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Himanta Sarma’s “Should Not Speak” Reply To Kapil Sibal’s “Myanmar” Remark

In Politics
December 09, 2023

During a Supreme Court hearing, attorney Kapil Sibal claimed that Assam was a part of Myanmar. Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma responded by taking aim at Sibal.

The statement is said to have been made by Mr. Sibal on Wednesday during a hearing on petitions contesting the legality of Section 6A of the Citizenship Act, 1955.

“Those who are ignorant of the history of Assam ought not to speak. Myanmar never included Assam. Clashes occurred for a short while. There was no other relationship. Other than that, Mr. Sarma told reporters, “I have not come across any information indicating that Assam was a part of Myanmar.”

The verbal sparring between Mr. Sibal, a Rajya Sabha MP who defected from the Congress in May 2022, and Mr. Sarma, the BJP’s northeast strategist, coincides with the violence in Manipur, where the problem of illegal immigrants from Myanmar is a major contributing factor.

Numerous officials, such as Foreign Minister S Jaishankar and Home Minister Amit Shah, have stated that the unrest in the northeastern state is primarily caused by the entry of illegal immigrants.

In the course of Wednesday’s Supreme Court proceedings, Mr. Sibal stated that migration can never be mapped.

Furthermore, you will see from studying Assamese history that it is impossible to pinpoint exactly who arrived when. Originally, Assam belonged to Myanmar. And a treaty giving Assam to the British was signed way back in 1824, following the British conquest of a portion of the region, Mr. Sibal stated.

“You can picture the kinds of human movements that had to have occurred within the framework of the British Empire at the time. Following the ethnic clashes between the Meiteis, an ethnic majority in the valley, and the Kukis, an ethnic majority in the hills, Mr. Sibal, who also represents some Kuki tribe members in Manipur, said, “And if you jump to 1905, you have the partition of Bengal.”

Ever since the events in Manipur, any discussion of Myanmar in delicate public discourse has become intensely personal. The Kuki tribes, who are related to tribes in Mizoram and Chin State, Myanmar, desire that Manipur be divided into two administrative regions. The Kukis in Manipur have been supported in their demands by neighboring state Mizoram as well.

According to Lalduhoma, the newly appointed Chief Minister of Mizoram, he will meet with Mr. Shah and Mr. Jaishankar in Delhi shortly to talk about the problems pertaining to refugees from Bangladesh and Myanmar as well as the Kuki tribes from Manipur who have been displaced and taken up in Mizoram.

On November 4, Lalduhoma stated to NDTV that their “dream” is for all Mizo people to be governed by a single administrative body. “Blood, as they say, is thicker than water. The people who come from Manipur and Myanmar are our blood and relatives. They are sisters and brothers to us. We can’t abandon them when they’re facing hardships. We all support the Greater Mizoram initiative, also known as Zo unification.

It is the dream of the Mizos that a day will come when all the Mizo people divided due to the British’s policy of divide and rule will be under a single administrative unit. That day will come one day. This is our dream. We are looking forward. This is not a private property of the MNF alone. It is a dream of all the Mizos.”

More than 35,000 refugees have been welcomed by Mizoram from the junta-ruled country of Myanmar, where the armed forces are engaged in combat with pro-democracy rebels and ethnic insurgent groups.