30 November, 2020

Assam Burning! Is India Ready To Handle After-Effect Of Citizenship Amendment Bill?

The Parliament nod to Citizenship Amendment Bill has raised questions about secularism. Are politicians sacrificing the state's interest at the altar of Hindutva politics?

Assam Burning! Is India Ready To Handle After-Effect Of Citizenship Amendment Bill?

A line stretches out from Assam and wraps itself around India, like a new Tropic of Cancer or an invisible Radcliffe Line, but changing meaning along its path. To understand it, one must go back to its place of origin. On December 11, 2019, as the Rajya Sabha passed the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, Assam was being convulsed by a monumental surge of anger. In its history, marked by 600 years of uninterrupted Ahom reign, Badan Barphukan is one of the most reviled men, his name associated with what’s considered the highest treason—in 1817, he invited the Burmese army to help him capture the throne. This led to the fall of the Ahom empire and capture of Assam by the British. Since then, the word ‘Badan’ has become synonymous with ‘traitor’ in Assamese. Cut back to December 2019. Protests had erupted across the state—huge masses of people on streets, smoke billowing out of burning tyres, curfew, the army on standby, and a Kashmir-like internet lockdown, albeit temporary. Among the crowd, denouncing the contentious bill, using the...



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