'CAA will destroy culture, language, threaten identity'

'CAA will destroy culture, language, threaten identity'

The Accord accepted that all foreigners will be detected with March 24, 1971, as a cut-off date.

As the president of the AASU, Prafulla Kumar Mahanta led the six-year-long Assam agitation or the 'anti-foreigner movement' from 1979-85 and become the country's youngest chief minister after signing the Assam Accord in 1985.

The Accord accepted that all foreigners will be detected with March 24, 1971, as a cut-off date.

As Assam erupted in fresh agitation since December 11 over Narendra Modi government amendment to the Citizenship Act, 1955, to give citizenship to Hindus and other non-Muslim migrants till December 31, 2014, Mahanta, a senior AGP leader, on Monday clarified that the agitation was not against the Bengalis but against all post-1971 migrants.

DH lists Mahanta's view on five major points below:

On protest in Assam:

The amended citizenship law, against which the indigenous community that is protesting, will reduce them into minorities, destroy culture, language and threaten identity. States governments of Punjab, Kerala and Bengal have refused to implement it and Assam government should also say so. But they don't have the courage to take such a stand.

Cut-off date

The amended law says that no document is required to prove that they migrated on or before December 31, 2014. If no document is required, it looks like a blanket order to welcome all Hindus or minorities (From Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan) to come anytime and get Indian citizenship. They find Assam as a convenient place as our demography and climate is almost similar to Bangladesh.

On AGP's petition in SC for exemption of Brahmaputra Valley

We want scrapping of the amendment and the entire Northeast be exempted. They (AGP leaders) are selfish and opportunist and betrayed the people of Assam by supporting the Bill in the parliament.

On the possibility of conflict between Hindu Bengalis and Assamese

Our fight is not against the Bengalis but against all post-1971 migrants but it's a fact that the state was created based on language. Punjab was formed on the basis of Gurumukhi language, Bengal on Bengali language. The Hindu Bengalis who settled in Assam before march 24, 1971, are part and parcel of the Assamese society.

On PM Modi and Amit Shah's assurance to address all concerns

Our Preamble says that India is a secular, republic and democratic country, they can't change it into a Hindu Rashtra now. The prime minister is not above the Constitution. This Act will destroy our Constitution and Assam Accord. We lost 860 lives during the Assam agitation and hence any Act that violates the Accord is not acceptable.

Before the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, Modi promised in Assam that all foreigners will have to go with their bag and baggage, if he comes to power. But now, he laying a red carpet to welcome the Hindu foreigners.

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