Only time will tell

Chief Minister Pema Khandu on Sunday announced to form a consultative committee to safeguard the rights of the indigenous people of Arunachal following the central government’s proposal for enactment of citizenship (amendment) bill. The committee is expected to bring together all the community based organisations, civil societies and students’ unions of the state for consultation on the CAB under one umbrella. This move by the chief minister is a signal that the central BJP leaders are determined to bring in CAB despite bitter opposition from the indigenous communities of the north east (NE) region. It seems that the BJP leaders of the NE region have given up hopes of convincing the central leaders.
With the BJP targeting the West Bengal elections, it is planning to go ahead with the CAB. Most Hindu migrants from Bangladesh have settled in states like West Bengal, Tripura and Assam. The saffron party has promised to provide citizenship to them, and therefore, the CAB in all probability will be passed by the parliament in the coming months. With the BJP adamant on implementing the CAB, the NE region is left with no choice but to strongly fight back in order to safeguard the interest of indigenous communities. The BJP and its allies in the region will toe the line of central leaders but they will have to come out with a solution which is acceptable to the indigenous people. In Arunachal Pradesh, refugee communities like Chakma and Hajong, who are Buddhist and Hindu followers, respectively will benefit from the implementation of the CAB. This may result in conflict between indigenous people and refugee settlers. Sensing the pulse of the people, the CM has constituted a consultative committee on the CAB. But how far will the formation of such a committee safeguard the rights of the indigenous people? Perhaps, only time will tell.