BJP's Hindutva plank to bridge gap with Bodos
When Assam was still convulsing with clashes between ethnic Bodos and Muslim migrants early this month, a section of top Bodo leaders was attending a workshop organised by the BJP in Delhi.
The BJP has been trying to politically court Assam’s Bodo tribals, citing “common culture and religion” and a “common enemy” — Muslim migrants of Bangladeshi origin.
Although the Bodos — Assam’s largest plains tribe of a Mongoloid-Burmese stock — are largely nature-worshiping “animists” who follow the local “Boutha” faith as well as Christianity, the BJP has sought to reach out to them on a plank of nativity and Hindutva.
In Assam, ties with the Bodos – who now share power with the Congress as a junior ally – could give the BJP ample political leg room in the tribal heartland.
It’s not a bridge too far, says CK Das, vice-president of Assam’s BJP unit and a former top bureaucrat.