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Letter from the Editor-in-Chief

The ruling BJP and its coalition partner in the state of Assam are facing a very complicated situation which is hurting both BJP and Assam Gana Parishad (AGP). AGP is a coalition partner of BJP in the state of Assam. The issue is the Citizenship Act under which all Bangladeshi migrants coming to Assam becomes foreigners and as such becomes refugee. The BJP has been consistently saying that all Hindus coming from Bangladesh will get shelter in India, whereas AGP has always been fighting against illegal immigrants of Bangladesh. Now, Prafulla Kumar Mahanta the former Chief Minister of Assam, in a press conference held on 31st October, demanded that the share of Bangladeshi refugee cannot be given to Assam alone. In other words, he is opposing the rehabilitation of Bangladeshi refugees in Assam, whose numerical strength is said to be 40 lakh. 

The visit to Assam by the Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) on Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016 has been postponed indefinitely. 

It is quite unfortunate that inspite of over 69 years of India’s independence- it is still struggling with the Citizenship issue. Thanks to our politician – who in order to create their own vote bank, left the issue unattended. The Government (read “Modi Government”) is atleast attending all issues that needs the attention of the nation. Rightly, they have taken up this issue. It should, however be resolved, keeping the local sentiments in mind. It should not be forgotten that indigenous Assamese people are sensitive to their language, identity and culture. Sealing that Indo Bangla border is a tough job but must be achieved to ensure that no unwanted guests enters our land and put pressure on our resources.

 This situation has brought the powerful and influential Assam Student’s Union closer to AGP who is also singing the same song. Adding to this, several other NGOs are working together on the issue which may be a headache to the present Government.The test of leadership for Sarbananda Sonowal will be tested in this situation of crisis. Our cover story this month is on The Controversy over the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill 2016 written by Dwaipayan Dasgupta, who has given an insight on the issue.

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