What we experienced in Assam's Kokrajhar and Chirang districts is really so painful and embarrassing for all of us. So sad that even the 21st Century India is witnessing riots and sectarian clashes, which dent our pride of being an emerging economy to a great extent.
However, the real issue is not the denting of our international image (though that is undoubtedly a crucial issue). What is more painful is the fact that while we have been successful in touching economic achievements and technological expertise, we have failed to cure a serious grass root level ailment – inter communal/sectarian animosity. And as a nation that claims itself to be progressive and modern, it is a great failure for us.
The riot has brought under scanner the effectives of Bodoland Territorial Council, with many people including Bodos highlighting how and why the Council has failed to achieve the objective for which it was formed.
It is indeed very important to analyze Bodoland Territorial Council, identify the loopholes and address the same. However, what is also important is to identify the factors due to which we are failing to wipe out inter-communal/sectarian animosity, and then wipe out those factors from the root. Otherwise such unfortunate incidents will continue to take place, no matter whatever steps are taken on the par of the government.
In this context I will like to highlight one thing. Some people have raised this point that the clash was a result of illegal migration from Bangladesh, which has resulted in a huge number of Bangladeshi Muslims in the Bodoland Territorial Areas District. Well, illegal migration from Bangladesh is certainly a serious problem. However, it must be noted that Bodos have expressed their displeasure over the presence of a number of non-Bodos in that area, without showing any specific grievance on the presence of alleged illegal migrants from Bangladesh. It means that they are averse to the presence of all non-Bodos, irrespective of the fact whether they are illegal migrants from Bangladesh or from India (in fact Assam) itself.
And yes, steps should immediately be taken to address whatever gaps and deficiencies that exist in the Bodoland Territorial Council. The government has to be very serious in eliminating every drop of grievance from the minds of our Bodo brothers and sisters, so that they never have this feeling that Bodoland Territorial Council is just a showpiece without any ability to deliver. After all it is known to everybody that if the government fails to address the grievances of our Bodo friends, then it will give a huge scope to Bodo insurgents to enhance their so-called struggle for a separate Bodo state.
May I suggest something? Is it possible to make a law wherein no non-Bodo will be permitted anymore to buy a land or house in the Bodoland Territorial Areas District? I am not suggesting that the government should ask all those non-Bodos to leave who have already bought lands and/or houses in that area. I am only suggesting that no more non-Bodo should be permitted to buy land or home in that area. Personally I feel that permitting non-Bodos to buy properties in that area is severely diluting the effectiveness of Bodoland Territorial Council.