  • Ø Dihong: Wide River.
  • Ø Dichang: River with much water.
  • Ø Dikrong: (Arunachal and Assam) River with high edges lying waterbed too below.
  • Ø Dibrugarh: (Dibrugarh, Assam) River with shallow water.
  • Ø Dikhou: River with much sound.
  • Ø Tista: In Bodo ‘Tisa’ means small water. It flows from Sikkim through Darjeeling district of Bengal.
  • Ø Tihu: (Bhaksa district of Assam) River with much water.
  • Ø Mongoldoi: It exists in Darang (Dirang) district of Assam (Present Odalguri district of Bodoland Territorial Council).
  • Ø Barnadi: (Barnaidi) River like mad i.e. River with much water and current.
  • Ø Dirang (Darang): River of Joy (In Bodo ‘rang’ means joy e.g. Rangjali Bwisagu).
  • Ø Dibang (Arunachal Pradesh): River with much storage of water.
  • Ø Gomoti: (Lucknow, UP and South Tripura) Yellow River ( In Bodo language, ‘Gomo’ means yellow whereas ‘ti’ means river).
  • Ø Sadiya: (Eastern Assam) River with Shallow water. Eastern Boundary of proposed Bodoland demand.
  • ØDihing: This name is found in manuscript 36 f. No. 4(a).[14]

In the northern part of India we find the following rivers:

  • Ø Swarasvati: Swarasvati may be a sanskritised form of Sraisraiti(Bodo) which  means river with shallow water.
  • Ø Sindhu (Sindi): Sindhu may be a sanskritised form of ‘Sindi’. In Bodo language, ‘Sindi’ means Chinese river or river from china. Bodos used to say China as Sin.
  • Ø Iravati:
  • Ø Paravati:
  • Ø Bhagirati:
  • Ø Ganga:

Most of the above mentioned rivers except Ganga end with the word ti or di which is a Bodo word for water. Ganga in Bodo means the end of thirst i.e. the Ganga is a river which ends our thirst.

‘It is indeed not at all unlikely that the people known to us as Kacharis and to themselves as Bada (Bara), were in earliest days the dominant race in Assam; and as such they would seem to have left traces of this domination in the nomenclature of some of the physical features of the country. e.g., the Kachari word for water (di;doi) apparently forms the first syllable of the names of many of the chief rivers of the province, such as Diputa, Dihong, Dibong, Dibru, Dihing, Dimu, Desang, Diku (cf. Khu Tista), &c., and to these may be added Dikrang, Diphu, Digaru, &c., all near Sadiya, the earliest known centre of Chutiya (Kachari) power and civilization’.[15]

The Ahoms ruled Assam for about 600 years (i.e. from 1228 to 1826), yet their word for water i.e. Nam has found in very few numbers of places or river names. But, we find many river names in India, particularly in North and Northeast India which begins or ends with di or ti, the Bodo word for water.[16] From this, cannot we assume that the Bodos ruled Assam much longer than that of the Ahoms?

Let us conclude with a famous remark made by SK Chatterji which goes like this, ‘..their area of occupation extended to Cachar district (particularly in the North Cachar Hills) and into Sylhet, and from Cachar and Sylhet they moved further to south, to Tripura state where there is still a Bodo-speaking bloc in the shape of the Tipra tribe which founded the state; and from Tripura they spread into Comilla and possibly also Naokali district : and thus they occupied the mouths of Ganges by the eastern sea. With the exception of the isolated Khasi and Jaintia Hills, the whole of Assam (barring the eastern parts inhabited by the Nagas and the south eastern parts inhabited by the Kuki-chins) and North and East Bengal was the country of the great Bodo people’.[17]

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End Notes:

[1]  Edwar Gaid, ‘A History of Assam’, LBS Publications, Guahati  (Assam), 2005 (Reprint), p-1.

[2]  Binoy Kumar Brahma, “Social Mobility: From Tribalism to Indianism: The Bodos”, Onsumoi Printers and Publishers,2008, p-200.

[3]  Amalendu  Guha, Pre-Ahom Roots and the Medieval State in Assam: A Reply, Social Scientist Vol 12, No. 6, 1984, p73. & The Manuscript 36 f. No. 4(a), Department of Historical and Antiquarian studies, Guahati, Assam.

[4]  Banikanta Kakati, ‘The Mother Goddess Kamakhya’, Publication Board of Assam, Guahati, 2003, p-7.

[5]  Binoy Kumar Brahma, op.cit, P-15.

[6] Sarat Kumar Phukan, op. cit., Photo Plate no-1.

[7]  Binoy Kumar Brahma, op. cit, p-14.

[8]   Ibid, p-16.

[9]  Sarat Kumar Phukan, op. cit., p-159.

[10]  Binoy Kumar Brahma, op. cit., pp-16-17.

[11]  Sarat Kumar Phukan, op. cit., photo plate no ix.

[12]  Sir Edward Gait, op. cit. p-238.

[13]  Binoy Kumar Brahma, op.cit.p-265.

[14]  Sarat Kumar Phukan, “Toponymy of Assam”, Omson Publications, New Delhi-110002, 2001, Photo Plate no-1.

[15]  S. Endle, “The Kacharis”, Low Price Publications, Delhi-110052, 1997 (Reprint), p-4.

[16]  Edward Gait, op. cit. p-6.

[17] SK Chatterjee, Kirata Jana Kriti’, The Asiatic Society, Kolkata, 2007(Reprint) p-46.

Courtesy: http://kalidashbrahma.blogspot.in/2011/12/understanding-history-of-bodos.html

Peace talks with NDFB (P) to Start in Nov

The tripartite peace talks between Centre, Assam government and the insurgent outfit National Democratic Front of Bodoland (P) will start by the end of November.

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Revolutionary cadres of the National Democratic Front of Boroland at Udalguri Ceasefire Camp

The decision was arrived in a meeting in New Delhi where Union Minister Rajnath Singh met the senior members of the outfit along-with top police officials and senior Cabinet Minister from Assam.

The NDFB(P) has been under peace pact with the government since 2005. However, not peace deal is reached yet. Talking to mediapersons after attending the meeting in New Delhi, Chandra Mohan Patowary, Senior Cabinet Minister in the BJP government in Assam said, ” The talks were satisfactory and a decision has been reached that the peace talks will start by end of November” (The Northeast Today).

The outfit has been in armed struggle for a separate Boro homeland in Northeast India since it is formation in October 1986. Indegenous Boro community is one of the largest group in Northeast India. There sizeable number of Boros living in Nepal, Bhutan and Bangladesh as well. Currently there are over two million Boros living in three federal states of India – Assam, Meghalaya and Nagaland. 

Massive Participation in 12-hours Railway Blockade called by ABSU, NDFB(P) & PJACBM

Monjib Mochahari

Influencial All Bodo Students Union, National Democratic Front of Boroland (P) and People’s Joint Action Committee for Boroland Movement (PJACBM) staging a 12 – hour railway blockade across Assam on demand for a separate state homeland. The railway blockade programme going on at Basugaon Railway Station and Udalguri Railway Station. The ABSU leader also expressed his resentment towards the Central government for its unwillingness to solve the long-pending demand for a separate Bodoland State.

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