“An open letter to the Octogenarians’ Club of Guwahati,Prof.Mahesh Bhuyan and DN Chakrabartty”…
When on 3rd of April,2017 I was surfing the internet for latest news updates on the Assam Tribune e-paper I came through a news article captioned, ABSU demand to divide Assam unacceptable: elders’ Club. As a Bodo I was frustrated but not surprised because these things are not unexpected. Time and again the Bodo issue is made a joke by the so called guarders of the society or the person’s who think themselves as the moral representatives of the Assam state..
The proposed Bodoland is always in a controversy due to population pattern or the demographic location and many argue that it is almost impossible to grant statehood at the present situation where Bodos are merely 30 lakhs as compared to other communities.
“I have a direct question for the elders’ Club.” As per your claim of population and demography who do you think is responsible for the changing patterns of demography and imbalance in population pattern, isn’t it the government of Assam then? What role did the favourite regionalist party of Assam play in safeguarding the tribals? Why were you silent then? What about the illegal and legal immigrants? The tribal population never consented the 1971 base year. Who is responsible for the imbalance in the population pattern of proposed Bodoland? Why didn’t you raise the issue of encroachment of tribal belts and blocks ? The fact is, the Bodos are the single largest population of Assam. Your concept of Bodoland is misguiding because Bodoland represents not only the Bodos but the entire tribal population from Sonkosh to Sadiya. Time and again you say and argue on media that other tribals have not consented to the Bodoland demand but when did they oppose it? I don’t remember any tribal organisation opposing the statehood demand. Even your claim of majority in Assam will fall flat after few years due to immigrants coming from other states or countries..Even your fear of being a minority is seen clearly when you speak and demand of making Assam a tribal state. Why don’t you speak about the population of tribals when the demand for tribal land took place, don’t you think we were majority then? Infact why don’t you say in public as to why the demand for Bodoland emerged? Why do the tribals don’t feel home in their own land? The day is near when the Bodos will be wiped out,with population outnumbered, demography heavily compromised,political rights curtailed, that is why Bodos are forced for a rethink. Assam complains about discrimination, oppression, suppression by India,agreed, it is. We don’t expect something good from India because they are not our own. But question is, Assam is run by our own people, isn’t it? then why are Bodos subjected to discrimination,oppression,suppression by our own ? Why can’t Assam hear and address our grievances ? Why mainstream Assamese don’t raise the Bodo issues or demand and cry on streets that Bodos should be given the basic rights ? I don’t remember any Assamese intellectual speaking out for the rights of the Bodos. Why Bodos are always forced to struggle for the basic fulfillment of rights?Are we second class citizens?
“Prof. Mahesh Bhuyan you said that with just 4.1 percent population speaking Bodo language,the demand for 50%area of the state is absurd and most provocative.”
Bhuyan Sir it is also absurd and provocation when the Assam government ignoring the resistance of hill districts, Barak valley, plains tribals of Assam passed the language bill in the assembly then. Though Assamese language is spoken by a large population yet the number of Assamese speakers was only 54% then. But according to State Reorganisation Commission when a particular language is spoken by 70%people then only it can be declared as a state language. Wasn’t it unconstitutional,absurd and provocative then ? If Paresh Barua, the Commander in Chief of ULFA and person like you would have raised the issue like making Bodo compulsory subject in academic curriculum then, Bodos might not think of alternative like Bodoland. Whether we are Assamese or not can be measured when the BTC government has to issue grants for building constructions in the name of Bodo departments at Dibrugarh University and Gauhati University. Isn’t it the responsibility of the university and the government ? Do we become less Assamese then? Who is responsible for the indifference created between the hill states? Why Meghalaya, Arunachal, Nagaland didn’t remain with Assam? Don’t you think somebody played serious error in creating indifferences ? Don’t you think in a multilingual state like Assam every language should get equal preference ? Why didn’t you propagate the idea of link language that prevails in Nagaland and Arunachal without giving preference to a particular language? The multilingual communities would have no say then? We also love our language and culture like you do and are ready to die for it but where is the space for promotion? where is the platform ? We also want to grow equally like you and compete with you fairly..
These things are the proof that the tribals were and is not in the safe hands, that is why we are forced to act and think different. But question is who forced us ? Why are we forced ? The answer is known to you, everyone knows it…
You support the ST status for six communities knowing the fact that it will disturb the existing setup. The existing ST’s already cleared their stand saying that they are also entitled for the same but arrangements should be made so that it remains in a balanced equation but you don’t speak out the feelings of the tribals in the media channels or all out in public. Why such double standards ? Don’t you know rights and freedom when infringes others are unconstitutional ?
When the Bodo groups cry for their demand of Bodoland the rest of Assam raise their eyebrows and tries to undermine the movement with various strategies. There is no any honest intention seen or felt in addressing the long standing issue. What is wrong actually? Do Assam feel heartbroken of loosing our brotherhood or fear political vengeance? Which one? I don’t understand.
With my limited knowledge I think the solution is too simple if acted. In simple logic we can say the Central government as parents and family having two sons Bodoland and Assam. One son, Bodoland wants his share in family’s property legally and constitutionally,he has the right of it. What’s the confusion?
Agreed#mani lolu Bodoland obuj kin2 ami maa deuta hisabe teur bhal sinta kori hahi mukhe share tu di bidai dim…Aitu hoi familyr majot. In the similar manner if central government and Assam really cares for us as a family then definitely they will support the division. Isn’t it?
The “Bhoomiputras” should decide their own fate and nobody else. It is their land, please don’t make situation like Tripura where the tribals have no say in the political affairs of the state or their own…And whether the tribals or the Bodos will be Assamese or not is to be given in their possession to decide..
“Bodoland issue tetiyale solve nohobo jetiyale kisuman tothakothito social insect bure koi thakibo je tez dim kintu bibhajon hobo nidiu aru monor bhitorote tar meaning tu bhabi thakibo je amar mati ami kyo dim.” Teuluke Jana dorkar je ai mati amaru hoi aru amiu tez dibo khaju..
“Also an appeal to the intellectuals,Sirs if you all can’t speak about the rights of the Bodos and tribals or take a stand then you don’t have a moral right to speak against the movement of tribals, may be tribals are not well learnt like you but they are taking a stand and resisting against the establishment.”
– Borosa Derhasar, Long Live Revolution