Start Political Level Talks for The Creation of Separate State Bodoland.
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We appeal to the Government of India to immediately come forward with a pragmatic policy decision on the Bodoland Statehood Issue and Political Rights of Bodos, an indigenous ethnic group in Assam, through appropriate Political Level talk in presence of the Home Minister of India. Various Bodo organisations have vowed for an indefinite hunger strike until the Government of India starts a serious Political Level talk on the issue of creation of separate Bodoland State to safe-guard the socio-economic and land rights of indigenous communities in the Northern Bank of Brahmaputra. The indefinite hunger strike is going to enter the Fifth Day and more than 1000 volunteers have refused to seek any medical help. Even though their health is deteriorating their resilience is still strong enough to fight for separate Bodoland state.
The Bodos, an ethno-linguistic group believed to be the earliest inhabitants of Assam, one of the Indo-Mongoloid communities belonging to the Tibeto-Burman branch of the Sino-Tibetan family. At the zenith of its thriving civilisation they ruled vast territory encompassing almost the whole of NorthEast, parts of Nepal, Bhutan, North Bengal and Bangladesh.
For centuries they survived Sanskritization without giving up their original ethnic identity. However in the twentieth century, they had to tackle a series of issues such as illegal immigration, encroachment of their lands, forced assimilation, loss of language and culture. The century also witnessed emergence of Bodos as a leading tribe of Assam who pioneered the movements for safeguarding the rights of the indigenous tribals. They have been consistently deprived of the political and socio-economic rights by the successive state and central governments. The Bodos have not only become an ethnic minority in their own ancestral land but also have gone through the dire necessity to struggle for their very existence as an ethnic community.
In the 1920s, a delegation of educated Bodos met the Simon Commission requesting for the reservation of seats for the plain tribals in the Legislative Assembly of Assam. This marked the beginning of the political awareness among the Bodos. They formed the Tribal League of Assam to voice for the political rights of the plain tribals. Soon after the Independence, a Bodo Literary Organization was formed by the name of Bodo Sahitya Sabha(BSS) to preserve and develop the Bodo language. Constant immigration from the East Pakistan started to gradually change the demography of Assam. The state government did not take any proactive measures to prevent the encroachment of the tribal belts and blocks. It created mistrust and discontentment among the Bodos. The Plains Tribals Council of Assam(PTCA) started to campaign for a separate union territory called Udayachal for the Bodos and other plain tribals of Assam in 1960s.
The rampant influx of illegal immigrants from Bangladesh after its liberation led to a political turmoil in Assam. The Assam Agitation for Anti-Foreigner Movement spearheaded by All Assam Students Union (AASU) turned violent when a group of Assamese youths under the name of United Liberation Front of Assam(ULFA) took up arms for secession from India. The Bodos felt increasingly alienated with the unwillingness attitude of the Central and State Governments in resolving the issue which in turn intensified the Bodo movement. Simultaneously the demand for the union territory was upgraded to a full fledged state called Bodoland by All Bodo Students Union (ABSU). At the peak of insurgency in NorthEast India, following the examples of Nagas and Mizos, a small group of western educated Bodo youths formed an armed militia named Bodo Security Force (BSF) which was later renamed as the National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB) with the objective to establish a sovereign Bodo homeland. The vigorous non-violent movement of the All Bodo Students Union (ABSU) came to a halt with the formation of Bodo Autonomous Council (BAC) in 1993 which proved to be futile. With the failure of Bodo Autonomous Council (BAC), a violent armed movement surfaced when Bodo Liberation Tigers (BLT), a rival group of NDFB agitated for a separate state within the Indian Union.
Within the few years of its formation, the Bodo Liberation Tigers (BLT) came into peace talks with the Central and the State Governments. As a result, Bodoland Territorial Council (BTC) was granted under the Sixth Schedule of the Indian Constitution. The four districts under BTC made a minimal progress for the first decade after its formation. However it could not fulfill the aspirations of the Bodos as issues like illegal immigrants, protection of tribal belts and blocks remained unresolved. After the declaration of Telangana State, there was a revival of statehood demands across the country and once again the Bodo organizations relaunched their separate statehood demand.
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