Students, research scholars and intellectuals collectively condemned the labelling of Bodo community as a dreaded militant group in the academic books written by Romila Thapar and Sanjoy Hazarika.
A protest programme was carried out at the premises of Bodoland University in Kokrajhar to draw the attention of the authors and the publishers for hurting the sentiments of the Bodo community for criminalizing the entire Bodo community for the incidents which have been committed by the fringe elements of the society.
The protestors demanded public apology from both the authors and the publishers for maligning the image of the entire Bodo community, withholding the immediate sale of the book and rectify the clubbing of Bodo community as militants from that particular sentence in the future edition of the book.
Acclaimed historian Romila in her book called ‘Ancient Indian Social History: Some Interpretations’ published by Orient Blackswan Private Limited termed the Bodo community as a dreaded militant group (page number 378).
Likewise writer Sanjoy Hazarika in his recently released book, ‘Strangers No More‘ published by Aleph Book Company has blamed the Bodo community for carrying out the October 30 bomb blasts (page number 187).
“Romila Thapar is a widely acclaimed historian and the labelling of Bodo community as a dreaded militant group in her book called ‘Ancient Indian Social History: Some Interpretations’ is a blatant disregard to the actual issues of our region and her actions should elicit strongest condemnations from all quarters. We have reservations over the clubbing of Bodos under a dreaded militant group in page number 378 of the second edition of the book, ‘Ancient Indian Social History: Some Interpretations’ published by Orient Blackswan Private Limited. It is disappointing to see that a renowned academician like her is so ignorant about the issues of the north-eastern region,” Akhil Boro, general secretary of Bodoland University Students’ Union, social workers Kansai Brahma, Maidam Narzary and Morim Daimary stated in a joint press statement.
They also came heavily on Sanjoy Hazarika who has blamed the Bodo community for carrying out the October 30 bomb blasts in his recently released book, ‘Strangers No More‘.
“We are specifically referring to page number 187 of the book, ‘Strangers No More’ published by Aleph Book Company. It is unbecoming to hear such motivated accusations against an entire Bodo community from an author who is very well versed with the happenings of the north-eastern region,” they said adding, “This kind of repeated slanders against the entire Bodo community for the incidents committed by a handful is deplorable and unacceptable to us”.
Stating that every insurgent organization has a name of its own, “so it’s unfortunate that the academicians have used the name of the ethnic community instead of the name of that particular insurgent organization” they opined.
“The publishers of the book are equally responsible for this goof up which has a very negative impact on the identity of the Bodo community. We have to emphasize this repeatedly that the Bodo community is one of the original inhabitants of Assam and they constitute the single largest indigenous community of the entire north-eastern region. The Bodo language is one of the 22 languages which is recognized as an official language under the Eighth Schedule of the Constitution of India. Bodo community is still struggling to fight for their political rights and such callous use of the word ‘Bodo militant’ undermines their legitimate struggle and movement,” they stated.
Students, research scholars and intellectuals also strongly urged the academicians and research scholars to do proper ground work before writing about the issues of this part of the region.