ABDUL GANI | 12 FEBRUARY, 2019
“A display of short lived cheap thrills..”
GUWAHATI: Criticising the Centre for bringing the controversial Citizenship Amendment Bill, Assam’s music maestro Bhupen Hazarika’s son Tej Hazarika termed the Bharat Ratna to his father as ‘a display of short lived cheap thrills’.
In a statement mail to the media, Tej Hazarika, a resident of the UNited States, said that Bharat Ratnas alone will not promote the peace and prosperity of the citizens of India.
“How the centre moves on this matter far outweighs in importance the awarding and receiving of such national recognition—a display of short lived cheap thrills,” said Tej.
He also said that his father too would have opposed the bill.
“For his fans—a vast majority of people of the Northeast—and India’s great diversity including all indigenous populations of India, he would never have endorsed what appears, quite transparently, to be an underhanded way of pushing a law against the will and benefit of the majority in a manner that also seems to be grossly un-constitutional, un-democratic and un-Indian,” Tej said in the statement.
The CAB, being widely opposed in Assam and northeast India endorses citizenship on religious basis to all but Muslim migrants from the neighbouring countries – Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan – who have come here till December 31 of 2014.
“Adopting any form of this bill at this point in the manner in which it is being proffered, now or in the future, will ultimately have the sad and undesirable effect of not only disrupting the quality of life, language, identity and power balance of the region, but that of undermining my father’s position—by delivering a wreaking blow to the harmony, inner integrity and unity of the secular and democratic Republic of India,” Tej Hazarika further said.
Students’ organizations, political parties except the BJP, and civil society groups have carried out agitations across the region in opposing the bill for the last several months. The scale of protests accelerated after the bill was passed in the Rajya Sabha and the Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced his commitment to seeing it through.
“As the son of Dr. Bhupen Hazarika—one of the most popular and loved cultural and socio-political figures for the people of Assam and it’s neighboring sister states of India’s great Northeast—I believe that my father’s name and words are being invoked and celebrated publicly while plans are afoot to pass a painfully unpopular bill regarding citizenship that is actually undermining his documented position. It would in reality be in direct opposition to what Bupenda believed in his heart of hearts,” Tej said.
Many prominent personalities too have expressed their displeasure over the bill. Legendary Manipuri filmmaker Aribam Shyam Sharma has already decided to return his Padma Shri award which he won in 2006.