|A student shouts slogans during a protest to demand Bodoland. File picture
Kokrajhar, Oct. 2: The National Democratic Front of Boroland (Progressive), which is demanding a separate Bodoland state, justified its demand saying a separate state is a must to protect and preserve the interest of the indigenous people of the region as well as to counter the effects of influx.
In a statement, the outfit’s information and publicity secretary S. Sanjarang justified the creation of Bodoland and spelt out some points in favour of their claim.
It said the Bodos and other indigenous communities want their language, culture and tradition to be protected and safeguarded under the provision of the Constitution to uphold their distinct identity and also to live with dignity and honour.
It criticised the Assam government for denying these rights to the Bodos and other indigenous communities of the state.
“The Assam government is hatching a plot by encouraging the influx of illegal migrants and influx,” it said.
“Bodoland is a must to protect the indigenous communities from continuous oppression, suppression, and domination, which is going on at the insistence of the Assam government; to protect them from forced assimilation and the process which is going on in the name of forming a greater Assamese society,” he said.
The release also said the Bodos are totally neglected by the Assam government in matters of development (roads, electricity, education, employment, drinking water, health care and irrigation).
The area is socio-economically backward and downtrodden, he said, adding that the proposed Bodoland has every possibility of economic survival as it has fertile agriculture land, forest resources and potential rivers for power generation.
He, moreover, said historically the Bodos and other tribals own the land and should have the highest autonomy under the provision of the Constitution. But the Assam government, with its policy of aggression, has marginalised them.