Tezpur, Jan. 7: The All Bodo Students Union (Absu) has warned there would be no peace in the Northeast till a separate state was granted to the Bodos.
Speaking at the open session of the three-day 40th annual conference of the Sonitpur district unit of Absu at the Bodo National Academy at Borpukhuri last evening, the president of the organisation, Pramode Boro, said, “Bodoland is the birthright of the Bodos, it’s a constitutional right.”
The convention concluded last evening.
Boro said there wasn’t another nation in the world where so many lives had been lost in the pursuit of legitimate rights.
“Bodos have been struggling for the last 46 years for a separate land for their safety and security, socio-cultural and economic development, which is constitutionally quite legal. The demand for a separate state is legitimate and justified both constitutionally and historically,” he said.
He said despite signing of two Bodo accords, the problem was still alive, as the fundamental questions have not been addressed so far.
All the leading Bodo organisations, political as well as non-political, including the NDFB (P), are pursuing the same goal.
“The NDFB (P) is engaged in a dialogue with the government on the issue of a separate state for the past seven years,” Boro said.
He said the Bodos and other indigenous people had become restive since the last part of the colonial rule.
They had launched a vigorous democratic movement with demands for a separate state of Udayachal for the tribals of the plains in the state in 1967.
Their movement continued for 22 years but the government paid no heed.
“Instead, their democratic movement was repressed and crushed by violent means. When the movement for Udayachal gained momentum, Meghalaya and Arunachal Pradesh were granted statehood in 1971 and 1972 respectively. The indigenous people of Assam were happy that since those states had been created, Udayachal was also a possibility. However, the dream of a separate state remained elusive,” he said.
“During the past 46 years, six new states have come into being in India. Telangana, another new state, is in the labour room but to the utter dismay of the Bodos, their demand for a separate state has remained a cry in the wilderness. The Bodos are the sons of the soil of the Northeast and not migrants from any alien country. As the people of Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh or any other state, the Bodo people have the historical and constitutional right to have a separate state of their own. There will be no peace in the Northeast until and unless a separate state is granted to the Bodo people,” the Absu president said.