Article by: Himashree Deka
When rest of the country is still unaware of what is going on in this part of the country, i.e. North East, the people here are rejoicing after the success they have achieved after a sustained struggle against the “Jaati Dhwongkhi” Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016.
The controversial Bill that had made people strip off their clothes in the streets of New Delhi, that made people frustrated with the thought of losing their very own identity in their own motherland, has finally suffered a ‘natural death’ as it was not tabled in the Rajya Sabha today amid the opposition’s ruckus.
The Bill not only witnessed outrage of the people in the form of agitations and other modes of disagreement but also witnessed a tide of unity that splashed across the entire North Eastern region, washing away all difference as people stood united, hand-in-hand, against the Bill. People belonging to this region has again proved that nothing can rule over the people who vote a Government into power.
The people in the region whose sentiments have always been ignored and looked down upon by the Delhi have always been successful in averting threats to their identity and motherland.
This period also witnessed many remarkable stands of leaders of the North East and especially the stand of Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma, who approached different parties to seek support from them for the sake of his people. The Asom Gana Parishad, the only regional party of Assam, also showed courage by moving out of a ruling alliance with the BJP to stand by its people, also played a crucial role in this ‘victory of democracy’.
The different organizations, the students’ bodies, intellectuals, civil societies and people across North East carried out different forms of agitation against the move of the Government. Many of the North Eastern states, and especially Mizoram reached a point of demanding independence and threatened to join with the neighboring country China that has always looked forward to absorbing the North East.
Apart from heroic statures being accorded to the leaders in this struggle such as Sangma, the movement also took down titles that had once been given to Northeast leaders, such as Sarbananda Sonowal’s title of ‘Jatiya Nayak’ being taken down by the AASU. This is one such movement that united different political parties and organizations despite their differences.
The people sent out a clear message to the rulers that no Government is capable of dumping illegal immigrants into their states and made them understand the very meaning of the Indian Constitution that it is Sovereign, Secular and Democratic. No religious propaganda can take over it at any cost.