Chatra Divas
Chatra Divas

Chatra Divas: Celebrating Upendranath Brahma's Legacy on March 31st

Honoring the Birth Anniversary of Upendranath Brahma and the Inspiring Spirit of Assam's Youth

The observance of Chatra Divas on March 31, marking the birthday of Upendra Nath Brahma, fondly called "Bodofa," carries significant cultural and socio-political importance in Assam. 

Upendra Nath Brahma, an iconic and uncompromising leader for the Bodos, was born on March 31 in 1956 in Boragari village of Dotoma, a small township in Kokrajhar district, BTR.

  • Bodofa's early life was filled with the typical challenges faced by marginalised communities in Assam.

  • Upendra Nath Brahma is considered as  the architect of modern Bodo Community. He started from scratch to build the modern generation.

  • The title of Bodofa was posthumously conferred upon Brahma on May 8, 1990 in recognition of his visionary work for the community and his able leadership. Paying rich tribute to the great Bodo leader, his birthday has been observed as Students’ Day or Chatra Divas.

  • A bronze statue, standing at a height of 21 feet (6.4 m), was unveiled in Kokrajhar on the tenth anniversary of his demise.

  • Brahma succumbed to complications from blood cancer on May 1, 1990, at the Tata Memorial Cancer Hospital in Mumbai. 

  • On May 4, his remains were transferred to Kokrajhar and laid to rest at Dotoma. Currently, "Thulungapuri" is the recognized location of Brahma's burial site.

Significance of Chatra Divas:

  • In 2022, the Assam Government chose to commemorate "Chatra Divas" on March 31st as the birthday of Upendranath Brahma, a well-known Bodo activist.

  • Bodofa's commitment to education as a means of empowerment highlights the transformative potential of knowledge and learning.

  • His advocacy for the rights of the Bodo community was characterised by non-violence, democratic principles, and inclusivity.

  • He was known for his “Non-Violent Bodoland Movement” and the famous slogan “Live and Let Live.”

  • Bodofa's vision for Bodoland emphasised solidarity, inclusivity, and mutual respect among diverse communities.

  • His advocacy for marginalised communities underscores the importance of social justice and equitable development.

Upendra Nath Brahma Soldier of Humanity Award:

  • The Bodofa Upendra Nath Brahma Trust was founded in July 1999 in remembrance of Bodofa Upendra Nath Brahma, who was the former president of the All Bodo Students Union (ABSU).

  • Since 2004, the UNB Trust Kokrajhar has annually presented the Upendra Nath Brahma Soldier of Humanity Award.

  • This recognition is given by the Bodos in honour of Bodofa Upendra Nath Brahma, acknowledging his role as the Father of Bodo.

Advait IAS