Bodoland

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Bodoland
Location of Bodoland
Capital
and largest city
Kokrajhar
26°24′N 90°16′E / 26.4°N 90.27°E / 26.4; 90.27
Official languages Bodo
Ethnic groups No official statistics
Government Autonomous Council in India
• Chief, BTC
Sri Hagrama Mohilary
• Deputy Chief, BTC
Sri Kampa Borgoyary
Establishment
Pre history
• BTC Accord
10 February 2003
Area
• Total
8,821.68 km2 (3,406.07 sq mi)
• Proposed area
25,478 km square
Population
• Census
3,155,359
• Density
374/km2 (968.7/sq mi)
Currency Indian rupee
Time zone IST (UTC+5:30)
Date format dd-mm-yyyy
Drives on the left
Calling code +91
Website
[1]

Bodoland (/bədˌlændˌˈbdəˌlænd/; Bodo: बर'लेन्द; Hindi: बोडोलैंड) is a geographical and political region of India consisting of areas located in the extreme north on the north bank of the Brahmaputra river in the state of Assam, in north east region of India, by the foothills of Bhutan and Arunachal Pradesh. The region is predominantly inhabited by the indigenous Bodo people. Currently the map of Bodoland includes the Bodoland Territorial Area Districts (BTAD) administered by the Bodoland Territorial Council (BTC) and other parts covering over twenty-five thousands square kilometres. The territory came into existence under the BTC Accord in February 2003.[1] The map of Bodoland overlaps with the districts of Kokrajhar, Baksa, Chirang Udalguri. At present, Kokrajhar serves as the capital of Bodoland Territorial Area Districts.

The region is also the gateway to the North Eastern Region of India, where one of the main students organization, ABSU, along with other organizations have demanded that a separate state (within the Indian Union) be created by carving out some of eight districts of the current State of Assam, namely Kokrajhar, Chirang, Baksa, Udalguri, Sonitpur, Lakhimpur, Dhemaji districts, while on the other hand it is also demanded as a sovereign state (Complete independence) by the separatist militant group NDFB. It is currently an autonomous Administrative unit constituted under the Sixth Schedule of the Constitution of India covering an area of 8,795 km2 (Provisional).

The administrative unit has been created with a mission to accomplish development in the area of economic, education, preservation of land right, linguistic aspiration, socio-culture and ethnic identity of Bodos and above all to speed up the infrastructure development of communities in the BTC area. The actual functioning of council was started on 7 December 2003 by constituting the 12 members of the Council provisionally. After the Council Election on 13 May 2005 and subsequent bye-election in November 2005, the 40-member Legislative Council has been formed to look after the development works in the Bodoland Territorial Area Districts. The remaining six members are nominated by the Governor of Assam from the unrepresented Communities. Thus there are altogether 46 members of the Council, representing all communities of BTC Area.

As per Memorandum of Settlement in the tripartite talks in the year 2003, 40 subjects have been entrusted to the BTC Authority for all round development of the people in this area. Subjects include the Tribal Research Institute, Lotteries and Theatres, Intoxicating Liquors, and Registration of Births and Deaths. The entire area covered under the BTC has been recognized with Kokrjhar as an original district and forming other new districts thus totaling four districts in the BTC Area. The area under those four district has been estimated as follows:

Sl No Name of
the District
Area in km2. Population (census 2011)
1 Kokrajhar 3,169.20 887,142
2 Chirang 1,069.96 482,162
3 Baksa 3,056.89 950,075
4 Udalguri 1,673.93 831,668
Total 8,969.98 3,151,047

[2]

Etymology[edit]

It is said that the original home of the Bodos was in north of China in between the head waters of the Huang Ho and the Yang-tzse Kiang rivers from which they moved out and dispersed in different directions. One of the groups moved into Tibet and settled there for centuries. Thus Tibet became their home before coming to India. As is known, the original name of Tibet was Ti-bod. It is conjectured by some of the scholars that the Mongoloids who lived in Ti bod were identified as bod who later changed to Bodo. It was Brian Hudgson who first applied the generic name Bodo to these group of languages. The controversial spelling of the word is 'Bodo' where the letter 'd' is pronounced not as 'd' but as hard 'r'. The Bodo intellectual leaders of the national convention who took the decision to accept the generic name 'Bodo' as the racial name were aware of it as it was already in use. At present it is found that the use of the names Bodo and Boro are going on in parallel. The decision of the 1952 national convention is thus honored. The present name of the region 'Bodoland' came from the movement started by ABSU, who became very concerned about decades of neglect and apathy by the subsequent state government towards the region and even extinction of their people due to immigration of foreigners.[3]

The term "Bodo" is used to denote a large number of tribes. In recent times, the tribe that was originally called Bodo Kachari, are now being called Bodo. This contraction, from Bodo-kachari to Bodo, is widely accepted now.

