Assistant professor at Agartala Government Medical College, Kaushik Chakraborty (39), was placed under suspension on October 21, 2019, under the Central Civil Services (Classification, Control and Appeal) Rules, 1965. He was charged with “objectionable remarks against the CAB” on social media, “which will definitely create a rift among the communities in the state”.

Chakraborty had tweeted on February 10, stating “I’m a proud Indian citizen from ‘Tripura & oppose’ Citizenship Amendment Bill as it would alter vulnerable demography in NE India and create unwanted tensions between many communities.”

Chakraborty stated he wrote the posts in his personal capacity, as a “free citizen of a free country. However, if those comments caused any harm to anybody unintentionally, I tender my sincere apologies.”

In the suspension order, the department rejected the explanation and said it reflected “arrogance”. Disciplinary proceedings will now be initiated against him, the order stated. Meanwhile, Prateek Hazela, from Madhya Pradesh Cadre, the king pin within the NRC itself, handling the entire citizenship episode in Assam, has been facing the wrath of all those who cannot swallow the results, not because they share the pain of the uprooted, but expected many more to be in the horrendous list of excluded.

In reality, it was a fantasy project of those keen to identify foreigners from among the people of the entire state that is in the least no less than 3.5 crore. Those now in the list of exclusion, do not belong to the particular religious identity alone, there are other communities as well including Hindus. Clearly it went against those who served certain vested interest.

This has led to almost rejection of the procedure itself. There are promises coming about updating.

Now these promises are designed to serve Hindutva, with active support from the BJP that rules both the Centre and the state of Assam. It claims to bring changes in the Citizenship Act that are openly against the basic ethos of our country. It has been promised to the Hindus that even if their names are there in the list of the excluded, they will be taken care of and accommodated as citizens of the country. Despite these dark clouds, there still are rays of optimism. There are certain Assamese groups who have refused to accept religion into the migration debate.

While dissecting the bottleneck, one finds lot of complexities in this issue. The very rejection of the historicity opens up a floodgate to allow various shades of political, geographical and economic vested interests, though the truth is that each one of us is a child of some or the other wandering community, and when rooted evolved a society as one with all the diversities. These are pointers to the historical processes where there is the amalgamation of various migrant populations merging in indigenous cultures, and cannot be forced into reverse migration.

Now the issue is with the Supreme Court that has not only to restrain political pressures, but also look into the Constitutional perspective.

The state must also start to think about the future of the large number of people who are likely to be rendered stateless once the appeal process is completed.

In fact the state of Assam has a major issue with the regular inflow of the migrants. There has been a long-standing Assam demand to demarcate illegal migrants from citizens. But the solution taken up to detect illegal immigrants proved too painful and ineffective. In essence one had to prove one’s citizenship based on documentation, which has been never a familiar ground for Indians. They never felt the need for a document to tell that they belonged to the very piece of earth where they were born, grew up and died. In fact the sufferings people were made to undergo, and the prices they had to pay would perhaps remain forever buried, unseen and unlamented, never to see the light of the day.

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