Is NRC Right or Wrong? This question is raised everywhere in India.
From last Couple of months the country were seeing immense protest against existing Citizenship Amendment Act and for upcoming NRC. Well “immense” may be not a appropriate word for these protest because in most of the places protests is now call off or we can say those protest was not able to sustain long, but yeah there are still some places in the country were protest is still going on.
Places like Shaheen Bagh were people’s are sitting on a road from 15 December onwards. The Shaheen Bagh protest is an ongoing 24/7 peaceful protest and they have blocked the major highway in Delhi.
But, yes no one can ignore the fact that there were a smell of conspiracy behind Shaheen Bagh protest as still many questions were unanswered. Many believe that protest in Shaheen Bagh is politically funded.
But in this article we were not gonna discuss about who is behind this protest or it’s just a natural gathering. Today we are going to discuss about the primary reason behind these protest and that is NRC. So let’s discuss in detail about NRC.
What is NRC ?
The National Register Citizens (NRC) is a register maintained by the government of india containing relevant information of all the legal or genuine citizen of India. As of now this register in only made for Assam state.
So the above definition of NRC may not enable you to understand the peculiarity of this matter. In order understand this topic better let’s dive deep into the matter.
Why NRC ?
Since 1947, when India and Pakistan gets freedom from Britishers, Assam experience a great movement of infiltrators entering in to Assam from East Pakistan which is now Bangladesh. As Assam shares 267.5 KM of international border with Bangladesh, so it’s become easy for the infiltrators to illegally infiltrate in Assam.
Most of these infiltrators illegally came to India because of regional oppression (mostly non-muslim) and the rest came to get better employment opportunities or to get economic benefits.
In 1971 these illegal migrants becomes serious problem for India as well as for Assam. Genocide practice from Pakistan army, forces a huge population of East Pakistan become refugees in India.
After the birth of Bangladesh refugees return but there are many refugees who decided to illegally settled in India instead of returning to their homeland.
Now due to these illegal migrants Assamese culture were getting disturbed. It is seen in many a region of Assam that a genuine Assamese are turning into a minorities group in their own home.
These illegal migrants are Bengali speaking people and due to think we can clearly see a decline in the Assamese speaking people. In 1971, the Assamese-speaking populace was 60.89% of the total population of Assam. But it came down to 48.38% as per the Census data of 2011. The decrease was 12.51%.
This sudden growth in the illegal migrants of people soon ignited a movement in Assam. The Assam Movement run till 1979-1985 was a popular movement against illegal immigrants in Assam. The movement, led by All Assam Students Union (AASU) and the All Assam Gana Sangram Parishad (AAGSP), developed a program of protests and demonstrations to compel the Indian government to identify and expel illegal immigrants and to protect and provide constitutional, legislative and administrative safeguards to the indigenous Assamese people.
In the later part of Assam Movement the movement turned into a violent one and create instability in the state.
The continuous protest in Assam forces the then Prime Minister Rajeev Gandhi government to sign a memorandum of settlement (MoS) with the leaders of Assam Movement in New Delhi on 15 August 1985. Later Citizenship Act was amended for the first time in the next year, 1986.
Finally after the estimated death of over 855 people, the movement ended with the signing of the Assam Accord.
Main Points of Assam Accord are:-
- For purposes of detection and deletion of foreigners, 1.1.1966 shall be the base date and year.
- All persons who came to Assam prior to 1.1.1966, including those amongst them whose name appeared on the electoral rolls used in 1967 elections, shall be regularized.
- Foreigners who came to Assam after 1.1.1966 (inclusive) and upto 24th March, 1971 shall be detected in accordance with the provisions of the Foreigners Act, 1946 and the Foreigners (Tribunals) Order 1964.
- Foreigners who came to Assam on or after March 25, 1971 shall continue to be detected, deleted and expelled in accordance with law. Immediate and practical steps shall be taken to expel such foreigners.
In order to detect the illegal migrants government came up with a concept of NRC.
Why people were protesting against NRC.
As the final NRC list has been published in Assam in 2019, it was seen that many genuine Assamese resident didn’t get their names in the list. Now it clearly proven that their is loop holes in the NRC process.
Previously the register was specifically made for Assam. However, on 20th November 2019, Home Minister Amit Shah declared during a parliamentary session that the register would be extended to the entire country.
Now this statement from Home Minister Amit Shah came after CAA 2019 passed from both the parliamentary house’s.
Now from Citizenship amendment act the illegal migrants (non Muslim) is not longer illegal.
Now the question arises that how NRC or government will differentiate between illegal Muslim migrants and a legal Indian Muslim who may not have a certificate to prove his Indian identity. There is still a lot of confusion around NRC.
Certificate required to be listed in NRC (For Assam NRC).
- Persons whose names appear in the NRC, 1951.
- Persons whose names appear in any of the Electoral Rolls up to 24 March (midnight), 1971.
- Descendants of the above persons.
- Other than that, applicants also had the option to present documents such as refugee registration certificate, birth certificate, LIC policy, land and tenancy records, citizenship certificate, passport, government issued licence or certificate, bank/post office accounts, permanent residential certificate, government employment certificate, educational certificate and court records.
Any such legal certificate which can prove that applicant is living in Assam on or before 1971.