History[edit]

Pre-historic[edit]

The earliest settlers were Mon-Khmer speakers (currently identified with the Khasi and Pnar people) originating in Southeast Asia . These people settled in the foothills but were pushed up into the hills (Khasi Hills, Garo Hills, and Karbi Anglong and North Cachar Hills ) by different Tibeto-Burman speakers (Bodo, Rabha etc.) migrating from Tibet and South China.

Mythology[edit]

According to a late text, Kalika Purana (c. 9th–10th century AD ), the earliest ruler of Assam was Mahiranga Danav (sanskritized from Mairong Raja) of the Danava dynasty, who belongs to present Bodo tribe. He was removed by Naraka(Bodo: Narkhw) of Mithila who established the Naraka dynasty . The last of these rulers, also Naraka, was slain by Krishna . Naraka's son Bhagadatta became the king, who (it is mentioned in the Mahabharata) fought for the Kauravas in the battle of Kurukshetra with an army of kiratas, chinas and dwellers of the eastern coast .

The scholars have identified the ‘Kiratas’ of Assam, who took part in the Mahabharata war, with the Boro

Proto-historic and ancient[edit]

The third major ingress into the region are attributed to the Indo-Aryan speakers from North India into the Brahmaputra Valley after 500 BCE, and around the same time, from the Gangetic Delta of Bengal. This signaled the dawn of the proto-historic period and this immigration continued into the ancient and Medieval periods.

The Indo-Aryan speaking people came into a region that was already inhabited by Austroasiatic, Dravidian and Tibeto-Burman-speaking peoples, later in turn immigrated from China.

It is held that a majority of the Indo-Aryans spoke Old Kamarupi dialect or Old Assamese also known as Kamarupi Prakrit, the precursor of Assamese language and the Kamatapuri lects; and that the learned few knew Sanskrit. The Indo-Aryan language was accepted as a second language by some of the aboriginal peoples and it became a link language; and over time, it became the first language for many. In return, the Indo-Aryan languages in the region acquired linguistic features of the native speakers.

During Kamarupa rule, western Kamarupa was being ruled by the chiefs of the Bodo people, Koch and Mech tribes (Bodos living in West Bengal and Nepal). In central Assam the Kachari kingdom was growing, and further east, the Sutiya kingdom. The Ahoms, who would establish a strong and independent kingdom later, began building their state structures in the region between the Kachari and the Sutiya kingdoms.

Medieval[edit]

Three later dynasties emerged in medieval times, the Ahoms, the Sutiya and the Koch. The Ahoms, a Tai group, ruled Upper Assam for nearly 600 years (1228–1826 AD) while the Sutiya rulers (1187 -1673 AD) held the regions on the north bank of Brahmaputra with its domain from Vishwanath in the west to Parshuram Kund in the east in Upper Assam and in the state of Arunachal Pradesh. The Koch, a Tibeto-Burmese, established sovereignty in c. 1510 AD. The Koch kingdom in western Assam and present North Bengal was at its zenith in the early reign of Naranarayana (c. 1540–1587 AD). It split into two in c. 1581 AD, the western part as a Moghul vassal and the eastern as an Ahom satellite state. Since c. the 13th century AD, the nerve centre of Ahom polity was upper Assam; the kingdom was gradually extended till Karatoya River in the c. 17th or 18th century. It was at its zenith during the reign of Sukhrungpha or Sworgodeu Rudra Sinha (c. 1696–1714 AD). Among other dynasty, the Kacharis (13th century-1854 AD) ruled from Dikhow River to central and southern Assam and had their capital at Dimapur.

