In a bid to ensure a ‘Constitutional safeguard’ for the indigenous people of Assam, Sivasagar MLA Akhil Gogoi, on May 4, demanded the implementation of an Article 370-like special status provision in Assam. According to the Raijor Dal chief, the people of the Northeastern state will not be safe until Article 370 or 371(A) are enforced and the state becomes an autonomous region.
“We have demanded the Centre to implement Article 370 or 371(A), 371 (F), 371(J) in Assam to give Constitutional safeguard to the people of the state. The indigenous people of the state will not be safe until Article 370 or 371(A)-like safeguards are implemented,” the MLA from Assam was quoted by news agency ANI as saying.
What are Article 370 and Article 271?
It may be noted that Article 370 of the Indian Constitution acknowledges the special status of a state in terms of its competence to formulate laws for the state’s permanent residents and grant autonomous status to the territory.
Until a few years back, Jammu and Kashmir, before it was made a Union Territory, carried the special status that further implied that no statute or law passed by the Parliament was applicable to J&K until it was provided for in the scope and extent of the legislation.
Article 371 states that no act passed by the Parliament shall apply to the state of Nagaland in relation to religious or social practices of the Nagas, the state’s customary law and ownership and transfer of land and its resources.
There should be a ‘debate before implementing Uniform Civil Code’
“The 100 per cent revision of the NRC is undemocratic, unconstitutional. The NRC is just an issue of the BJP. They have no agenda to give safeguards to the indigenous people of Assam,” Gogoi further said while stating that BJP and RSS are hellbent on creating a Hindu Rashtra.
“Their agenda is against the Constitution of India, diversity of the country. Repeated attack on the minority people is not good for the country or the democracy. There should be a debate before implementing Uniform Civil Code,” the Shivasagar MLA said.
He went on to say that the government should work towards the development of indigenous Muslims of the state and “not divide the Muslims”.
“Everybody knows who are the indigenous Muslims and who are the migrated Muslims. We do not want any divisions,” he asserted.
The statement comes to the fore after Assam CM Himata Biswa Sharma on May 1 stated that Assam is seeking to implement the Uniform Civil Code to safeguard the rights and interests of Muslim females.