Journalists, artistes slam government over Citizenship (Amendment) Bill

A Correspondent
Dibrugarh, May 29: Several members of Dibrugarh District Journalist Association (DDJA) and Dibrugarh Artist Society (DAS) took to the streets on Monday, crying out slogans against the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016. Starting the procession from Chowkidinghee Field, they staged a powerful show of resistance and displeasure to the proposed bill. With loud slogans like ‘Save Democracy’ and ‘No division on religious lines’, the agitators created quite a stir. Participating in the protests, distinguished artiste Hiren Gohain said, “Assamese society will be in serious trouble if the bill sees the light of day. Our art, our culture will be in a soup. Therefore, all of us obliged to safeguard our traditions and culture stand against the bill.”

Another noted artiste, Bhabesh Goswami, observed that the Union government must be responsive and sensitive to the growing dissent among the people of Assam with regard to the bill. President of DDJA, Bipin Sharma urged Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal to speak up against the bill in the welfare of the people of the State. Taking a dig at Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, senior journalist Rajeev Burhagohain said that at a time when there was so much unrest and insecurity among the Assamese people regarding the bill, Singh speaking unequivocally in favour of the bill was unfortunate. He further asserted that Assam had long been a dumping ground for illegal immigrants, but not anymore.

The members later submitted a memorandum to the Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) through the DC Laya Madduri. The dangerous possibility of the indigenous Assamese people turning into a minority group, if the bill becomes an act, and the preservation of the Assam Accord of 1985 under all circumstances, were among a few issues and demands being mentioned by the members of both the organizations in the memorandum.