TODAY -

Lining up stand against CAB: All about indigenous folks
- The Sangai Express Editorial :: October 01 2019 -



Protect the interests of the indigenous people of the North East region.

Protect them from the influx of non-locals.

This call is central to the cry raised by the Manipur People Against Citizenship Amendment Bill (MANPAC) and the Joint Committee on Inner Line Permit System.

The State Government may not have much to do with the two issues raised by MANPAC and JCILPS, for remember it is the Centre which will decide on the Citizenship Amendment Bill and the State Assembly has already passed the Manipur People Bill to regulate the inflow of non-locals into the State which is now awaiting assent from the President of India.

Out of the hands of the State Government, but it would not exactly be a prudent move to merely pass the baton to the Centre.

Much will depend on how the State Government respond to the calls raised by the two organisations and the past is more than enough indication of what may happen, if there is even the slightest suspicion that Imphal is not doing enough to protect the interests of the local folks.

Given the way things have panned out, October may go down as a month of protest centred around the interests of the indigenous people of the land.

That the BJP led Government at the Centre is intent on enacting CAB should be clear for this is something which they had publicly announced before the just concluded Lok Sabha elections.

And look at the manner in which they came roaring back to power decimating the Opposition.

A sure indication that the people backed the BJP but when it comes to something like the CAB, it could be a different ball game, especially in a place like Manipur.

The demand that the North East be exempted from the cover of CAB or a clause be added that will exempt the region is in line with the stand that it is the region which is likely to be the most affected if and when the doors are thrown open to outsiders.

Still not clear how the Centre will respond to the call of MANPAC and the people of the region, but one can expect stormy days in the near future.

If Manipur was the epicentre of the anti-CAB protest in the beginning of this year, there is no reason to believe that it will not be this time.

This is where it will become interesting to see how the BJP led Government at Imphal respond to the situation, when the time comes.

Again it is also important to note that when the protest against CAB was at its peak earlier this year, the Centre had assured that a special package may be given to the migrants who opt to stay at any other place, other than the North East.

This itself may be taken to mean that the Centre is aware that the North East region could be the destination of many of the migrants.

And if the past is any indication, one can also expect the Chief Minister of Meghalaya Conrad Sangma to emerge as the rallying point for the people of the North East.

Indigenous folks and their interests will definitely be at the centre stage in the coming days and it will also be interesting to see how the Centre responds to the call that a special clause be included to safeguard the North East region.



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