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Voice of people of a state must get primacy: ex-HC judge

By Ajit Patowary

GUWAHATI, Jan 13 - It is sad that the Union Government is peddling the Citizenship (Amendment) Act by asking people only to read the text of this piece of legislation and not its implications and ramifications, which form the core of the widespread anti-CAA protest in Assam, said 89-year-old former Gauhati High Court Judge Dr Thir Narayan Singh.

It may be mentioned here that Dr Singh had played a major role as a High Court Judge during the anti-alien Assam agitation by declaring the atrocious official orders against the pro-agitation Government employees null and void.

India is a federal democracy, being a �union of states� which the Supreme Court has held to be a part of the �Basic Structure� of the Constitution. The voice of the people of a state must get primacy when the question arises of its existential crisis, of its people�s right to habitat. The land belongs to them where their forefathers had set up their homes and hearths, asserted Dr Singh.

He maintained that one needs a sensitive soul and strong memory to have a clean and clear perception of Assam�s existential crisis boosted by the CAA. It is a great pity that people have forgotten the role of Gandhiji, whose strong support to Bharat Ratna Gopinath Bordoloi�s timely alert against Cripps Mission�s proposal mooted during deliberations on transfer of power.

Assam would have lost its identity if the proposal was accepted. History is now repeating itself and Assamese people are once again on the streets to give a determined fight to save their cultural and linguistic identity and preferential claim on the resources of the state as sons of the soil, he said.

The indigenous population of Assam is not buying the argument that Clause 6 of Assam Accord would secure their future. The Union Home Minister�s arrogant statement that he will not �budge an inch on the CAA� has added fuel to the fire burning in every heart in Assam to ensure that the indigenous people do not become minority as a result of the demographic change likely to be brought by the CAA.

This piece of legislation has fixed December 31, 2014 as the cut-off date for legitimate entry of people from a foreign land, overriding the Assam Accord�s deadline of March 24, 1971 fixed for the purpose. The Assam Accord is an agreement signed by the Governments at the Centre and in the state with the Assam agitation leaders. The All Assam Students� Union (AASU) is right in its allegation that by imposing the CAA, the Government has betrayed the indigenous people of Assam, said the former Gauhati High Court judge.

�During the earlier phase of the Assam agitation, the All Assam Lawyers� Association had held a special session in 1984 at Tezpur to deliberate upon the legal issues. I was a sitting judge of the Gauhati High Court then. At the invitation of the Association, I had delivered the keynote address at this session dwelling on the constitutional imperatives and aspirations of the people. I still reiterate what I said there,� he maintained.

The voice of the people of a state must get primacy when the question arises of its existential crisis, of its people�s right to habitat. This was the essence of the speech delivered by Dr Singh at the above session.

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Voice of people of a state must get primacy: ex-HC judge

GUWAHATI, Jan 13 - It is sad that the Union Government is peddling the Citizenship (Amendment) Act by asking people only to read the text of this piece of legislation and not its implications and ramifications, which form the core of the widespread anti-CAA protest in Assam, said 89-year-old former Gauhati High Court Judge Dr Thir Narayan Singh.

It may be mentioned here that Dr Singh had played a major role as a High Court Judge during the anti-alien Assam agitation by declaring the atrocious official orders against the pro-agitation Government employees null and void.

India is a federal democracy, being a �union of states� which the Supreme Court has held to be a part of the �Basic Structure� of the Constitution. The voice of the people of a state must get primacy when the question arises of its existential crisis, of its people�s right to habitat. The land belongs to them where their forefathers had set up their homes and hearths, asserted Dr Singh.

He maintained that one needs a sensitive soul and strong memory to have a clean and clear perception of Assam�s existential crisis boosted by the CAA. It is a great pity that people have forgotten the role of Gandhiji, whose strong support to Bharat Ratna Gopinath Bordoloi�s timely alert against Cripps Mission�s proposal mooted during deliberations on transfer of power.

Assam would have lost its identity if the proposal was accepted. History is now repeating itself and Assamese people are once again on the streets to give a determined fight to save their cultural and linguistic identity and preferential claim on the resources of the state as sons of the soil, he said.

The indigenous population of Assam is not buying the argument that Clause 6 of Assam Accord would secure their future. The Union Home Minister�s arrogant statement that he will not �budge an inch on the CAA� has added fuel to the fire burning in every heart in Assam to ensure that the indigenous people do not become minority as a result of the demographic change likely to be brought by the CAA.

This piece of legislation has fixed December 31, 2014 as the cut-off date for legitimate entry of people from a foreign land, overriding the Assam Accord�s deadline of March 24, 1971 fixed for the purpose. The Assam Accord is an agreement signed by the Governments at the Centre and in the state with the Assam agitation leaders. The All Assam Students� Union (AASU) is right in its allegation that by imposing the CAA, the Government has betrayed the indigenous people of Assam, said the former Gauhati High Court judge.

�During the earlier phase of the Assam agitation, the All Assam Lawyers� Association had held a special session in 1984 at Tezpur to deliberate upon the legal issues. I was a sitting judge of the Gauhati High Court then. At the invitation of the Association, I had delivered the keynote address at this session dwelling on the constitutional imperatives and aspirations of the people. I still reiterate what I said there,� he maintained.

The voice of the people of a state must get primacy when the question arises of its existential crisis, of its people�s right to habitat. This was the essence of the speech delivered by Dr Singh at the above session.

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