Unconditional Citizenship for Partition Victims in India

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1. Bengalis have been in Assam just like many ethnic groups speaking a particular language and professing some faith live across this vast subcontinent.  After the partition of the country, huge number of Hindu Bengalis faced religious and social persecution of the most violent and intense form in East Pakistan and later on in Bangladesh, and it was the primal objective to save lives that made them come to neighbouring Assam. They are not responsible for the partition of the country.  Partition of the country and subsequent persecution that endangered the existence of the whole group made them leave the land of their forefathers. In that crisis and trauma, many were not in a position or state of mind to bring relevant documentations. Even if, by some chance  they were able to have brought documents which would have demonstrated their ties to the undivided India or establishing their Indian and origin, such evidences in some way or other would have been considered void because of arbitrarily imposed  cut-off date or baseline year.  The core of Indian Constitution is a human one and on the human grounds and on all other reasons that human beings are capable of arguing, it is the call of the conscience to grant UNCONDITIONAL CITIZENSHIP to Hindu Bengalis.

2. Government of India has granted citizenship to the Tibetans, to the Chakmas of Arunachal Pradesh and Hajong refugees who took shelter in India. Through two treaties between India and Sri Lanka, persecuted Tamil people of Sri Lanka are rehabilitated in various places of Tamil Nadu. Land titles are also granted in addition to providing citizenship. The state Government has created separate organization for their welfare and providing them with opportunities to rebuild their lives.  A bank is established for this purpose.  A similar   humanitarian step should be taken for Bengalis of Assam.

3. For the NEXT GENERATION of a citizen of the undivided India while born in divided India is verily a citizen of India and to assess his/her citizenship status there should not be any cut-off date/year or baseline date / year.

4. Why does an ethnic group become uprooted from its settled land and finds itself as refugee, displaced, deracinate and stateless? Hindus in Indian subcontinent are forcibly uprooted from their foremothers’ land primarily because of religion based conflict. It is because of the partition of country based on religion that they find themselves in all countries without any country to call their own. These persecuted Hindus consider India their homeland and they are the citizen of this country. A large section of Hindus who got uprooted due to religious and social reasons, are a persecuted ethnic group today. We demand citizenship and protection and sheltering of any ethnic human group who are victims of any form of religious persecution.

5. Hindu Refugees are the victims of the partition of the country and if the main objective of the proposed Citizenship Amendment Bill 2016 is to grant unconditional citizenship to Hindu Refugees, in that case we support this Bill.

6. Organizations, Institutions and individuals who think that the proposed Citizenship Amendment Bill 2016 violates the secular character of the Indian state, then they will surely propose an alternative Bill at the Parliament with suitable section and sub-sections and that Bill will ensure that all the persecuted ethnic groups, who are victims of the partition of India will be provided shelter and protection.

We, the undersigned, request all section of people irrespective of language, religion, caste, creed to join with us for an effective endeavour to protect the rights of partition-victims……