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CAA row: Chizami voters may unwittingly find space in international media

Nagaland News

Real game 42 seats in Bengal: Doulo & Kenye are ‘negligible’

Nirendra Dev
NEW DELHI/DIMAPUR, FEBRUARY 7: “Sir, I rise to support the amended Citizenship Bill of 2019 and I will tell this House why…,” thus spoke KG Kenye in Rajya Sabha on December 11, 2019.
Kenye is now the NDPP candidate from Chizami Assembly segment in Phek district, a hardcore regional bastion. Thus, the much controversial Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) is in debate in the backdrop of the ensuing February 27 elections.
Yes, Chizami voters may unwittingly find space for themselves in international media and high table discussions. Kevechutso Doulo is certainly one of the angry politicians in Nagaland these days. He was denied the BJP ticket because this seat was handed over to the NDPP, led by Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio.
“It is not for me to speak…NDPP has to answer why they need the seat for a leader who backed
CAA. I will not say much, it is a season of political blunders by champions like Neiphiu Rio”, Doulo shares his anguish in a rather courteous manner.
He believes the seat is easily ‘his’ now because Doulo is contesting on the LJP (Ram Vilas) ticket and people of this constituency will not entertain a man like Kenye.
The agitation against the new Citizenship law in 2019 December and early part of 2020 had two distinct dimensions and the dividing line, though crucial, was not understood in its totality.
Perhaps it is still ‘not understood’ properly and the debate is on. Curiously, the CAA has figured prominently in the election manifesto of Tipra Motha, a nascent tribal-based party, in Tripura where voting takes place on February 16.
“The CAA was targeted against a particular religion…,” says Motha chief Pradyot Kishore Debbarma.
Interestingly, he raised this issue though Muslims he refers to are not in any significant numbers in Tripura and so CAA helping him win seats is not much.
The fact of the matter is the amended citizenship bill allows ‘persecuted migrants’ from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan to become Indians, provided they are not Muslims. This applies to Hindus, Christians, SIkhs, Jains and Buddhists ~ meaning people who could be ‘persecuted’. BJP’s argument is Muslims are not persecuted in countries like Pakistan on the ground of religious identity.
Protestors at the national level in Delhi and other places (and supported by Left and communists) said the law discriminates against people on the basis of religion. Factually this is wrong.
The “fear” in Northeastern States is something else. The tribals in the Northeast say extending citizenship to ‘migrants from Bangladesh’ will result in natives and tribal people being swamped by “outsiders”. Needless to add, ‘outsiders’ is a powerful political word in Nagaland, as also in other parts of the Northeast.
Kenye had taken the floor in Rajya Sabha and said, “…I will tell this House why I am supporting this Bill. I come from ground zero, the epicentre of this controversy. The issue has been taken off (out of) the context completely. What is raised at the regional level on the ground and what is happening at the national level has taken a completely different turn.”
“…our people in the Northeast have no religious bias”, ~ in fact Kenye was absolutely right till this.
His mistake ~ even from the perspective of NPF (he was an NPF MP handpicked by Shurhozelie) was that he supported the Bill even by “voting” in its favour. A little cleverer lawmaker would have somehow skipped that.
The furious NPF bosses suspended him and the poor Kenye (Aza to his friends) had to jump to the NDPP.
But now he is virtually trapped. With the ticket given to him, one question that demands to be
debated is ~ has Kenye become a tool in the game of chess. Another question will be ~ who is the grandmaster? And what does BJP or NDPP gain by making him an MLA?
The answers to these questions are almost similar to the question ~ why does Rio go to Himanta so frequently (Assam CM is much junior to his Nagaland counterpart)? There can be a few other questions ~ why ‘ambitious’ BJP is so humble in Nagaland? And if Rituraj Sinha can give a 2-minute speech on corruption in Meghalaya, why at the same press conference Nalin Kohli has memory loss about the word ‘corruption’?
The CAA, it is feared, will virtually ‘accommodate’ influx of a huge number of Bengali Hindus from Bangladesh and would add to the Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led party’s vote share in Assam and in West Bengal.
In my opinion, the ‘Muslim angle’ in CAA is a typical twist of Indian intellectuals and Left liberals that the media swallowed and the Left parties and Congress aggressively abused. Linking NRC to CAA is also wrong.
The BJPs argument is ~ the law was enacted originally in 1955 and it caters to ‘persecuted religious minorities’ in Afghanistan, Bangladesh (earlier East Pakistan) and Pakistan.
It goes without saying that polarisation politics has always suited the BJP.
2024 is not far off. Importantly yet again, conquering power in West Bengal will be a major achievement for the BJP and even the entire Sanghparivar, its fountainhead RSS.
If someone has some doubts. Let us make it easier ~ the entire Northeast sends 25 MPs including
(Rio’s friend Himanta-ruled Assam only 14) and West Bengal sends 42 MPs to Lok Sabha. BJP won 18 of them in 2019, but the target is much higher for 2024.
K Doulo and Aza Kenye are only small-time players.