The contentious Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2019 has drawn severe criticism from the people of northeast India and the latest setback for the Centre has come from the son of music maestro named Tej Hazarika, who refused to accept the honour on his father’s behalf given the present state of affairs in his region.
According to the official, Tej Hazarika expressed discontent and displeasure over the controversial Bill, calling it “undemocratic and unconstitutional”.
Here are the statements passed by Tej Hazarika are
As the son of Dr Bhupen Hazarika—one of the most popular and loved cultural and socio-political figures for the people of Assam and its neighbouring sister states of India’s great Northeast—I believe that my father’s name and words are being invoked and celebrated publicly while plans are afoot to pass a painfully unpopular bill regarding citizenship that is actually undermining his documented position. It would, in reality, be in direct opposition to what Bupenda believed in his heart of hearts.
For his fans—a vast majority of people of the Northeast—and India’s great diversity including all indigenous populations of India, he would never have endorsed what appears, quite transparently, to be an underhanded way of pushing a law against the will and benefit of the majority in a manner that also seems to be grossly un-constitutional, un-democratic and un-Indian.
Adopting any form of this bill at this point in the manner in which it is being proffered, now or in the future, will ultimately have the sad and undesirable effect of not only disrupting the quality of life, language, identity and power balance of the region, but that of undermining my father’s position—by delivering a wreaking blow to the harmony, inner integrity and unity of the secular and democratic Republic of India.
While Tej Hazarika reacting to his father being conferred the country’s highest civilian award quoted: “In his songs, he celebrated the richness of indigenous people not only of the Northeast but all of India and he advocated their inclusion in the Indian experience as essential to the success of Indian civilisation as a whole.”