No harm but a clause needed stand
The absurdity of it all
It is getting more and more farcical. Even as the Manipur People Against Citizenship Amendment Bill (MANPAC) under the aegis of North East Forum for Indigenous People (NEFIP) has taken up the banner to fight tooth and nail against the Centre’s intention to pass the Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB), people in the same Government are talking in two tongues, making things all that more confusing and demonstrating the absurdity of where they stand more and more. So even as some Ministers in the BJP led Government have been maintaining that the CAB has nothing that can prove detrimental to Manipur, Chief Minister N Biren has announced for all to hear and understand that the Centre is studying the option of inserting a special clause for the North Eastern region in the proposed CAB. The natural question is, if the CAB does not pose any threat to the North East and Manipur then where is the need for a special clause ? Maybe the learned Ministers who have been asserting that there is nothing in the CAB which can impact on the State can give a convincing answer to the poser just raised here. Again if the said Bill does not pose any threat to the region, then why has Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad Sangma spoken out so strongly against it ? What about the stand of Mizoram Chief Minister Zoramthanga ? How about the Assam Accord, where the cut off date is 1971 to weed out the ‘foreigners’ ? Or is the stand adopted by the different Chief Ministers, MANPAC and NEFIP of no consequence ? Is it a case of a false alarm being rung out ? If this is the case then why has Chief Minister N Biren floated the ‘special clause for the North East’ line to the people ?
So it stands that even as some Ministers in the BJP led Government have been going to town and selling the line that there is nothing in the CAB which can harm the State, Lok Sabha MP Dr RK Ranjan has urged the Lok Sabha to insert a clause for the North East region. And those who have been following the CAB story closely will surely recall the red carpet welcome that was rolled out for Chief Minister N Biren, when the said Bill was not introduced on the floor of the Rajya Sabha in the early part of this year after the same was passed in the Lower House. So what is the best position that Manipur should adopt at this stage ? This question is important for the CAB is most likely to be tabled in the ongoing Winter Session of Parliament. Time for all the Ministers and MLAs on the ruling bench to speak in one tongue and not confuse the people further. If the CAB has no potential to harm the State and the North East region, then stop selling the ‘special clause’ line to the people. If it has the potential then stop trying to hoodwink the people with double talk. Here is an example of the political class, who happen to be in the Council of Ministers, not taking the trouble to understand the finer points of the said Bill and this is the primary reason why there are two contrasting stands emerging. One which says that no harm will come due to the said Bill and the other which says that a special clause to exempt or protect the interests of Manipur and North East will be urged.