IMMIGRANTS OR INTRUDERS?
The draft of the “National Register of Citizens (NRC)” released recently in Gauwahati, has become a bombshell with great socio-political consequences. When it burst, some 40,07,707 people residing in Assam would be made non-citizens. Two questions are posed as a result of the publication of the NRC: How correct is the assessment? What to do with the people going to be declared non-citizens.
A little going back to history will help in understanding the problem. During the cruel oppression of Bengalis in the East by the ruthless Pakistan army, hundreds of thousands of Bengalis of East Pakistan later declared independent Bangladesh moved into India, especially to nearby Assam. Ironically, the NRC is the brainchild of the Congress who along with Trinamul Congress supremo who then was a Congress leader. How the BJP has brought the JRC centre-stage and the Congress and the TRC opposed it when released, are all political manouvers as the 2019 general election are nearing.
Former Assam Chief Minister (Congress) Gogoi, while admitting the GRC is his baby, says “it was not Hindu, Muslim or Christian.” This is not true; three were hardly any Christians and Hindus being middle and upper class, were settled in Delhi, the settlement becoming posh area later. It is the poor Muslims who comprise the 4 lakhs who do not find a place in the NRC. Of course, three are some blunders in the preparation of the NRC when some VIPS are excluded, but Home Minister Raj Nath Singh says, “It is only a draft which will be corrected and don’t politicise it.”
But then politicising is the only intention of the ruling BJP in producing the NRC when elections 2019 are fast approaching. The game plan is, Hindus are the majority and they resent Muslim intruders from outside and bringing the expulsion of them would be a popular issue. Already there have been demands to send out Bengali speaking Muslims from all other such states such as Delhi.
The opposition is against the move, the most vociferous being Mamata Bannerjee, the Trinumul Congress head and chief minister of West Bengal. But the opposition parties are confused a lot. Most are not against NRC. They are now pointing out BRC is full of mistakes and nobody should be deported.
But then deportation is the crux of the problem. Bangladesh from where they have come has refused to take them back. No Indian state is willing to take the 40 lakh that is the population of some of the countries in the world. So nothing is going to happen but for the BJP to keep the communal cauldron boiling during the elections.