KOKRAJHAR: The president of the Bodoland Janajati Suraksha Mancha (BJSM), Janaklal Basumatary on Friday slammed State Health, Education and Finance Minister Dr. Himanta Biswa Sarma for being 'anti-tribal'. He said Sarma was posing a threat to the tribal communities of BTC.
Basumatary said that the Congress had earlier brutally suppressed the Bodo political and linguistic movement to demand self-rule and use of own language as medium of instruction. He said that tribal leaders were engaged to rehabilitate Hindu and Muslim refugees and illegal intruders from Bangladesh in tribal protected land. "It was the upper class ruling party's policy to reduce the tribal concentration in notified tribal area and to suppress the minority tribal communities. So it was the Congress which brutally suppressed the legitimate tribal political and linguistic movement for self-rule," he said.
Basumatary said that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) was not only suppressing the tribal people aspiring for tribal self-rule in their notified area, it had also hatched a conspiracy to completely destroy Bodo tribal identity, tribal political institutions, tribal notified land protection, social and cultural institutions. To accomplish this agenda, the BJP planned to engage the Boro tribal leaders by enrolling them in the party. He alleged that the BJP lured Rajya Sabha MP Biswajit Daimary by assuring to make him BTC chief.
Basumatary said that the BJP was trying to divide the Bodo political parties and Bodo people divided among themselves by clever maneuvering and making tribal people confused. The BJP was creating a sharp difference between tribal and non-tribal population, he added. The Boro-O-Boro concept is nothing but tribal and non-tribal conflict, he said.
"Tribals are weaker section of the society, so they are provided constitutional safeguard by political, land reservation and self-administration. In the notified tribal area not only in BTC but the entire Assam, the tribals have special protection of their land rights and political rights of constitutional safeguard. Minimum right is guaranteed to tribals in tribal area," he said, adding that the upper class non-tribals could not claim equal rights in notified tribal area as they were already enjoying more benefits under the State general administration and were already more advanced socially economically and intellectually. He said the BJP was planning to destroy all the tribal protective special rights granted in the Constitution in the name of equality for all.
"Tribals are not equal with other upper class people, they are socially, linguistically, culturally and economically suppressed," he said. The tribal leader said that the ruling party wanted to keep the tribal people backward, suppressed, oppressed and exploited by taking away their constitutional safeguard protective reservation provisions. They are so intolerant of the tribal progress under constitutional safeguard reservation that they want to destroy the tribal reservation, even diluting it by granting ST status to unqualified non-tribals unconstitutionally, he added.
Basumatary said that Bodoland Territorial Region (BTR) was the brain child of Himanta Biswa Sarma with malafide intention to suppress the Bodo political aspiration while Biswajit Daimary and Promod Boro were engaged to destroy tribal constitutional right for fulfillment of tribal political aspiration to perpetuate the upper class domination.