The Citizenship (Amendment) Act or CAA is such an act which can persecute the Assamese people linguistically!
Sounds absurd and abstract and many will say it is far from reality, but let me try and explain how.
I have four families living as tenants in my compound. Three families are well off and the fourth family is financially weak.
All five families living here, we all share the same ethnicity, same skin colour, the same faith and also we speak the same language.
When the fourth (financially weak) family came to stay in July 2018, they said they will be paying the rent on time and that I shall have no issues.
First three months they were fine. But from the fourth month onwards their problems began and gradually the rent went on piling up.
To see fellow humans in trouble, I naturally was emphatic and for long I have been soft towards them and tried understanding their problems.
However, in March 2019 I requested them to vacate the house by October as I was planning to repair the house and they agreed as well.
When September came I reminded them of the deadline, to which they whined again of their problems and said they will vacate in November.
Came October, they said they can't vacate the house as their children have examinations in mid-November.
"We shall vacate in December," they said.
And today is the last day of December, they are yet to move out as their problems are far from being solved.
My hopes of repairing of the house have been stalled and I also had to reject a family who wanted to move in to the house in January 2020.
I can throw them out just like that, but if I do, I will be called names and said I am "intolerant".
And if tomorrow the government passes a law that landlords can't move out financially weak tenants, will I accept the law? Definitely not.
So then why should I accept the Citizenship (Amendment) Act or CAA that seeks to give citizenship to persecuted non-Mulsim minorities from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, and Pakistan?
I am emphatic to each and every one of the refugees who had to leave their country for they were "religiously persecuted".
But I am not ready to welcome them in my land as I have my own sets of problems.
I have the problem of extreme hunger to encounter, unemployment is high in my land, I have severe health and education issues, my land is overpopulated, I am fighting against climate change, my economy is low and the GDP is pathetic.
I will not accept them and for saying this if I am considered intolerant, then I am a happy intolerant.
I have never accepted anything whenever it has been imposed then how can the ones in power think the nation is going to accept something draconian upon imposition?
They should open the eyes and see when we are not ready to accommodate non-profiting tenants, how can we agree to do so when the question is about our language?
Are we sure tomorrow they will not outnumber us and our language will cease to exists and our mother tongue today will become the second language?
What happened to Tripura and the Tiprasa language should be an example for us to follow.
Today they are religiously persecuted and if we accommodate them today, then tomorrow there is a strong chance that we become linguistically persecuted!
And if we become linguistically persecuted then to which country or state would we migrate to?
No other state or country speaks Assamese or any other indigenous language of Assam.
CAA is a threat to my very existence.
Partha Prawal (Goswami) is a Guwahati-based journalist who loves to write about entertainment, sports, and social and civic issues among others. He is also a published author.