It seems that the Northeast states who initially started agitating against the Citizenship Amendment Act, apparently due to the misinformation and fearmongering on the issue, are slowly coming back to normalcy. The administration quickly conveyed that the inner line permit system and other safeguard measures will take care of the interests of these states ensuring that the citizenship act will not make any adverse impact there.
The reported violent protests in West Bengal have a different dimension. Here, the Chief Minister herself announced anti-CAB protest and it seems that now the situation has gone out of control with the state government failing to maintain law and order.
So, the protests regarding the citizenship act are more or less Assam specific. PM Modi, HM Amit Shah and Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal have already assured that the interests of Assam will be safeguarded. The Chief Minister has already made it clear that he is open to consultations with any agitating groups.
Nevertheless, the opposition Congress chose to take advantage of the situation to push forward the narrative ‘Northeast burning/ Assam burning’. This particular approach seems so ironic in the historical background of how Congress conducted itself in the past.
Nehru’s Goodbye to People of Assam
In the India- China war of 1962, Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru anticipated the fall of Assam and even conveyed a sort of goodbye to the Assamese in a radio speech on November 20, 1962. When Nehru heard about the fall of Bomdila, now in Arunachal Pradesh, he almost conceded the region to the Chinese where he said, “Our countrymen in Assam, to whom our heart goes out at this moment..”
Clause to Protect the Identity of Assamese – BJP Ensured the Implementation
What assures Assam that even after the implementation of the citizenship act, it can still protect its indigenous character?
Particularly clause 6 of the Assam Accord which directs, “Constitutional, legislative and administrative safeguards, as may be appropriate, shall be provided to protect, preserve and promote the cultural, social, linguistic identity and heritage of the Assamese people.”
While it is true that the Assam Accord was signed under the Congress rule back in 1985, the rules framed were remained in the paper despite Congress being in power for decades both in the state and the Centre.
It is only after the BJP able to form governments both at the Centre and the state, a committee was formed to frame the roadmap to implement clause 6 of the Assam Accord.
Thus, it is not really hard to find out who is showing commitment to protect the interests of Assamese and who abandoned the cause long back, trying only to stoke fear.