Mass messaging: on Citizenship (Amendment) Bill

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Mass messaging: on Citizenship (Amendment) Bill

The BJP is recklessly reinforcing ethnic and religious fault lines in the Northeast
Protests(विरोध,) in the Northeast, especially(ख़ास तौर पर) in Assam and Tripura, over the Centre’s move to push through the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill in Parliament highlight the dangerous pre-election(चुनाव पूर्व) adventurism(रोमांच।/दुस्साहस) of the BJP. The Bill seeks to confer Indian citizenship to persecuted(सताया जाने/ज़ुल्म करना) migrants(प्रवासियों/औपनिवेशिक) from the Hindu, Jain, Sikh, Parsi, Christian and Buddhist communities( समुदाय,) from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh who came to India before 2014. The Bill, contentious(विवादास्पद) in itself for its exclusion(बहिष्कारनिकाल देना)/ of Muslims, is seen by many as a ploy to legitimise(वैध बनाने के लिए) the presence of Hindu Bengalis who had reached the Northeast in the aftermath of the birth of Bangladesh in 1971. The BJP’s ally in the Assam government, the Asom Gana Parishad, an ethnic party(जातीय पार्टी) at its core, called it quits on Monday when the Union Cabinet cleared the redrafted( फिर से तैयार किया/पुनः प्रारूपित) Bill for introduction in the Lok Sabha. It was passed on Tuesday. While the BJP-led governments at the Centre and in Assam have often(अक्सर ) given the assurance(आश्वासन ) that the extra(अतिरिक्त) burden(बोझ) of people is not solely the State’s, the Rajendra Agrawal-led Joint Parliamentary Committee’s report is categorical(श्रेणीगत/स्पष्ट): “The Assam Government should help settle(व्यवस्थित) migrants especially in places which are not densely(घनी) populated(आबादी), thus, causing(उत्पन्न करना/पहुंचाना) lesser impact(कम प्रभाव ) on the demographic changes and providing(प्रदान करना) succour to the indigenous Assamese people.” Thus, an alliance(गठबंधन ) with the BJP became politically impossible for the nativist AGP.

The blowback(झटका) from the Bill in the Brahmaputra valley(घाटी/मैदान) is not lost on the BJP either. It has tried to offset the impact with two decisions aimed at appealing to the Assamese electorate. These, the constitution of a committee to resurrect(पुनर्जीवित) and operationalise(संचालन ) the crucial(महत्वपूर्ण) Clause(धारा ) 6 of the 1985 Assam Accord(समझौता/सहमाति) stipulating(निर्धारित की गयी थी) “constitutional, legislative(वैधानिक विधायी) and administrative safeguards for the Assamese people”, and the proposal to accord Scheduled Tribe status to six major communities that are currently classified as OBCs, are of a piece. They are intended(प्रयोजन रखने का/इरादा) to assuage(शांत करना/धीमा करना) and assure(भरोसा दिलाना/आश्वस्त करना) Assamese speakers that the party can merge Hindutva obligations(दायित्व) with local interests. The ST status could turn Assam, which has a 34% Muslim population, into a tribal State with a majority of seats reserved. The panel could recommend reservation of seats in the Assembly and local bodies and in jobs for the indigenous(स्वदेशी ) populace. The point, however, is that for now the measures count as messaging. The Citizenship Bill and the ST Bill have yet to be passed in the Rajya Sabha. And the panel on Clause 6 has until July 6 to submit its report. The BJP knows that with reverses expected in the rest of the country in the Lok Sabha elections, it needs to retain(बनाए रखने), if not augment(बढ़ाना/बढ़ती करना), its seats from Assam to come anywhere close to its 2014 haul. It is doing all it can ensure that, but with little thought to the ethnic and communal fault lines it is aiding.

