Preeti Gill
Preeti Gill

BHOPAL: The nationwide turmoil on the CAA-NRC issue can escalate to any level. It is difficult to guess the objective behind such exercise. But certainly, it is part of a political agenda, said writer Preeti Gill.

Preeti, writer of ‘Insider Outsider – Belonging and Unbelonging in North East India’ made the above statement in a conversation with Free Press on the sidelines of the Bhopal Literature and Art Festival (BLF) at Bharat Bhavan on Saturday.

She is an independent literary agent who has more than twenty years of experience in the publishing industry. She has traveled extensively in the North East of India and written on women and conflict. The book is a collection of essays and poems on issues faced by the north east states.

Different hue in Assam: Gill said that the NRC controversy has a very different hue in Assam. “In rest of India it is about Hindus and Muslims. But in Assam, the case is not so. The people there want all the immigrants to be driven out, whether they are Hindus or Muslims as they feel that the immigrants - illegal or otherwise - are a threat to their culture and traditions,” she said. She said that the government expected that most of the persons who would be excluded from the NRC in Assam would be Muslims. But did not happen and eventually, it turned out that a majority of them were Hindus.

'Will Bangladesh or Myanmar accept them?'

Preeti said that most of the immigrants who have come to India from Bangladesh have not done so due to religious persecution but economic compulsions – in search of livelihood and better employment.

“It is just like thousands of Indian moving to the US for studies or jobs,” said the writer who is founder of Majha House, a literary and cultural space in Amritsar. The question, she said, was that how can lakhs of people, who have been living in our country for generations be suddenly declared aliens and outsiders. The problem is also what we would do with them. Will Bangladesh or Myanmar accept them?

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