Stand against illegal immigrants: Uniqueness of NE States

Union Home Minister Amit Shah appears to be a man with a mission, a mission that fits perfectly with the agenda of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his second consecutive term in office. So it is that the country has seen some hard decisions, ranging from the bifurcation of Jammu and Kashmir and the birth of Ladakh as a Union Territory, the abrogation of Article 370 from Jammu and Kashmir, outlawing Triple Talaq, the fruition of the NRC exercise in Assam and one can certainly expect more in the form of the Citizenship Amendment Bill which is likely to be passed in Parliament before December, if one goes by the report that the RSS has urged that the same be passed before the said month. Apart from this, Amit Shah minced no words in asserting that illegal immigrants in the country will be identified and deported while addressing the fourth conclave of the North East Democratic Alliance at Guwahati. Just how much this jells with the ‘no illegal immigrants’ stand of the BJP led Government at New Delhi can be viewed in the backdrop of the fact that the CAB intends to grant citizenship to Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians from Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan, relaxing the earlier minimum period of having stayed in the country from 11 years to 6 years. The no illegal immigrants stand then can be understood in the backdrop of the fact that all the three countries mentioned are identified with a religious belief, far removed from the understanding of secularism.
The no illegal immigrants stand of Amit Shah sounds impressive, but what the Centre should understand is the point that the question of immigrants in the North East may be a little different. This is the reason why the JCILPS has been demanding an Act that will regulate and check the inflow of non-locals into the State of Manipur. Nagaland, Mizoram and Arunachal Pradesh are all protected under the Inner Line Permit System and it is such a system that the JCILPS is demanding in Manipur. Local sentiments and local interests. These are points that need to be understood and hence the huge protest that erupted against the CAB proposal in the North East, with Imphal emerging as the nerve centre at the fag end of 2018 and the early part of 2019. Again it is for this very reason why the Chief Ministers of Nagaland and Meghalaya sounded words of caution before the proposed Bill is passed in Parliament. The issues confronting the North East and Manipur are unique in their own ways and if the Government of India has acknowledged the unique history of the Nagas in their political negotiations with the NSCN (IM) then it is only right that the uniqueness of the North East region be kept in mind while enacting the CAB.