Why is this deafening silence?

Paresh Malakar
Almost everybody, except the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and its cohorts opposed the Citizenship Amendment Bill of 1955.

And everybody also demanded that the Joint Committee on Bill to amend the Citizenship Act, 1955 should come to Assam for its hearing so that the people of the State can overwhelmingly register their protest against this anti-Assam and anti- Assamese move.

In the face of public outcry, last year, the JPC decided to visit Assam for holding a public hearing. But at the last moment they cancelled it.

And what has happened this year? When the JPC wished to come to Assam and informed the Government of Assam about it, the government said that they would not be able to provide security to JPC members if they visit Assam.

What has happened after we came to know about it?

Nothing, absolutely nothing. How do you react to it? There are three things to it.

First- the position of the State Government that it would not be able to provide security to the JPC if it visits Assam for its hearing, second- the response of the media to this news and the third -the response of various organizations including political parties to this development.

All the three things are equally surprising and baffling for me. Or is it that I am overreacting and behaving abnormally whereas everybody else is reacting normally on the matter?

This news has so far appeared in two Assamese dailies and social media. Till the time of writing this piece, the Government of Assam has not denied it.

That means what has come out in the newspapers is true. Is it normal or paranormal?

Is everything alright with the government of Assam, particularly in its Home Department, so far the maintenance of law and order is concerned?

If this government cannot provide security to a handful of members of Parliament then how would it provide security to the ordinary citizens of the State?

If this is the state of affairs today in Assam, should this government remain in power? Shouldn’t they relinquish office immediately?

The second thing is the response of the electronic and print media to this development.

Why aren’t they on it? Only one Assamese daily has published it the way it deserved to be published.

The other two newspapers have also published it on the front page, but not very prominently.

And the rest are all silent about it. Why aren’t they making a noise on it?

The Home Department is just a phone call away from all the media houses and they can also directly contact the office of the JPC and know the factual position.

Or is it such an insignificant thing that it could just be ignored? Or do they think it has no news value? How could such a thing go unnoticed and unspoken?

What has happened to the All Assam Students Union (AASU), Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti (KMSS), Asom Jatiyatabadi Yuba Chatra Parishad (AJYCP) and other political parties who are opposed to the amendment to the citizenship bill!

Why aren’t they saying a word on this sinister move of the State Government till now? Why is this deafening silence? Why is this numbness? Will they say anything or not? When will they say it? How long shall we wait to hear their voices? Where are the protesting people of Assam? Why haven’t it pricked their conscience?

Or are we so tired and fatigued that we are not even able to make sense of this ominous thing?

(Source: nenow.in, Paresh Malakar is a commentator based in Guwahati. He can be reached at malakarparesh@gmail.com.)

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