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Why Assam is Becoming a Pivot of Dispute

As Assam consist of both Assamese and Bengali language speaking people in the area there is constant threat to the inhabitants from the Bengali speaking.

A well thought of long-term strategy to destroy the pluralistic culture and ethos of India is the name of new act called as NRC (National Register of Citizens). Assam which is known for its beauty and tea cultivation has been a hub of dispute. The whole issue cropped up when the Assam government released second NRC draft on July 30th 2018, the daft consisted of 3.29 crore people who applied among which 2.89 crore were declared as genuine citizens. The NRC draft excluded over 40 lakh people which created a situation of panic in the whole state, a lot of people were excluded from the list among which there was the family of former first family of Indian President “Fakruddin Ali Ahmed” and his family which was not mentioned in the NRC. Simultaneously discontent and anger started brewing up in ethnics of Assam and whole state started burning, seeing this scenario the government came up with another act called as CAA (Citizen Amendment Act) which assured to provide citizenship to the people who were not included in the NRC list.

However, CAA created another set of tension in whole north east state as the people in north east flared up over the fact that the new citizenship law which would grant the permission to Hindus, Christians, Sikhs, and other non-Muslims minorities from other countries to seek Indian Citizenship much easily. People were protesting because of the threat to the demographical and cultural change which will take place due to the entry of illegal immigrants. This created a pivot in difference of opinion and protest were reported in different parts of north east as Mizoram and Manipur were the part of the protest in the month of January however the protest shifted to Assam due to which heavy troops were deployed in bulk and there was a complete internet shut down and the curfews were placed.

As Assam consist of both Assamese and Bengali language speaking people in the area the threat to the inhabitant there is that the Bengali speakers’ dominated Barak Valley and the people in other parts fear that CAA will lead to lakhs of Hindus from Bangladesh flooding indigenous communities, burdening resources and threatening their language, culture and tradition. The biggest fear among them is ethnics will become a minority in their own state and motherland. CAA has a 2014 cut-off date but protesters say Assam bore the brunt of immigrants from 1951 to 1971, while other states did not, and it is unfair to impose more on the state. Protesters say they do not trust the Centre and CAA will undo the Assam Accord.

In the year 1979 people catch a sight of unusual increase in the number of voters from the Mangaldoi Lok Sabha by-poll and were inclined to think that the rise might have happened due to the entry of illegal migrants due to which there was a massive amount perturbation in the whole state leading a number of death of 855 people over six years. Seeing the scenario, the Assam government signed the Assam Accord in 1985. According to Assam accord date of detection and deportation of foreigners were set as March 25, 1971 and for other states, it was 1951 however CAA now has a new cut-off date of 2014. Protesters say it, hence, violates the accord.

Due to the violation of accord the protest in Assam is getting huge day by day as there can be seen a spontaneous participation of the students and destruction in public properties. Assam’s Chief Minister Sarbanand Sonowal has assured people by saying them that the situation will prove to be beneficial for the people of Assam and the state is going through drawn out phase of peace and development.

The views and opinions expressed by the writer are personal and do not necessarily reflect the official position of VOM.

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