Letters to THE EDITOR: Don't Make a Tripura out of Assam
Don't Make a Tripura out of Assam
The entire people of Assam have collectively raised their voices against the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill 2016. The people of Assam are bitter experienced of since 1960 when the State language agitation was started, and they knew who the bad elements were. They all know how the indigenous people of Tripura lost their identity in their own home State. These indigenous people are now representing only 10% of the State's population, the remaining ones having come from East Pakistan (now Bangladesh).
All Hindu Bangladeshis migrated either to Tripura or to West Bengal during the partition of India. Tripura being a small State with lesser indigenous population, the indigenous people became a minority there. By dint of being Bengali-majority in Tripura, the State's language became Bengali since long.
While going through a book, I could remember that Gopi Nath Bordoloi, the then first Chief Minister of Assam, was at a doldrums as to what would be the language of Assam. He took the advice of Nehru who on the spot replied that Assamese would be the language of Assam.
Some of our BJP leaders plead that the country was divided on the basis of religion. We want to ask them as to how the States were formed. Wasn't it language-wise? For example, Assam for Assamese, Bengal for Bengalis, Tamil Nadu for Tamils, Gujarat for Gujaratis etc.
Accepting the illegal Amendment Bill 2016 is self-suicidal for Assam and the Assamese. Assam cannot take the burden of Bangladeshi Hindus of the post-1971 years even if the Bill is passed in Parliament. We have already lost about 855 people in the past on the same issue. Mr Shiladitya, a BJP leader of Hojai, may have dreamed for an El Dorado, but his vision will never be fulfilled. History tells us how Anil Bora (a college student) was killed in Hojai in 1960 during the language agitation. Mr Shiladitya is the most intolerant man, speaking anything he likes. He tells us that Bengali Hindus in Bangladesh are being tortured regularly, and hence the Bill may be accepted on humanitarian ground. But in his speech, in other forums, he has said that Hindus in Bangladesh have been living in peace and tranquillity there.
In 2000, what I saw in Agartala was that so many Bengalis were maintaining two houses, one in Bangladesh and the other in Agartala. If one brother was an employee of Bangladesh, the other one was a bank employee at Agartala. From time to time, they would visit each other.
In Bangladesh, there is no threat to Hindus. It is falsely interpreted at the Central government levels. Why did Mamata Banerjee and Manik Sarkar decline to accept the Bill? It is all about vote-bank politics that damages both economy and culture. In any way, the people of Assam will never allow the Bill to be passed so as not to let a Tripura-like situation happen in Assam.
During World War II, quislings were the people who collaborated with the enemy. These quislings were later on dealt with iron hands by the patriotic French people. Consider the latest confession of the ex-premier of Pakistan, Nawaz Sharif, regarding the Pakistani Army and its government's role in the 26/11 attack in Mumbai.
But our country too is sadly blessed with two quislings - Mani Shankar Aiyyer and Digvijay Singh. The duo has blamed the RSS for the 26/11 Mumbai carnage just to appease a particular religious community for votes. These quislings too should be dealt firmly at the earliest as they have tried to mislead the nation. By the way, Mani Shankar Aiyyer's love for Pakistan and Pakistanis is very much visible!
Dr Ashim Chowdhury,