Barak Valley in focus in Assam Phase 2

#GS1 History and Geography

News info:

  • Polling will be held in 39 of the 126 constituencies across 13 districts in the State on April 1.
  • The focus in this phase is on the Bengali-dominated Barak Valley where support for the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) is high among the Hindus, unlike in the Assamese-dominated Brahmaputra Valley. 

The Barak Valley

located in the southern region of the Indian state of Assam. The main city of the valley is Silchar. The region is named after the Barack River.

Why Barak Valley is crucial for Politics?

  • There is a sense in the Barak valley that people of the valley have been deprived by mainland Assam for a long time and they feel that separation is the only way out.
  • The people of Barak valley complain of the stepmotherly treatment and allege that successive governments, no matter which party, have neglected the region.
  • The Barak Valley always had a strained relationship with the rest of Assam. After the partition, the Karimganj which was part of Sylhet (it became part of East Pakistan) became part of India. The Hindu minorities of Sylhet fearing religious persecution fled to Cachar of Assam. This resulted in a large number of Bengali-speaking population.
  • The linguistic divide resulted in demand for a separate state similar to linguistic states formed under the state reorganization act.
  • They feel that the politics of the state which is dominated by the politicians from Brahmaputra valley is indifferent to the cause of the people from Barak Valley.
  • Many people from the valley particularly Hindu Bengalis have not found a place in Assam’s updated National Register of Citizens and there is overwhelming support in favor of the citizenship amendment bill 2016 where the bill has been opposed vehemently in the Brahmaputra valley.

The NRC and the citizenship amendment bill have become a new cause of the rift between the two valleys. This rift has led to the surge in the old demand for separate statehood.

Source: The Hindu

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