The Bodo Territorial Council act is the primary reason for current tensions between Bodos and non-Bodos
The ongoing spate of ethnic killings in Assam appears to be like the infamous Nellie massacre of the early 1980s. Although there is no comparison between the two in terms of scale and magnitude of loss of lives and property, there are similarities in their patterns and issues. Unlike the massacres at Nellie, Chaygaon and Gohpur in which nearly 5,000 people had lost lives and almost all the victims were migrant Muslim settlers, the casualties in the Bodoland Territorial Administered Districts (BTAD) — Kokrajhar, Baska, and Chirang barring Udalguri — involve both indigenous Bodos and migrant Bengali Muslim settlers. Like the former, however, the ethnic conflict in BTAD is rooted in conflict over land, fast-changing demographic profile, political competition, the ruling party's vested interest in allowing illegal migration from Bangladesh in order to build up its votebank, lack of political representation of minority Muslim settlers, and their consequent perceived insecurities. The last two factors were much less pronounced in the case of the former, however.
No matter how much Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi insists there is nothing ethnic about the conflict in BTAD and that the situation is well within control, the ground realities cannot be wished away. The Bodos, who constitute the largest tribal community out of a total of 34 tribal communities in the state, have invoked ethnicity to legitimise their long-drawn struggle for autonomy, varying from separate statehood to outright sovereign status, since the early 1960s. The prolonged militant Bodo movement peaked during the 1980s and 1990s, resulting in internecine ethnic conflicts leading to largescale killings and human displacement. It was only in February 2003 that relative calm was established with the signing of the Bodo Territorial Council (BTC) Accord between the militant Bodo Liberation Tigers (BLT) on the one hand and the Centre and the state government on the other.
Jwi Boro Harini
Viv La Bodoland