GUWAHATI, August 21: The Assamese Community in London has joined in the ongoing opposition to centre’s Citizenship (Amendment) Bill in the state describing it as a threat to Assam’s demography, culture, and the Assamese language.
A delegation of the non-resident Assamese urged Indian High Commissioner to UK, YK Sinha, to convey their concern to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the chairman of the Joint Parliamentary Committee as India government’s UK representative.
“There is a strong probability that a significant beneficiary of this amendment would be Bangladeshi Hindus and would immigrate to Assam.This will 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,” Rini Kakati, Assam coordinator for the UK of the organization, Friends of Assam and Seven Sisters stated in an email.
She added that the present attempt of the Government of India to extend citizenship beyond the cutoff point of 24th March 1971 is unacceptable. “The state of Assam is already overburdened with a high influx of foreign nationals from Bangladesh, causing serious economic and social distress and identity crisis for the indigenous communities of Assam. Under these circumstances, the proposed amendment poses a serious threat to the existence of Assam as a unique cultural and linguistic entity enshrined in the formation of various states at the independence of India,” she stated and added, “We therefore strongly demand the withdrawal of the Citizenship Amendment Bill.” (TNN)