The rivalry between the Sutiyas and Ahoms for the supremacy of eastern Assam led to a series of battles between them from the early 16th century till the start of the 17th century, which saw great loss of men and money. With expansion of Ahom kingdom, by the early 17th century, the Sutiya areas were annexed and since c. 1536 AD Kacharis remained only in Cachar and North Cachar more as an Ahom ally then a competing force. Despite numerous invasions, mostly by the Muslim rulers, no western power ruled Assam until the arrival of the British. Though the Mughals made seventeen attempts to invade, they were never successful. The most successful invader Mir Jumla, a governor of Aurangzeb, briefly occupied Garhgaon (c. 1662–63 AD), the then capital, but found it difficult to control people making guerrilla attacks on his forces, forcing them to leave. The decisive victory of the Assamese led by the great general Lachit Borphukan on the Mughals, then under command of Raja Ram Singha at Saraighat (1671) had almost ended Mughal ambitions in this region. Mughals were finally expelled from Lower Assam during the reign of Gadadhar Singha in 1682 AD.

Colonial and post-independence[edit]

The beginning of the colonial period in the region also marked the beginning of tea plantations in Bodoland (1835) by the British which led to settlements of Mundari speaking people ( Munda, Santal, Savara, Oraon, Gond and other tea-tribes). The beginning of British administration also led to a large influx of service holders and professionals from Bengal, Rajasthan, Nepal, etc. To increase land productivity, the British encouraged Muslim peasants from Mymensingh district of present-day Bangladesh to settle in Assam that began in 1901. The last major group to immigrate are the Bengali Hindu refugees, especially from the Sylhet district of Bangladesh following the Partition of India. Inputs from these and other smaller groups have gone towards the building of a unique multi-ethnic socio-cultural situation.[4][better source needed]

Demand for a homeland[edit]

Plains Tribals Council of Assam[edit]

In the early 1960s the Plains Tribals Council of Assam (PTCA), a political party representing Bodos and other plains tribals of Assam realized that tribal belts and blocks were gradually being acquired by rich landlords or new immigrants through illegal means. Moreover, Bodos had little or no access to economic aid that was given by the central government. Without economic package to the Bodo dominated areas, education was a distant cry. In those days, there were hardly any roads and other infrastructures that connected Bodo dominated area to the main cities of Assam. These were the reasons for which, in 1967, PTCA demanded a Union Territory called Udayachal, to be carved out of Assam. The proposed Udayachal map included mainly those areas that was known as tribal belts and blocks. The creation of tribal belts and blocks (for scheduled-tribes) was a mechanism to protect farming and grazing lands mainly from rich landlord and illegal immigrants. The demand for Udayachal never materialized. Due to persistent apathy of successive governments towards Bodo community, by the end of the 1970s it became clear that Bodos had a little or no influence in the Indian political process. Specifically, in Assam Bodos areas were very much neglected. Often the financial packages meant for tribal-development were diverted and misused. For similar reasons, Khasis and Garos, carved out Meghalaya from Assam. In the late 1980s, All Bodo Students' Union's (ABSU) became very concerned about decades of neglect and apathy by the subsequent state government towards the Bodo community. ABSU and Bodo political parties jointly demanded a separate state called Bodoland. They equally want to contribute in the development of their nation.

All Bodo Students' Union (ABSU)[edit]

The official Bodoland Movement[5] for an independent state of Bodoland started on March 2, 1987 under the leadership of Upendranath Brahma of the All Bodo Students' Union (ABSU). After Upendra Brahma, an Assam revolution member himself when denied ticket to contest loksabha election, returned home to create a separatist group with the intension to move Bodos away from Assam. The ABSU created a political organization, the Bodo Peoples' Action Committee (BPAC), to spearhead the movement. The ABSU/BPAC movement began with the slogan "Divide Assam 50-50". The ABSU/BPAC leadership of the movement ended with the bipartite Bodo Accord[6] of February 20, 1993 and the creation of the BAC. The accord soon collapsed amidst a vertical split in ABSU and other Bodo political parties brought about mainly by the split between S. K. Bwiswmuthiary and Premsingh Brahma, and violence erupted in Bodo areas leading to a displacement of over 70,000 people.

