NRC in Assam enlisted 19 lakhs immigrants in India; out of which, 5 lakhs were Hindus and the rest were Muslims. In what seemed to be a hidden agenda, the BJP enunciated that they would ensure the protection/citizenship of Hindus. Although, the government claimed that CAB and NRC are not inter-related to each other; apparently they are!
The government has deliberately excluded the Muslims and promises to provide citizenship to those people (from Hindu, Sikh, Christian and Parsi communities) who came to India, before 2014 – from Afghanistan, Pakistan and Bangladesh. Their argument is that these minorities face persecution in the above-mentioned countries.
But, even Tamils, Sinhals, and Rohingyas face the same persecution; then why have they not been included in the CAB (now an Act)?
It is because of the fallacy that Muslims (immigrants) can get sheltered in these countries. Before initiating NRC and after concluding NRC, the Indian government has not talked to any of these countries (Bangladesh/Pakistan/Afghanistan). So now, as the bill becomes an Act, will Muslim immigrants be put in detention camps? Isn’t it the Chinese strategy to put Muslims in detention camps?
One very interesting thing, which has been faded by the vapour of the CAB, is the economic crisis of India. India is at a 45 year high of unemployment, as per the labour ministry, and some scholars suggest that it is a situation of stagflation, seeing the consecutive reduction in the GDP from 8.1 to 4.5 as in the recent CSO report.
Also, the Global Hunger Index Report shows India ranks 102nd. It should be noted, India ranked poorly for consecutive years in the same report. Furthermore, the recent national crime record bureau released a report, regarding crime data, which shows that rape cases, violence against women, and people from the Dalits community have increased. This shows us that India is facing severe crises in multiple dimensions, and NRC/CAB are another one to add to the list.
India was never a country of pluralism, rather multiculturism, and flourished on this foundation. Is the new Act not a hit on India’s multiculturalism and diversity? India has adopted the concept of positive secularism; but making people homeless, and stateless, whether they are children or women and making them vulnerable to crime, poverty, disease, and illiteracy is positive discrimination! Also, secularism does not legitimise citizenship on the basis of religion.
While the Citizenship Amendment Bill was being debated in the parliament, several arguments were raised against the three neighbours of India – it was suggested that these three countries are Islamic and they persecute the minorities. But, did our parliamentarians forget or are they unaware, that Bangladesh, despite being a Muslim majority country, is a secular, democratic and republic country?
Also, Bangladesh and India shared positive ties since 1971. Is it plausible to keep both the west-east fronts of India hostile, after all, the Asian century is about to knock on the door; isn’t it insane?
A nationwide NRC is rumoured and it has been predicted that it will cost about 4,000 crores (our GDP is at 4.5). This will be a cumbersome process and in Assam’s NRC, lakhs of cases are under the foreigner tribunal; after that, if a person is unable to get justice, then he/she can approach the High Court and the Supreme Court. Please keep in mind, 3.5 crore cases are already pending in the court of law, and recently, we the people of India, praised instant justice in the Hyderabad rape case!
NRC list in Assam is also not less tragic, for instance, the name of our 5th president’s family member is not enlisted in the list (missing). In fact, in some cases, the name of children are missing but parents’ names are there, and vice versa; isn’t it a mess in itself?
So how is a nation-wide NRC feasible?
In conclusion, it is well said, if anything is wrong, then it is completely wrong; and if anything is correct, then it is completely correct – it can’t be half true and half wrong.