Lining up public convention on Jan 20 Intensifying stand against CAB


Six major student organisations coming together and lining up a public convention on January 20. Not very often that different student organisations tend to come together but this time they have struck a common chord, underlining the point that when it is an issue concerning the State and the people, then they can and will come together. This is one positive fall out of the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill which was passed in the Lok Sabha on January 8. More than likely that the public convention will see a huge turn out for student organisations are known to have immense capability of mobilising the public and if what one saw at Khwairamband Keithel on January 15 is any indication then the public convention will surely see a huge turnout. It was again one of those rare occasions when the six student organisations, namely AIMS, AMSU, DESAM, MSF, KSA and SUK, jointly addressed the media to announce the public convention. The spontaneous reactions from the numerous civil society organisations and student bodies after the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill was passed in the Lok Sabha should give an inkling to what resolutions may be adopted after the public convention and none of this will place the BJP led Government at Imphal in a comfortable position. That the apprehension of the North East is real and not founded on some flimsy ground may be understood in the backdrop of the fact that New Delhi is considering the option of offering sops to migrants if they settle outside the North East region. This line of thinking drives home the point that the Centre too has taken cognizance of the fact that it is the North East which will bear the brunt of the human incursion from across the borders.
No doubt these observations will be echoed loudly during the public convention lined up by the six student organisations. The interesting question is, why is the Centre so keen on enacting the Bill when it knows that majority of the migrants are likely to settle in the North Eastern States thereby seriously threatening the fate of the indigenous people of the region. This again is a question which is most likely to be raised during the public convention. Most probably there will be no direct answer to this poser, but one may expect New Delhi to come out with a series of explanations, such as the migrants are free to settle in any part of the country and not only the North East. Plus it is also seriously studying the possibility of offering them sops if they settle outside the North East. Tough to say whether such a line of reasoning will find takers amongst the numerous student organisations and civil society organisations of the North East region. A series of agitation-this is the most likely outcome from the public convention and here it will be of significance to study what type of agitation may be announced. It stands that the said Bill is yet to be passed in the Rajya Sabha but already the BJP led Government at New Delhi has made its intention clear and this is a point which the Congress and other political parties such as the Left will play to the hilt before the Lok Sabha elections scheduled in the early part of this year.

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