Recently an indefinite hunger strike was called by three powerful Bodo organisations including ABSU in Kokrajhar town of Assam since March 10, demanding that the Centre immediately initiate “a political dialogue with all the stakeholders” to carve out a separate state of Bodoland.

The strike was called off after six days on government assurance. The ABSU decision to call off the agitation came after the BJP-led government in Assam sent a letter assuring that the government would hold tripartite talks at the political level with it before April 14 this year to look into the organisation’s demand for a separate state.

According to the agitators if their issue continues to remain unresolved despite the hunger strike, then the groups will be compelled to declare hours of road and rail blockades starting next month. “They have also warned of economic blockades on the lines of the Manipur economic blockade.”

As part of the agitation, over 2,000 people participated in the hunger strike in Kokrajhar and other parts of the Bodo Territorial Area Districts (BTAD), which also includes Chirang, Baksa and Udalguri.[7]

On 13 April 2017 the betrayal day was observed at 15 different locations of different Districts all over Assam by ABSU, NDFB (P) and PJACBM, where more than 6000 members of the movement groups and activist have shaved bald head to express that government of India is no more as the guardian of the people wanting the solution of the vexed demands by the Bodos.[8]

Insurgency[edit]

While majority of the Bodos envisaged Bodoland as an autonomous territory or state within India, a small section demanded complete sovereignty. NDFB was formed by secessionist Bodos on 3 October 1986 as the Bodo Security Force (BdSF), under the leadership of Ranjan Daimary, in Odla Khasibari village (near Udalguri ).

The Bodoland movement was mainly led by the political organisations All Bodo Students Union (ABSU) and Bodo Peoples' Action Committee (BPAC). In 1993, these two groups signed the Bodo Accord with Indian government, agreeing to the formation of Bodoland Autonomous Council within Assam. BdSF opposed this Accord. Shortly after the Accord, the Assam State Government refused to hand over 2,750 villages to the proposed Council, arguing that Bodos formed less than 50% of the population in these villages. Following this, the BdSF was renamed to National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB) on 25 November 1994. The NDFB then launched an ethnic cleansing campaign, attacking non-Bodo communities in these villages.

In the mid-1990s, NDFB also faced a rival within the Bodo community, in form of Bodo Liberation Tigers Force (BLTF). The BLTF had evolved from an older militant group called the Bodo Volunteer Force. It considered NDFB's secessionist agenda unrealistic and unattainable, and focused on establishment of an autonomous Bodo territory within India. In 2003, BLTF surrendered en masse in return for the establishment of the Bodoland Territorial Council .

In 2008, the NDFB split into two after Ranjan Daimary's name appeared in the 2008 Assam bombings case. NDFB(P), the pro-talks factions led by B Sungthagra supported peace talks with the governments. NDFB(R), led by Daimary, refused to give up militancy.

In 2012, I K Songbijit, the chief of the NDFB(R) faction's "Bodoland Army", announced the formation of a nine-member "interim national council", resulting in a split. NDFB(S), the faction led by Songibijit, is now the most dreaded faction.[9][better source needed]

After Ranjan Daimary's nod for lateral talk and separation the general meeting of the NDFB held on 13 and 14 November 2012 elected elected I K Songbijit as the Interim President of the Party for a period of one year and capt. G Bidai as the Deputy Chief of Boroland Army.

The BTC Accord[edit]

The Legislative Assembly Hall of the Bodoland Autonomous Territorial Council.

The Bodoland Territorial Council (BTC) is a territorial council established in Assam state of India according to the Memorandum of Settlement of 10 February 2003. BTC came into existence immediately after surrender of Bodo Liberation Tigers Force (BLTF) cadres. The BLTF laid down their weapons on 6 December 2003 under the leadership of Hagrama Mohilary and Hagrama was sworn in as the Chief Executive Member (CEM) on 7 December 2003. The BTC has 46 executive members each looking after a specific area of control. The area under the BTC jurisdiction is called the Bodoland Territorial Area District (BTAD). BTC constitutes 35% of marginalised Tribal groups like Bodos, Rabhas, Garos etc. who are against the hegemony of Assam government.[10][better source needed]

Geography[edit]

The geographical boundary of BTC lies between 260 7'12'' N to 260 47' 50'' N Latitude and 890 47' 40'' E to 920 18' 30'' E Longitude and is in the North Western part of Assam. Kokrajhar town the Administrative Head Quarter lies roughly between 260 25' N Longitude and 990 16' 38'' E Latitude.

