13 April, 2021

The Quickfix Syndrome

We need people-based solutions, not placation of the strident

Illustration by Sorit
The Quickfix Syndrome

As much of India plunges repeatedly into darkness at noon, the conflict and tragedy in Assam is fading rapidly. The governments, at the Centre and the state, will breathe a sigh of relief at this reduction of the public gaze, but no one should for a moment be fooled into thinking that this seeming “easing” of tension means that any of the key issues has been tackled. Assam remains a tinderbox.

The Bodos, who are the largest plains tribe in Assam and arguably its oldest inhabitants, wield political power in the four districts of the Bodoland Territorial Council, which they regard as their homeland. Although they are the largest single group in this specific area, they do not hold a physical majority: officials say Bodos are about 35 per cent of the population, Muslims comprise 20 per cent, adivasis about 15 per cent and the rest is made up of Assamese and Bengali Hindus and non-Bodo tribes.

The Bodoland Peoples Party is a coalition partner in the state with the Congress for the second term. This presents chief minister...

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