Know what National Register of Citizens (NRC) is and why it is important

The National Register of Citizens (NRC) was released on Saturday following a Supreme Court deadline of August 31 for its publication. NRC is a list of Assam’s residents – prepared to identify bonafide residents and deport illegal migrants in the northeastern state bordering Bangladesh. About 19.07 lakh names were excluded from the final register, while names of 3.11 crore people were included.

Why the NRC update in Assam was started?

When the NRC was first created intention was it would change by time to time just like census. But that did not happen, because of many reasons and forming a vote Bank was a major one.

The NRC is an outcome of the All Assam Students’ Union’s (Aasu) demand for removing the names of all illegal migrants from electoral rolls after a “rise” in the number of Bengali voters in Mangaldoi district in 1979 was noticed. The Mangaldoi episode led to a six-year-long anti-foreigner movement in Assam, ending in the signing of the Assam Accord in 1985. Aasu and the Asom Gana Sangram Parishad (present-day Asom Gana Parishad) were the two main protagonists of the agitation. The accord, signed between the rajiv gandhi’s central government, the Assam government and the agitators, agreed to identify and deport all “foreigners” living in Assam. It identified March 24, 1971 as the cut-off date for identifying illegal migrants.

What happened next?

For decades, NRC was not taken up by ruling governments due to vote Bank politics and fear of backlash. NRC again came in news when honorable Supreme Court of India intervened and asked the governments to take up the matter with utter seriousness.

Why Assam is the first state to get NRC?

Assam shares a long border with Bangladesh. The interior or remote villages of Assam are absolutely suffering because of the illegal immigrants.

  • There are few villages in Assam where these illegal immigrants form 100% of population. Since majority of these immigrants are Muslims, these places have undergone dramatic changes in cultural and religious practices. Many locals have been driven out or their properties have been encroached.
  • It’s been reported that these immigrants are not allowing the locals to celebrate their festive and pooja, claiming that it will hurt their religious sentiments.
  • A vast area of reserve forests, river beda areas have been encroached by these illegal immigrants, which is threatning to the peaceful existence with the local tribes.

The struggle to drive our these immigrants has nothing to do with religion, even the local Indian Muslims are suffering from these Bangladeshi immigrants who use brute force to confiscate locals properties.

  • Crime rates in Assam have shot up like never before. Thefts, murders, burglaries, rapes, molestation cases have gone up and in most of theses cases the culprits are identified as Bangladeshi immigrants. The official figures are shocking.
  • Assam is an underdeveloped state. And floods hit them once a year. With limited resources, fewer opportunities, how can Assam bear big population of illegal immigrants?!!!!

The immigrants have been given shelter, and are being protected by the political parties for their vote Bank. These spiked the cases of conflict of these religious extremist immigrants group wuthering the locals, this became the reason for Supreme Court to intervene.

Many political parties today and intellectuals are lecturing on humanity in this matter. It is clear that they have their own vested interest in protecting illegal immigrants, neither they are aware of the hardships of the indigenous people nor they care for the resource struggle in the state.

These immigrants are taking full benefits of the government schemes  which are rightfully meant for the local Assamese. It is sad that they are getting a raw deal because there are million of illegal hands trying to snatch it from them.

Dr Sindhu Prashanth