Guwahati: The Assamese community in London has registered a strong protest against the proposed Citizenship Bill 2016 and raised fears that if the bill were passed, it would have serious implications on the demography, culture and the Assamese language in Assam.
In a memorandum sent to the Government of India through Indian high commissioner in UK Y.K. Sinha, the Assamese community living in London pleaded, “The people who are not Indian citizen (Non-Indians) are not covered by the constitution of India. If a large number of vulnerable refugees from Bangladesh need to be given Indian citizenship, these refugees should be settled by the central Government in all over India not in Assam only.”
A delegation comprising the members of the Assamese community in London led by Dr Benu Kakati, Rini Kakati, Dr Apurba Baruah, Krishna Baruah, Dr Sarada Sarma, Binu Sarma, Dr Pallab Das and Dr Amit Sarmah met Mr Sinha and submitted the memorandum.
The delegation requested Indian High Commissioner to the UK to convey their concerns to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the chairman of the Joint Parliamentary Committee.
Pointing out that beneficiaries of this amendment would be Bangladeshi Hindus, the community feared that it would endanger the very existence of Assamese culture and Assamese identity. “No other state faces such a risk and therefore those states are indifferent to this development,” the memorandum said.
It also claimed the bill breaches the fundamental principle of the Consti-tution which declares India as a sovereign, secular, democratic republic assuring its citizens justice and equality within the territory of India and prohibits discrimination on the grounds of religion, race, caste sex or place of birth within India or any of them.”