Disregard for indigenous voice

The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill 2016 is expected to tabled in Lokh Sabha on Wednesday. Coinciding with it, the North East Students’ Organisation (NESO) has called 11 hour bandh call to protest the move of the centre. If passed, the bill will make it easier to gain the Indian citizenship for the Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians, who fled religious persecution in Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan and entered India. The bill was promised by BJP especially keeping in mind the large number of Bengali Hindus who migrated from Bangladesh and settled in states like Assam, Tripura and West Bengal.
The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill will have huge repercussion especially in the North East region. Successive governments have settled large number of refugees in the region. In Arunachal, the Chakma-Hajong refugee who originally hails from Bangladesh has been settled in large number by the government of India. The ever increasing population of Chakma-Hajong refugee is starting to threaten the very existence of the indigenous tribal people. In Assam too the influx of outsiders has caused massive demographic change. Therefore the indigenous population of North East region is strongly opposing the move of centre. The government of India is hurting the sentiments of large section of people by pushing for Citizenship Amendment Bill. The indigenous population of North East region will be reduced to minority if this bill becomes law. It is unfortunate that successive governments at the centre have treated NE region as a dumping ground of refugees. Their utter disregard for the sentiments of indigenous people is a tragedy in itself.