One of the protagonists of Bhaskar Hazarika’s recently acclaimed Assamese film Aamis, Arghadeep Baruah, has been a part of the protests in Guwahati against the Citizenship Amendment Bill which was passed by the Rajya Sabha on 11 December.
Talking to The Quint about his opinion on this matter, Arghadeep said that he has been a part of the ongoing protests in the state. The actor said that though he doesn’t believe in irrationally demolishing properties, he definitely is in support of peaceful protests. Arghadeep also said that he strongly opposes the passage of the CAB and believes that it will affect the diversity of the country.
“We have been protesting against the passage of CAB since yesterday. This is something that I think will affect the diversity of our state in so many ways. It’s something else to have your own vote bank system and then bring people in on humanitarian grounds. But, just to dump people out of nowhere is not something that we’re going to accept at any point of time. Things are so vague. Even our Home Minister spoke so much about the necessity of passing the Bill because there is a rise in Muslim population. But this is not acceptable, right? ”Arghadeep Baruah, Actor
The actor also adds that as a citizen of India he feels betrayed the moment people were divided in the name of religion.
“I have been born and brought up in a place where we have always played together. We shared food from the same plate and we never saw people as Hindu or Muslim. These are things that politicians bring in the name of religion and all that nonsense. I don’t know what to say. Since yesterday, we have all been on the streets, protesting.”Arghadeep Baruah, Actor
Assam saw widespread violence since the Bill was passed on Wednesday. Protesters, including students, took to the streets to raise their voices. Guwahati witnessed a lot of such protests, and the state government has declared an indefinite curfew to maintain law and order. The administration has also suspended mobile and Internet services in 10 districts of the state.
Actor and filmmaker Aparna Sen has also condemned the Citizenship Amendment Bill and the government’s plan to execute a nationwide NRC exercise.
“I’m totally against this whole thing. I’m totally against it. Because, you know, even though Amit Shah keeps reassuring them in Parliament, and then Narendra Modi comes on TV and says, ‘I assure my Muslim brothers and sisters, that those who are genuine citizens of India they have nothing to fear.’ But how do you establish that? How do you establish that who has papers? Most people don’t have the required documents like birth certificates. Many poor people don’t have passports or birth certificates. Lots of people who are uneducated, what happens to them? They are not citizens of India? So this (passage of the bill) seems to be going against the poor people of the country.”Aparna Sen, Actor and Filmmaker
She also added that the CAB flouts all the conditions laid down by Article 14 of the Constitution, which states that “The State shall not deny to any person equality before the law or the equal protection of the laws within the territory of India. Discrimination on grounds of religion, race, caste, sex or place of birth is also prohibited.” “It is laid down in the Constitution that people can come in for shelter to India. You can have immigrants and you can give them a home, but it cannot be on the basis of religion, so that flouts the Constitution of India which is secular,” Aparna Sen said.