- Security challenges and their management in border areas; linkages of organized crime with terrorism.
What is the Bodoland dispute?
What to study?
For Prelims: Who are Bodos and What is Bodoland?
For Mains: Bodo dispute- timeline, demands, concerns and ways to address them.
Context: The Home Ministry has declared the National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB) along with all its groups, factions, and front organisations as an “unlawful association” under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967.
The ban has been extended by five more years for its involvement in a series of violent activities including killings and extortion, and for joining hands with anti-India forces.
Who are the NDFB?
Alongside political movements, armed groups have also sought to create a separate Bodo state.
In October 1986, the prominent group Bodo Security Force (BdSF) was formed by Ranjan Daimary. The BdSF subsequently renamed itself as the National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB), an organisation that is known to be involved in attacks, killings, and extortions.
Who are Bodos?
Bodos 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 Area District (BTAD), are home to several ethnic groups.
In 1966-67, the demand for a separate state called Bodoland was raised under the banner of the Plains Tribals Council of Assam (PTCA), a political outfit.
In 1987, the All Bodo Students Union (ABSU) renewed the demand. “Divide Assam fifty-fifty”, was a call given by the ABSU’s then leader, Upendra Nath Brahma.
The unrest was a fallout of the Assam Movement (1979-85), whose culmination — the Assam Accord — addressed the demands of protection and safeguards for the “Assamese people”, leading the Bodos to launch a movement to protect their own identity.
Why the demand for separate Bodoland?
- For centuries, they survived sanskritisation without giving up their original ethnic identity. However in the 20th century, they had to tackle a series of issues such as illegal immigration, encroachment of their lands, forced assimilation, loss of language and culture. The 20th century also witnessed the emergence of Bodos as a leading tribe in Assam which pioneered the movements for safeguarding the rights of the tribal communities in the area.
- From then on, they have been consistently deprived of the political and socio-economic rights by successive state and central governments. The Bodos have not only become an ethnic minority in their own ancestral land but have also been struggling for their existence and status as an ethnic community.
Sources: the Hindu