The Bodo (BORO) Problems in Assam: Searching Remedies

Date01 July 2016
AuthorShashi Bhushan Kumar
Publication Date01 July 2016
DOI10.1177/0019556120160319
SubjectArticle
THE BODO (BORO) PROBLEMS IN ASSAM:
SEARCHING REMEDIES
SHASHI BHUSHAN KUMAR
The North-Eastern region
of
India, has long remained one
of
the most volatile and sensitive regions in the country because
of
the problems
of
the border management, insurgency, ethnic
conflict, pressure
of
immigration, underdevelopment, etc.
Facing indignation on various counts, prominently immigration
of
Muslim settlers from Bangladesh, the Bodos started an armed ·
struggle,
for
a separate state
in
the mid-l 980s. which
led
to
ethnic cleansing
of
the non-Bodos along the north bank
of
the
Brahmaputra. In 1993, the Bodo/and Autonomous Council
(BAC) Accord was signed but Bodo/and movement has not
been contained by signing
of
the Accord In February 2003,
the Bodo/and Territorial Council (BTC) came into existence.
But the violence, which erupted in 2012
and
2014 between
Bodos
and
Muslims indicates that Bodo problem still persists
in this region
and
new Accord did not satisfy non-Bodos in the
BTC. The present article
is
an attempt to understand the ethnic
autonomy movements in the North-East region
of
India with
special reference
to
the Bodo problem.
INTRODUCTION
ACCORDING TO the Census Report, 200
I,
the Bodos, one
of
the
indigenous tribes inhabiting the Indian state
of
Assam, are just over five per
cent
of
the total population
of
the state.1 The North-Eastern part oflndia, like
Jharkhand, Uttarakhand, Chhattisgarh, Telangana, etc., witnessed several
ethnic movements at different points
of
time. Such ethnic movements
coupled with mal-development have led to demands
of
autonomy and.
separate statehood. A section
of
academics like Sanjib Baruah contest the
historicity
of
the Bodo community. Empirical evidence, however, suggests
that the ruins
of
the Kachari Kings still exist in different parts
of
the North-
Eastem region.2 According to Baruah, Bodo1s demands are animated by the
memory
of
ancient Bodo Kingdoms, and
of
the distant past when Bodo

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