Replicating NRC mess

IT took six long years to update the National Register of Citizens (NRC) in Assam on the directions of the Supreme Court.

Replicating NRC mess

IT took six long years to update the National Register of Citizens (NRC) in Assam on the directions of the Supreme Court. More than 50,000 employees of the state government were involved in the humongous task of verifying the antecedents of around 3.3 crore people — of which about 19 lakh eventually did not figure on the final list — at a cost of over Rs 1,200 crore. Despite all the time, effort and money expended, the exercise came a cropper. It was rejected outright not only by the opposition parties but also by the ruling BJP. However, the disaster has not deterred Home Minister Amit Shah from announcing that the process would be carried out across the country. There is no exemption for Assam, which would have to go through the rigmarole all over again.

The Centre’s objective of weeding out infiltrators and other illegal foreigners in the name of national security might open a can of worms, considering that people who have fled persecution in Pakistan, Bangladesh and other neighbouring countries have been living here for decades — mostly without proper documentation. The first step should be to ascertain why things went horribly wrong in Assam. The then NRC state coordinator Prateek Hajela, an IAS officer, is being made the scapegoat, but it’s obvious that there have been lapses at all levels that led to the omission of many bona fide Indian nationals.

Shah’s assurance that all citizens of India, irrespective of their religion, will be part of the NRC is not enough to allay the minorities’ fears of a witch-hunt. In a recent report, the US Commission on International Religious Freedom dubbed the NRC a ‘targeted mechanism to disenfranchise Assam’s Bengali Muslim community, potentially rendering large numbers of Muslims stateless.’ It would be a perilous and chaotic course to conduct the exercise on a pan-India scale without addressing the issues that have cropped up in the northeastern state. The Centre also needs to build consensus on the matter; otherwise, it would only be inflicting yet another disruption on the country’s hapless residents.

Top Stories

'Raised issues of principles, don’t crave for any post': Sachin Pilot after meeting Cong leaders

'Raised issues of principles, don’t crave for any post': Sachin Pilot after meeting Cong leaders

Sonia Gandhi to set up panel to address rebel's concerns

UGC questions decision of Maharashtra, Delhi to cancel final-year exams

UGC questions decision of Maharashtra, Delhi to cancel final-year exams

Refuses to relent on September 30 deadline; further hearing ...

Former president Pranab Mukherjee undergoes brain surgery

Former president Pranab Mukherjee undergoes brain surgery

Tests positive for coronavirus, now on ventilator support

Poisonous substance killed Pak migrants: Post mortem; note accuses police of harassment

Poisonous substance killed Pak migrants: Post mortem; note accuses police of harassment

11 Pakistani Hindu migrants were found dead at a farm in Raj...

Sushant Rajput death: Rhea alleges ‘media trial’, urges SC to protect her right to privacy

Sushant Rajput death: Rhea alleges ‘media trial’, urges SC to protect her right to privacy

Opposes transfer of Patna FIR to CBI; says she is being made...

Cities

View All