The ultimate CAB ride

Sunday, 28 February 2021



The ultimate CAB ride

Swapnil Bharali | January 25, 2019 11:32 hrs

The serious talk of the town the past week has of course been the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill 2016 (CAB), its passage in the Lok Sabha, the societal fallout (read bandhs, mass protests, violence, angst) and the rather insipid attempts by the BJP spokespersons towards damage control.


The logic of securing 17 vulnerable seats for prospective indigenous Assamese MLAs by settling and giving citizenship to Hindu Bangladeshis sounds strange. The repeated assurance that the CAB is designed to secure the home and hearth of indigenous Assamese without really succeeding in explaining how this is exactly possible is also creating enough confusion with a decent dose of indignation thrown in. And further, Dr Himanta’s remark during a recent TV interview that this monumental exercise would secure these 17 seats for just 10-15 years maximum brings us to a worrisome conclusion about the temporariness of the solution; the requirement was to give more thought and seek a permanent solution. Given the obvious virility and procreative capacities of Bangladeshi Muslims and the rather quick change in the demographic structure of Assam due to this, the situation going out of hand in 15 years looks like a distinct possibility.


And so, the CAB needs to be revisited; each clause contained therein needs to be thoroughly revised. All the current brouhaha for just a temporary solution of the extremely fragile Assamese society is simply not making sense.


Or else, let’s take a look at what Clause 5 of the now trashed Assam Accord says: Detection and deportation of illegal migrants. The current government is resigned to the fact that this is impossible even though the NRC exercise, when completed, would indeed account for all who are foreigners on our land. That would make the “detection” part complete. As for their deportation, the “well-meaning” central government can easily take any number of steps to clear these people out of Assam at least and resettle these foreigners in other parts of the country if Bangladesh doesn’t take them back. Further, the tall world leader that Prime Minister Modi is, I am quite sure that he can easily convince an immigrant-receptive country (say Canada or Saudi Arabia) to accept our lot. This, I feel, is what a permanent solution would be. Else, we are all on nothing but a massive CAB ride.

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