Assam’s apple of discord

By Nagaland Post | Publish Date: 12/13/2019 1:35:32 PM IST

 Even before the controversial Citizenship (Amendment) Bill 2019 was introduced and subsequently bulldozed post-haste in parliament in a record nine days of introduction and voting between the Lok Sabha (December 2) and the Rajya Sabha (December 11); the entire north east had vowed to oppose it tooth and nail. Even on the day the bill was being debated(December 11) there was large-scale protests in the region. The passage of the bill in the Rajya Sabha had only triggered more protests where some turned violent. As commented earlier, the CAB is being vehemently opposed in Assam primarily since it reopens an old wound within the multi-religious and multi-cultural Assamese society. In Tripura, the CAB is opposed for the very reason that it reiterated and legalises the alien invasion. The indigenous Twipuris are living witnesses to being swamped by aliens/illegal immigrants and today have been reduced to a minority in their own land. However, the agitation in Tripura has been kept on hold after the agitating leaders brokered a deal with the state BJP government. The Twipura royal scion Pradyut Deb Barma has however vowed to take the matter to court. On the day of passage of the bill, prime minister Narendra Modi assured that his government will protect the social and cultural rights of the Assamese people as per Clause 6 of the constitution. The biggest challenge will be to determine who can be called Assamese, as there is no uniformly accepted definition of the identity. There could also be legal challenges to the provisions under Clause 6 such as reserving parliamentary and assembly seats, jobs and land rights only for the Assamese-if at all one can arrive at a conclusion of what constitutes an Assamese. Though the CAB will exempt autonomous district council in Assam-Bodoland, Karbi Anglong, NC Hills and others; however they make only seven out of 33 Assam districts and do not represent the entire state.The reasons given sound good but are not based on good sound reasons. The areas under the 6th schedule will have to do more than protecting the indigenous culture etc in order to evict those illegal immigrants-turned Indian citizens (courtesy CAB). This can be seen with Karbi Anglong where illegal Bangladeshi Hindus are dominating areas such as Lumding, Hojai, Lanka etc. If this could not be done, then what use is exemption of CAB and protection of indigenous culture etc? Those areas of Assam, not under the ADCs, currently bear the brunt of having not less than 20 to 30 lakh illegal Bangladeshi immigrants especially the Brahmaputra Valley and Tripura where locals have reasons to fear that CAB will legalise Bangla-speaking Hindu Bengalis whose rising numbers and threaten the local language and culture. The real purpose of CAB is to create a Hindu vote bank and which will have grave consequences for Assam. What if lakhs out of the 1.7 crore Hindus in Bangladesh also go to Assam? Will the Modi government accept and grant Indian citizenship to them too? Bangladesh has strongly resented the alibi for CAB made by the Modi government, that it was to grant citizenship to Hindus persecuted in Bangladesh.This at a time when India seeks to mend fences with its neighbours. The anti-CAB movement is getting bigger with Meghalaya, Tripura and also Bengal getting engulfed.


Launched on December 3,1990. Nagaland Post is the first and highest circulated newspaper of Nagaland state. Nagaland Post is also the first newspaper in Nagaland to be published in multi-colour.

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