Its strategic location is blessed with beautiful forest of flora and fauna.

Economy[edit]

Agriculture in Kokrajhar district

The economy is largely agricultural based which is one of the reasons the region is lagging behind in urbanization and development. The region has no industries with most of its population depending on agriculture and service sectors for livelihood. Most of the industries like oil, gas and major industries of the state are located in upper Assam.[11][better source needed]

Tourism[edit]

Tourism in the region is regulated by the department of Bodoland Tourism. Manas National Park is the major tourist attraction of the region. It also have many wildlife sanctuaries, reserve forests, site seeings, picnic spots and events.[12]

Manas National Park[edit]

Manas, the nature's abode is at the foothills of Bhutan with its unique biodiversity and landscape. The blending of the dense jungle and grassland at the confluence of Indian, Ethiopian and Indo Chinese realms enhances it as one of the richest region of wild animals. The Park harbours 60 species of mammals of which 23 has been listed in the Schedule 1 under the Indian Wildlife Protection Act 1972. The Park also has a recorded count of 36 species of reptiles and 476 species of birds. The Park is home for Elephant, Rhino, Tiger, Gaur, Wild Buffalo, Deer, wild Hogs, and many other Reptiles, Birds and Insects including some highly endangered species like Pigmy Hog, Golden Langur & Bengal Florican. It is not only a significant National Park of India, but also an important migratory corridor for the elephant population of the entire Indo-Bhutan region. Manas is also included in the much ambitious plan nomenclatured as Indian Rhino Vision -2020 (IRV-2020) since 2006, with support of Govt. of Assam in collaboration with Wildlife Trust of India. (WTI), Bodoland Territorial Council, WWF-India, International Rhino Foundation and US Fish and Wildlife Service.

Diplai Beel[edit]

It is about 30 mins. drive from Kokrajhar town. The Beel is home to a large number of migratory and resident birds and different species of amphibians; like fish, dolphin etc. You can also enjoy Boat-rides in this beel.

Bogamati[edit]

Bogamati located at the foothills between the hills ranges of Indo- Bhutan border is a hot tourist spot for picnickers and is a paradise for nature lover. The spot is a beautiful picturesque surrounded by greenery and hills along with the Bornadia river flowing downhill. Talks are on to develop water sports in this area.

Trekking of Baukungri Hill[edit]

Baukungri hill trekking is an exiting and adventerous event that is organised every year on first day of the year according to Bodo Calendar which falls in mid April. People from neighbouring states along with the host state arrives every year for a week. International tourists from neighbouring Countries and Westerns Countries are also among those who waits for this exiting event. Cultural and traditional fusion of various ethnic groups can be seen during this event. Tourists can have taste of this rich cultural event with wide range of mouth watering cuisines of the native people.

Infrastructure[edit]

Transportation[edit]

Bodoland is served by the Assam State Transport Corporation, Bodoland Transport Co. buses, private buses and cars to important places of Assam. All the important trains also have their stopage in the region.

Demographics[edit]

Population[edit]

The population of BTC area as per 2001 Census report is 2,920,000 out which the ST population is around 52% or approximately 1,500,000 of which only 3% of the total population live in urban area.The average density of the population in BTC is 326 Sq.K.m. compared to 340 per Sq.K.m. of Assam. Amongst the Tribal population Bodos, Rabhas and less quantity of Garos are inhabiting in this area out which Bodos will be 90% or approximately 1,400,000. The other communities like Ransbanhis, Sarania are inhabiting in large part of BTC. Besides Tea and Other Ex-Tea tribes including Santhal, Orao etc. are also available. Moreover, other general communities like Bengali, Assamese, Nepali and few numbers of Hindi speaking people are also found in the Council area.[13]

Religion[edit]

Religion in Bodoland Territorial Council[14]
Religion Percent
Hinduism
  
71.24%
Islam
  
19.12%
Christianity
  
9.14%
Others
  
0.5%

As India is a secular country people of the region have full religious freedom. Hinduism is subscribed by majority of the population, which now includes Bathouism due to sanskritization and convenience in census purposes. It is followed by Islam, Christianity and other minority religions.

