North East & Eastern Himalayan: News & Discussion

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Re: North East & Eastern Himalayan: News & Discussion

Postby darshan » 06 Jun 2019 07:26 ... -ownership

Meghalaya Government Defends Eviction Of Dalit Sikhs From Punjabi Lane After Claiming Ownership

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Re: North East & Eastern Himalayan: News & Discussion

Postby Rony » 10 Dec 2019 20:00

Tribal communities across the North-East struggle to Maintain their Ethnic Identities

Most ethnic groups and tribal communities across the North-eastern region are currently undergoing a phase where they are struggling to protect their respective identities. Over 200 years ago, majority of the communities across the region had practiced various indigenous faiths, which mostly revolved around worship of Nature. Trees, rocks, rivers, thunder, rain, earth, animals — Nature was worshipped in various forms, each depicting or denoting a particular aspect or power of Nature. With the expansion of Hinduism in the remote past, as also when groups of people from mainland India started arriving in the region, it led to expansion of various Hindu sects, particularly to the Brahmaputra Valley. The Ahoms, for instance, had brought with them their own deities when they had arrived in Assam in the third decade of the thirteenth century.

But then, while they ruled over the larger portion of present-day Assam, hardly did they try to enforce their original faith upon the subjects. Instead, the Ahoms, who had first adopted and enriched the local Assamese language, later also adopted Hinduism, in the process getting Brahmin priests from Bengal and central India to run Hindu temples that they established and began patronizing. When Srimanta Sankaradeva propounded his ‘Ek-sarana naam-dharma’, he too did not enforce it on others, but adopted a rather democratic and open strategy which not only attracted Brahminical priests, but also people from other faiths. This way he also reduced the impact of typical Hindu casteism in the broader Assamese society. The Vaishnavite Satra institutions that were established following Sankaradeva’s teachings too adopted an open system, in which there was neither any compulsion on people to join them, nor any exclusion if one did not. Things however drastically began to change with the arrival of the Christian missionaries in the region, beginning with the American Baptist Mission within less than a decade of the annexation of Assam to British India.

The British did invite the evangelists to win over the ‘wild’ tribals with the message of the gospel and it took hardly one hundred years for most tribals of the region, barring those of Tripura and present-day Arunachal Pradesh, to owe allegiance to a new faith. Things have also begun to change rapidly in these two States in the past three or four decades, with a sizeable section of tribal communities abandoning their respective indigenous faiths and adopting a new religion. Different people cite different reasons behind the conversions — ranging from getting out of the clutches of superstitions to freeing oneself from lengthy and expensive rituals. Education and healthcare however are two aspects that have played a major role in communities almost en masse switching over to a new faith, while some have a point in stating that conversions have changed lives of people for good. It is however a matter of debate and examination whether people — individuals as well as communities — have adopted new faiths voluntarily, under certain compulsions, or under some kind of allurement.

Arunachal Pradesh had way back in 1978 enacted the Arunachal Pradesh Freedom of Religion Act, which prohibits forcible conversion. The Act clearly said that “No person shall convert or attempt to convert, either directly or otherwise, any person from indigenous faith by use of force or by inducement or any fraudulent means, nor shall any person abet any such conversion”. Despite that however, the percentage of Christians among the tribal population of Arunachal Pradesh has risen from 13.6 percent in 1991 to 40.9 percent in 2011. Worried over the changing demography in the frontier State that shares over 1,000 km of international boundary with China, the present government in 2017 created an independent department to look after preservation, protection and promotion of the rich indigenous cultural heritage of the State.

As Chief Minister Pema Khandu had put it while announcing creation of the said department, the indigenous communities of the State were fast getting disconnected with their rich culture and languages due to globalization, exposure and external influences. While such issues have occasionally emanated from Majuli, the heart of Vaishnavite art, culture and faith, the movement for preservation of indigenous Khasi faith in Meghalaya from being ‘swamped’ by Western ideas has completed 120 years. While it is a fact that Christian missionaries had contributed immensely towards spread of education in the remote areas of the region where the government was practically invisible for long, it is also a fact that much of the rich cultural practices of the communities — as has been indirectly pointed out by Pema Khandu — are on the verge of being gradually wiped out, if not already so. The debate, however, can go on.

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Re: North East & Eastern Himalayan: News & Discussion

Postby UlanBatori » 11 Dec 2019 03:49

I am lost.
1. Where is the Myanmar Thread please?
2. Todin's Wall Street Yoorinal says that Indian Lower House passed a bill allowing NON-MUSLIM immigrants in Northeast to become Indian citjens, but not Muslims. Of course this is viewed by the desi-named sh1ts quoted there as "ripping the Secular Fabric of India" etc. Nowhere is the point being made that this is "discrimination" only between real, helpless refugees driven out of their land by the genocidal Islamists, and the genocidal Islamists themselves invading as economic "immigrants" after reducing their own land to a sh1thole.

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Re: North East & Eastern Himalayan: News & Discussion

Postby UlanBatori » 11 Dec 2019 08:33

Ppl: I get the feeling of walking through PeeArefstan, and finding all the warriors asleep. The Citizenship Bill is a MAJOR event!

See report from ... ship-bill/

‘Guided by prejudices & biases’: India hits back at US after it threatened sanctions over citizenship bill
10 Dec, 2019 12:12 / Updated 13 hours ago

New Delhi slammed the US state-run religious freedom watchdog after it claimed that India’s new citizenship bill is discriminatory towards the country’s Muslims and threatened India with sanctions.

