NATIONAL REGISTER OF CITIZENS
On a very serious note, the issue of the National Register of Citizens is been in the headlines. The NRC procedure has a specific history of the directorate of North East, Assam. But, recently the headlines go for it to be applied nationwide. This step seems to be proven comical. Especially,
Does our country need it?
In the recent origin, after implementing the process of NRC in Assam, BJP led government at the center is expected to do this procedure, nationwide. Or in other words, the government wants to start the procedure of identifying illegal immigrants or foreigns under the National Register of Citizens.
Recently, a lot of political leaders made statements regarding the NRC issue. Prominently, the current Minister of Home Affairs Amit Shah also made a statement in the media regarding the same. Amit Shah said that the NRC talks about the Nationa but not for the Assam only. Along with this, he included that the mandate also talks about the same. Not a single country wants refugees or illegal immigrants or foreigners to stay over there, so why would India?
He said that it is likely to implement countrywide to eliminate all the illegal immigrants and foreigners from the country.
At an interview, Sanjib Baruah who is a professor of political studies at Bard College, New York, and Colin Gonsalves, a senior advocate at the Supreme Court of India, presented their views and answered the very noticing questions regarding the NRC issue.
It is important to know the in-depth history and seriousness of the issue of the exercise of NRC countrywide. This needs to be acknowledged by the history of NRC in Assam state.
A Brief History Of National Register Of Citizens
India and America, the biggest and great democratic countries of the world are facing the same problem of illegal immigrants and foreigners, in their sate nations respectively. It took a lot of effort to recognize to decide who they are? on what note we can declare them illegal? where to deport them? and so on.
INDIA AND USA
India has recently taken initiative, a serious initiative to this exercise otherwise in the USA it had a nationwide controversy over it.
In India, the North East Region, primarily Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, and another state, mainly the seen sisters are facing the issue of illegal immigrants from very old times. Slowly, the issue became so serious that the indigenous people are insecure with the thought to became a minority in their own home country due to the increasing population of those illegal immigrants.
picture of 7 sisters
Due to a lot of reasons, lakhs of Bangladeshi immigrants came to India illegally, crossing the borders. Whether in terms of infrastructure, or in terms of livelihood (bread, cloth, and shelter), or in the attraction of employment or an ideal life, Bangladeshi came to India illegally and started living there.
One of the main reason which should be counted is the evil event of 1971. This year witnessed the bloodshed in Bangladesh by West Pakistan. This became one of the biggest reasons for the transfer of the illegal immigrants of Bangladdesis to India.
During the time period of colonialized India, when current India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh were of the same empire, the total population according to 1901 was around 29 crores in which North India includes 44 lakhs only.
But the interesting or shocking thing at the same time is that in the year of 2011, the total population of India, Pakistan and Bangladesh was 156 crores in which NER includes all of 450 lakhs. This was notably shocking for the time that in just a century North East, alone, witnessed a rise in population with 10 times where all the rest India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh witnesses population rise with 5.4 times.
This made the issue of insecurity of the local and indigenous people to became a minority, itself along with this they are worries that instead of enough resources and capability they were still poor. They were still in the same position with the same infrastructure. same level of education and the same employment level and so on.
This exercise was so horrible that it forces the government and they ‘Under the purview of foreigners Act of 1946, initiated NRC’, in the year of 1951.
NRC: Rising Issue
NRC is the National Register of Citizens which focuses to identify the indigenous people of the particular land, at that time it was focused on the North East Region’s illegal immigrants. Along with it, this exercise also focuses on the transparent and clear document verification procedure for identifications.
After the NRC was made the rivalry and violent reaction of people were satisfied, in turn. They took it as a positive step which will preserve them and their culture and resources. But nothing happened. All the effort and hard work go in vain, The government didn’t take the issue seriously and never left it.
The tensions were taking a noticeable rise. A lot of problems started rising over the NER. Conflicts, Violence, and Riots took place at a huge level. A new group of insurgents came I front with the demand for autonomy and power over the state.
To sort with this problem, the Government made “Assam Accord, 1985”. This Accord basically likes an assurance that promises the people of NER to preserve their population, culture, and resources, along with limiting the population rise of the illegal immigrants and t send them t their country.
The most important part of the accord was that the government can provide full citizenship and the right to vote to those immigrants who were there from 1951-1961. And those have come before 1971, are likely to get citizenship but will not get the right to vote.
On a serious note, the Assam Accord was a good initiative but as usual, it wasn’t implemented fully or partly, even.
In the year 2005, the NRC was in the headlines again. The people wanted to exercise the NRC, again so that they could confirm how much people have come even after the accord 2005, and what is the status of the Nsth East region.
Finally, till another ten years of tenure of Tarun Gogoi with the UPA government, no actions were made to this issue and the matter was sat like dust.
But in the year 2005, there was an ethnic clash between the Bodos (the indigenous tribal groups of the Bodoland Territorial Area) and the Bengali Muslims. This took a serious scene because around 70 or so people die in the conflict and a number of pleas reached the Supreme Court of India, regarding the same.
According to the final list of NRC, there are 19 lakhs people whose names are not there in the list, excluded from 3.30 crores who have applied for it.
Along with this, the updated NRC follows that the people entered Assam before 24, March 1971 would be considered as the citizen of India otherwise would be deported along with the other ones.
The excluded people need to provide proof of their ancestors’ citizenship of India before 24 March 1971. This was discussed and decided under the AssamAccord in 1985. Still, there are 6 detention camps and others are likely to get started. But there are people in lakhs so it makes a huge problem.
Finally, there are questions regarding the deportation of those excluded persons. Wold the be called refugee or stateless person. There is no law or provision regarding the stateless people. But according to some suggestions, they should not get the right to vote, they should get work permits.
Except for the issue of Assam, there are millions of illegal immigrants living in India and the exercise of the National Register of Citizenship is likely to be held countrywide. But this needs a long procedure. If this happens then India would face a great problem of illegal immigrants’ deportation.
Hope this article helped you to get things clear.
I need your views regarding this topic. Do u think that the NRC should be done countrywide?