The Bodo indigenous people were followers of the Bathouism which was based on the worship of Bathow. Traditional Hindu society looked down upon these practices. Further, many Bodos were either converting to Christianity, or were being Hinduised.

Bodo Brahma Dharma was a new religious movement agitated by Gurudev Kalicharan Brahma in the early 20th century in Dhubri District of Assam among the Bodo people after initiation in the Brahmo faith and the teachings of the Adi Brahmo Parambrahma in 1906 at Kolkatta and assisted by Rupnath Brahma.

Many Bodos who followed Brahmo Dharma started using Assamese of Gunabhiram Barua in favor of the Bodo language. In 1911, the title Brahma was formally accepted as the last name of the follower of this religion.

Education[edit]

The education system in the region is currently regulated as per the education system of Assam. School education in Assam is imparted through a number of pre-primary, primary, middle, high and higher secondary schools. The Government of Assam has implemented free and compulsory education for students up to the age of 14. Schools in Assam are either state run or under the management of private organizations. The syllabus at primary schools is established by the Directorate of Elementary Education, Assam. While most schools are affiliated to SEBA, there are several schools in the state affiliated to the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) or North East National Board of School Education (NENBSE).[15][better source needed]

All the colleges under the jurisdiction of Bodoland Territorial Council are affiliated to Bodoland University since 2017.

Culture[edit]

Attire[edit]

A Bodo girl in Dokhna.

Since ancient times Bodos were accustomed with the production of clothes from the thread of Eri and Muga. The Eri cloth is of dub colour and is durable.

Bodo women are expert in rearing the “ Endi Emphou ” ( Eri worm ) and “ Muga latha ” ( Muga worm ) and find out threads from them. They weave different kind of clothes like “ Dokhna “ ( Women’s dress for covering the whole body ), “ Jwmgra “ ( scarf of woman ), Gamsha ( Clothe for covering the lower parts of the body by man and sometimes used in bath ), “ Phali ( Handkerchief ), “ Hishima “ ( Big and wide cloth used as rugs during the winter season ) etc. out of the threads of Eri and Muga. Traditionally Bodo manfolk used to wear male garment called “ Gamsha “ ( Gamosha in Assamese ) to cover the body from waist down to the knee. There was no use of shirt in the past days. They only used a type of cloth known as “Jwmgra “made of Eri thread and a small cloth on the shoulder during the winter and summer season respectively. But at present western dresses can be commonly seen.

The dresses of Bodo women are a distinguishable feature of Bodo culture. A man can identify a Bodo womanfolk seeing dresses. Bodo woman wears her “Dokhna or Dokhona “covering the body from the chest down to the ankle. Its length and breadth is made in such a way that it can be tied one round at a time in the waist. Dokhna or Dokhona is made of varied colours and “Agor” or ( Phul in Assamese) . The Dokhna without Agor or Phul is called “ Salamatha “ or “ Matha ”. “ Dokhona Thaosi “(Pure Dokhona) is generally used as bridal attire, Bwirathi (Woman receptionist of bride and bridegroom in Bodo marriage) and “Doudini “ ( A dancing woman in Kherai puja, it is believed almighty power enters into the body of a pure soul) or during the festivals or other ceremonies.

Now-a-days Bodo women wear blouse to cover her upper bosom and adorns with “Jwmgra “(Scarf) on it. The Jwmgra covers the upper portion of the body. Bodo women wear various colours of scarf with full of Agor (handy work design) to beautify themselves. Seeing this beautiful art of the Bodo women Lady Hydery (Wife of the first Governor of Assam) made this comment, “I have travelled throughout the world with my husband but I have not seen that a mother has spun and woven the cloth for herself and for her children.”

Cuisine[edit]

The ethnic cuisine can be represented in truest sense of term by experiencing the Bodo food preparation and diet. The cuisines are basically non-veg dishes.

Oma bedor: Most Bodo people like Oma (Pork). It is fried, roasted, or stewed. The meat is often smoked in the sun for several days.

