Aizawl: “We have to preserve our identity, our culture, our morals, our ethos and our religion, which comprises a variety of faiths,” said Rajya Sabha MP Ronald Sapa Tlau.
In an exclusive interview with EastMojo, the Congress politician from Mizoram spoke about why he voted against the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, now an Act, in Parliament recently.
With the Bill becoming an Act, the only measure that the Central government should now take is to completely exempt the entire Northeast area from its purview and that remains the only solution.
Tlau also added that the entire Northeast is covered by different groups of tribals and non-tribals. “There are a variety of dialects and as Nehru and Gandhi once said, ‘The Northeast is a garden that comprises of a variety of flowers’,” he said.
Comparing CAA to opening a Pandora’s box, the Rajya Sabha member said that it is burning the whole nation where even the Indian diaspora is against it.
“Even though Mizoram is exempted from CAA, it only means one thing — the Chakmas who have been settling here legally or illegally will not be included. But the people outside Mizoram are going to be included through this Act. The fear of the Mizos is that once these Chakmas get citizenship, they will flood into Mizoram,” said Tlau.
Tlau also raised his fear that with over one lakh Chakmas in Arunachal Pradesh who are not citizens of India, with this Act, some notorious groups might ask for the votes of the community.
He feels that the people of Mizoram are happy that he voted vehemently against the CAB.
The MP also added that in 2002, he wrote a book on secularism in India and the Hindu extremists. “It has always been my fear from then that these people would come one day and open a Pandora’s box. Today, our peace and existence are in danger because in the eyes of BJP and the RSS, Mizoram is a Christian state and they feel unsafe about it,” he said.
Tlau, however, assured that the Mizos and all the other people of Northeast feel just as Indians as the “mainland” people do.
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