LAKHIMPUR: The 4th Bodo Accord Day was observed by the United Bodo People’s Organization (UBPO) and the Bodo-Kachari Welfare Autonomous Council (BKWAC) in Dhemaji district in an enthusiastic environment on Saturday.
The tripartite accord was signed in New Delhi on January 27, 2020, by representatives of Bodo organizations with the Central and Assam governments. It presented a new model of power sharing and governance in Assam under the Sixth Schedule of the Indian Constitution. The accord was inked among the All Bodo Students’ Union (ABSU), the United Bodo People’s Organisation (UBPO), and all four factions of the National Democratic Front of Boroland (NDFB).
To observe the day, UBPO and BKWAC jointly organized a day-long programme at the secretariat of the autonomous council, located at Sanjari Nwgwr, Simen Chapori under Dhemaji district, in a befitting manner. The agenda of the event began with the unfurling of the organizational flag by Manuranjan Basumatary, the UBPO president, at 8:30 a.m. It was followed by the smriti tarpan programme, which was inaugurated by BKWAC Chief Executive Member Mihiniswar Basumatary. Then the Deputy Speaker of the BKWAC, Srijwn Basumatary, garlanded the statues of Bodofa Upendra Nath Brahma and other martyrs of the Bodo community.
It was followed by a public meeting, which was held under the management of Sukreswar Goyary, an officer on special duty in the BKWAC. UBPO central committee president Manuranjan Basumatary took part in the public meeting as a guest of honour. While delivering his speech, Manoranjan Basumatary said that, as a result of the long-standing armed movement, the BTC Accord was signed in 2003 under the leadership of the BLT. “Thereafter, though BTAD was formed covering Kokrajhar, Udalguri, Chirang, and Baksa districts of the state, more than 10,00,000 Bodo people living in other districts had to be deprived of the BTAD benefits. The UBPO was formed in 2014 for the comprehensive development of the Bodo people living outside BTAD and to secure their political, socio-economic, academic, cultural, and land rights. Under the leadership of the UBPO, a democratic movement was initiated to demand the constitution of the BKWAC. The Third Bodo Peace Accord, or BTR Accord, was signed on January 27, 2020, between the four factions of the NDFB, the ABSU, and the UBPO with the central and state governments as a result of continuous democratic movements. Though the BKWAC was formed as per Pata 5.1 of the BTR Accord, the election to the council has not been held by notifying its villages and delimiting the constituencies till date. It is unfortunate that the government has still not taken steps to hold elections to the BKWAC and make it a strong and full-fledged autonomous council. It is not possible to achieve the development of the 10,00,000 people with the limited funds allocated by the government to the BKWAC, which has been formed by covering the Bodo people living from Dhubri to Sadia outside BTAD and to the Bru and Reang people of the Barak Valley”, Manoranjan Basumatary asserted while demanding that both governments implement the BTR Accord with letter and spirit before the Lok Sabha election.
Attending the public meeting, BKWAC Chief Mihiniswar Basumatary said, “There is no alternative to a unified political movement to achieve inclusive development of the Bodos. If our society is divided, we will never be able to achieve our goals. Despite decades of democratic and armed movements, the Bodo community has still not been able to create an environment that can build a beautiful, prosperous, work-cultured society for future generations of the community. The Bodo movement resulted in three agreements. Thousands of fighters sacrificed themselves and were martyred for the sake of the community. However, due to the lack of goodwill of the government, the Bodo community is still suffering a lot from various burning problems.” Mihiniswar Basumatary urged the youths to establish themselves with quality education and devote themselves to building the community into a strong one. The event was graced by a host of leaders and dignitaries from almost all the Bodo community frontal organizations, including BKWAC and other community organizations. Several cultural programmes were also conducted to celebrate the occasion.