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‘National register of citizen’ and ‘stateless’
Kanchan Basu5/24/2018 11:27:30 PM
If we want to realize, 'Why Assam started renewal of National Register of Citizens and what would be the impact of it on Bengalese residing in Assam' - We will have to go back to pre-independence days.
The 'Ahom Dynasty' became weak from beginning of Nineteen Century. The local administration became a continuous failure against the repeated attack of 'MANNS' from adjacent BURMA (Now MYANMAR). The British took the advantage of the situation. They got 'ASSAM' through 'YANDABO TREATY' 1826. It was the beginning of Colonial Rule of North East India. In 1832 Cachar District (Present Barak Valley) came under British Rule. But the causes of the fall of 'Ahom Dynasty' and 'Cachar Kingdom' were totally different. But both the areas came under administrative sphere of Bengal.
In 1874 Assam State was reorganised with two phases, First - 6th February, 1874 Cachar, Goalpara and Other Hill District were added with 'Assam'. In this way 'Chief Commissioner Administer Province Assam' was created. The population was 24.43 lacks. Economically non-valuable this Province became a headache to British Government. Second - to get additional revenue on 12th September, 1874, 'Srihatta' or 'Sylhet' from Bengal was added with 'Territory of Assam'.
The British-India 'Sylhet' was a district, economically affluent having the population of 17.20 lacks. In this way the new 'Assam' was started with population of 42 lacks (approx). Revenue deficit was met up from Sylhet. The 'Colonial Rulers' are satisfied. But this unnatural mixture of Geography, History, Language and Culture brought about. A deep debacle in social life of Assam. Three Districts of Assam (Sylhet, Goalpara, Cachar) are dominated by 'Bengali' speaking people. In fact 'Bengal' and 'Bengalis' had no contact with Assamese Culture and Languages. After 'Census' it was found that in Assam, 'Bengalis' constitute 40% where as 'Assamese' are below 25%. Assamese found themselves minority in own land.
Assam entered in 20th Century with a huge enmity regarding languages. In British administrative structure 'Bengalis' were prominent. The 'Assamese Middle Class' looked upon the 'Bengalis' as 'Visible Government'.
In 1947 we got 'Independence' and 'Partition'. 1947 July, 'Plebiscite' all most all of Sylhet barring three police station of Karimganj was added to 'East Pakistan'. In this situation agree with Muslim League the Assamese Congress Nationalist Leaders were happy. That henceforth Assam could have Assamese majority. This thought was important to Gopinath Bordoloi. On the very first season of Assam Assembly the Governor speech gave a clear message to Bengalis' that if you want to staying Assam you will have to surrender to 'Assamese Nationalism'.
During next 'Seven Decades' internal politics of Assam has gone through various changes. But 'Rein of Administration' was always in the hands of Assamese Nationalist. In British age 'Bengalis' ruled in Assam. Now time has come for a 'Historic Revenge'. Such statement became popular. In every decade Bengalis were tortured in Assam. At first the ordinary people had no connection with this violence but influx of refugees from East Pakistan and later Bangladesh was destroyed the 'Assamese Language and Culture'-such propaganda is gaining ground today, not only in Assam but in hole of India also.
This 'Extradition of Foreigners' bought A.A.S.U. (All Assam Students Union) to the limelight of National Politics. The Six year long movement came to an end with the 'Signing of Tripartite Assam Pact' on 14th and 15th August, 1985. No party like 'Central', 'State' and 'A.A.S.U' took consent of 'Bengalis' living in Assam. All Political Parties accepted the 'Assam Pact' which ensures citizenship to everybody living in Assam till midnight of 24th March, 1971. The 'Citizenship Act.' was enacted from 1985 after an amendment of 'Clause 6A'.
'National Population Register of Assam' was prepare considering the old demand of A.A.S.U. Again in 2009 'Article 4A' was added to it. For Assam all arrangements law and procedure are special. In fact this renewal of National Population Register has been going on from 2014 with 'Partial Supervision of Supreme Court'. For 'Citizenship Certificate' proof that one residence at Assam before 24th March, 1971 was essential.
As per order of Supreme Court on 31st December, 2017 partial National Population Register was published in which One Core Ninety Lacks people out of Three Core Twenty nine Lacks applicant were published. That is about One Core Forty Lacks people have not got Citizenship Certificate. It is clear that 75% people in Assamese dominated areas have got 'Citizenship Certificates' where as Bengali dominated 'Barak Valley' (Cachar, Karimganj and Hilakandi) only 35% people have been included, naturally there is fear among the 'Bengalis'. Of course legal validity of National Population Register is beyond question. 'Assam Pact' is acceptable to everybody is also know. But 'Two Thing' deserve with solution.
First as per revise citizenship rule 'Original Inhabitant' should be included in 'National Population Register' without any confirmative document. In fact there is evidence of 'Bengali Habitation' in 'Barak Valley' in Seventh Century on the contrary the 'Ahoms' came in Thirteen Century. So there can be no discrimination in the 'Eye of Law'.
For an example let us support 'Two Assamese' could not include their name in 'National Population Register' one 'SAHA' another 'BORDOLOI'. Both have no documents. According to present law 'BORDOLI' will be included but 'SAHA' will be excluded. For this discrimination the whole process has become nothing but extradition 'Bengali'.
Secondly, people whose name will not be included in the 'National Population Register' may be a few Lakh, will be 'Stateless Persons'. So, there is ample cause that these people should be anxious on midnight 31st December, 2017, their 'Own State' branding them as 'Foreigners'.
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