Questions for the indigenous Assamese

Saturday, 23 January 2021



Questions for the indigenous Assamese

Swapnil Bharali | February 09, 2019 12:24 hrs

“Misery acquaints a man with strange bedfellows,” wrote William Shakespeare famously in The Tempest. The modern adaptation of the same is, “Politics makes strange bedfellows.” Whether misery and politics are the same I am not sure, but with the current politics of “saving” Assam from the onslaught of its ruling dispensation – the BJP – and its determined effort to “Hindutize” Assam with its Citizenship (Amendment) Bill 2016, a picture of Akhil Gogoi (KMSS), Samujjal Bhattacharya (AASU) and Debabrata Saikia (Congress) all in the same happy frame with Rahul Gandhi made for a rather brazen sight.


Confusion galore for the indigenous Assamese! What exactly is being perpetrated on them is becoming no one’s guessing game. And so, it is time for the indigenous Assamese to take stock of the situation as it stands today (read CAB being inevitable coupled with the promise of Clause 6 implementation) and, with a little introspection, take some decisions on the following lines. Lest I be misunderstood, I make it clear that the term “indigenous Assamese” includes all who have been historically residing on the soil of Assam irrespective of caste, creed, religion or community.


Would the indigenous Assamese want to live with Hindu Bengalis (refugees) given that the government thinks there is no other option to save Assam? Or would it want to live with Muslim Bengalis (illegal migrants with a super propensity to procreate such that it has already upset the demographic balance of the state) thereby sending the indigenous Assamese hurtling to its doom?


If it is the former choice, how good an option is it because such a society will be assimilative in nature putting in peril the preservation of the pure Assamese culture and language? If it is the latter, the doom will perhaps be hastened. Now this is where the Clause 6 of the potentially defunct Assam Accord comes in where safeguards for the Assamese culture and language are promised. Should the indigenous Assamese, rather than protesting against the CAB, take to agitations if Clause 6 is not implemented in its letter and spirit? Would it be better to insist that the clause, by itself, becomes a law?


These are questions that the indigenous Assamese need to answer and consider with deep and practical introspection. Everyone is confusing them alright, but they need to clear the cobwebs in their minds themselves.

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