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LETTERS

By Lambok Thangkhiew | Jan 16, 2019: 

Editor,

This is an open letter to the Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his government in the wake of the contentious Citizenship Amendment Bill, a letter which contains questions which need to be answered and concerns which require immediate attention for the safety and security of the people of the Northeast.

I am a child of this land and I will not tolerate any kind of threats to my identity, my culture and my home. I will stand my ground and shed my blood along with my brothers and sisters till my very last breath.

You promised us gold, you promised us silver, you promised us heaven, instead you gave us tears, you gave us fear, and you threw us to hell. But we will still stand our ground and fight for what’s right and fight for what’s just. With my brothers and my sisters I will shout till the end “NO! TO CITIZENSHIP BILL”. I AM A CHILD OF THIS LAND.

  • The requirements to become an Indian citizen according to the legislature, Any person residing within India as on 26 November 1949 automatically is an Indian citizen.
  • Citizenship by Birth – on or after 26 January 1950 any person born in India prior to the initiation of the 1986 Act on 1 July 1987 is a citizen of India by birth, on or after 1 July 1987 if a person is born in India and either parent was a citizen of India at the time of the birth he/she is a citizen of India, On or after 3 December 2004 any person born in India is only considered a citizen of India if both the parent is Indian or if one parent is an Indian citizen and the other is not an illegal migrant. Bombay High Court on September 2013 gave a judgement that a birth certificate, passport or even an Aadhaar card alone may not be enough to prove Indian citizenship, unless the parents are Indian citizens.
  • Citizen by Descent – Anyone born not within Indian territory on or after 26 January 1950 but before 10 December 1992 are citizens of India by descent only if their father was a citizen of India at the time of their birth, Anyone born outside India on or after 10 December 1992 are considered citizens of India if either of their parents is a citizen of India at the time of their birth. From 3 December 2004 onwards, persons born outside of India shall not be considered citizens of India unless their birth is registered at an Indian diplomatic mission within one year of the date of birth.
  • Citizenship by Registration – On an application the Central Government may register a person as a citizen of India under section 5 of the Citizenship Act 1955–any person not being an illegal migrant, which is if he/she fulfil the requirements stated by the constitution.
  • Citizenship by Naturalization – Can be acquired by a foreigner who has resided in India for 12 years throughout the period of 12 months for 14 years and other qualifications as specified in Section 6 (1) of the Citizen Act,1955.

The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, that was passed by the Lok Sabha on the 8th January 2019 The 2016 will provide Indian Citizenship to illegal migrant provided the person is Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi and Christian and belong to only these three countries that is Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Whatsoever be the reason, instead of detaining or punishing or sending the illegal migrants back, the government is “actually” thinking of crowding the Northeast by giving them access to all the rights enjoy by an Indian Citizen. AT WHAT COST?

Several questions popped in my head when I think and introspect into the agenda and motive behind the BJP government’s decision to rally for this bill —

  • What is the BJP Government thinking?
  • Is there an agenda behind this?
  • Is a secret being kept from the public?
  • Is it just a political tactic to increase the BJP Government vote bank?
  • Why a choice of certain religion? Why a choice of certain country?
  • Was there a deal made with the Governments of these three countries?
  • Is it the aim of the BJP to make India the most populated country in the world beating China; is it just a competition of population?
  • Have the BJP Government thought about the outcome of the bill?
  • Did the BJP Government think they would get away with it just through sugar coated words?
  • Is the BJP Government using religion as its weapon?

The bill has caused widespread violent protests and peace disruption throughout North East India; in parts of the region, civilians carried out violent protests by throwing stones, petrol bombs, road blockage, even a naked protest.

Despite the fact that there are state governments of the region have spelled out their opposition to the bill in the forms of resolution, Why is the Prime Minister so keen in “bulldozing” his way?

There is a need for the Centre to review this bill and listen to the voice of the public if it wishes to maintain peace and tranquility in the region.

For years the North Eastern States have fought against illegal immigrants and the introduction of this bill by the BJP Government is a “slap on the face of the public and even the authorities of the region.”

Is this what the Prime Minister meant by his so-called mantra of “Accha Din”? Forcing the public to take the matters in their own hands, to tear apart this country from its core?

Is our present Prime Minister healthy to this country or a threat to our Nation’s Security? Are we safe under his leadership? Isn’t it obvious for us to retaliate to protect our safety and our identity.

What stunt will the PM pull up next? Is he just going to ignore the voice of the people and rule like a dictator or introduce some other bill to brush the issue under the carpet or send Armed Forces to tackle the agitations?

Will our Prime Minister just sit back and watch this conflict as a theatrical performance for his little fun time while our region burns?

The BJP Government has to come forth to the public before the matter gets out of hands.

I am a child of this land and I will still stand my ground and fight for what’s right and fight for what just. With my brothers and my sisters I will shout till the end “NO! TO CITIZENSHIP BILL”.

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