National Register of Citizens across India between April and September, 2020

The Gazette notification to conduct field surveys for NRC next year has spurred several state governments ruled by the BJP to start constructing detention centres

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M Y Siddiqui

The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has already set in motion the process of preparation and updating of the Population Register from April 1, 2020 to September 30, 2020 throughout the country except Assam where the process was already underway and which is in advanced stages of completion.

Thus, from next year there will be house to house enumeration for collection of information relating to all persons who are usually residing within the jurisdiction of the Local Registrar. Accordingly, Registrar General of Citizen Registration will accomplish the job of National Population Register (NPR).

Simultaneously, the MHA is learnt to have asked states and Union Territories to set up more and more detention camps (equivalent to Hitler’s concentration camps) on the pattern of such camps in Assam based on the findings of the National Register of Citizens (NRC) to be prepared on the platform of NPR to accommodate illegal immigrants or intruders in such detention camps for their deportation to the countries of their origin or as by law authorised.

The notification followed barely months after the toxic pre-General Elections 2019 campaign rhetoric of muscular nationalism, politics of marginalisation, politics of exclusion, politics of divisiveness and politics of majoritarian consolidation, all in the name of inclusive development, as also promises made by the BJP that NRC will be introduced across the country if they returned to power.

The Proposed NRC, read with the Citizens (Amendment) Bill, has gripped the minorities and other weaker sections like Dalits with fear, insecurity and panic like situations, while raising social tension and communal divide all over the country. It helps BJP consolidate majoritarian support for larger electoral gains.


Simultaneously, such issues have often been repeated as diversionary tactics of the BJP to deflect public attention from critical issues like rising unemployment, recessionary economy, lay-offs in the corporate sector, lack of private investments, growing agrarian distress facing the nation and ever increasing cost of living symptomatic of heightened social tension likely to disturb social cohesiveness and communal harmony.

Meanwhile, saner elements across the nation are out to calm the fear and insecurity of minorities and Dalits through social media and other platforms. At the same time, social media have created a fear psychosis among the vulnerable people in view of continuing and targeted violence against them as also growing hate crimes in the country. People are taking cue from Assam where the ongoing NRC has upset social harmony, leaving 1.9 million people in the lurch, declared illegal intruders, facing foreigners’ tribunal and the higher judiciary of High Courts and the Supreme Court, in the process getting fleeced and impoverished further.

Since the General Elections-2019, pundits all over the country have struggled to explain BJP’s upset win. Liberal columnists, women and men of goodwill and substance are united in shock that so many people voted for a party (BJP) which stoked and inflamed racial, ethnic and religious tension, insulted and mistreated women, suppressed minorities and Dalits and was still deemed fit to govern a country of India’s size, diversity and complexities.

Nation-wide NRC next year will again put the idea of India on test.

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