President Ram Nath Kovind is likely to visit Assam to attend the 75th biennial session of the Asam Sahitya Sabha (ASS), the state’s literary body, on February 3rd, 2020. The session will be held in Sualkuchi from February 1st-4th, 2020.
President Kovind’s visit assumes great significance in the backdrop of the protests against the controversial Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) in the state.
In the recent past, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Guwahati to inaugurate the 3rd Khelo India Youth Games was cancelled due to the ongoing protests. The BJP MLAs and MPs are greeted with black flags and black balloons by the anti-CAA protesters everywhere in the state.
The CAA grants citizenship to Hindu, Sikh, Jain, Parsi, Buddhist, and Christian refugees from Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Bangladesh who came to India on or before December 31st, 2014.
Massive protests broke out in the Assam soon after the passage of the Citizenship Amendment Bill in both the houses of the parliament. Those protesting against the law say that the Act violates the historic Assam Accord.
The ASS has been vocal against the amended citizenship law. Former Assam DGP and Sahitya Akademi awardee Kuladhar Saikia is soon going to assume charge as the new chief of the literary body.
Assam personalities write to CJI
Ten prominent personalities of Assam have written to Chief Justice of India SA Bobde appealing him to deliberate on the prevailing “public outrage and anger in the country”.
The signatories to the letter include Sahitya Akademi awardees Hiren Gohain, Homen Borgohain, Nagen Saikia, National Award-winning filmmaker Jahnu Barua, scientist Dinesh Chandra Goswami, former Gauhati University vice-chancellor Gajendra Nath Talukdar and ex-principals of Cotton College and Gauhati Medical College, Udayaditya Bharali and N N Barman respectively.
‘CAA will stay’
Union Home Minister Amit Shah said that the CAA will not be withdrawn come what may. Speaking at an event in Uttar Pradesh’s Lucknow on January 21st, 2020, Shah said, “This law will not be withdrawn, no matter who protests. We are not scared of opposition, we were born in it.”
He added, “Narendra Modi has brought the CAA. Congress, Mamta Banerjee, Akhilesh, Mayawati, Kejriwal are all spreading confusion against it. Confusion is being spread against the CAA in the country, rioting is taking place. There is no provision for taking citizenship of anyone anywhere in the CAA, there is a provision for granting citizenship in it.”
Hearing on Jan 22
The Supreme Court is set to hear petitions challenging the constitutionality of the CAA on January 22nd, 2020. Justices BR Gavai and Surya Kant in the bench headed by Chief Justice of India (CJI) SA Bobde will hear the pleas on CAA on January 22nd, 2020.
A total number of 75 petitions challenging the CAA has been filed in the apex court. The petitions under consideration include Congress leader Jairam Ramesh’s plea challenging the constitutionality of the citizenship law.
Photo credit: /PresidentOfIndia