The criticism of the citizenship bill by the US Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) is “neither accurate nor warranted,” India’s Ministry of External Affairs said in a statement on Tuesday.

The position articulated by USCIRF is not surprising given its past record. It is, however, regrettable that the body has chosen to be guided only by its prejudices and biases on a matter on which it clearly has little knowledge.

The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, or CAB, was approved on Monday by the Lok Sabha, the lower house of the Indian parliament. The legislation simplifies the process of acquiring citizenship for Hindus, Christians, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains and Parsis who have arrived from Pakistan, Afghanistan or Bangladesh.

Attacking the bill, the USCIRF called it discriminatory because it “excludes” India’s Muslim community. The commission further stressed that the US government should consider sanctioning Indian top-ranking officials if the bill becomes law.

The legislation was also criticized by the opposition parties in India and sparked protests among Muslims.
Home Minister Amit Shah, however, said that the CAB is simply aimed at protecting persecuted people coming from countries where Muslims are the majority. He assured Muslims that the bill is not directed against them and they “have no reason to fear.”

The Ministry of External Affairs reiterated that “the CAB does not affect the existing avenues to all communities interested in seeking citizenship from doing so.”

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Re: North East & Eastern Himalayan: News & Discussion

Postby UlanBatori » 11 Dec 2019 08:37

Despite a U-turn by its former ally Shiv Sena, and murmurs of dissent within its alliance partner JD(U), the government is all set to get the numbers required to pass the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2019, in the Rajya Sabha Wednesday.
The Bill, which was cleared by the Lok Sabha with a 311-80 margin at 12.02 am Tuesday, seeks to provide Indian citizenship to non-Muslims who entered the country from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan until December 31, 2014.
Setting the stage for the next round, Sena chief and Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray said his party would not back the Bill in the Rajya Sabha if its queries are not addressed by the government. The Sena has three MPs in the Upper House, which has a current strength of 240. Meanwhile, senior JD(U) leader Pavan K Varma echoed reservations expressed by his colleague Prashant Kishor over the Bill, and asked party president and Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar to “reconsider” its position. But sources in Patna said the JD(U) is unlikely to change its stance in the Rajya Sabha where it has six MPs.
Ram Madhav: Citizenship Bill continues long tradition of welcoming persecuted minorities
While government sources said they were confident of getting the Bill through, Opposition members said they would “make them bleed” with the TMC alone planning to move 20 amendments.
With the BJP’s 83 MPs and those of its allies, such as JD(U) and SAD (3) and others — regional parties such as AIADMK (11), BJD (7) and YSR Congress (2) are favourably inclined — the government is eyeing at least 128 votes in its support, without the Sena. This calculation leaves the Opposition, including Congress, Trinamool Congress, DMK, SP, Left parties and others — the TRS voted against the Bill in Lok Sabha — with 112 votes.
In Mumbai, Sena sources said that Thackeray had to clarify the party’s new position on the Bill after its 18 MPs in the Lok Sabha did not follow his instructions to walk out during voting Monday.
A Sena leader said that two-three senior party MPs were not present when discussions on the Bill were taking place. “So, the message could not be communicated to other party MPs. When they returned, they did not get a chance to raise their points and the Bill was put up for voting,” the leader said.

Numbers favour govt in RS

The Shiv Sena’s U-turn reflects the new political alignment in Maharashtra and the JD(U) is trying to strike a balance with Bihar going to polls next year. But the government is eyeing at least 128 votes in the 240-member RS to push the CAB through.
“Uddhav has given a dressing down to two senior MPs for causing embarrassment to him and to the party,” he said. Thackeray said the party had asked the government “many questions” on the Bill. “Those questions, we thought, would be answered, ranging from national security to rights of locals in various states. If these queries are not answered, we won’t support the CAB in Rajya Sabha,” he said.
Explained | USCIRF, the Commission concerned over CAB; What are its functions?
“There’s a perception that whoever votes with the central government is a patriot and who votes against is anti-national. We must get out of that illusion,” he said.
A Sena leader said the party had suggested to the central government that voting rights should not be given to “infiltrators” for the next 25 years “to avoid votebank politics”.
Also read | The legal question: Opposition argues CAB would fall foul of Constitution
In Patna, JD(U) sources said that despite the dissenting voices, Nitish Kumar is unlikely to take action against Varma and Kishor. Sources said the dissent “might be a tactical move” to gauge the mood among the JD(U) votebase on a Bill that has been described by Opposition parties as “divisive” and “communal”.
Harsh Mander farts | Can India refuse to own me?
Varma, a former Rajya Sabha MP, tweeted: “I urge Shri Nitish Kumar to reconsider support to the #CAB in the Rajya Sabha. The Bill is unconstitutional, discriminatory, and against the unity and harmony of the country, apart from being against the secular principles of the JDU. Gandhiji would have strongly disapproved it.”
On Monday night, Kishor had tweeted: “Disappointed to see JDU supporting #CAB that discriminates right of citizenship on the basis of religion. It’s incongruous with the party’s constitution that carries the word secular thrice on the very first page and the leadership that is supposedly guided by Gandhian ideals.”
The JD(U)’s official spokesperson, however, refrained from taking a position on these remarks. “Whatever our MP Rajiv Ranjan Singh said in the Lok Sabha is our official stand,” said Neeraj Kumar. Singh had echoed Union Home Minister Amit Shah’s remarks that CAB would pose “no threat to minorities in India”.
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