CAB onus on Centre

Now that the people of Arunachal Pradesh, cutting across political, tribe and religious affiliations, have in one voice told the central government that the citizenship amendment bill (CAB) is not accepted, it will be interesting to see how the Centre reacts. The consultative committee on the CAB, headed by Home Minister Bamang Felix, after holding discussions with various civil society bodies and student unions, on Wednesday recommended that ‘Arunachal Pradesh will unequivocally oppose the CAB, 2016 (Bill No 172 of 2016) subsequently marked as Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2019 (Bill No 172-C of 2016).” Chief Minister Pema Khandu is expected to travel to New Delhi and inform the central government about the opinion of the people of the state.
Now the onus lies on the BJP-led government in the state and at the Centre to listen to the voice of the indigenous people of the state. If the Centre fails to address the concern raised by the indigenous people of Arunachal Pradesh, it may have serious repercussions. The fear of the CAB is looming large across the state. Huge numbers of Chakma and Hajong refugees are living in the state. Once the CAB is brought in, all of them will get Indian citizenship, and this is where the potential for conflict arises. The Chakma and Hajong refugees have already outnumbered the indigenous tribals in places like Diyun and nearby areas in Changlang district. The BJP government is going ahead with the CAB for political gain, without respecting the sentiments of the majority of the indigenous communities of the Northeast region. This mad rush for the CAB has the potential to create unrest in the whole region. The BJP should respect the sentiments of the indigenous communities.