GUWAHATI, July 23 - A regional-level consultation was held at the Srimanta Sankaradeva Kalakshetra by All Bodo Students’ Union, NDFB (P) and the People’s Joint Action Committee for Bodoland Movement (PJACBM) to deliberate on the ‘Challenges, Prospects and Perspectives of Ethnic Communities in North East India.’
The event titled ‘Friends of Bodoland’ was attended by leaders of all the major ethnic communities in the North East on July 21. The consultation was also attended by many renowned scholars, academicians and social activists.
Sansuma Kungur Bwisumuthiary, former MP, while addressing the gathering, said: “Bodos as a community have faced historical subjugation and exploitation at the hands of the ruling clique. Despite being the original autochthonous of the Brahmaputra Valley and the Barak Valley, the community has continuously faced attack on its history, civilisation, culture and land. Thus, it is the prerogative of the present Government to restore the dignity and self-respect of the great Bodo community, especially by giving them the State of Bodoland.”
Swapnajit Sanyal, working president, Vidarbha Rajya Agadi, representing the Vidarbha Statehood movement, said, “It is only in the interest of India that Bodoland is created at the earliest. While we firmly stand by the Bodoland demand, we urge all the leaders here to support the demand of Vidarbha.”
Jarjum Ete, former chairperson of Arunachal Women’s Commission, while supporting the cause of the Bodoland State, urged the Bodo leadership to ensure equal rights for women in all socio-political spaces.
On the same occasion, Bodhi S Ranee, co-convener of the Tribal Intellectual Collectives of India, said, “The tribal movement in India so far has been reactive rather than being strategic,” adding, “however, the Bodo movement has so far been a source of inspiration for other tribal movements in India, especially in the North East.”
U Naba Kishore Sing, representing UNMM, Manipur, said, “Successive Governments both at the Centre and the States have committed crimes against humanity by killing hundreds of civilians by imposing AFSPA.”
The student unions’ leaders representing the ARSU, Deori Sangram Samiti, JACAS, ATSU, Nyishi Elite Society Assam, All Garo Students’ Union and others were unanimous in supporting the demand of Bodoland and urged the Government to take immediate steps towards resolving the Bodoland imbroglio.
UG Brahma, former MP, said, “On behalf of the Bodo community, I extend my heartfelt thanks to the political and social leaders of Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Nagaland and Tripura for standing by us as and when we needed.”
The event began with the welcome address by Gobindo Boro, secretary general of the NDFB (P), and keynote address by Pramod Boro, president, ABSU.
The consultation was attended by more than five hundred social activists, academicians, writers and others including Berlao K Karzee, Pratibha Brahma, Dr Motilal Nunisa, Stalin Ingti and others.
The meeting, which was chaired by Raju Narzary, came to an end with the vote of thanks by Rakesh Boro, chief convener, PJACBM.