A recent visit to Assam found that the Bodo community, which has faced years of conflict, now seems more at peace following recent accords that granted them greater autonomy. Journalist Sutanu Guru traveled through parts of Assam with large Bodo populations like Barpeta, Bongaigaon and Kokrajhar to get a sense of the situation on the ground. 

He spoke to many Bodos including hotel front desk worker Priti, who expressed pride in her Bodo identity and heritage. While Priti herself was not politically active, she recalled her parents discussing the long struggle Bodos had faced to protect their culture and language. Through negotiations over the past decades, the Bodos are now in a position where they have the ability to govern themselves to a significant degree through the Bodoland Territorial Council. 

Guru observed clear infrastructure improvements across Assam that even non-Bodo residents acknowledged. By most accounts, major violence has not occurred since the last communal clashes in 2012. The Bodos no longer feel the need to consider violence thanks to the self-governance powers granted by recent accords. 

At the same time, tensions still exist with the neighboring “Miya” Muslim population that also lays claim to land and resources in the region. Some rhetoric from Assam’s chief minister has also exacerbated unease between communities at times. However, for now an atmosphere of relative peace and normalcy seems to be holding.

The reporter also spoke with Bodo driver Pramod Bramha, who felt his community had achieved most goals through the accords. But he noted one thing they could never gain is electing a Bodo MP from the predominantly Muslim Barpeta constituency. So political representation remains an unfulfilled issue.

Overall, it appears years of armed struggle and unrest have given way to a calmer climate for Bodos, allowing them to focus more on preserving culture than conflict. This stability could benefit all groups in Assam as the nation heads into crucial Lok Sabha elections where development is a major theme. Continued implementation of accords will be key to sustaining peace in the diverse northeastern state. This  discusses the improving situation for Assam’s Bodo community ahead of elections. After decades of strife, recent accords granting them autonomy seem to have brought more stability and peace. While tensions with Muslims persist over land and politics, infrastructure is growing and overt violence has reduced. The Bodos now have means to preserve their heritage without conflict being their main concern.