EDITORIAL

Future of Assam: Foreigners’ Issue, Exodus of Climate Migrants

Chandramohan Kakati

(The writer is Ex-Deputy Commissioner & Collector,
he can be reached at kakatichandramohan7@gmail.com)

BJP scripted history with resounding victory in Lok Sabha Election, 2014 with seven M. Ps from Assam plus with formation of BJP-led alliance government in the state for the first time in political history of Assam ; it is expected that every ethnic Asamiya of various communities so to say suffocating Asamiyas would definitely get some oxygen to breath freely in the face of Assam being swarmed like ants and vultures by these migrants keeping a little space for sons of the soil in almost eleven districts till date and more districts to be in their grip in the near future. Successive governments at the Centre ignored the grave warnings on migration from East Bengal (East Pakistan/Bangladesh) and we may recall what S.C. Mullan, the then Census Superintendent said in 1931 that migration of East Pakistanis would alter the states future and he minced no words to say that the migration would pose a greater threat to Assam than Burmese conquerors in 1820.

Present NDA Governments’ volte-face to drag their feet to pass the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016 in Parliament armed with the Notification and the ORDER issued in 2014, instead assuaging the genuine fear of indigenous ethnic Asamiyas, have been trying to open the flood-gates for Bangladeshi Hindus, etc., to alter the future of Assam destroying the cultural ethos, rich language and dialect, folk-culture of various ethnic groups and most importantly socio-politico-economic life of Assamese as a whole and its composite social mosaic.

Coming days ahead will witness the by-gone dark days spanning over 37 years during British rule again for the second time in already truncated Assam.

Reported infiltration of Rohingias and its radical elements and the recent hoisting of black ISIS flags in Goalpara and Nalbari will definitely pose a threat to the peace-loving people of Assam. This indicates the possibility of sizeable Bangladeshi Muslim youths being indoctrinated to create disturbance in Assam. In such a volatile situation, any attempt to give citizenship to Bangladeshi Hindus will add fuel to the fire. Even Supreme Court-appointed one-man Upamanyu Hazarika Commission report in 2015 has clearly mentioned as to how Bangladeshis acquire citizenship is a clear-pointer to this. Need to mention that Kiren Rijiju, MOS (Home) made a statement in Parliament that two crore Bangladeshis were living illegally in India and what proactive measures taken by the government is anybody’s guess ! Though we welcome the bonds of friendship and mutual co-operation strike deeper roots in the minds of the people of both the neighbouring countries, but that cannot be compromised mortgaging Assam and indigenous Asamiyas.

It is high time for intelligentsia of Assam, irrespective of their ideological differences, need to put their heads together to safeguard the larger interest of indigenous ethnic Asamiya and even our legal luminaries should approach the UNO and the International Court of Justice to do full justice to the people of Assam so as to garner world support. It is all the more important that Samujjal Kumar Bhattacharyya as Chief Adviser of AASU and as the Adviser of NESO should make a strong pitch in the Supreme Court against Centre’s move to pass Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016 and should also appeal for scrapping 2014 Notification and the Order issued by the Centre the same year.

Learnt from print media that UNSC delegation will visit Bangladesh for first hand look at the Rohingia crisis ; why the Indian government is reluctant to draw the pointed attention of UNSC to visit NE states to have the graphic view of existential crisis faced by indigenous populace due to illegal migrants from neighbouring country.

Recent remark of Hasina before the visiting Indian media in Dacca and subsequent visit of Bangla Awami League team and their comments on NRC up-dating in Assam have unearthed their hidden agenda to turn Assam into a Brihhattar Bangla in the near future. Would Sarbananda Sonowal muster enough courage and show grit and determination to foil this sinister design ? It is open secret that politics of communal polarisation in the name of religion and language would jeopardize the future of indigenous Asamiya, its culture, language of various ethnic groups in their own home land and what not ! It is also high time for Assamese diaspora across the globe to mobilize world opinion about the existential crisis of indigenous Asamiyas.

While summing up, Assam Government should leave no stone unturned to implement Hari Shankar Brahma Committee Report on introduction of land policy in toto and recent announcement of Sarbananda Sonowal to introduce new land-policy deserves appreciation no doubt ; but simultaneous remarks of Brahma before media persons in New Delhi assume significance as the government is yet to act upon the recommendations even after submission of the same for months together. That’s why Sonowal government need to see that ATR (Action Taken Report) is divulged through DIPRO for knowledge of the public. Most importantly, copy of the said Brahma Committee Report need to be marked to the Prime Minister Modi to evolve a full-proof mechanism to protect ethnic Asamiya’s land-rights from the onslaught of erstwhile East Pakistanis/ Bangladeshis over the years since the partition of India.

A long battle in the Brahmaputra Valley for politico-socio-economic survival of the Assamese populace is seemingly on the cards. Our next agenda may be for Special Category State under Article 371 of the Constitution with provision of Inner Line Parmit . Hence the fight for another samendment of the Constitution.

While highlighting the humanitarian need for protection of various minority groups and their rights as Citizens of Bangladesh, may I appeal for immediate intervention of the Prime Minister of India to put constant pressure on his Bangladesh counterpart since the latter is not the head of ‘Theocratic Country’ like Pakistan.
(Concluded)