Monday, December 9, 2019

Why we don't need CAB


There is one simple explanation as to why we do not need the CAB – we can no longer bear the burden of illegal migrants, whether he is a Hindu or a Muslim or any other religious community.

A counter-argument can be that we only have to take the burden of all those non-Muslim illegal migrants who came to India till 31 December 2014. But, how will the authorities be able to ascertain when a person had entered India? That person had entered India illegally, and hence there is no record of his date of entry. So, how will his/her date of entry be verified? Anyone can claim that they have entered India before 31 December 2014. No way of checking this claim. And, thus, someone entering India illegally today may also become an Indian citizen in due course of time, and, then demand and take a share of our resources.

Similarly, how will one know whether a person has been religiously persecuted? A Hindu from Bangladesh may have entered India illegally to look for better economic opportunities; but, he may say that he had faced religious persecution in that country. Where is the proof of that? Who will verify the validity of his claim?

(I sent an email to the Prime Minister’s Office asking these questions. Never got a reply. Guess, they don’t have an answer!)

And, when we talk about religious persecution, why is the Bill talking about only the non-Muslim communities coming from Afghanistan, Bangladesh or Pakistan?

If we want to be generous to religiously-persecuted people, why is there no mention about the Rohingyas of Myanmar? In Pakistan, the Shias face religious persecution. Ahmadiyyas who align themselves with the Sunni school also face persecution. What about them?

Or, are we becoming a nation, who only protects the Hindus?

I don’t think that our founding fathers wanted our Country to be only an abode of the Hindus.

India is a great nation, because this is the motherland of numerous religious communities, who had lived together for generations.

Our Constitution describes us of being a ‘Secular’ Nation.

The Constitution also states that there shall be no discrimination against any citizen on grounds of religion, race, caste, sex, or place of birth.

And, now those very tenets of the Constitution are being violated by the CAB.

The elected leaders of our State have turned out to be spineless – totally bowing down to the pressure being given the Centre. They are putting their personal gains above those of the people and the state. They will realize one day that History has never been kind to such people.

The onus in now on the people to protest and make the government understand that an illegal migrant is an illegal migrant irrespective of religion. Whether he/she is a Muslim or a Hindu, it does not matter. If they have entered India without valid documents, they need to be deported back.

In a democracy, it is essential that the Government listen to the views of the people. Else, what is the use of having an elected government, who do not take into account the concern of the electors?

The CAB is a totally regressive, unconstitutional act and its place is only in the dustbin.

And, I am sure majority of Indians will agree with it.








Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Experience of ‘Contesting’ an Election

In this charged-up electoral atmosphere, my mind today suddenly reinvigorated a memory from 22 years ago.

I was a student of class 7 then, studying in Vivekananda Kendra Vidyalaya, Tinsukia.

That was the year we were introduced to the Indian Political System as a part of our Social Studies (Civics) syllabus.

We were taught how elections are conducted, how votes are cast, what is the correct way to cast vote using a ballot paper and other related aspects.

While teaching us the subject, our teacher (whose name I am unable to recollect) decided to hold a mock election in the class.

I guess we were 33 students in our section at that time. Out of these, four students were selected as candidates (2 boys and 2 girls). I was one of them. I don’t remember how the four of us were selected; neither do I remember who the other three ‘candidates’ were.

On the day of the ‘polling’, our teacher brought a ballot box made of cardboard and print outs of voter slips with our names on it. She then pasted an eraser to the end of a small stick and we had to press the eraser against the inkpad and then mark our vote against the name of our choice of ‘candidate’.

The ‘ballot box’ was kept on a table at the corner of the classroom.

Roll number-wise each student went and cast their respective votes.

After the ‘voting’ was complete, our teacher counted the votes. She then went and wrote the number of votes secured by the four candidates.

I don’t remember the exact number of votes the four of us got, but I remember that I secured more than 20 votes and was declared the winner.

That particular ‘victory’ somehow put a sense of political consciousness within me.

I got interested in politics and elections since then and have been following electoral developments both within and outside the country since then.

And with every passing election in India, I have realized that voter awareness have been increasing gradually.

Though people still get influenced by emotional gimmicks and electoral rhetoric, serious issues like unemployment, development projects, infrastructure, etc, are now considered by the voters before casting their vote.

As India goes on to elect a new set of representatives, let us all swear an oath that we all will vote based on the credibility and ability of a candidate and not based on that person’s caste or religion.







