Congress leader and Rajya Sabha MP Jairam Ramesh on Saturday said if a country with people belonging to a plethora of cultures, languages, and religions is made to stick to a single language, the concept of India , as it exists, would be finished forever.
Reacting to Union Home Minister’s statement that India needs to be united under one banner with the Hindi language, Ramesh, speaking at a Youth Conclave here on ‘One Nation One Language’, said Amit Shah backed out of the premise as soon as the resentment, particularly from the South, became apparent.
Condemning the BJP over its usage of its “trishool (trident) of ED, CBI, and Income Tax to silence the opposition”, the former Union minister said the ruling party “has been using these tactics to instil fear in anyone who speaks out against them”.
To allegations of the Congress capitulating in front of the BJP’s saffron might, Ramesh said the Congress must discover the art of popular protest in order to counter the BJP’s massive street presence and make its presence felt to counter the populist sentiments evoked by the BJP leaders.
In a session on ‘CAB, NRC & ILP: what is the future of the Northeast’ at the conclave organised by Guwahati-based digital platform InsideNE, Tripura Deputy Chief Minister Jishnu Dev Varma, defending the Bill, contended that people are “seeing a ghost” with the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, which is a “dangerous matter”.
Verma said the CAB does not negate the Assam Accord, 1985, which sets 1971 as the cut-off year for detection of illegal foreigners in the state but the BJP wants a CAB based on a much later year.
Congress Lok Sabha MP from Assam, Pradyut Bordoloi, opposing CAB, alleged that the passage of the Citizenship Bill will negate the Assam Accord, which was signed at the end of the six-year-long anti-illegal foreigners Assam agitation.
Bordoloi accused the ruling BJP of wanting to create “two wars—one between Hindus and Muslims, and one between all Hindus”. “And thus, they want us to dilute the identity in Assam,” the MP said.
His party colleague and Arunachal Pradesh MLA Nining Ering opposing the government’s move to implement the exercise across the nation asserted that the people of his state will never allow the passage of the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill as they view it as a move to cut off the ‘Chicken’s Neck’ corridor, connecting NE, region from the rest of India.
On the over 40 lakh people excluded in the final NRC published on August 31 last in Assam, he said, “These people have been deprived because they did not feel the need to prove their citizenship as they belong to indigenous communities such as Ahoms”.
On ‘Insurgency: Issues, Causes & Reasons’, three-time former Assam chief minister Tarun Gogoi asserted that Economic Development was key to curbing insurgency in the state during his long tenure.
“Development must come first and peace will follow”, he said, and added infrastructure, particularly road and bridges, and more jobs will take people’s attention.
Insurgency will automatically be checked, Gogoi said.
Claiming his government was successful in bringing the militants into the mainstream, and not “finishing” them, Gogoi said the only way to end insurgency in the state and the northeast region is through negotiations.