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The People

Origin

It is believed that the Bodos descended from the hilly terrains of Tibet and Burma. There are possibilities of two migrations of the Bodos into the rich valley of Brahmaputra. One group entered North-East Bengal and Western Assam through the valley of the Tista, Dharla, Sonkosh, and founded the powerful kingdom of Kamrup. The other made its way through the Subansiri, Dibong and Dihong valleys into Eastern Assam and laid the foundation of Chutiya kingdom.

The Bodo had exercised sovereignty in Assam under different names at different times. The western section of the old Bodo (Kachans) occupied the thrones of Koch Behar, Bijni, Darrang and Beltola. An eastern branch in the name of Chutiya also established a powerful kingdom with its capital near Sadiya and then a section of eastern Bodos maintained their kingdom with capitals at Dimapur, Maibong and Khaspur in the face of continuous invasions of the Ahoms and neighboring powers till the advent of British rule in Assam. This section of Bodos is known to us as Dimasas or Dimasa kachari (hill Kacharis).

The last migration of Bodo King from Maibong (N.C Hills) to Khaspur (North-Cachar) made Cachar Valley the ultimate seat of Bodo royal power. Eventually, the kingdom disintegrated beyond repair under the regime of Govinda Chandra Narayan.

With the advent of the Ahoms, there were many battles fought. But slowly the Bodos began to lose their position of power and settled down in Assam as the largest ethnic tribe.


Tribes

The Bodos have a lot of mini tribes under the parent umbrella. Their western tribes include the Cutiya, Plains Kachari, Garo, Mech, Koch, Dhimal, and Jaijong; while the eastern tribes include the Dimasa (or Hill Kachārī), Galong (or Gallong), Hojai, Lalung, Tippera, and Moran.

The regional aspiration of the 1980s for an identity of their own resulted in a set of demands ranging from demand for autonomy and opposition to 'outsiders' to movements for secession. After two peace accords of 1993 and 2003, the 2020 peace agreement gave the Bodos national recognition when it recognised its Devanagari script as an associate language of Assam. Bodoland is also to have the right to be represented at national level sports and cultural events such as the National Games of India and the Khelo India Youth Games.

Politically, the Bodoland Territorial Region was formed with enhanced executive and legislative powers. The Bodoland Territorial Council will have competency over almost all areas defined by the Sixth Schedule of the Constitution of India and its membership will be increased to 60.


Education

As far as education is concerned, the statics reveal the true state. So far the literacy rate of the Bodoland Territorial Areas District (BTAD) of Assam is concerned, it is considerably lower (66.25 per cent) than the corresponding state average (72.19 per cent) and national average (72.98 per cent). It is even more discouraging among the females (58.89 per cent) as compared to males (73.39 per cent).

However, some promising Bodo writers have managed to win awards for their literary works.

Some eminent Bodo writers are...

Brajendra Kumar Brahma is an author who was honored with the Sahitya Akademi Award in 2015 for editing a poetry anthology, Baydi Denkho Baydi Gaab.

Katindra Swargiary, a recipient of the Sahitya Akademi Award for his novel "Sanmwkhangari Lamajwng" in 2006, has won a lot of accolades.