TEZPUR, Dec 28 � The National Democratic Front of Boroland (Progressive) has extended its full support to the indefinite economic blockade on all the national highways from January 1 called by the People�s Joint Action Committee for Boroland Movement (PJACBM) in demand of the early solution of a separate State of Bodoland and speedy political dialogue with the NDFB (P).
In an email, S Sanjarang, Information and Publicity Secretary, NDFB (P), stated that the Bodo people�s demand for a separate State is legitimate and justified, both constitutionally and historically, for which they have been struggling for the last 46 years. Despite the signing of two Bodo accords, the Bodo problem is still alive as the fundamental problems of the Bodos and other tribal people of Assam have not been addressed so far.
All the leading Bodo organisations, political as well as non-political including the NDFB (P), are waging a struggle for the same. The NDFB (P) has been engaged in a dialogue on the issue of a separate State with the Government of India for the last seven years. �The Bodoland State is the long-standing demand of the Bodo and other indigenous tribal people. The Bodo and other indigenous tribal people became restive in the last part of the colonial rule to assert and strive for their political rights. They launched a vigorous democratic movement with the demand for a separate State, Udhyachal for the plain tribals of Assam in 1967. Their movement continued for 22 years, but the Government of India did nothing to redress their demand. Instead their democratic movement was repressed and crushed by violent means. When the movement for Udhyachal gained momentum, Meghalaya and Arunachal Pradesh were granted Statehood unexpectedly in 1971 and 1972 respectively. The tribal people of Assam were very happy that since those States had been created without any coup or movement, Udhyachal would also be granted. Sweat, blood and tears of the Bodo and other tribal people shed during the movement yielded no fruits and the dream of the separate State remained elusive for them,� Sanjarang said, adding that the Bodo and other indigenous tribal people are distinct as they were independent with a distinct identity, unique history, language, culture and tradition.
The Bodos constitute the largest chunk of the population among the indigenous peoples of the region and have been struggling for a separate State within the Constitution of India for the last 46 years. During this period, six new States came into being in India. They are Meghalaya (1971), Arunachal Pradesh (1972), Mizoram (1986), Jharkhand, Chhatishgarh and Uttarakhand (all in 2000). Further, Telangana is in the labour room but to the utter dismay of the Bodo people, their demand for the Bodoland State has remained a cry in the wilderness. The Bodo people are the sons of the soil of the North-east and not the migrants from any alien country.
�Like the people of Jharkhand, Chattishgarh or any other State of the region, the Bodo people have historical as well as Constitutional right to have a separate State of their own. They have all terms and conditions for being granted a State. Despite all this, the Bodo and tribal people have been repeatedly denied and deprived of their due rights. Why have the Boro people been deprived so far? Why is this discrimination? We strongly feel that this is a gross Constitutional and historical injustice towards the Bodo people. There will be no peace in the North-east region until and unless a separate State is granted to the Bodo people. The Bodo people are one of the many indigenous peoples belonging to the Mongoloid race of the South East Himalayan Region (North-east India) who had established independent States/kingdoms with defined territorial boundaries in history and have inherent and inalienable rights with regard to civil, political economic, social and cultural rights. The Bodo people being the Indigenous people of the North-east India have the right to freely determine their political status and freely pursue their socio-economic and cultural development,� he added.
�We also appeal to all leading Bodo and non-Bodo organisations, political as well as non-political, to extend their full support and cooperation of the indefinite economic blockade called by the PJACBM unless a separate State is granted, � he maintained.