Napham: Napham is a unique dish in Bodo cuisine. It is made by grinding smoked fish, specific leafy vegetables, ground powder, and the mixture is allowed to age in a sealed bamboo cylinder. Thereafter, aged napham could be fried or used as is.

Onla: Onla is a gravy made from rice powder and slices of bamboo shoots cooked lightly with khardwi and spices. Chicken or pork can be added.

Zumai/Zou: Rice wine is produced mainly during festivals like bwisagu and domasi. Jumai can be of two types, (A) gishi (wet) and (B) gwran (dry). (A) Gishi is brewed by fermenting rice; when plum is added to the gishi mixture during fermentation, the product tastes like plum wine. (B) Gwran is produced by distillation - it tastes like Japanese sake. The Bodos examine the strength of the wine by throwing a cup into the fire. A flash of fire indicates strong wine.

Narzi: A bitter gravy that is made from dried jute leaves. Pork or fresh water fish can be cooked together to generate a distinct taste. Narzi gravy tastes like Japanese sea weed soup.It is a unique dish which is very favorite among Bodos.

Other Bodo delicacies are Phitha(Snack), Sowrai(Snack/mini meal), Kharokhandai Bibaar Ewnai (veg), Munday Maigong Ewnai (veg), Sobai Jwng Daau Jwng (chicken), Daau Jwng Kumra Jwng (chicken), Burisibru Jwng Daau Jwng (chicken), Ondla-Mewai Jwng Daau Jwng (chicken), Burma Bedor Ingkhree (mutton), Oma Khaji (pork), Oma Gwran Jwng Aloo Jwng (smoked pork), Sobai Jwng Oma Gwran Jwng (smoked pork), Ondla-Mewai Jwng Naa Jwng (fish), Ondla Jwng Naa Jwng (fish), Maitha Jwng Naa Jwng (fish), Thadoon Jwng Naa Jwng (fish), Thasso Bitroi Jwng Naasina Naa (pickled fish), Nathoor Jwng Aloo Jwng (Smoked Shrimp), Khangkhrai Bathwn (crab), Khangkhrai Jwng Maitha Jwng (crab), Ondla Jwng Khangkhrai Jwng (crab), Emphow Jwng Maitha Jwng (silk worm) etc.

Dance[edit]

Bagurumba is the traditional dance of the Bodos. The Bodo women perform the Bagurumba dance with their colourful dokhna, jwmgra and aronai. It is also accompanied by musical instruments like kham (a long drum, made of wood and goat skin or other animal’s skin), sifung (flute, made of bamboo), jota (made of iron/tama), serja (a bowed instrument, made of wood and animals skin), and gongwna (made of bamboo), tharkha (a piece of split bamboo). Other forms of dances like Hip Hop, BBoying etc. can also be seen, especially among the urban youths.

Music[edit]

The Bodo traditional musical instruments are:

Sifung: This is a long bamboo flute having six holes rather than six as the north Indian Bansuri would have and is also much longer than it, producing a much lower tone.

Serja: a violin-like instrument. It has a round body and the scroll is bent forward.

Tharkha: a block of bamboo split into two halves for clapping.

Kham : a long drum made of wood and cow skin.

Gangana: long, a smaller version of that being used in namghar.

Jota: made of iron/tama.

Traditional Bodo music is composed using Pentatonic scale, exactly similar to Chinese Traditional Music, an indication of the ancient Chinese influence.[16]

Contemporary Bodo music ranges from Bwisagu and Bagurumba music to pop and rock music. However the lack of marketing can be vividly seen.

Literature[edit]

Script is the major issue so far as the recent history of Bodo language and literature is concerned. There was a movement launched by the Bodo Sahitya Sabha in the early 1960s which was revamped again in the early 1970s to recognize the Roman script. However, eventually the leadership of the movement upon the request of the central government accepted the Devanagari script. Some researchers have suggested that the language used to use a now-lost script called Deodhai.

