Aribam Syam Sharma, who was honoured with Padma Shri in 2006, on Sunday, returned his award in protest against the Citizenship Amendment Bill.
Aribam Syam Sharma, who was honoured with Padma Shri in 2006, on Sunday, returned his award in protest against the Citizenship Amendment Bill.

Padma Shri awardee Manipuri filmmaker returns Padma Shri in protest against Citizenship Bill

ANI | Updated: Feb 03, 2019 23:20 IST

Imphal (Manipur), [India], Feb 03 (ANI): Celebrated filmmaker and music composer Aribam Syam Sharma, who was honoured with Padma Shri in 2006, on Sunday, returned his award in protest against the Citizenship Amendment Bill.
The 83-year-old Manipuri filmmaker, throughout his career, bagged several national film awards for his invaluable contribution to Indian film industry.
“As an Indian living in a democratic country, our voice, voice of the north east should be given a proper place. I appeal to everyone to stand against and oppose this bill, for a bright future,” said Sharma.
When asked if he would accept the award back if the bill is revoked, Sharma said he in that case, he might reconsider his decision. “My point is, it should be withdrawn. If it is withdrawn, I may reconsider,” he asserted.  
Manipur has been on the boil against the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill after it was passed in the Lok Sabha on January 8.
Speaking about his reasons for opposing the bill, Sharma asserted that the future of Manipur will be very bleak if the bill gets enacted. “I don't know why it was at all introduced. There may be around 26-27 lakhs of poeople in the state of Manipur, this is less than the population of a district in UP. Now you can image, when all this unrestricted flow of people from other countries enter in the state, we need protection. There will be serious consequences if the bill is passed, and we are afraid of that.”
The amendment in the bill aims to facilitate citizenship of six identified minority communities namely Hindus, Sikhs, Jains, Buddhists, Christians and Parsis from Afghanistan, Pakistan and Bangladesh who came to India before 31 December 2014 and will make these persecuted migrants eligible to apply for citizenship.
Several activists believe if passed in the Rajya Sabha, the proposed law would reduce the population of indigenous Manipuris and people of other northeastern states, to "microscopic minority".  (ANI)

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