Bodo Agreement -PIB-31-01-2020
• Historic Comprehensive Bodo Settlement Agreement was signed to end the over 50 year old Bodo Crisis Assam’s territorial integrity is assured with this agreement.
• Union Minister for Home Affairs presided over the signing of a historic agreement between Government of India, Government of Assam and Bodo representatives to end the over 50-year old Bodo crisis.
• Further, a permanent solution has been found out for the problem that has cost the region over 4000 lives.
Highlights of the Bodo Agreement
• The agreement has signed to redraw and rename the Bodoland Territorial Area District (BTAD) as the Bodoland Territorial Region (BTR), in Assam.
• The BTAD and other areas mentioned under the Sixth Schedule of the Constitution have been exempted from the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA), 2019.
• The villages dominated by Bodos that were presently outside the BTAD would be included and those with non-Bodo population would be excluded.
Bodo language with Devanagari script would be the associate official language for the entire Assam.
• The criminal cases registered against members of the NDFB factions for ’non-heinous’ crimes shall be withdrawn by the Assam government and in cases of heinous crimes it will be reviewed.
Families of the people killed during the Bodo movement would get Rs.5 lakh each.
• A Special Development Package of Rs.1500 crore would be given by the Centre to undertake specific projects for the development of Bodo areas.
Significance of the agreement
• The signing of the agreement would end the 50-year-old Bodo crisis.
• People previously associated with armed resistance groups will be rehabilitated by Centre and Assam Government.
• They will be assimilated in the mainstream now.
• It will further protect and popularise the unique culture of the Bodo people and will give them access to a wide range of development-oriented initiatives.
• It will bring peace, harmony and togetherness in the people of Assam.
Who are Bodos?
• Bodos are the single largest community among the notified Scheduled Tribes in Assam.
• Bodos are a part of Bodo-Kachari and constitute about 5-6% of Assam’s population.
• They have controlled large parts of Assam in the past.
• The four districts in Assam ,Kokrajhar, Baksa, Udalguri and Chirang, constitute the Bodo
• Territorial Area District (BTAD), are home to several ethnic groups.
What is the Bodo Crisis?
• Bodos living in the hills would be conferred a Scheduled Hill Tribe status.
• Bodos maintained their original ethnic identity for centuries despite the efforts of modernization and sanskritisation.
• They faced a series of issues such as illegal immigration, encroachment of their lands, forced assimilation, loss of language and culture in 20th century.
• The 20th century Bodos emerged as a leading tribe in Assam and they heralded the movements for safeguarding the rights of the tribal communities in the area.
• Since then Bodos are consistently deprived of the political and socio-economic rights by successive state and central governments.
Demand for Bodoland?
• The isolation of the Bodos, its complex social character, and its backwardness compared to other parts of the country has all resulted in the demand for autonomy.
• The Bodos have not only become an ethnic minority in their own ancestral land but have also been struggling for their existence and status as an ethnic community.
• In 1966-67, the demand for a separate state called Bodoland was raised under the banner of the Plains Tribals Council of Assam (PTCA).
• The Assam Accord is 1985 was signed to address the demands of protection and safeguards for the ‘Assamese people’
• This led the Bodos to launch a movement to protect their own identity.
• The first organised demand for a Bodo state came in 1967-68.
• The Assam Accord of 1985, gave rise to Bodo aspirations and in 1987, ABSU revived the Bodo statehood demand.
The first Bodo accord
• The first Bodo accord was signed with the All Bodo Students Union (ABSU) in 1993.
• It led to the creation of the Bodoland Autonomous Council (BAC) with some limited political powers.
The second Bodo Accord
• The second Bodo Accord was signed by the extremist group Bodo Liberation Tiger Force (BLTF), the Centre and the state in 2003.
• This led to the creation of Bodoland Autonomous Council (BTC), which is an autonomous body under the Sixth Schedule of the Constitution.