Citizenship Amendment Bill : A serious threat to Assam

citizenship amendment bill protest, citizenship amendment bill in assam
Source: NewIndianExpress
All the true Assamese people in the state are protesting against the announcement of passing the Citizenship Amendment Bill since it is a serious threat to the culture and identity of native Assamese people. A Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC), comprising 16 members headed by BJP MP Rajendra Agarwal, visited Assam for three days starting from 7th May to know the opinions of People in Assam and some organizations on the bill.

What is Citizenship amendment, Bill?

The Citizenship Amendment Bill was introduced in July 2016 in the Lok Sabha. It is a modification of Citizenship Act, 1955. This bill allows the illegal immigrants to stay in India legally, hence providing citizenship to certain minority communities from countries like Afganistan, Bangladesh, and Pakistan. It also permits the Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain and Christian religious immigrants from those countries not to be imprisoned or deported. Moreover, it also says that- to apply for citizenship in India, minimum residency period will be reduced to Six years from 11 years however, that doesn't extend for Muslim migrants.

muslims protesting citizenship amendment bill
Source: Swarajya

A small tour of Assam

Assam is a North-Eastern State of India where many communities live together and share very strong emotional bond among themselves. For those Who don't know what Assam is, Let me take you to a tour in Assam in small words.

Most famous Bihu Dance of Assam. Source: 

  • Assam has Asia's Oldest Refinery in Digboi established in the year 1901
  • Majuli is Asia's Largest River Island which is in Assam.
  • The Mighty Brahmaputra - India's only Male river flows in Assam.
  • The most famous Kamakhya Temple is in Guwahati, Assam.
  • Assam is the Largest Tea Producer in India.
  • Bogibeel - The Longest Bridge in India is in Assam again.
  • Sole Producer of Assam silk.
  • Sualkuchi - The Manchester of East, is a Must Visit Amazing place in Assam as Silk is produced in a massive amount in this place.
  • Asia's Largest Dry fish market is in Jagiroad, Assam
  • Kaziranga in Assam is famous for one-horned Rhinos.
  • Land of festivals, although Bihu is Assam's own cultural community festival.
  • Assam has the holy lamp in Dhekiakhowa, Bornamghor which has never been put out since 1461.
  • And the welcome Ritual of Assam is very unique in its own way from other states where "Gamosa", "Xorai" and "Jaapi" are offered to the Guest.
I can keep going on with the list, but I think it's enough for those people who think Assam is in Rajasthan like Deepika Padukone says in an Ad. 

How will this bill affect Assam?

Now coming to the point, Assam is a state and its neighboring country Bangladesh is a serious threat to indigenous Assamese community. Assam has an area of 78,438 Sq.KM and Bangladesh has 1,47,570 Sq.Km. Talking about permanently sheltering people from a country to a state is no way logical. According to Assam Accord , all illegal immigrants who came after 1971 from Bangladesh have to be deported irrespective of their religion. So, the implementation of this bill will lead to the violation of Assam Accord.

Why Threat? Because the majority of the Bangladeshi immigrants are minority Muslims, mostly "Miya" and they have the potential to create a humongous hive. If they are allowed to thrive in the land and water of Assam, their population will outnumber the population of native Assamese people in no time hence, identity and existence of Assamese people will be at stake. 

Secondly, the area Assam holds is not quite sufficient for building houses and cultivation for native people themselves, let alone providing shelter to some outsiders. Already cities like Guwahati are facing drain issues due to the illegally occupied drainage areas by the refugees. 

If something has the potential to wipe out the identity and existence of yours, what else can concern you more?

My Words

Staying in Assam, I can feel the heat of opposing this Bill from passing. 

For Central Government, Assam is such a magical place that pops up only during the election time, except that Assam exists or vanishes they don't give a damn.By providing citizenship to the immigrants , they are trying to build a solid and consistent vote bank. Sooner or later people of India are going to see their true color which is not going to turn out good and hence, holding the bridle of those immigrants would benefit them in the election.

If the Central government thinks India is running out of the population, they should go for the bigger states like West Bengal to provide them shelter, not smaller states like Assam. 

But, What came as a surprise is, The CM of the state along with the other MLAs preferred to keep mum instead of raising their voice against this move of Central Govt. Besides, BJP MLA Mr. Himanta Biswa Sarma once said in an interview that People from Muslim majority districts should be asked whether they are comfortable with the implementation of the bill considering other districts not being directly influenced by Bangladeshi immigrants.

Since the majority of the people are not supporting this, better would be not to pass the bill for everyone's prosperity. Assam's martyr Lachit Borphukan fought against the Mughals in the battle of Saraighat in 1671 to save his land and had a historic victory. I somewhat feel, the passing of this bill may lead to a battle again as Assamese bleed Assam and takes pride in it. 


Joi Aai Axom.

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