The Golden Chance

Friday, 17 January 2020

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The Golden Chance

Gaurav Chowdhury | January 04, 2020 16:39 hrs


Assam is boiling against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) as protests can be seen from Dhubri to Sadiya. Like the six year long Assam Agitation of 1979 to 1985, this anti-CAB now or anti-CAA protest is again spearheaded by the All Assam Students’ Union (AASU). Samujjal Bhattacharya and Lurin Jyoti Gogoi, leading the AASU, are trying hard to scrap the CAA as they believe Assam cannot bear any further Bangladeshis (irrespective of any religion) as Assam had already taken the burden by signing the historic Assam Accord in 1985. 


Now the question is, if a six year long struggle had resulted in accepting nearly 50 lakh Muslim Bangladeshis, then can we say with clarity that Assam has benefitted from the Assam Agitation? Innocent lives of 855 people were lost and thousands became impaired during the agitation. What did we gain? In the last 35 years, how many Bangladeshis were deported back to their homeland? Was agreeing to 24th March, 1971 as cut-off date for identification and deportation of foreigners the right choice? When the cut-off year for the rest of the country is 1951, why it is 1971 in Assam? 


Those illegal Muslim Bangladeshis multiplied numerous times to capture a total of 14 districts (according to 2011 census) of Assam. Now when the protests against CAA are going on in full throttle, can't we pressurize the central government to have another NRC with 1951 as the cut-off date? No accord, agreement is important and holds value until and unless it serves the motherland and the original inhabitants. As our veteran leaders of AASU have already admitted that our motherland Assam has taken the burden of lakhs and lakhs of Bangladeshis after signing the Assam Accord, isn't this right moment to settle the issue of Bangladeshi infiltration problem (irrespective of any religion) once and for all by setting 1951 as the cut-off date? 


If the Constitution can be amended according to the situation why can we not be a little flexible with the cut-off year?  It must be the wish of every khilonjia (indigenous) sons/daughters of Assam to reclaim districts like Barpeta, Dhubri, Goalpara etc from the clutches of those Bangladeshi Muslims and at the same time clean up the illegally occupied vast lands of Satras and Kaziranga. The current agitation will get more power/fuel as those who are in a 50/50 mindset regarding the CAA would have a clearer picture before them. The central government is already mulling the idea of NRC with 1951 cut-off year. So, just an affirmative 'OK' from AASU (the flag bearer of the current agitation) would be sufficient. It's a dream to see the whole of Assam starting from Sadiya to Dhubri free of any Bangladeshi. Perhaps this is our golden and last chance. Joi Aai Asom!


(The author is a resident of GNB Road, Guwahati. The views expressed are his own)

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