Aizawl, October 5, 2019:
Mizoram is once again in uproar over the Central Government’s decision to implement the contentious Citizenship (Amendment) Bill. On the occasion of Union Home Minister Amit Shah’s visit, concerned citizens of the Northeast Indian state descended onto the streets carrying colorful banners demanding the Government to withdraw the contentious Bill.
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One of the banners, which was written in Hindi, read, “Hindutwa apna na hai toh hamein swatantrata do” (rough translation: If you want to impose Hindutva, give us independence).
The question of the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill is often seen as an attempt to impose ‘Hindutva’ by the Christian-majority Mizoram. Another banner read, “We are the chosen people of the king of kings and the lord of lords.”
It may be recalled that after the BJP-led Government passed the Bill in the Lok Sabha on January 8, there were widespread protests in the State of Mizoram, which were headed by the apex student body, Mizo Zirlai Pawl (MZP). Many of the students demanded that Mizoram cede from India and join neighboring China, instead. One particularly striking banner read, “Hello China, bye bye India”.
The sustained democratic protests across the Northeast finally led to the lapse of the Bill in the Rajya Sabha. However, the Bill is likely to pas this time as the BJP has gained majorities in both Houses of the Parliament post the 2019 General elections.
Thus, the protesters who took to the streets today see it as an opportunity to inform Shah, who has reiterated time and again that the Bill will be enacted to give citizenship to the “minorities” from neighboring countries, that the people will not accept the Bill.
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