GUWAHATI: North-East Forum for International Solidarity (NEFIS) strongly condemns the BJP Government’s communal intent in stirring up the ongoing controversy over the Citizenship Amendment Bill. The Bill permits the minorities of Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan to become citizens of India. The communal angle here is starkly evident from the fact that the minorities from only three countries have been given space in the current bill, while the minorities from other neighboring countries have been consciously kept out of the scope of the bill. The proposed bill is premised on the religious persecution of non-Muslim minorities in neighboring Muslim majority countries, and deliberately elides the question of providing asylum to persecuted minorities of other countries. The bill aims at creating a notion that Hindus have a natural homeland in India, while others do not.
It should be noted that the minorities in Sri Lanka and Myanmar too have faced persecution in the recent past. Exhibiting its entirely communal stance, the BJP government has refused to grant even asylum to the Rohingyas because it sees them as unwanted illegal immigrants. The Rohingya people of Myanmar, it should be known, have been victims of state-sponsored genocide. To escape the persecution, the community had to migrate to the neighboring India and Bangladesh, but the BJP Government has sought to drive the Rohingyas back to Myanmar. Clearly, the ‘illegal’ persecuted immigrants of particular communities are of no concern for the communal BJP government.
NEFIS condemns the Citizenship Amendment Bill which has been conceived with conscious communal intent. It stands for granting asylum to persecuted immigrant people which is also constitutionally mandated. NEFIS is of the opinion that the in order to forestall the misapprehensions of the various states especially North-East states where the persecuted immigrants from neighboring countries have sought asylum, the government should bring in a quota system to distribute them in different states across the country.
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