Letter from the Editor-in-Chief
North East Region of India is culturally very rich having several languages, tribes, customs and traditions. They are equally sensitive to each and every issue that affects their cultural identity. Bodoland issue was no different. Since last 50 years, the issue of Bodoland issue remained in news and marked several times with ethnic violence and killing of people. Their demand was for a separate state. In earlier accord which was signed in 1993 with All Bodo Students’ Union (ABSU) in 1993 which resulted in creation of Bodoland Autonomous Council with limited power. The second pact was signed in 2003 with the militant group, that is Bodo Liberation Tiger (BLT), which led to the formation of Bodoland Territorial Council with 4 districts of Assam – Kokrajhar, Chirang, Baksa and Udalguri. Ever since this council was created, there was a lot of visible development in the BTC region. However, the demand for a separate state continued by one or other group, thereby disturbing peace and tranquility.
The recent accord signed on January 20, 2020 at Delhi is expected to be the last accord, as demand for a separate state has been dropped and the BTC has been changed to Bodoland Territorial Area with more financial power. BTAD have also been made a member of North Eastern Council (NEC). This gives them an opportunity to directly submit proposals to North Eastern Council for development.
It appears that a state has been created within a state and also maintained the territorial integrity of the state of Assam. Taking a clue from Mizoram, the BTC which is now BTAD must focus on development and all the groups which have taken arms must forego any further demands of any nature. Peace will only prevail when the interest of the non- Bodos, minorities and other tribals who are residing in the region. We hope the wisdom will prevail and BTAD will usher in the new era of development.
Dr. K. K. Jhunjhunwala