The recent events in the northeastern states of India clearly show India has failed as a nation-state. The identity of the indigenous people is at threat. With the passing of Citizenship Amendment Bill in the Lok Sabha, in spite of so many protests, the present government has sent a clear message that it is not really inclined to understand the interests of the people. This also highlights the colonial mentality of the present government.
Coming to the rationale behind the citizenship bill, it is evident that the government is not really concerned about rescuing the minorities from the neighbouring countries. If it would have been so, it could have rehabiliated the Rohingya Muslims. At the time of mass genocide of the Rohingyas in Myanmar, the government didn’t allow immigrants by stating its “limited-jobs-and-resources” argument. Also, the whole idea behind the formation of NRC was just to deport the Bengali Muslims to Bangladesh. The process was normalized by the mainstream media portraying how Muslim population in Assam is rising over the years. Now studies have shown that the rate of increase in Muslim population did not exceed the rate of increase in overall population of Assam very significantly. At present, the passing of citizenship bill was clearly to give a message that India is only for Hindus and only Hindu refugees will be rehabiliated in India.
Had the Indian left been unbiased in this regard? During the mass violation of human rights in Myanmar, the Indian left took a stand for the Rohingya Muslims and protested for their rehabiliation in India. During the debate of NRC, the Indian left left clearly took a stand against the Indian government and the indigenous Assamese, ignoring the fact that Assam had been marginalized by the mainstream India. Even though, those who migrated from Bangladesh mainly belonged to the labour class and they need rehabiliation on humanitarian grounds, we also need to acknowledge the fact that Assam holds a startegic position, sharing its borders with Bangladesh; it cannot be a rehabiliation center for every immigrant, when this is coming as a threat to their indigenous culture and identity. At present, the Indian left stands against the citizenship bill. This highlights the Muslim appeasing opportunistic politics of Indian left.
While the communal strategies of BJP and the hypocrisy of the Indian communists lay exposed, the regional parties are coming up with their promises to protect the North Eastern states from any kind of immigrants, irrespective of their religion. The Assam Gana Parishad have finally taken a stand for the people of Assam by breaking its ties with the BJP government. However, given the sorry state of affairs, it is difficult to say whether the north-eastern states will ever regain their faith in Indian democracy.