Very few people have any clue about the enormous ethnic, linguistic diversity of India. It makes Europe seem homogeneous by comparison. Not only is India diverse but the diverse ethnic & linguistic groups have a tradition of & commitment to fighting for their rights.
One such minority is the Bodo community. Originally from Tibet (which used to be called Ti-Bod), this community is centered in the northern part of the north-western state of Assam. The agitation for a specified Bodoland has been active for over 3 decades & several thousand lives have been lost in this fight. Previous Indian Governments have allocated minimal efforts at best to meet Bodo demands & quell the agitation. No wonder those efforts proved futile.
Now, Prime Minister Modi & his government signed a comprehensive accord with all the Bodo groups about a week & half ago. This accord finalizes the borders of Bodoland & delivers economic package with minority rights to all Bodos.
Not only did the Modi government negotiate, finalize & sign the accord, but Prime Minister Modi travelled to Kokrajhar in Bodoland to speak to the people. How big was that? Subir Daimary, a Bodo leader, said that “no other senior central leader ever travelled to ‘Bodoland’ ” And Hagrama Mohilary, Chief of the Bodoland Territorial Council, said:
- “By traveling to Kokrajhar, the nerve-centre of ‘Bodoland’ to celebrate the accord, Prime Minister Modi is sending the message that the accord has his complete backing. That in itself is a powerful message for the Bodo people. No other prime minister has stood by the Bodos so solidly,”
How was Prime Minister Modi received in this remote but important minority ethnic part of India? Just look at the crowd that came to see & hear him. Some estimated the crowd to be above 200,000:
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