Naga People’s Front president Shürhozelie Liezietsu

Kohima: Nagaland’s main opposition party — Naga People’s Front’s (NPF) — president Shürhozelie Liezietsu on Tuesday voiced out against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) challenging the Nagas who supported the Act to “come out and declare their stand openly”.

A statement issued by Liezietsu said that the people of Northeast, particularly the Nagas must “understand the CAA of its true colour with long term perspective look”.

“Those who supported and passed the bill in both houses of Parliament recently may like to put forth so many convincing points, like incorporation of ILP (BEFR 1873 in the Act, exemption of Nagaland State, introduction of ILP in Manipur State etc. it may sound good but all these are for cover-up of the real motive behind this Act,” he said.

Metaphorically citing the immediate burning sensation felt by a mouth after consuming chillies, Liezietsu said that although this pain felt by the mouth is temporary, “the effect of CAA on the people will be just opposite to the corresponding effect of biting a chilly. It will come very slowly in the form of ‘population politics’. People will not feel the pain instantly; but the pain will develop with very low intensity and without much awareness for a long time but it will keep on increasing its impact, its intensity of pain year by year in due course of time.”

“God forbid, it may uproot your very existence unless you take a strong stand today and go against it. Therefore, it will be of no use to argue over merits and demerits of the Act at this juncture. The more important things is how to check the danger which is looming over the horizon of the future,” said Liezietsu.

Liezietsu further said that the Act was brought in “purely on religious line” which is “to promote the interest of one particular religion, based on the theory of one nation, one religion”.

“To destroy this unity in diversity is to destroy the greatness of India. It is most unfortunate that those people that are in power in Delhi today are destroying this very foundation of democracy and the greatness of India,” he said.

Comparing the density of population in different areas of the country, he said that almost the whole Northeast India is scarsely populated. The present population figure of Nagaland according to 2011 census is 19,78,502 only and the density of population is 119 per Sq km the population of Kolkata city alone in 2015 is 146,17,882, i.e the population of a single city is more than seven times bigger than the population of Nagaland state. These figures are given only to demonstrate the actual comparative size of our population with no rancour towards any city. UP population is 1661,97,921 and obviously it cannot accommodate more people besides land problem they have been facing, however, big the state may be. On the whole,

He pointed out how the country being overpopulated has been advocating family planning to stabilise population. On the contrary, he said that CAA will “open the floodgate for a particular religious community to enter India to add to the present overpopulated figure”.

He then questioned where these people will be accommodated as he pointed it that Northeast will remain vulnerable. “A real threat which we do not want our children to face”, he added.

“CAA also indulges in ‘politics of divide’, I want to challenge the Nagas who supported this Act to come out and declare their stand openly. For NPF, we do not want to act from behind the screen and, therefore, we take this stand that for the sake of our future generations, we will go against this CAA however small we maybe”, he said.

He concluded saying: “We do not want our children to become strangers in their own state. We want them to continue to be masters of their own God’s given land. We do not want our children to sit by the rivers of Babylon and weep, unable to sing songs of Zion. We stand to support the ‘Secularism of the country”.

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