This article was written by a YKA user from Assam just fifteen minutes before the government shut down internet services in the state for 24 hours, starting at 7 pm, on December 11.
I beg of you, fellow Indian, read through till the end, for you deserve to know why.
After Tripura, it’s Assam.
I won’t try to convince you, fellow (non-Assamese/ non-Northeast) Indian, why I, an insignificant, apolitical SNS-introvert, created an account on YKA moments ago to write this post.
But, you are an Indian, and you need to know that we here in a small cranny in the Northeastern part of the country, and are protesting against the Citizenship Amendment Bill for the prime reason that it stands against secularism, and absolutely not because we hate our Bengali brothers and sisters. Don’t believe that crap one bit.
You welcome even strangers into your humble abode when they are stranded in a storm, but, guests aren’t guests if they try to snatch and drive you out of your own dwelling.
Our united protests stand firm against the segregation of people on the anti-Constitutional basis of religion, and it’s hard to fathom the clashes that it would beget if the CAB is passed. Our protests stand for our right to live in peace, speaking our respective tongues and celebrating each other’s festivals in perfect harmony, like we always have. We want to live free as one strong Indian family, regardless of whether we are Hindus, Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, Buddhist, Jain, or Animist.
No offense, but we are just a small cluster of states trying to cope up with problems of our own, with soil erosion, crushing poverty, and unemployment forming just the tip of a massive iceberg. We can’t afford to allow the permanent citizenship of foreigners when thousands of our own people are struggling to get by, to have basic human needs fulfilled.
The situation here, in Assam, is really intense right now. You can hear the screams of rebels at every hour of the day. My home smells vaguely of burned tires and asphalt from the smoke coming from the National Highway nearby. I’m just waiting for my college to open soon so that I too can go out there to rebel alongside my fellow country people. I feel pretty useless sitting at home, able to do nothing.
I had an exam in Guwahati on December 8, and had to book tickets to return home, the same night after the exam. Five of my friends are still stuck in Guwahati, for who knows how long. The protests will go on, night and day, until the Centre decides to care enough for what we have to say, until they care enough to stand, for an instant, in our shoes and feel our insecurity.
It’s terrifying insecurity, somewhat like orphans watching their home being wrecked, because the ones in redevelopment want to build something more lucrative in its place. Though, this time around, it’s not the lure of a cash-cow but that of a vote-cow.
My hometown is about seven hours away by bus. But, the bus scrambled fast enough to cover the distance in four hours because the afternoon news said that there would be a state-wide bandh the next day, and a bandh across the entire Northeast on the day-after. My brother said that things will heat up once the CAB gets tabled in the Lok Sabha, and it did.
Right at this very moment, every conscious Indian has their blood boiling in disappointment, hurt, and rage, and yet, the Central government has the audacity to do as it so pleases. They are honestly proving to be dictators, for this is not what democracy looks like.
It is plain unfair and downright autocratic of the government to want to grant citizenship on a religious basis. I cast my first vote, early this year, to the party in power, and today, I’m standing in an attempt to rebel against them, and you should too. For the sake of secularism, do sign this petition.
P.S.: They surely went on to do what they said. Sharp at 7 pm, my internet (Airtel) stopped working. However, for some reason, Jio users are still getting access and I’m thanking the heavens for letting me post this before the next day, December 12.