Tuesday, January 8, 2019

The Fire is Burning Again


1979: A Movement began in Assam against the illegal migration that was leading to demographic changes and was threatening the very socio-cultural fabric of the State.

2019: Four decades later the State seems to be getting ready for another such long period of agitation. But this time the issue of illegal migration also has a communal colour added to it.

And, all this courtesy of the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016. The Bill seeks to provide citizenship to illegal migrants belonging to the Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi or Christian religious communities coming from Afghanistan, Bangladesh or Pakistan, who migrated to India till 31 December 2014.

And, what does that mean to Assam – this means that the State which has been trying to detect and deport illegal migrants from Bangladesh, who came after 25 March 1971, will now have to take the burden of all those Hindu illegal migrants who came to India till 31 December 2014.

Here, we need to be clear about one point – an illegal migrant is an illegal migrant irrespective of religion. Whether he/she is a Muslim or a Hindu, it does not matter. If they have entered India without valid documents, they need to be deported back.

The explanation given in favour of the Bill is that it is trying to protect the persecuted Hindus from these three countries. But the question is that how will one know whether they are really persecuted or not? A Hindu from Bangladesh may have entered India illegally to look for better economic opportunities; but, he may say that he had faced religious persecution in that country. Where is the proof of that? Who will verify the validity of his claim? This is an unanswered question, and, I think, it is also an unanswerable question.

And, since these persons have entered illegally there are no records of their date of entry. Anyone can claim that they have entered India before 31 December 2014. No way of checking this claim too!!

So, if the Bill is passed, any Hindu from Bangladesh can enter India illegally and say that they have entered India before 31 December 2014 and have been faced religious persecution. He can then apply for citizenship and then become an Indian citizen in due course of time. Who can stop him, when the law is on his side?

This means that we are now looking at another demographic invasion. But, this time it will target our language.

And it will also turn the entire NRC update futile.

This Bill has also revitalized the oldest insurgent group in the state – the ULFA. The outfit has grabbed the opportunity to attract youths to its fold and during the last few months around 30 youths have joined ULFA. And this also includes software engineers as well as management professionals. In fact, the outfit had also opened a Facebook page and within the first 20 hours, the page had received hundreds of ‘Likes’. Some youths even shared their mobile numbers on the page, expressing their desire to join the outfit. The Facebook page was blocked by the authorities, but it showed how there has been a rise of resentment among the masses against this decision of the Central government.

In such a situation, it can be observed that the call for ‘independence’ of Assam may rise again, if the Bill is passed by the Parliament.

A section of youths may take up arms once again.

In a democracy, it is essential that the Government listen to the views of the people.

It should remember that we are a ‘Secular Democratic Republic’ and the Government is elected by the people and they should govern as per the wish of the people.

And the people of Assam wish that the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill be scraped and thrown away in the dustbin.










Thursday, June 14, 2018

Brazil: We Need the Cup Again


I was may be three or four years old – I don’t remember clearly. But, what I do remember that it was the first time I had watched the game of Football. I was with my uncle, standing near the field, watching players getting ready for the match.

Someone was saying, “Where is Pele?”

‘Pele’ – that was the first time I heard the name.

And, even after more than 25 years, I still vividly remember that voice and that sentence.

“There he is” – someone said as a man jumped and ran into the field. I only remember that he had worn yellow coloured socks.

I do not remember anything more about that day. My sub conscious mind stored only that memory. And, until I grew a few more years older, for me Pele was the guy whom I had seen that day.

Football once again entered my brain when I was nine years old. It was the year of the Football World Cup 1994. Brazil won the Cup, Romario and Bebeto’s name got inscribed in my brain and since then I became a devotee of Brazil. However, my only memory of that World Cup is the penalty that Roberto Baggio of Italy missed in the Final.

Football fever finally engulfed me during the World Cup 1998. I was hoping for a Brazil win and their loss in the final made me cry. I had even made posters with Brazil and Ronaldo’s name and pasted them in our drawing room prior to the final.

The next edition of the World Cup in 2002 finally put the smile back on my face. The mesmerizing display of football by Ronaldo, Rivaldo and Ronaldinho ensured that the Cup goes to Brazil. The free kick of Ronaldinho against England will forever be a special memory and he will always stay my favourite footballer of all time.

I am still waiting to see Brazil lift the Cup once again, after those agonizing defeats in the last three editions of the World Cup. Hope this year fulfils my wish.

Best of Luck, Neymar and Co!

Live it Up!

We want that Cup!