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AIR Summary

All India Radio: Spotlight-News Analysis – Various aspects of National Register for Citizen

In a historic moment for Assam, the final list of the National Register for Citizen (NRC) is out and 19,06,657 people have been excluded, whereas 31,00,000 people have been included in the list.
By IASToppers
September 02, 2019

Contents

  • Introduction
  • Is there any demand for re-verification by the political parties?
  • Is re-verification a possibility and within the law?
  • How the state administration maintains peace in the state?
  • Upcoming challenges
  • What happens to people who will be ultimately be rendered stateless?
  • How does this whole issue of NRC will turn out for Indian political parties?

Various aspects of National Register for Citizen

Introduction

  • The theme of identity politics had dominated the state since 1979 by the All Assam Student Union. Therefore, in some ways, this decision could bring a sense of closure to all those people who were involved in the agitation also known as ‘anti-foreigners’ movement’.
  • The point to be remembered is that people excluded from the list are not at all ‘foreigners’ or ‘non-Indians’.
  • There would be many cases where many genuine Indian citizens would have been left out and the authority to declare someone ‘foreigner’ only lies with the foreigner tribunal.
  • The people who are excluded from the list have an option to file an appeal to Foreigners Tribunal within four months. The tribunal has to give a decision within six months or 120 days of filing a case.
  • There are 120 foreign tribunals in the state and the excluded people strength is about 20 lakhs. Hence, it will take more time to give judgement in each of the cases.
  • There have been political demands for the re-verification of 20% of border districts and 10% verification of remaining districts should be allowed.

Is there any demand for re-verification by the political parties?

  • This issue is going to play out politically and Congress has been a very important player in the Assam.
  • The pilot project of updating the NRC started during former state congress government led by Tarun Gogoi. Therefore, the current development will have the implications for the Congress party and the state.
  • The political stand of the state government says it suspects the numbers of exclusion in border districts especially in Assam- Bangladesh border districts are way too low and the inner districts the number is way too high which point towards manipulation in the initial process.

Is re-verification a possibility and within the law?

  • The process of updating the NRC was under the direct control of the Supreme Court of India (SC). It directed, supervised and monitored every level of the process. Therefore, for every level of re-verification, the people will need to approach the SC for clearance.
  • The government always has the option to bring a legislation to start the re-verification process.

How the state administration maintains peace in the state?

  • The government had appealed many times that there are remedies available after the final NRC list come out.
  • It’s been a two-pronged approach. On the one hand, the centre and the state government tried to send out a message to not panic as people have time and opportunities coming on the way. The other strategy the government adopted was the deployment of para-military forces especially in the border district.
  • There will be some sort of fear in the mind of people and apprehensions as well but that may not be necessarily resolved in any kind of violent situation

Upcoming challenges

  • Excluded people do not know the next step after the NRC list coming out.
  • There should be no exclusion of genuine citizen of India.

What happens to people who will be ultimately be rendered stateless?

  • Even after the External Affairs Minister stated that it is an ‘internal affairs’ of India, it would have to collaborate with Bangladesh to deport the foreigner or stateless people after foreigner tribunal judgements. Only then there will be a closure of this whole process.

 How does this whole issue of NRC will turn out for Indian political parties?

  • This has been an issue that dominated the state political field for more than four decades and therefore, every party looks this matter as important and hence it is equally important for all of them.
  • The future political decisions will be highly based on people’s inclusion and exclusion in the list. It must be taken care that, in any case, genuine citizens do not get excluded.
  • This issue is going to be the most important political issue from now till 2021 when the assembly elections take place as it will be the reason for the next government win in elections.

 

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