At a time when the agitation to withdraw the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) is underway, the Narendra Modi government seems to be working fast to resolve pending issues related to minorities and ethnic disputes in the Northeast. Although the CAA is in the headlines, Union Home Minister Amit Shah has stepped in to reach two important agreements to end the 50-year-old Bodo problem and the 23-year-old issue of rehabilitation of the Burr-Reangs in Tripura. .
The ethnic dispute related to Bodo has killed more than four thousand people so far, but with the recent agreement a permanent solution to the problem has been found. Under a landmark agreement between the Central Government, the Government of Assam and the Bodo militants, the Center has committed to provide a development package of Rs 1,500 crore for the development of some special projects in the Bodo areas. In return, around 1,500 armed cadres will renounce violence and join the mainstream. After the agreement, the government said that a detailed and final solution has been found for the demands made by the Bodo organizations. Now after several years of dispute, Bodo factions will leave the path of violence, lay down arms and shut down their organizations. The Central and Assam governments will take steps to rehabilitate 1,500 of these cadres.
A few days before this historic Bodo agreement, the Home Minister played a decisive role in signing the agreement in New Delhi between the central government and the governments of Tripura and Mizoram and representatives of Bur-Reang to end the 23-year-old crisis of these refugees. . After this agreement, Bura-Ryang will be able to settle permanently in Tripura. 600 crores will be spent for their rehabilitation.
The 23-year-old problem of Bru-Reang refugees had become canker. It originated in 1997 in Mizoram amid ethnic tensions when 5,000 families with around 30,000 members fled the state and took refuge in Tripura. These people were kept in temporary camps in northern Tripura. The problem of these displaced tribes continued to persist, but after 2010 some efforts were made to rehabilitate Boor-riang. Out of the 5,000 families, about 1,600 families were repatriated and the Central Government took the initiative to assist the governments of Tripura and Mizoram. The first major initiative of the Modi government was seen in July 2018, when the government signed an agreement.
As a result, assistance to these families was increased. After this, 328 more families with 1,369 members returned to Mizoram, but after this, the Bury Adivasis wanted a solution that would allow them to settle permanently in Tripura. They believed that they would be more secure in the state. The new settlement will now benefit about 34,000 Bru-Reangs, who live in six camps in Tripura.
According to Tribal Research and Cultural Institute, Tripura, Reang is the second largest tribal community in the state and has been recognized as one of the 75 primitive tribes in India. Reang is said to have come from the Shan state of Myanmar, moved to the Chittagong hill regions and then to Tripura. There was another group, which came to Tripura via Assam and Mizoram during the 18th century.
The institute says that the Ryangas have a population of 1.88 lakhs and are divided into two major families – Meska and Molsoi. They are still nomadic tribals and a large number of them are dependent on jhum cultivation of the mountain. Their language is known as Kobaru. A large population of them follow the Vaishnava sect. Reang has many outstanding cultural aspects of folk life and culture. The most popular of these is the Hojagiri dance, which is performed with the melody of the flute.
Apart from Home Minister Amit Shah, this historic signing ceremony was attended by Tripura Chief Minister Biplav Kumar Dev, Mizoram Chief Minister Joram Thanga, Himachal Biswa Sarma, President of Northeast Democratic Alliance, Pradyot Kishore Dev Burma, descendants of Tripura’s royal family, and senior representatives. As per the agreement, each member of the Bru family living in Tripura will be given a plot, a fixed deposit of Rs four lakh, Rs 5,000 per month for two years, free ration for two years and Rs 1.5 lakh to build their home. The plot will be provided by the Tripura government.
The Home Ministry had started serious efforts to end the problem facing the Bru tribals. The Home Minister decided to bring the two state governments and the Bru people together a few months ago. He also spoke to the King of Tripura and various tribal groups to support the initiative of resettling the Bru people in Mizoram instead of rehabilitating them. As Amit Shah said after the recently signed agreement, it is part of the government’s ‘Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas, Sabka Biswas’ policy and emphasis on resolving pending issues of the Northeast. Both of these agreements show the sharpness of the government, which wants to resolve the pending issues of the Northeast and take these states on the high road of development. Still, some disgruntled minorities, unaware of these positive initiatives in the Northeast, continue to agitate on non-issues.