The Bodos have a rich repertoire of oral literature like myths, legends, folk songs, ballads, proverbs, etc. Till the first decade of the 20th century, however, Bodo language was mainly confined to the oral form. The Bodo written literature emerged mainly as an upshot of the Brahma movement dedicated itself to writing with a view to instill new consciousness among the Bodos. A section of the Bodo middle class that was largely an upshot of the Brahma movement dedicated itself to writing with a view to instill new consciousness among the other members of the community. Among the first batch of Bodo littérateurs were Pramod Ch. Brahma, Ishan Basumatari, Satish ch. Basumatary, Modaram Brahma, Darendra nath Brahma and several others. In 1952 Bodo Sahitya Sabha was formed. Since then, the Sabha has been playing a preeminent role in the socio-cultural upliftment of the Bodo Society. The contribution of the Sabha in making the Bodo language a medium of instruction up to the university level is unparalleled. The Sabha is now engaged in the publication of Bodo literary works in various fields like novel, poetry, essay, short story, drama etc. The Bodo language also made a profound contribution to the development of the Assamese language.[3]

Sports[edit]

Football is the most popular sport in the region. The region has many Football clubs of which Baarhoongkha AC, Udalguri FC and Global FC is the most widely known as they participate in Assam State Premier League, the premier football league of the state. The region has also produced many national level athletes. Other sports followed in the region are Badminton, Basketball, Volleyball, Taekwondo, Kabaddi, Chess, Archery, Cricket and other indigenous sports.[17]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ BTC Accord
  2. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2013-03-15. Retrieved 2012-12-01. 
  3. ^ a b Goswami, Madhurima. The BODOS: Culture and society. 
  4. ^ https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/People_of_Assam
  5. ^ George, Sudhir Jacob (1994) The Bodo Movement in Assam, Asian Survey 34(10) pp. 878-892
  6. ^ Bodo Accord, February 20, 1993, signed by Government of Assam, ABSU and BPAC.
  7. ^ "Bodos Threaten Economic Blockade in Assam » Northeast Today". Northeast Today. 2017-03-10. Retrieved 2017-03-27. 
  8. ^ "Kokrajhar- Bodos Observed Betrayal Day". Arunachal24.in. 2017-04-13. Retrieved 2017-04-16. 
  9. ^ "National Democratic Front of Bodoland - Wikipedia". en.m.wikipedia.org. Retrieved 2017-03-26. 
  10. ^ Bodol; Assam, Territorial Council territorial council KokrajharShow map of Assam KokrajharShow map of India Location of Kokrajharin; Kokrajhar, India Coordinates: 26°24′N 90°16′E / 26 4°N 90 27°E / 26 4; 90 27Coordinates: 26°24′N 90°16′E / 26 4°N 90 27°E / 26 4; 90 27 Country India State Assam Established 10 February 2003 Headquarters Kokrajhar Covering District; Baksa; Udalguri; 8, Chirang Government • Governor of Assam Banwarilal Purohit • Chief Executive Member Hagrama Mohilary Area • Total; bodol, 795 km2Population • Total 3 1 million • Density 326/km2Languages • Official Bodo Time zone ISTISO 3166 code IN-AS Vehicle registration AS No of districts 4 Largest city Kokrajhar Legislature type Unicameral Legislature Strength 40 Website; .in. "Bodoland Territorial Council - Wikipedia". Retrieved 2017-03-26. 
  11. ^ "Economy of Assam - Wikipedia". en.m.wikipedia.org. Retrieved 2017-03-25. 
  12. ^ "Bodoland Tourism". www.bodolandtourism.org. Retrieved 2017-03-26. 
  13. ^ "Bodoland Territorial Council | Kokrajhar". bodoland.gov.in. Retrieved 2017-03-28. 
  14. ^ District Report - KOKRAJHAR Ministry of Minority Affairs, Govt of India
  15. ^ "Education in Assam - Wikipedia". en.m.wikipedia.org. Retrieved 2017-03-27. 
  16. ^ Phukan, Mitra (2003) Musical Identity and being an Assamese. 
  17. ^ "Assam State Premier League". 

Notes[edit]

  • Taher, M (2001), "Assam: An Introduction", in Bhagawati, A K, Geography of Assam, New Delhi: Rajesh Publications, pp. 1–17 
  • Urban, Hugh B. (2011). "The Womb of Tantra: Goddesses, Tribals, and Kings in Assam". The Journal of Hindu Studies. 4: 231–247. doi:10.1093/jhs/hir034. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 26°24′00″N 90°16′12″E / 26.40000°N 90.27000°E / 26.40000; 90.27000