NE states oppose ‘One Nation One Language’ policy: MANPAC

Correspondent IMPHAL, Sep 29 | Publish Date: 9/29/2019 11:27:25 AM IST

The proposal for Hindi as a common language under one nation – one language policy of BJP-led NDA government at the Centre has become a raging debate in Manipur. Union home minister Amit Shah had recently pitched for Hindi as a common language for the country reigniting the debate on issue of one nation - one language.

All Manipur United Clubs Organisations (AMUCO), Manipur People Against Citizenship Amendment Bill (MANPAC) on Sunday registered its objection to the proposed “one nation - one language” policy.

AMUCO had already declared its stand against any move to impose Hindi in the state, alleging that the policy was a threat to the indigenous people of the region speaking different languages.

Any move to impose Hindi in the northeast region will be opposed by North East Forum for Indigenous People (NEFIP), said MANPAC convener Yumnamcha Dilipkumar on Sunday.

“If Centre attempted to impose the language forcibly in the Northeast state, NEFIP will not remain silent. We will take a collective decision to fight against it,” Yumnamcha said. He was talking on the sideline of a meeting to discuss the scheduled ‘public protests’ across NE states which NEFIP had announced to launch from October 3 against the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill 2016.

The meeting held in Imphal’s Lamyanba Shanglen was attended by leaders and representatives of several CSOs of the state and noted social activists where they deliberated on the recent development with regard to contentious Citizenship Amendment Bill 2016.

The meeting passed a three-point resolution reaffirming to oppose any move to pass the contentious CAB in any form and extending all possible supports to NEFIP’s movement against the bill. 

The day NEFIP scheduled for public protest across NE states was also endorsed by the meeting and it will stage sit-in-protest across the state on October 3.

Announcing the decision taken on Sunday’s  meeting, MANPAC convener observed that even if a clause exempting NE states inserted to the proposed amendment to the Citizenship Act, it will not serve the purpose of protecting the indigenous people of the region.

NEFIP and MANPAC will oppose any form of amendment to the Citizenship Act of 1955, he declared.

Leaders of CSOs and social activists who spoke during the meeting cautioned that BJP-led NDA government may attempt to pass the contentious bill at any time while reminding of party’s (BJP) election agenda that promised bringing back of the bill.

They also pointed out a recent statement of Assam’s finance minister Himanta Biswa Sarma who had said that the Centre would reintroduce the bill in Parliament in November.

The activists further brought the issue of making Hindi as national language of India and its possible impact to the languages speak by the indigenous people of the region.

They observed the need for smaller communities to fight against the Centre policy of one nation one language and said that such policy was a threat to the protection of languages and cultures of smaller communities, particularly indigenous people of the region.

They alleged that the Indian government has enacted several acts and laws to protect and conserve lands, plants and animals but they never considered protecting identities and cultures of smaller communities.


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