Agartala, Nov 22 : Home Minister Amit Shah's statement in Parliament that National Register of Citizenship (NRC) will be implemented across the country and the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill (CAB) will be passed in the current session of Parliament has triggered a widespread reaction in Tripura against the decision.
Except ruling BJP, all other political parties, civil society organisations and citizens of the state have been raising voice against the decision. The tribal parties welcome the implementation of NRC but want it based on 1951 census. However, they opposed CAB. The non-tribal parties and organisations oppose NRC but are silent on CAB. The tribal parties opine that neither CAB nor NRC will protect their interests from the illegal migrants.
“In NRC based on 1971 record, government of India will recognise large number of non-tribal migrants but leave out non-tribal Hindus. This will serve no purpose as they will be accepted as citizens of India by the CAB. Consequently, the protection of interests of the tribals will continue to be compromised.”
The tribal leaders including royal scion Pradyot Kishore Debbarman observed that the Tribals of Tripura who were once the majority were reduced to minority in successive census since 1951 due to continuous influx from Bangladesh.
A large number of Hindu Bangladeshi settled in Tripura after the country's creation in 1971, which affected the demographic profile of the state. If 1951 is considered as the base year for NRC it would serve the purpose and actual interest of tribals would be protected, they opine.
But if CAB is passed on the proposed premise, all the Hindu non-tribals who entered Tripura after 1951 would be considered as citizens of India and the tribals will continue to remain the minority even if illegal migration is stopped, the tribal leaders apprehended and added that they will not allow CAB in Tripura.
On the other hand, opposition political parties and citizen led bodies except Muslims have not bothered about CAB but are opposing NRC and believe that it is an attempt to hurt the interest of Bengalis. Except a few, most of the Hindu Bengalis had come to India as refugees after partition, and later, after creation of Bangladesh in 1971 as an Islamic state. The Muslim Bengalis came to India is search of job and livelihood and managed to settle here owing to India’s secular identity.
The veteran journalist and civil society leader of Tripura Subal Kumar Dey sharing a dais with BJP general secretary Ram Madhav and Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb yesterday in a program vehemently opposed the move of NRC in Tripura.
Ram Madhav argued it would help the country to register its citizens with the aim to protect its integrity and sovereignty and Deb said NRC was important for India’s security.
In support of his argument, Dey stated, “We shall not allow NRC like Assam. Tripura has experienced communal riots followed by insurgency since 1980 to 2006 only because majority and minority complex. We have spent sleepless nights for long to bridge this gap and now the state is peaceful. Again NRC will destroy our hard earned peace and the outfit, which had carried out bloodshed in the name of eviction of Bengalis from Tripura, will be encouraged.” (UNI)