The problem of insurgency in Assam is often discussed as political phenomena. But a few people have tried to get to the root cause of the problem. Ethnic identity crisis can be considered as the root cause of terrorism in Assam.
THOUGH THERE are lots of reasons for the decades-old insurgency in Assam, the main cause can be traced to the ethnic identity crisis. The problem of insurgency in Assam is often discussed as political phenomena. But a few people have tried to get to the roots of the problem. Assam is considered as the land of several tribes and communities having different cultural and social thoughts and beliefs. There are lots of linguistic differences as well as religious differences. So, there are differences of opinions as to how these differences can be a major factor for the growth of terrorism.
As in the process of formation of Assamese nationality, most of the tribes have lost their ethnic identity. But major political developments or changes have compelled them to think about their ethnic identity. There is a threat to the identity of various ethnic tribes and communities in Assam. The threat to the existence of most of these communities has been translated in the form of several agitations. First of all is the decades-old agitation of the Bodo community, still in the hunt for its existence in Assam. Bodos, it may be mentioned, is an indigenous tribe of Assam, mainly confined to the Brahmaputra Valley. They still have their own cultural and linguistic identity. But in the process of Assamese nationality formation, some of them have lost their ethnic identity. The Bodo movement in Assam, somehow, brings some revivalistic tendencies among them.
It is believed that most of the insurgent groups have taken advantage of these kinds of revivalistic tendencies. Insurgent groups are always hijacking the minds of the youths. This may well be seen as the root cause in the increase of the number of militant groups over the years.
After the historic Bodo Accord was signed in 2003, Bodo leaders, especially cadres of the now-disbanded Bodo Liberation Tigers (BLT), entered the political spectrum. However, the fight for an independent Bodoland continues, with another Bodo millitant group, the National Democratic Front of Bodoland (BDFB) still staging a war against India in the name of freedom. They are somehow trying to show their strength through subversive activities, particularly through blasts and killings. It leads to devastating ethnic movements in other tribes and communities of Assam too. In this regard, we can also discuss the ethnic isolation of several groups as a root cause of insurgency in Assam. It is often discussed that most of the ethnic groups are deprived by the government with regards to socio-economic development. And almost all the major insurgent groups are taking advantage in so far as recruiting new cadres from such communities. Various political parties are not interested in solving the insurgency issue since it is an issue through which electoral gains can be made. The recent developments in the region are also depicting the same thing. But still we can discuss the ongoing peace process in the region. Some of the rebel groups have already come to the mainstream, abjuring violence and surrendering arms. There are still several ceasefire rebel groups extending their efforts towards restoration of peace. But with the government yet to consider initiating formal peace talks with urgency, there are chances of the law-and-order situation deteriorating in Assam.