Times of Assam published article against any faction of Assam and received threatening from several people claiming themselves as NDFB.
By– Pradip Mahanta
All blood brothers within Assam, – all ethnic communities, tribes and sub-tribes have seen, faced and suffered injustice and ill treatment in the last century. A prosperous self-sufficient kingdom which started to shake under colonial rule of the British and situation never improved post Indian Independence due to the failed politics, step motherly treatment from rulers at New Delhi and the indifference of the rich and upper middle class of the state.
It was the Nagas first and as predicted by Jawaharlal Nehru in his letter to Assam Chief Minister Bishnu Ram Medhi in 1956, many other tribes erupted in protest claiming for their own piece of Land and rights. Understandably that was also due to the chauvinism and uncaring attitude of some mainstream Assamese class. However it would be completely wrong to say that this exploitation or poor development was limited to a particular tribe or community. Unfortunately, the pioneers of Bodoland state have always claimed to the sole victims of deprivation, whereas it applies to each and every poor, every household and every community that has faced the same problem.
It can be truly agreed that the chauvinism part of the Assam Agitation and later the uncaring attitude by the subsequent AGP Government in Assam had led an several tribes and communities dissatisfied. It is also true that the Bodos of Assam, son of the soil have been neglected for long, but is it not true for every common man of the North East? Just like everyone else, – whether it is the mainstream Assamese, a Meitei, a Hmar or a Mising, every one of the region can claim of injustice.
Unfortunately, the leadership of Bodo Security Force (BSF), later re-christened National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB) led its campaign for a Sovereign Bodoland only on the seeds of hatred, which it propagated. Hate towards the other Assamese and other tribes and communities of Assam was all that was manifested in their actions and words, ever since they began their campaign. This only misled the young and growing generations of Bodos hate the fellow people, even each other from their own community.
Never in the history of the region was any state or kingdom called Bodoland. Never there existed any specific landmass, dynasty or people in history who can now act as the evidence and therefore a reason for creation of a separate state for the Bodos. The tribes and communities of the region have been living in harmony with each other for thousands of years. Whether it was defending Assam from the mighty Mughal invasion 17 times or fighting against the imperial British Colonial rule, it was the unity and togetherness of the different tribes that always led to success. Yet the seekers of Bodoland such as NDFB and their supports want to break off this harmony and create their own acre of land, completely selfishly. From history, it is evident that the proposed state of Bodoland would only harm both Bodos and non-Bodos. It is evident already from the way the Bodoland Territorial Council operates today. In spite of having almost the same status and powers of a state, the Bodo leadership who seeks Bodoland cribs only to hide their failure of managing the BTC saying We can succeed only when we get a state!
When Times of Assam published the article NDFB Ceasefire withdrawal and Bodoland – Vandalism continues, the team received several threats and complaints stating that the site was writing against the Bodo interest! Just one question – Would writing FOR the NDFB, the outfit who has claimed the responsibility for tragic 30-october blasts killing hundreds of innocents (including Bodos) be considered speaking FOR the Bodos? NEVER! Speaking AGAINST the evil of any group who demands anything, whether Bodoland or Swadhin Asom by killing innocent people in bomb blasts, gun shots and train blasts (which they call as WAR unfortunately) would continue from any sane person or group, including Times of Assam.
A group of pro-Bodoland activists and sloganeers shouted Divide Assam 50-50 recently. If one questions these same shouters as to what their contribution to the greater Assam has been ever, they would have no answer. What is their contribution to the development of Assam in any point of history; whether it is economy, industrialization, agriculture, microfinance, education or any other factor considered important in today’s global village? What is that significant contribution made that they want to rip off half of Assam, developed piece and piece by the blood and sweat of each and every tribe & community?
The only way probably the people blindly supporting the pro-Bodoland leaders would understand the need of staying united and undivided is when other clans, tribes and communities who lives in their proscribed claimed territories starts demanding their own states. The demand of Kamatapur is there for some time. The Adivasis have set up their own militant outfit mostly against the Vandalism of Bodo militant groups. Even some Misings have formed a militant outfit for a Mising State. What if demands for Kalita-land, etc spring up, obviously from areas under the demanded Bodoland areas? Sad but true,- Intelligence agencies might as well create some covert groups making such demands, just as the Bodo Liberation Force (BLT) is often alleged to formed by the Ministry of Home Affairs secretly to counter the demand of ULFA’s Sovereign Assam.
The truth, as highlighted before in Times of Assam, is – Bodoland as a demand is not as much for the average Bodos, but for the leaders of the outfits like NDFB only for quest of POWER. The understanding has not dawned yet for them and their blind supports that a state or nation carved out of only hatred towards people living in and around them will only lead to more violence.
And once again, the call of time is only one,- The Bodos, Rabhas, Misings, Tiwas, Deoris, Ahoms, Kalitas, Koch Rajbangshis, Brahmins, Sonowal Kacharis and all indegenuos people of the state must unite together, leave alone differences and fight for common cause. The Government of India would not mind ruling all of us separately at all and this leaves us with little chance to revolt, protest or to stand up for ourselves. The call for all blood brothers of Assam is to get united, not divided.