 

 

Important Vocabulary

1. Protests(विरोध,)
Synonyms: challenge, demonstration, dissent, objection, outcry
Antonyms: agreement, answer, calm, concurrence, harmony

2. Persecuted(सताया जाने/ज़ुल्म करना)
Synonyms: expel, harass, hound, injure, maltreat
Antonyms: aid, assist, delight, help, make happy

3.Contentious(विवादास्पद)
Synonyms: antagonistic, combative, testy, argumentative, belligerent
Antonyms: agreeable

4. Redrafted( फिर से तैयार किया/पुनः प्रारूपित)
Synonyms: alter, amend, compare, cut, develop
Antonyms:decrease, harm, ignore, injure, worsen

5. Assurance(आश्वासन )
Synonyms: affirmation, assertion, guarantee, pledge, promise
Antonyms: break, denial, breach, confusion, distrust

6. Categorical(श्रेणीगत/स्पष्ट):
Synonyms: absolute, clear-cut, definite, definitive, emphatic
Antonyms: ambiguous, equivocal, indefinite, indistinct, inexact

7. Causing(उत्पन्न करना/पहुंचा
Synonyms: begin, create, generate, induce, lead to
Antonyms: destroy, discourage, end, halt, prevent

8. Settle(व्यवस्थित)
Synonyms: achieve, clear, complete, conclude, decide
Antonyms:begin, commence, destroy, forget, hesitate

9. Causing(उत्पन्न करना/पहुंचाना)
Synonyms: begin, create, generate, induce, lead to
Antonyms: destroy, discourage, end, halt, prevent

10. Accord(समझौता/सहमाति)
Synonyms: deal, pact, reconciliation, accordance, concert
Antonyms: disagreement, difference, discord, disunity, refusal

11. Assuage(शांत करना/धीमा करना)
Synonyms: allay, alleviate, appease, lessen, mitigate
Antonyms: aggravate, agitate, dissatisfy, incite, increase

12. Augment(बढ़ाना/बढ़ती करना),
Synonyms: add to, amplify, boost, build up, develop
Antonyms: abridge, compress, condense, contract, curtail

13. Retain(बनाए रखने),
Synonyms: absorb, cling to, contain, enjoy, have
Antonyms: abandon, desert, disperse, dispossess, exclude

14. Assure(भरोसा दिलाना/आश्वस्त करना)
Synonyms: encourage, persuade, reassure, satisfy, bag
Antonyms: discourage, dissuade, distress

 

 

 

Credit To The Hindu News Paper

The BJP is recklessly reinforcing ethnic and religious fault lines in the Northeast
Protests in the Northeast, especially in Assam and Tripura, over the Centre’s move to push through the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill in Parliament highlight the dangerous pre-election adventurism of the BJP. The Bill seeks to confer Indian citizenship to persecuted migrants from the Hindu, Jain, Sikh, Parsi, Christian and Buddhist communities from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh who came to India before 2014. The Bill, contentious in itself for its exclusion of Muslims, is seen by many as a ploy to legitimise the presence of Hindu Bengalis who had reached the Northeast in the aftermath of the birth of Bangladesh in 1971. The BJP’s ally in the Assam government, the Asom Gana Parishad, an ethnic party at its core, called it quits on Monday when the Union Cabinet cleared the redrafted Bill for introduction in the Lok Sabha. It was passed on Tuesday. While the BJP-led governments at the Centre and in Assam have often given the assurance that the extra burden of people is not solely the State’s, the Rajendra Agrawal-led Joint Parliamentary Committee’s report is categorical: “The Assam Government should help settle migrants especially in places which are not densely populated, thus, causing lesser impact on the demographic changes and providing succour to the indigenous Assamese people.” Thus, an alliance with the BJP became politically impossible for the nativist AGP.

The blowback from the Bill in the Brahmaputra valley is not lost on the BJP either. It has tried to offset the impact with two decisions aimed at appealing to the Assamese electorate. These, the constitution of a committee to resurrect and operationalise the crucial Clause 6 of the 1985 Assam Accord stipulating “constitutional, legislative and administrative safeguards for the Assamese people”, and the proposal to accord Scheduled Tribe status to six major communities that are currently classified as OBCs, are of a piece. They are intended to assuage and assure Assamese speakers that the party can merge Hindutva obligations with local interests. The ST status could turn Assam, which has a 34% Muslim population, into a tribal State with a majority of seats reserved. The panel could recommend reservation of seats in the Assembly and local bodies and in jobs for the indigenous populace. The point, however, is that for now the measures count as messaging. The Citizenship Bill and the ST Bill have yet to be passed in the Rajya Sabha. And the panel on Clause 6 has until July 6 to submit its report. The BJP knows that with reverses expected in the rest of the country in the Lok Sabha elections, it needs to retain, if not augment, its seats from Assam to come anywhere close to its 2014 haul. It is doing all it can ensure that, but with little thought to the ethnic and communal fault lines it is aiding.