Guwahati By P K Sai
The Homecoming- A small step towards nation building: Assam has been a disturbed state since the term “Bodoland” was coined. Insurgency was used as a medium to gain power and authority and force the demands. As a result of this, the National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB) came to be known as a rebel outfit. With its own multiple factions, led by various leaders, the outfit’s intent was all against the welfare of the Nation.
However, after years of struggle between the outfit and the Central government, it was a welcoming news that the country woke up to over the last weekend. All the factions of Bodo militants along with their leaders returned to mainstream and surrender ceremony was organised by the state govt which further resulted in signing of the Bodo accord.
The Central government has been initiating necessary measures to make a peace accord with NDFB militant outfit organization, involving all factions of the organization. It was a sigh of relief for the civil administration who have been constantly working towards the peace process which saw the Peace accord finally signed. And, if all process fructifies as per the plan, it may be a good beginning and a new era for the state of Assam, which looks bright as a positive, peaceful, progressive and economically vibrant part of a greater India.
The media is loud about celebrating the moment. It is strange to see politically motivated media bytes, news tickers and interviews sharing the limelight and taking singular credit to actions that culminated in this homecoming. And amidst all this humdrum, we are forgetting the contribution of the Armed Forces who had literally adopted the state.
The steps they have taken over the years to nurture, nourish and Ensure the growth of the state, among all the adverse conditions has been quietly sidelined. The work done by the Army under the guise of the uniform always was a step towards benefit and progress of the Nation. The various units of Indian Army, posted at each strategic location ensured the amalgamation of the locals in day to day activities.
The establishment of the military camps in the remote locations ensured that along with security, employment opportunities too were provided. The gradual culture change that took place in the entire Bodoland due to the presence of the troops is visible by the way the locals took up various lifestyle change activities. Regular medical camps were organized at locations where civil administration failed to reach.
Transport, medicines and logistics were provided to ensure that the patients got basic medical facilities and better treatment if needed. Under the Khelo India Mission of the Central govt, the units organized sports events in conjunction with the local clubs. Such activities provided the youth and the children with an opportunity to freely interact and get motivated from the Armed Forces.
The various National Integration Tours (NIT) that have been frequently organized by the units, have given the young minds a life time opportunity to see and learn about their country. The dream of meeting the President of the country has been fulfilled for many, when the underprivileged children from militancy affected locations were brought for a visit to the capital city of New Delhi. Such tours and trips have opened up the minds of the enthusiastic young ones and given them a vision to focus on. They have returned with stories to share with their peers and create more interest to grow and learn.
The various seminars, talk shows, events and lecture sessions that were held in various schools and colleges to initiate and motivate the children and local youth to take up the main stream careers have worked wonders. We now find the students from these areas seeking admissions in colleges of New Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore and Pune. They have seen the new India and they feel good about living in it too. They return back to their villages as a live example of progress and better lifestyle.
All these above activities by the Army cannot be ignored. They have been toiling day and night from the grass root level to eradicate insurgency, militancy and poverty. The troops and their families have been actively organizing and participating in all local festivities and festivals. It is a win-win situation and learning experience for both.
While the children of the troops learn about the local culture, the locals in exchange get an opportunity to sell their products and handicrafts. Such festivals are a gateway to a better economy and generates a source of income. While we sit and think back the reasons behind the homecoming of the NDFB, we really cannot give credit to a single person. It was a combined effort from various agencies, with huge contribution from the Army who have taken each success as a small step towards Nation building.
They remain the quite and silent spectators of their own deeds. They never claim credit nor hog the media limelight. None of them have been giving out interviews or boasting of their success, yet, one deep thought is self- explanatory to understand that it is not an easy task to build trust, faith and confidence among a single person.
And here we are talking of an entire armed militant factions who have taken the right step towards the main stream and decided to return home for their own betterment and welfare of the nation as a whole. If we cannot show our gratitude, lets at least not ignore the tough work that the men in uniform have done. It was not about homecoming only, it was about abolishing a ‘Industry’, better known as “insurgency” from the state of Assam.