Outsider phobia

By Nagaland Post | Publish Date: 12/15/2019 10:36:52 AM IST

 It is ironic that the catchphrase “Act East” coined by the NDA-led Modi government to conjure up intended action rather than the previous inert though well meaning phrase “ Look policy East” policy has taken an unexpected turn. Whether planned or not, when the Modi government launched its “Operation Citizenship” for all the illegal Bangladeshi Hindu immigrants numbering around 30 to 40 lakh, spread all over Assam and Tripura through the Supreme Court monitored National Register of Citizens(NRC) its sole aim was to engineer inclusion of the illegal immigrants. However it went terribly wrong as all those illegal immigrant vote banks and a large number of those who voted for the BJP found themselves at the wrong end. Then the CAB was pushed through in an abnormal haste in order to offset the upset over NRC in Assam. The CAB had been vehemently opposed by the north eastern states including the BJP’s allies in the coalition governments. It seems the lesson of the NRC fiasco has not been learnt and now the CAB has been enacted which would drastically change the Act from origin to religion. CAB has openly exposed its anti-Muslim bias where no Muslim cannot be granted Indian citizenship. This goes against the spirit of the Indian constitution and totally in contradiction with the UN charter. The north east has been placated by the union home minister Amit Shah, that CAB would not be applicable in states with Inner Line Permit such as Nagaland, Mizoram, Arunachal Pradesh and recently Manipur. Also those tribal areas under the autonomous councils and under 6th Schedule are exempted. The confusion over NRC then CAB is that the former has March 24,1971 as cut off while the latter has December 31,2014 as cut off. Probably the Modi government is aware about the lacunae but it is more intent of legalising its Bangladeshi Hindu vote bank. The north east today is rife with demands for ILP. Except Assam, Tripura and Meghalaya, all the five states in the northeast are part of the Inner Line Permit (ILP) system, where people from mainland India would not be allowed to enter without permission. Even Meghalaya is now in the process of enacting the ILP in the state. This has turned the entire north east, barring the Brahmaputra valley and Tripura, into a restricted or prohibited area. The clamour for ILP in the region defies logic at a time when the narrative of the Modi-led government is all about fast paced development and promotion of tourism. The ILP mania has come about at against this backdrop and therefore raises serious question about the actionable ‘Act East Policy.’ Neither the NRC nor the CAB nor the ILP can, on their own solve the serious concerns among the north east states against presence of such a huge number of illegal immigrants, no matter what religion they belong to. Illegal immigrants have to be detected and deported and not granted citizenship. They are offenders of the law and should not be subjectively viewed as a persecuted lot. Unless the law of the land is clear, fair and enforced without interference, then governance would be the worst casualty. Again on governance, the Modi sarkar had coined anther slogan ‘minimum government and maximum governance.’ However it appears, illogical rhetoric rules the roost.


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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