The recently updated list of National Register for Citizens in Assam has infuriated people across the country and copious groups have called it a ‘humanitarian crisis’ of the worst kind in India in the recent decades.
Before going on to discuss how NRC is a fruitful exercise than a communal one, let us understand what it exactly is.
What Is National Register for Citizens?
NRC 1951 is a register prepared after the 1951 census, which recorded the particulars of Indian citizens who belonged to Assam.
NRC was introduced exclusively in Assam because after partition, the Muslim league wanted Assam as a part of Pakistan and the Assamese leaders feared that the newly formed country might tamper with the demographics of Assam to achieve its purpose.
The 1971 Bangladesh Liberation War sent lakhs of Bangladeshis into Assam and West Bengal. Section 6a of the citizenship act was added through an amendment in 1986 to include Assam Accord of 1985, which granted citizenship to all Bangladeshi migrants who settled in Assam till the midnight of March 24, 1971.
All people who migrated to Assam after March 24, 1971, would be considered Foreigners.
Why The Delay In Updation Of NRC?
NRC was supposed to be updated periodically but the needful could not be done due to various political issues like the 1980s movement, insurgency, etc. Many groups of Assam have for long been demanding this update to deal with issues like illegal migration which has been plaguing their state for decades.
NRC Is the Need Of The Hour
Solve the Menace Of Illegal Migrants
The primary objective behind updating NRC is to compile a list of names of genuine Indian citizens residing in Assam and, in the process, identify illegal migrants who have been residing in India. As per multiple reports, there are over 20 lakhs illegal occupants in Assam.
Reduced Pressure Upon Resources
If the illegal migrants are to be deported back to their home countries, it will reduce the pressure on natural as well as economic resource of the state and the real beneficiaries will only be getting the benefits.
Political Polarization Will Reduce Immensely
It is a sad commentary on the part of Assam that in every election, communities are divided into communal lines and parties pander to the so-called foreigners to get their votes and attack them as soon as the election gets over. The final NRC should solve the problem for once and for all.
Enhances National Security
The threat of sleeper cells is the biggest problem that needs to be weeded out which has increased in huge number as per various local reports. Thus, identifying them with the help of the final NRC list will enhance India’s internal security.
While the issue needs to be looked at objectively rather than taking an emotional angle, there are no two ways about the fact that those genuine Indian citizens whose names haven’t been mentioned in the latest updated NRC list due to poor documentation or for any reason must be rectified before releasing the final NRC list.
What will happen to those people whose names don’t appear in the final NRC
As of now, we don’t have any agreement with any other country in relation to deportation. Thus, the declared foreigners will have to remain in India on humanitarian grounds. Their voting rights (if anyone has it) will be snatched away and they might be made to reside in some specific areas.
It is evident that a concrete plan needs to be thought out because there shouldn’t be any sort of human rights violation against any foreigner as long as they remain in India and must be treated like any other citizen but at the same time, a treaty sooner than later must be worked out to send the concerned people back to their home country.