Concerning the question why Neiphiu Rio, the ex Chief Minister of Nagaland is moving to Delhi, I talked to many educated people (post graduates) and asked them questions: Should we give statehood to BodoLand? Should we give statehood to North Bengal (Darjeeling area)? Even these post graduate people had no idea of the demographics/geography/politics of Assam. It is “very far away” even for post graduate educated people.
There are many demands, yet the primary Bodo demand is KritiKal. First and foremost Bodos are Hindu. They are being overrun by illegal extremists from Bangladesh. The local government is believed to be complicit in this. The geography of the area gives the impression that this is done by a systematically organized process. Kokrajhar which is a part of BodoLand and appears to be the center of the trouble lies North of the Brahmaputra. I have been there and crossing this mighty river is not easy. There is no border between Bangladesh and Assam in this region. If the Bangladeshi illegals want to reach BodoLand, they have to cross the entire Meghalaya from South to North, which is 140 kilometers by a straight line (but by transport will be much more) and then cross the Brahmaputra and enter BodoLand. Do you think such strangers will be able to make this journey and kill Bodos and occupy their land without local support? I doubt!
I have very close relations with the North East. I am 67 years old. I have lived in Assam (Pandu/Guwahati) from 1950 to 1953. I did my schooling in Guwahati. I have widely travelled NE and visited all seven sisters (except Sikkim) between 2003 and 2005. I have an adopted son named Gaijinlung Kamei Angami who is from the Je LiAng Rong tribal group of Nagas. My Naga son’s short name is Jin.
I think Neiphiu Rio should definitely join the Delhi Cabinet. NaMo should create a department of N. E. development and appoint Neiphiu Rio as MOS to guide it. I think this is the best bet for focusing on the North East and Neiphiu Rio understands this which is why he is moving to Delhi. I hope NaMo looks at this.
By Dilip Bam
Image Source: The Great Bodoland@Facebook
Video Source: ABN Telugu@YouTube