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Tripartite talk held on Bodoland issue

A  political level tripartite talk with the government of India, Assam and ABSU, NDFB(P) & PJACBM was held two separate sitting over Bodoland issue on Wednesday in New Delhi . The first sitting was held at 11am at Special Conference Haf Home Minister and second sitting at North Block Room No. 119 in the presence of Rajnath Singh, Union Union Home Minister, Sarbananda Sonowal, Chief Minister of Assam, Chandra Mohan Patowary, Minister Assam, Chief Secretary Assam along with other officials of Assam and Govt. of India. The second sitting was chaired by Saytendra Garg, Joint Secretary for Home Northeast. The outcome is heading towards dialogue for the solution of Bodoland statehood demand at the political level tripartite talk in days to comicable solutions. 

A memorandum was submitted to the Union Home Minister from ABSU and it's allied movement groups NDFB-P, PJACBM seeking early solution of long standing demand of Bodoland statehood to meet good governance in the region with more gaining oigenous and down trodden communities. 

 The All Bodo Students Union (ABSU), National Democratic Front of Boroland Progressive (NDFB-P), the People’s Joint Action Committee for Boroland Movement (PJACBM) demanding early solution of Bodoland issue through democratic movement. 

The Boros are the Indigenous (aboriginal) people of the entire Barak and the Brahmaputra valleys. In the ancient history they were known as the Asura, the Danava, the Kirata or the Mlechcha etc. History is dark about since whence they were started to be identified as the Kachari and this identity of theirs continued till the last part of the Nineteenth Century.  During the last part of the British rule some small splinter groups broke away and started to live with other identities but the remaining main segment of the Kachari was known as the Boro. They are the founder of Human Civilization of the entire region. They have distinct and unique history which have been denied and distorted after India had attained its Independence on the 15th August, 1947. Large number of the Boro people took part in India’s freedom movement against the British Colonial Rule and sacrificed lives along with the freedom fighters of other Indian communities in expectation that their history would be recognized & restored and their sacrifice would be appropriately made up by granting a state to them. Unfortunately nothing of that sort had happened in reality hitherto they are leading the lives as if under enemy control in their own ancestral land. That Sir, the Boro people have their distinct identity with their language and rich cultural heritage. They have customs and tradition of their own which have made their identity unique not to be easily absorbed in to other socio-cultural aggression. Despite having tangible ethno-linguistic difference the Boro people were thrown into the fold of Assam and were victimized to forced assimilation into Assamese identity after India’s Independence which was uncalled for and a historical blunder. The Boro people want to live with dignity and honour and want their language, culture, customs and tradition to be protected and safe-guarded in order to guarantee their identity under the provisions of the Constitution of India so that they can live with their identity. 

The proposed Bodoland is the ancestral land of the Boro people where their fore-fathers had been living for generations since the time immemorial. They are demanding for creation of Bodoland state within their ancestral land which they have inherited from the fore-fathers.  Despite signing of two Boro Accords (20th February 1993 and 10th February, 2003) the Boro people’s fifty years’ movement in demand for creation of separate state under the provision of Article 2 & 3 of the constitution of India is still going on because of utter failure on the part of Government of India to concede the demand. The rights and the provisions conferred through the two Boro Accords are too impotent to address the fundamental rights of the Boro people. The constitution of India confers authority to the Government of India to change the internal boundary lines thereof to reshape the states as and when it is necessary and the Boro people’s demand for creation of Boroland state is based on this constitutional provision. That Sir, the Government of India has created 9 new states within last fifty years (Nagaland in 1963, Meghalaya in 1972, Arunachal Pradesh in 1987, Mizoram in 1986, Chatisgarh, Jharkhand and Uttarkhand in 2000 and Telegana in 2014) but unfortunately the demand of Bodoland state is seen to be repeatedly and intentionally side-lined on flimsy grounds. The Boro people though historically didn’t have any relationship with the present mainland India before the British advent, at present have whole-heartedly become Indian. The British annexed the Kachari kingdoms and merged them up with India by dint of the Doctrine of Lapse in 1854. Thenceforth the Boro people consider themselves as the inseparable component of the great Indian community and are allegiant to the Constitution of India. In spite of all these why are the Boro people being discriminated and deprived of having a state of their own? 

The BJP leadership promised during the campaign of Parliamentary Election, 2014, that they would resolve the Boro problem if they would be voted to form a Government in Delhi. This promise was reflected as a written commitment in the BJP’s election manifesto. Narendrabhai Damodardas Modi, then Prime Ministerial candidate in his election campaign at Bongaigaon and Mangaldoi spoke before the mammoth gatherings in no uncertain terms that the BJP would resolve the Boro problem if they would be voted to power. By God’s grace, the BJP has been voted in thumping majority to form a government in New Delhi and their regime is on full swing for the last three years. It is the duty and responsibility of the BJP leadership as well as the Union Government to implement the election commitment. So we are waiting with patience expecting Bodoland state to be granted immediately. The Government of India, as per the recommendations of State Reorganization Commission, 1953-56, headed by Late Fazal Ali, the Rtd. Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of India bifurcated some states of India and created new states on the basis of language. Later the Government of India was seen to be changing the view in regards to creation of new states, as such - (i) to do away with regional disparity of socio-economic growth and development, (ii) to meet the political obligation (iii) for political exigency or political opportunism and (iv) to ensure the national security and national integrity etc. Many new states have been created under one of these grounds, latest being the creation of Telangana. The present BJP government is seen to be in their abortive attempt to allure the aspirants of new states with alternative offers like development of infra-structure and development of civic-amenities as the option. Where there is problem there will be no peace and where there is no peace there will be no developmental activity. Problem is always contradictory not only to peace but also to development. So it is futile on the part of the Union Government to make desperate attempt to make developmental program as an option to the people’s demand of statehood.

 Ravi Shankar Prasad, Union Minister of Law and Justice recently at a Public Meeting in Maharashtra made a statement that BJP, as a party, has not given up the policy of creating new states. Yoga Guru Baba Ramdev, one of the ideologues and devout patron of the Hinduism has recently made a statement in Darjeeling that more states should be created in India on the basis of language. If the USA which has only little more than 35 crores of population has 50 states, why India which has 125 crores of population cannot have more than 29 states and 7 Union Territories? Many political pundits and the intellectuals including some BJP ideologues are in opinion that smaller states are more convenient for speedy development and also advantageous for effective controlling of law & order situation. Many Indigenous Peoples of the North East are facing threat to their identity and the Boro people are no exception.  For survival of our identity and existence there is no alternative to Bodoland state.

' We are happy that though it is late the Government of India has kept the assurance given to us on the 26th October, 2016 and on the 9th January, 2017 to hold the meeting and hope your government will continue the process for immediate solution of the Bodoland imbroglio', the memorandum said. 

Therefore, to ensure the safety and security of land and the identity with their language, culture, traditions and customs of the Boro and other indigenous tribal people of Assam as well as for integrity and speedy development of the nation . The movement group organizations demanded  immediate solutions which are included resolve the Boro people’s long standing demand for creation of Bodoland state in the Northern Bank of Brahmaputra from the Sankosh to Sadiya; ensure Constitutional safeguard for protection of the land and political rights of the Boro people living outside the proposed Bodoland; grant ST (Hill) status to the Boro people living in Karbi Anglong and Dima Hasao, the memorandum read. 

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Assam Times Kokrajhar bureau office, BTAD.

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