Topic Of The Day:-“Mass Messaging: On Citizenship (Amendment) Bill”
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 theassurance 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.
MEANINGS AND WORDS
Meaning : grant (a title, degree, benefit, or right)(v).
Synonyms : advise
Antonyms : refuse
Example : “the Minister may have exceeded the powers conferred on him by Parliament”
Meaning : subject (someone) to hostility and ill-treatment, especially because of their race or political or religious beliefs.
Synonyms : injure
Antonyms : assist
Example : “his followers were persecuted by the authorities”
Meaning : causing or likely to cause an argument; controversial.
Synonyms : injure
Antonyms : please
Example : “a contentious issue”
Meaning : a positive declaration intended to give confidence; a promise(n).
Synonyms : guarantee
Antonyms : break
Example : “he gave an assurance that work would begin on Monday”
Meaning : in a closely compacted or crowded manner; thickly.
Synonyms : slowly
Example : “a densely populated country”
Meaning : attractive or interesting(adj).
Synonyms : engaging
Antonyms : repulsive
Example : “village life is somehow more appealing”
Meaning : the action of one object coming forcibly into contact with another.
Synonyms : shock
Antonyms : avoidance
Example : “there was the sound of a third impact”
Meaning : planned or meant.
Synonyms : contracted
Antonyms : unfixed
Example : “the intended victim escaped”
Meaning : make (an unpleasant feeling) less intense(v).
Synonyms : appease
Antonyms : aggravate
Example : “the letter assuaged the fears of most members”
Meaning : all the people in a country or area who are entitled to vote in an election.
Synonyms : voter
Example : “75 per cent of the electorate voted for a Scottish parliament in some form”
Meaning : demand or specify (a requirement), typically as part of an agreement.
Synonyms : impose
Antonyms : break
Example : “he stipulated certain conditions before their marriage”
Meaning : combine or cause to combine to form a single entity(v).
Synonyms : absorb
Antonyms : disconnect
Example : “the merchant bank merged with another broker”
Meaning : relating to a population subgroup (within a larger or dominant national or cultural group) with a common national or cultural tradition.
Synonyms : traditional
Antonyms : avoidant
Example : “ethnic and cultural rights and traditions”
Meaning : continue to have (something); keep possession of.
Synonyms : contain
Antonyms : desert
Example : “Labour retained the seat”
Meaning : make (something) greater by adding to it; increase.
Synonyms : amplify
Antonyms : condense
Example : “he augmented his summer income by painting houses”
Meaning : the process of excluding or the state of being excluded.
Synonyms : discharge
Antonyms : allowance
Example : “he had a hand in my exclusion from the committee”