New student body revives Bodoland statehood demand
- A new students’ union has revived the Bodoland statehood demand that is said to have ended with the signing of the Bodo Peace Accord in January 2020.
- According to the leader of the Union, Bodos are largely dissatisfied with the Bodoland Territorial Region (BTR) as it is not designed to fulfil their aspirations.
- These are the single largest tribal community in Assam, making up over 5-6 per cent of the state’s population.
- They have controlled large parts of Assam in the past.
- The four districts in Assam — Kokrajhar, Baksa, Udalguri and Chirang — that constitute the Bodo Territorial Region(BTR) are home to several ethnic groups.
Reasons for demand of separate Bodoland
- They endured sanskritisation for generations without losing their own ethnic identity.
- However, in the twentieth century, they were confronted with a slew of challenges such as illegal immigration, encroachment on their territory, forced assimilation, and linguistic and cultural loss.
- The twentieth century also saw the growth of the Bodos as a dominant tribe in Assam, which pioneered initiatives to protect the rights of indigenous tribes in the region.
- Since then, successive state and central governments have repeatedly denied them political and socio economic rights.
- The Bodos have not only become an ethnic minority in their native territory, but they have also struggled for their survival and status as an ethnic community.
Govt Initiatives to settle the dispute
- 1993 Bodo Accord: The ABSU-led movement began in 1987 and concluded in the 1993 Bodo Accord
- It established the Bodoland Autonomous Council (BAC), but ABSU retracted its accord and maintained its desire for an independent state.
- 2003 Bodo Accord: The extremist group Bodo Liberation Tiger Force (BLTF), the Centre, and the state signed the second Bodo Accord in 2003.
- It resulted in the formation of the Bodoland Territorial Council (BTC).
- The BTC is a self-governing organisation established under the Constitution's Sixth Schedule.
- The Bodo Territorial Autonomous District(BTAD) was the name given to the territory under BTC's control
- 2020 Accord: For a "permanent" solution to the Bodo issue, the Central government signed a tripartite agreement with the state administration and several Bodo organisations, including four factions of the National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB).
- Some characteristics include:
- It calls for the "alteration of the BTAD region" and "provisions for Bodos outside the BTAD."
- The Bodoland Territorial Region(BTR) replaced the BTAD .
- It gives BTC additional legislative, executive, administrative, and financial authority.
- Provision for the rehabilitation of surrendered NDFB terrorists, as well as the introduction of a special development package of Rs. 1,500 crore for the area.
There are several other statehood movements, dormant for a few years in the northeast like the creation of Eastern Nagaland in Nagaland, Garoland in Tripura, Twipraland in Tripura, Kukiland in Manipur and Kamtapur straddling Assam and West Bengal. A stronger Bodoland statehood demand is expected to have a domino effect on the other movements.
Prelims Take away
- Bodo tribe
- BODO Accord
Q The Revival of Bodoland statehood demand can have a domino effect on other dormant statehood movements. Discuss