GUWAHATI, May 27 - Cotton University (erstwhile Cotton College) celebrated 119 glorious years of its existence today with the foundation day programme on its premises, according to a press release.
Former judge of Gauhati High Court Biplab Kumar Sharma who was invited to deliver the foundation day lecture, deliberated on ‘Citizenship Law and Foreigners Issue in Assam’.
Justice Sharma spoke about the history of Assam’s struggle for political safeguards and the role of the first chief minister of Assam Gopinath Bordoloi in this regard. He quoted specific communication from Bordoloi’s letters to the then Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru highlighting the issue of infiltration in Assam during that time and its threat to the indigenous people.
Justice Sharma also discussed the ramifications of the constitutional provisions of citizenship in the context of foreigners particularly in the case of Assam and called upon the civil society to deliberate upon it. He credited Sarbananda Sonowal for challenging the Illegal Migrants (Determination by Tribunal) Act, 1983 vide a writ petition in the Supreme Court. It needs to be noted that a three-judge bench of the Supreme Court had struck down the IMDT Act in 2005 stating it as the biggest hurdle in the identification and deportation of illegal migrants from Assam.
The lecture was followed by an interactive session. In an answer to a question raised by one of the faculties on the merits and demerits of the Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB), Justice Sharma said, “In my opinion, CAB will bring no harm to the indigenous people of the State. This is however my personal opinion.”
Also present on the occasion were Vice-Chancellor of Cotton University Prof Bhabesh Chandra Goswami, Registrar Prof Diganta Kumar Das, members of the executive committee and academic council, former and current faculty members, staff and students. The celebration concluded with felicitation of students and faculty members for their achievements in academics and extra-curricular activities during the academic year.