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‘State Cabinet nod to make Bodo, the associate official language of the State’

  • Category
    Polity & Governance
  • Published
    13th Oct, 2020

The Assam cabinet has decided to make Bodo the associate official language of the state.

Context

The Assam cabinet has decided to make Bodo the associate official language of the state.

About

  • Bodos are the single largest tribal community in Assam, making up over 5-6 per cent of the state’s population. They have controlled large parts of Assam in the past.
  • The four districts in Assam — Kokrajhar, Baksa, Udalguri and Chirang — that constitute the Bodo Territorial Area District (BTAD), are home to several ethnic groups.
  • The Bodos are considered to be the earliest indigenous inhabitants of the Brahmaputra valley having their own kingdom, religion, culture and language.
  • There are different opinions by historians regarding the origin of Bodos, with many saying that the term ‘Bodo’ is derived from the Tibetian word ‘Bod’ — meaning homeland.
  • According to historians, they belong to the Tibeto-Burman family of the Mongoloid race.
  • Their population is concentrated mostly on the North bank of the Brahmaputra river, in western and parts of Central Assam, the northern part of West Bengal and in some parts of Bhutan and Nepal, Arunachal Pradesh and Nagaland.
  • The traditional religion of the Bodos is Bathouism — they traditionally worship Bathou-Borai, often identified as the Hindu God Shiva.

About Bodo Language

  • Bodo language, which is one of the 22 scheduled languages of the country.
  • Bodo language, a language of the Tibeto-Burman branch of Sino-Tibetan languages having several dialects. Bodo is spoken in the northeastern Indian states of Assam and Meghalaya and in Bangladesh.
  • It is related to Dimasa, Tripura, and Lalunga languages, and it is written in Latin, Devanagari, and Bengali scripts.

Bodo-Kachari autonomous welfare council

  • The State Cabinet has also created Bodo-Kachari autonomous welfare council outside the sixth schedule area for the welfare of the community, particularly for those who living outside the areas of the Bodoland Territorial Region (BTR).
    • The Sixth Schedule of the Constitution has provisions for the administration of tribal areas in the border states of Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura and Mizoram.
    • It has provisions for the constitution of autonomous districts and councils.
  • With this, the Assam government has fulfilled one of the key promises of the Bodoland accord signed with the National Democratic Front of Boroland(NDFB) earlier this yea

The Third Accord

  • The BTAD was rechristened Bodoland Territorial Region (BTR) with the signing of the third Bodo accord on 27 January.
  • The Centre and Assam government signed the accord with the four factions of the NDFB and the ABSU.
  • In this accord, the government has made a provision under the Sixth Schedule of the Constitution to appoint a commission that would recommend the ‘inclusion and exclusion’ of villages under BTR.

BTR Elections

  • In another important move for the Bodoland region, the state cabinet decided to request State Election Commission to schedule BTR election in December 2020.
  • The term of the sixth schedule erstwhile Bodoland territorial council (BTC) ended on April 27.
  • Election to the council were to be held April 4, but had to be indefinitely deferred due to COVID-19 pandemic and the ensuing lockdowns.
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