Bhaskar Hazarika the director of the acclaimed Assamese film Aamis has put up a Facebook post criticising the government’s moved to pass the Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB).
In an emotional message, Hazarika argues that the North East chose India over Pakistan because “India promised us that our indigenous cultures and languages will be given a safe environment to advance, thrive, and evolve,” he then goes on to say that “passing of the CAB is the final and most shameful betrayal of the faith placed by our ancestors in the Union of India”.
Your can read Bhaskar Hazarika’s complete Facebook post on the issue here:
“When the partition of India was being considered, the Indian National Congress did not really care what happened to the North East. The party was more than willing to toss the entire North East region into Pakistan's lap in their hurry to arrive at a settlement with MA Jinnah. It is at that point that the people, led by leaders like Lokapriya Gopinath Bordoloi, successfully agitated for the inclusion of the North East in India and not Pakistan.
This was not because the majority of people were Hindus. It was because the new country promised by the Congress was a secular democratic one. One that would acknowledge and respect the various cultures and communities of the Indian sub-continent, and which in turn would agree to cohabit and prosper together as the Union of India. The Assamese and most other communities of the North East believed in this vision. They subsumed their political independence in the service of the new nation, only because our cultural independence was ostensibly secured by the Constitution of India.
In other words, the North East chose India over Pakistan because India promised us that our indigenous cultures and languages will be given a safe environment to advance, thrive, and evolve.
After decades of steadily eroding this trust by encouraging illegal migration from Bangladesh for petty votebank politics, the passing of the CAB is the final and most shameful betrayal of the faith placed by our ancestors in the Union of India. Our people too have shed blood in the struggle for Indian independence; but we signed up to be a part of a progressive, dynamic, sovereign socialist republic of India, not some crazy half-assed medieval fantasy of a Hindu Pakistan that seeks to wipe out our indigenous identities.
We are people of the North East. We are Hindu, we are Muslim, Christian, Buddhist, Animist and Atheist. Our indigenous identities are more important to us than what religion we practice. This simple fact underlines our opposition to CAB. And also, India's strength is its diversity, CAB is a vicious blow against it.
Here’s Hazarika’s original FB post: