CAA threatens “Assam Culture” & identity

The Chief Justice of India SA Bobde headed the bench that issued notice to central and Assam Culture governments and assigned the matter to be heard together with other petitions challenging CAA. Section 2 of the Citizenship Act, 1956, which defines illegal migrants, was amended by the CAA. A change in the definition means that any person who is a member of a Hindu, Sikh or Buddhist community from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, or Pakistan and has been exempted under the Passport (Entry into India) Act 1920 or the Foreigners Act 1946 will not be considered an “illegalmigrant”. These persons will be eligible for naturalization under Section 6 (55th act).

Assam Culture Says plea in Supreme Court

All Assam Culture Law Students Union submitted that the CAA weakens the constitutional as well as legal protections granted to Assamese citizens by various laws, and the Assam Accord.

“The Assam Culture Accord Clause 6 specifically requires the Union Government and the State of Assam, in addition to the Assamese government, to safeguard the Constitutional and legislative safeguards of Assamese citizens. It also protects, preserves and promotes culture, linguistic identity, and heritage of Assamese people. The plea stated that the Union Government could not have created the Citizenship Amendment Act, 2019, which would have diluted the constitutional, legislative, and administrative safeguards for the Assamese people.

Protests were widespread against the exclusion of Muslims from the CAA benefits and the linking of citizenship to religion. Protests also took place against the proposed all-India National Register of Citizens. (NRC). More than 150 petitions were filed at the Supreme Court to challenge the law that was based on discrimination against Muslims.

All Assam Law Students Union has a challenge to make. It is concerned with the possible impact of the CAA on Assamese Identity and the violation of various laws and agreements that the union government has enacted to deport illegal migrants and maintain Assame identity.

To protect Assam’s indigenous people, the central government had in 1950 passed Immigration (Expulsion From Assam) Act. After the 1947 partition of India, Assam saw an influx of Bengali-speaking people from East Pakistan.

There was a second exodus of Bengalis from Bengal to Assam Culture after the liberation of East Pakistan in 1971 by India and the formation of Bangladesh. The Assam Accord was signed in 1985 between the central government and All Assam Students Union, the All Assam Gana Sangram Parished and the All Assam Gana Sangram Parished.

Assam Accord stipulated that any foreigner who arrived in Assam after March 25, 1971, shall be detected and removed. Practical steps will be taken to expel them.

The Assam Culture Accord provided that the central government would insert section 6A into the Citizenship Act in 1985. According to the same, illegal migrants from Bangladesh who arrived in Assam between March 24, 1971 and March 24, 1971 were granted Indian citizenship. However, the petitioner claimed that the CAA renders section 6A of both the Citizenship Act (and the Assam Accord) meaningless. It would allow illegal immigrants to become Indian citizens, and would also dilute the Assam Accord’s section 6A process.

The petition stated that “Bringing in outsiders or including illegal immigrants as citizens will worsen the situation” and would have serious consequences for Assam Culture, economic, and political culture.

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