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Now Bodos demand a separate state

With growing intolerance and unrest minds among the youths of the country, demand for creating smaller states is growing day by day. Recently Uttar Pradesh Assembly has adopted a resolution to divide the state into four parts namely, Purvanchal, Avadh Pradesh, Paschim Pradesh and Bundelkhand. It is realized that this situation has attained importance because of the regional disparity in growth, discrimination in all rights and privileges and sense of insecurity at the individual and community level. Most of the Indian states are politically insurmountable state of affairs to all fronts especially in respect of political and economic fields. There are imbalances and unmanageable equal distribution of wealth and properties. From the law and order point of view each and every state of the country is facing the problems of unemployment, militancy and insurgency. In the Northeastern region almost all the communities feel the pinch of this disparity.

The Central government is not likely to support creation of more smaller states at present. Economic viability for new states is a vital point to be seen before taking any such decision in this respect. Demand for creation of Telangana and a silent announcement for its creation by the Centre, has enlightened the hopes of getting an identity and justice to other communities. Moreover, Telangana, Rayalaseema, Gorkhaland, Vidarbha, Saurashtra, Mithilanchal, Kamatapur, Greater Nagaland and a few more states are waiting for their turn.

In the Northeastern region movements are spearheaded by student organizations. Movement for creation of a separate state of Bodoland is getting momentum. All Bodo Students Union(ABSU)has taken leading part in the movement. Although the Bodos have got an autonomy in the shape of Bodoland Territorial Council, they feel it is not enough to achieve the goal of development. Twice the agreements were signed in 1993 and 2003, but both the agreements failed to achieve Bodoland on the pretext that the Central government did not have policy to create new states during that period. Irony of the fact, ABSU quotes, was that the nation created three more new states, namely, Jharkhand, Uttarakhand and Chhattisgarh in 2000 and now the case of Telangana is under consideration.

ABSU feels that the smaller states are only answer to the problem of militancy and insurgency. The organization has sent memorandum to the Prime Minister of India, demanding solution to Bodo problems. It has mentioned that Bodo is a distinct tribe in the country with distinct language, culture and tradition. They have the history of independent living since the period of their kings and kingdom in Maibang-Cachar of present North Cachar Hills and undivided district of Darrang, Kamrup, Goalpara and also Cooch-Behar of present Paschim Banga.

The language and cultural conflict between present dominant group of people and Bodos resulted physical confrontation and movement in many times in the past. In 1828, before the Simon Commission the then leaders of the plains tribal, mainly Bodos had demanded for separate electorate to maintain their political entity separately from the dominant ruling group of the people in Assam. Even now, there is cumulative impact of this conflict in the entire social and political life. The successive ruling powers in Assam always fail to treat other languages and culture with equal respect and status. During the first part of the 20th Century the process of cultural alienation of Bodos to Assamese began, but now, every tribal group of Assam are on the process of alienation to the so-called Assamese. The concept of and spirit of co-existence could not work due to suppressive and oppressive mindset of the ruling clique in the past and at present too. in the present democratic milieu, which is more possessive than the inclusive. The discrimination and deprivation from the ruling party have pushed all ethnic groups to seek for autonomy for their existence. The political hegemony of ruling community had divided the composite society of the Assam on the line of ethnicity, community and cultural affinity, ABSU has alleged.

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Daya Nath Singh's picture

Journalist; Guwahati Press Club office Secretary

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