28 years have gone by since the start of the liberation struggle by the United Liberation Front of Assam. Many boys have died and their bodies rest in unmarked graves in jungles of Bhutan, Arunachal, Myanmar and still many have died in their own backyards. Many are languishing in the different jails all throughout Assam. Many have surrendered and joined the mainstream. Not only the boys, with them many civilians who did not have anything to do with liberation have given their lives in this ongoing struggle between the state and the liberation army.
United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) was formed on April 7, 1979 at the Rang Ghar in Sibsagar to establish a "sovereign socialist Assam" through an armed struggle. Of course, there was an initial euphoria and an unnaturally heightened sense of alienation because of the step motherly attitude of the Indian Government in the initial stages of the movement. The truth has since been gradually realised and that sense of alienation has died.
Times have changed. The boys are disillusioned after living in jungle camps with mosquitoes and malaria, killing, avoiding the bullets of the Indian security forces, and no real destination in sight. To the mainstream Assamese the ULFA is no longer a struggle for national salvation but one that keeps normal life disturbed. Is it not the time to rethink and ask the people what they want? The ULFA should ask the people if the Assamese people see the ULFA movement as a beneficial and healthy activity for the betterment of the Assamese people? Do the Assamese people really feel they are not part of India and are being exploited by Delhi?
Now the final question is that whether the ULFA movement is something that is wanted by the people of Assam and supported by them or is it something, which is being imposed on them.