Bodoland, the next Gaza Strip?

Posted on November 20, 2012


In a country where citizens are put behind the bars just because of Facebook post, I fear what might happen if I express my serious opinions on a sensitive topic like the BTAD violence. Being a resident of the state, and particularly in a locality that ‘was’ surrounded by numerous illegal Bangladeshi immigrants, I could in fact whole of Assam could reckon what was about happen for a long time. The authenticity of the fact about the presence of illegal Bangladeshis can determined from my very second sentence where I used ‘was’, as after the so called riots, their population has significantly decreased. So no matter, what our Swiss Bank account holders say, we the people of Assam are very much sure of the fact that, all these trouble is the brain child of the illegal influx.

The BTAD part, for those who have only memorized the word as a current affair, it stands for Bodoland Territorial Areas District. Going even more deep, Bodo (Pronounced as Boro) is an indigenous tribe of Assam and BTAD is the region where in they mostly inhabited. Days back, one of a very prominent journalist in the Assamese Media Industry comment upon BTAD, saying, “I don’t want to see Bodoland becoming the next Gaza Strip.”

What an apt comment sir, the situation of Bodoland and the problems associated with it as complicated as that of the Gaza Strip. Prior to the present bloodshed in the region, trouble prevailed in the same region when demand for the formation of Bodoland was on. It was on 10 February 2003, when the BODOLAND TERRITORIAL COUNCIL (BTC) ACCORD was signed, creating the Bodoland and brought in hopes to end years of violence. Personally what change this accord brought in to me, my birth district changed from Nalbari to Baksa owing to the formation of new districts.

Leaving the history behind, what Tehalka sub heads about Bodoland violence is “The riots in Assam were not communal, not about Hindus and Muslims. They were about ‘outsiders’ encroaching on ‘our’ land”, clearly indicating of the predicted troubled as mentioned in the first paragraph. However quoting an exact paragraph from the Tehlka report, it says:

“While the issue of illegal migration has often been cited as the sole reason for the present state of affairs in Assam, the reality on the ground is far more complex. An inept administrative machinery, lack of coordination, a myopic vision and of course, the unwillingness to acknowledge a growing problem have all, in part, contributed to the bloodshed.”

People in relief camps after the violence. Credits: Tehalka

This is more than enough to suggest about why Bodoland is compared to Gaza strip. The conflicts in the region have far complexity associated with it, then what it seems. There is internal politics associated as well as the matter of illegal Bangladeshis. Even in a way, the instance of illegal Bangladeshi immigration can also be classified as internal politics and many theories claim that to be vote bank politics. If eyebrows are raised at this comment of mine, I would say, I quoted it as theory, not truth, but also mind, it is not a hypothesis.

At present, it’s beyond my limits to explain what the situation exactly is. And I am resource less enough to just pray for things to get into place. But I am sure of a thing, if things happen to be remain the same, in a very short time, we might see further fragmentation of Assam, just as it did in 1963, 72 and 87.