Citizenship (Amendment) Bill and BJP

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“Each day, I come in with a positive attitude, trying to get better.”

– Stefon Diggs


 The BJP is maintaining the strategy to stay in power as long as possible by default. With this the nation inches towards a Hindu theocratic state. In spite of the mainland politics being base on caste, community and religion above the BJP’s proclaimed development agenda for pan India, political dynamics has changed towards opposition unity when rivals of the BJP realised that one cannot fight the Narendra Modi juggernaut alone. The opposition’s movement is not at all noble for the sake of the nation, it is just a matter of survival for them and not driven by the welfare of the people in mind. But is it enough for the BJP’s leadership to reset its calculation for the general election of 2019? With the passing of Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016, 10% quota for the economically backward upper castes and general apathy towards the people of north east in general and towards the people of Assam in particular, the BJP has hit many birds with a few slings shots and fallen victim to the Indian political cliché of vote bank politics and number at whatever cost, including alienating the whole north east India.

The Bill was redrafted after the objections came from Assam did not make any difference. The 10% quota for the upper castes economically backward is appeasement that the BJP has long accused the Congress of adopting as an effective vote ensuring mechanism and with the passing of the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016, it has silenced the mercurial Chief Minister of West Bengal Mamata Banerjee who probably was not expecting the BJP to carry out its word on passing it and must be having nightmares now as the general election is at hand. The quota for the upper castes also means it has recovered some lost ground in the political Badlands in north India. In other words the BJP has chunked the Assam Accord, NRC and any other of the like for numbers in the next parliament. With less than half of the number of Lok Sabha seats in Assam at 14 against 42 of West Bengal, the BJP can well afford to lose a few seats here and there in the entire northeast leave alone Assam. Nude protest in Delhi not withstanding it looks like the BJP may well succeed in its game plan of, also, unseating the lady in Hawaii chappals of West Bengal as well.

Meanwhile, it’s back to the grind for the people of Assam to reclaim its “jati, mati” and “bheti”, the slogan that brought the BJP into the northeast, which was ironic, the people of Assam realised now. The moral is: no matter what the present state of political system in India with all the known races and religion in the world and 22 major languages, 13 scripts and 720 dialects dictate that certain section of people is always disposable at the altar of political power which is the unpleasant reality but true in India. The passing of the Bill has also made secularism ingrained in the constitution bite the dust as it has made the granting of citizenship based on religion into a law. The BJP has negated everything it has done in the north east with the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016. Now, its wait and watch for the regional forces in Assam.

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