Home » Changing stand on CAA in the context of ongoing communal conflict

Changing stand on CAA in the context of ongoing communal conflict

by Rinku Khumukcham
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Changing stand on CAA in the context of ongoing communal conflict

The announcement made by Union Home Minister Amit Shah for implementation of the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) before the upcoming Lok Sabha Election has caused a lot of anxiety and fear but not again for Meiteis of Manipur. The CAA, which has generated controversy ever since it was passed at the parliament, is being questioned once more over possible biases and exclusions.
One of the main points of controversy regarding the CAA is the way in which religious communities are included, with Muslims being left off of the list of eligible groups. Some have questioned whether this specific element of the legislation is consistent with the secular values contained in the Indian Constitution, sparking contentious disputes. Concerns regarding the possible marginalisation and unfair treatment of particular communities according to their beliefs are raised by the exclusion of particular religious’ groups.
The omission of Myanmar from the list of qualifying nations is notable. This has sparked debates regarding the standards and factors taken into account when deciding which countries qualify for the CAA. The choice to leave out Myanmar raises concerns regarding the diplomatic and geopolitical variables that shaped the enactment and implementation of the law. The worries about the CAA take on a particular significance in the Northeastern states, including Manipur. The possible effects on indigenous communities as well as the unique demographic and cultural makeup of the area are the main causes of concern. There is concern that the introduction of the CAA may change the social structure and upset the precarious equilibrium in these communities.
Opposition to the CAA was strongest in Imphal, where a large number of media organisations and outlets—often referred to as Meitei media—have voiced strong objections to its implementation. This opposition suggests a deliberate attempt by the local media to express concerns and increase awareness of the perceived effects of the CAA in the area.
The Meiteis, a minority in Bangladesh and the border regions between India and Bangladesh, have experienced systematic marginalisation and persecution from the main populations living there, which complicates the picture. This intricacy highlights the necessity for a thorough grasp of the regional, cultural, and communal factors at play and adds layers to the ongoing discussion.
Essentially, the news that the CAA will soon be implemented nationally has rekindled a complex discussion about religious tolerance, geopolitical concerns, and the possible socio-cultural effects on particular Indian regions and people. The differences in viewpoints and worries highlight how delicate and complicated this controversial piece of legislation is.
In revisiting the stance of Imphal Times on the implementation of the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), it is crucial to underscore our publication’s unwavering opposition to the legislation. This dissent has been prominently conveyed through numerous articles and editorials that critically analyzed and questioned the implications of the CAA. Moreover, the commitment to this cause extended beyond the written word, as our staff actively participated in anti-CAA protests throughout the year 2019, embodying a firm stand against what was perceived as a potentially divisive and contentious law.
However, the perspective has undergone a transformative shift in the ongoing communal conflict. The original concern, shared by many, was centered around the perceived threat to local land and identity posed by Bengali migrants, irrespective of their religious affiliation—Hindu or Muslim. This concern stemmed from the fear that the settlement of Bengalis might lead to conflicts within the indigenous communities, particularly in matters of religion.
Yet, a re-evaluation has taken place. The realization is that the crux of the issue lies not with Bengalis migrating to the region but rather with the migration of the Chin-Kuki-Zo population from Myanmar to India. Importantly, this migration pattern predates the current civil unrest in Myanmar, providing historical context to the demographic shifts that are unfolding.
In light of this nuanced perspective, the call to support the exclusion of Myanmar from the CAA can be given. The argument posits that since the migration issue is intricately tied to the Chin-Kuki-Zo population, which is not covered by the CAA, endorsing this exclusion becomes a logical and principled position.
Furthermore, there is a call to action in the form of advocating for the implementation of the National Register of Citizens (NRC). The rationale behind this demand is to obtain accurate and comprehensive data on migration, particularly now that FMR is no longer in effect.

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Imphal Times is a daily English newspaper published in Imphal and is registered with Registrar of the Newspapers for India with Regd. No MANENG/2013/51092


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