Hyderabad had tried ‘NRC’ 71 years ago, and failed

Orig­i­nal pe­ti­tioner to seek to­day 100% NRC re-ver­i­fi­ca­tion

The Times of India (New Delhi edition) - - Times Nation - Syed.Ak­[email protected] times­group.com Pra­bin Kalita

Hyderabad: Ju­nior home min­is­ter G Kis­han Reddy and other BJP lead­ers in Te­lan­gana have of­ten said there is a need for a Na­tional Regis­ter of Ci­ti­zens like ex­er­cise in Hyderabad.

With the city set to mark 71 years of its merger into the In­dian Union, it would per­haps be apt to re­mem­ber that Hyderabad had been through one such ex­er­cise im­me­di­ately after In­de­pen­dence. At that time, the state had failed to de­port most of the so-called ‘aliens’.

The drive to pick up “for­eign­ers” in Hyderabad on the lines of NRC was taken up after the Po­lice Ac­tion on Septem­ber 17, 1948. Thou­sands of peo­ple re­sid­ing in the city, in­clud­ing those liv­ing for gen­er­a­tions, were iden­ti­fied as aliens and kept in de­ten­tion camps pend­ing their de­por­ta­tion, re­veal of­fi­cial doc­u­ments. In the end, only a small num­ber of peo­ple were de­ported as many coun­tries, in­clud­ing Saudi Ara­bia, re­fused to ac­cept them as their na­tion­als.

Though the term NRC was not used then as the con­cept of cit­i­zen­ship came into be­ing only after the pro­mul­ga­tion of the Cit­i­zen­ship Act in 1955, the ex­er­cise had all the trap­pings of NRC. The de­tainees were kept in camps be­hind barbed wire and un­der armed guard. As women and chil­dren did not have sep­a­rate rights of na­tion­al­ity those days un­der in­ter­na­tional law, they were de­clared alien de­spite be­ing born in Hyderabad, if their fa­thers or hus­bands were de­clared aliens.

Re­searcher Dr Tay­lor C Sherman care­fully sifted through the Hyderabad doc­u­ments at the Na­tional Ar­chives in UK to dig out de­tails. She also ac­cessed com­mu­ni­ca­tion be­tween the mil­i­tary ad­min­is­tra­tor in Hyderabad with the In­dian gov­ern­ment be­tween 1948 and 1950.

Sherman is an as­so­ciate pro­fes­sor in the de­part­ment of in­ter­na­tional his­tory, The Lon­don School of Eco­nomics and Po­lit­i­cal Science. Her work re­vealed that besides Arabs and Afghans, who had set­tled down in Hyderabad sev­eral decades prior to the The

As­sam Pub­lic Works, an NGO on whose plea the SC or­dered the NRC be up­dated a decade ago, will file an­other pe­ti­tion in SC on Mon­day — this time de­mand­ing ‘pu­rifi­ca­tion’ of the pub­lished list of ci­ti­zens. “My pe­ti­tion will be to seek 100% re-ver­i­fi­ca­tion of the en­tire NRC,” said Aab­hi­jeet Sharma, pres­i­dent of the NGO. Po­lice Ac­tion, 6,225 peo­ple were held in de­ten­tion camps on the charge that they were Pak­istani na­tion­als. Most of whom were later found to be born in British In­dia.

Sherman’s study on cit­i­zen­ship in Hyderabad post Po­lice Ac­tion was pub­lished in the Mod­ern Asian Stud­ies, a Cam­bridge Univer­sity Press jour­nal. It re­vealed that the In­dian gov­ern­ment wanted to de­port the ‘aliens’ on the ad­vice of mil­i­tary-ad­min­is­tra­tor J N Choud­hury. Choud­hury had taken over the ad­min­is­tra­tion of Hyderabad after its merger with the In­dian Union. “But the at­tempt to repa­tri­ate these peo­ple floun­dered on both po­lit­i­cal and le­gal shoals. In the process, many were left legally state­less,” she said.

Full report on www.toi.in

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from India

© PressReader. All rights reserved.