NRC and its Many Controversies : What Actually is Happening?

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I think all aware citizens of India are familiar with the term ‘NRC’ by now, though they may not be clear about its actual meaning and implication. This becomes evident from the numerous rumours, controversies and different opinions emanating from different corners of the country. Many political leaders have dragged the matter into the arena of politics for their own gains and it has become a hot topic in the Lok Sabha even though NRC has nothing to do with any political party in any way. It is only the Supreme Court which exercises autonomous power over its documentation and execution.

The final NRC is yet to be released, which according to the authorities associated with it will be published in December 2018, the final draft was released on 30 July 2018 and since then there hasn’t been a day when controversies and comments related to NRC have failed to air on the news. Even before 30th July, NRC had already gathered attention of the public as some ill-informed people like Arundhati Roy took the matter to the UN and compared the matter to the situation of Rohingya. But what they failed to see is that NRC has nothing to do with tormenting the minority and that it has nothing to do with religion. NRC is just an effort of the original residents of Assam, of India to reclaim their land, their resources from the lakhs of illegal infiltrators who populate Assam, the majority of these illegal infiltrators being from Bangladesh.

People wait to check their names on the draft list at the National Register of Citizens (NRC) centre at a village in Nagaon district, Assam state, India, July 30, 2018. REUTERS/Stringer – RC1D5A61E480

Many people of the country are against NRC and have been using it for their own selfish motives from the very onset. They are spreading news which is very far from the truth. One of these selfish opportunity hunters is the Chief Minister of West Bengal, Mamta Banerjee. According to her comments, NRC is drafted with a motive of driving away the Muslim and Bengali population from Assam and that communal violence is going on in different areas of the state in its name. But this is not at all true. There is complete peace and harmony in the state till now and although the government had deployed many police forces in fear of any violent outbreaks in the sensitive areas, the fear was proved baseless. The entire population of Assam is giving their complete corporation to the authorities. The names of more than 40 lac people have been left out of the final draft but they are given ample opportunity by the system to prove their authentic residentship.

Another allegation made by Mamta Banerjee is that the government of Assam have cut off all types of internet connections so that the residents can’t share all their woes and atrocities done in the name of NRC with the outside world. Yah right! If that was the case, you wouldn’t have been reading this article right now! I think a person in such a high and responsible position should stop spreading such hoax and encourage unrest and disturbance among the people. If she was so much concerned about the people she should have sent back all the documents that were sent to West Bengal for verification instead of sending back only 15,000(approx) of more than 1 lakh documents.

Banerjee went to the length of sending a delegation of her party members to Assam to enquire about NRC but they were detained and forced to return without meeting anyone by the police so that they can’t spark any intolerance in the otherwise peaceful environment of Assam. Returning back the delegation have claimed that they were hurt by the police while the police in Assam commented that some police personnel were instead harmed by them. Only they will know the truth of this matter and I won’t comment on it. Because of all the rumours that Mamta Banerjee have been spreading about NRC, Assam and its residents, some of the social groups of the state have filed FIRs against her too.

Keeping aside the rumours, there are many who support NRC wholeheartedly. The neighbouring states of Assam like Meghalaya, Nagaland etc have already started taking precautionary measures to prevent the transpassing of the illegal infiltrators to their states who may try to escape in fear of the consequences of NRC. There have also been reports that some other states of India are also demanding the drafting of NRC in their respective states.

For me, there are some shortcomings about NRC too. The first being that there are chances of inclusion of the illegal migrants if they are able to furnish the required documents or make fakes of the same, while on the other hand, some legal residents may lose their residentship for the lack of such documents. Another issue is that the authorities are yet to declare about what will happen to the people excluded from NRC. I believe it is high time to come to a decision as the lives of many depend on NRC.

But whatever it may be, I have full faith in the Supreme Court, just like all other people of my stare and calmly await the actual NRC. Since the entire exercise is supervised by the Supreme Court the chances of the authenticity of NRC is very very high while the chances of it causing harm and injustice to any Indian are very slim. I just hope the situation and environment of Assam continue to be as peaceful and harmonious as it is now even after the publication of the final NRC.

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