CVO leaders, scholars and social activists intensify campaign against CAB
A public discourse in connection with the Citizenship Amendment Bill 2016 (CAB) held today at Centenary hall, Manipur University Four, drew up resolutions.
The resolutions included, demand for immediate withdrawal of CAB, appeal to Rajya Sabha member of Parliaments of India and Northeast India to oppose the Bill, demand for a special assembly session on or before January 30 to oppose the Bill and to call for a united struggle for mass civil resistance movement among the political parties, civil society organisations and people of Manipur as well as Northeast until the objectives are met.
Addressing the gathering as one of the resource persons, assistant professor of department of Economics, Manipur University, Chinglen Maisnam stated about the need for a collective movement regarding the CAB.
Stating that there are many people who are against CAB but could not raise their voices, he questioned the silence of the tribal community in the state regarding the bill that strongly affects the indigenous people of the region. He further stated that the tribal areas will be more affected than the valley if the bill is passed is finally in Rajya Sabha.
“It is right time for the tribal people to step forward together with other sections of the state as any movement against CAB will be considered illegal after it is passed as an Act,” said Chinglen.
“Even though Nagaland had been given special protection by the constitutions as a tribal state, the number of migrants’ influx is larger than that of Manipur. The number of Bengali migrants has reached 75,000 with 63,000 Biharis and 44,000 Nepalis, dominating the economy of the state,” he added.
He continued, “There are 1,80,000 Bengalis in Mizoram with around 11,000 Biharis and Malwaris while there are 1,00,600 Bengalis and 93,000 Biharis and Malwaris in Arunachal Pradesh, and 2,32,000 Bengalis in Meghalaya and 24,00,000 Bengalis in Tripura.”
With the fear of being dominated by the migrants, the Young Mizo Association, in an interview with Times of India, had informed that the number of migrants will multiply in the state and it is not just a state issue but for the whole country. The association also appealed the indigenous people for increasing the Birth-rate to fight the influx, he added.
Saying that the status of Manipur People’s Bill (MPB) still remains ignored, Chinglen also questioned why MPB is still kept pending when many other related bills had been given assent already. He further said that the ‘Ache Din’ of the Centre for the people had been given to the migrants.
The Act East Policy will also contribute in the increase in number of migrants since they will be the labourers in the projects taken up instead of the indigenous people, he added.
He further suggested for a collective memorandum from all the civil societies and other organisations in the state against CAB and pressurise for the assent of the Manipur People’s Bill to the Prime Minister and the President and in the assembly session before the end of the month.
Social activist, Johnson Elangbam while saying that the CAB should be rejected and opposed without exception, he said that MPB and CAB should not be compared and mixed up as they are different. He appealed the state government to make a stand and oppose the bill and also questioned why the state government has failed to produce the total number of migrants in the state.
Politicians should keep their parties as secondary and give first priority to the state, and at the same time CVOs must also keep their organisations’ background secondarily and think for the state first, he added.
Cultural activist, Ningthouja Lancha said that since most of the northeast states are already under the draconian Act ‘AFSPA’, passing the Citizenship Amendment Bill 2019 is a racist act to suppress the region. He also appealed the people to fight against the racist act of the government rather than just the CAB and further appealed the government to take political decision.
Associate professor of Political Science, N.G College, Somorendro Thokchom, president of CIRCA, Mangoljao Maibam along with various leaders of civil voluntary organisations and students also attended the discourse.
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