|Amendment to Citizenship (Amendment) Bill sought|
GUWAHATI, June 3 - The Octogenarians Club of Guwahati has requested the Government of India to introduce an amendment to the present Citizenship (Amendment) Bill in compliance with the massive public demand in Assam to protect the State from new and enormous infiltration of Bangladeshis – both Hindus and Muslims.
The Club, at its meeting held with senior journalist DN Chakravartty in the chair, discussed at length the possible consequences of the Bill and suggested that while the Bangladeshi refugees should be settled in West Bengal, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, West Bengal and some other States, Assam must be spared of a fresh burden of migrants in view of the fact that it has already given shelter to over nine million Bengali people – Hindus as well as Muslims – ever since the country’s independence, especially after 1971.
Chakravartty urged the people of Assam to wage a constitutional battle with the Government of India on the subject equipped with economics data and statistics of population in order to convince the Centre about the veracity and genuineness of Assam’s legitimate demand which is central to its identity and existence.
Former Union Minister for Law and Company Affairs Bedabrata Baruah, in his observation, said that Assam remained backward during the British days and remained the ‘Cinderella state of India’ because the Assamese people did not cultivate the work culture.
During the post-Independence days, Baruah added, it was the effective cry that brought benefits to the rest of India while the Assamese people failed to secure their genuine rights because “our people did not know the art of crying and failed to demand their dues vociferously.”
Baruah also expressed the view that the present practice of the Assamese people, particularly the youths, to observe frequent bandhs and road blockades would lead Assam to nowhere and push her further backward.
Dr Atul Chandra Sarma, former Director of Health Services, criticised the frequent distortions of the Assamese language by the electronic media.
Uttam Baruah, Dr Malati Baruah and Prabhat Goswami also participated in the discussion.