It’s Christmas. But in Assam, the protests against the controversial Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) continue, this time with poetry and painting.
Artistes, students, cartoonists, poets and commoners came together on Wednesday to voice their opposition to the newly amended law.
Ever since the bill was tabled, the people of Assam and other northeast states have taken to streets to express their concerns. The region has already suffered a lot owing to large-scale illegal immigration from neighbouring Bangladesh.
Aitri Gogoi, a student of National Institute of Design in Andhra Pradesh, who participated in the peaceful protest, said this was the best way to do it.
“I don’t support violence. This is the way to protest or to let the government know what you want to say. This is the reason I came here today. As far as the CAA is concerned, we just can’t accept it. It’s against the constitution. The government is doing exactly the opposite of secularism. Besides, this act is not at all considering the rights of Assamese people,” Gogoi told Outlook at Latasil playground.
Over the last two weeks, people in every part of the state have demonstrated against the CAA in various ways – starting from students, musicians, women bodies, senior citizens, various organizations even the government employees.
This led to the state issuing notifications, asking the government employees, including the contractual workers, not to indulge in any political activity on social media platforms.
On Tuesday, tens of thousands gathered in the upper Assam town of Dibrugarh to oppose the controversial law. A similar situation emerged in Tezpur town as well.
All Assam Students Union (AASU), an influential students’ body of the state which has been vocally against the Act, said that the people’s movement will continue till the government repeals the CAA.
It’s chief adviser Samujjal Kumar Bhattacharya said that with this kind of protests by the musicians and artists, the movement has got a new lease of life.
“This proves that the movement against the CAA is getting stronger by day. We all are united and marching forward in opposing the act. Our final word is no to CAA at any cost,” Bhattacharya added standing among the painters and poets.
Despite protection to NE states, barring Tripura, from CAA under the "Inner Line Permit" and "Sixth Schedule area", there has been strong criticism of the Centre and opposition to the new law.
In Tripura, former state Congress chief and royal scion Pradyot Kishore Manikya Deb Barman announced the formation of a new "apolitical organization" -- The Indigenous Progressive Regional Alliance (TIPRA), which aims at "protecting the rights of tribal communities" amid the public outcry against the CAA.
Deb Barman said the indigenous people of the state will be badly affected if the amended Citizenship Act is implemented.