The North Eastern States of India are protesting against the newly passed Citizenship (Amendment) Act. Apart from seeking withdrawal of the Act, they also demand ILP be implemented across the Northeast. Following the passage of the Citizenship Act, violent protests broke out in Assam, which led to the death of two of the protesters while clashing with the police. This violence quickly intensified and spread across to the neighbouring states of Tripura and Meghalaya. The entire seven sister states are demanding for the Inner Line Permit, a crucial demand in the debate surrounding the Act.
Recently, the Parliament has passed the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2019 which seeks to ease norms for religious minorities from neighboring nations (non-Muslims) to get Indian citizenship by amending the age-old Citizenship Act, 1955. However, it has polarized regions in border states such as Assam since the locals fear that it will result in demographic change due to immigration.
The India-Bangladesh bilateral relationship has witnessed unprecedented heights over the last few years. This is because of Bangladesh’s growing geopolitical importance in the current times. Bangladesh is a key player in India’s Act East Policy and Neighbourhood First Policy. India’s ties with Bangladesh can ensure an economic boost to north-eastern India and the absence of terrorism and insurgency in the region. However, there are still a few contentious issues that are affecting India-Bangladesh bilateral ties. India would do well to proactively boost its ties with Bangladesh for its economic growth and for enhancing its presence in the international arena.