What next? - GulfToday

What next for those left out of the National Register of Citizens list?

Citizenship Register

Assam State National Register of Citizens (NRC) officials check documents of Indian residents. Reuters

The government has done well in assuring the people that those left out of the final NRC will not be detained and they can appeal against their exclusion in the Foreigners’ Tribunals (FT). But the 19 lakh people who have been excluded have a window of only 120 days to appeal before the FT, and no one knows what will happen next (“People left out in NRC won’t be detained, assure officials,” Aug. 31, Gulf Today).

Just a few days ago PM Modi highlighted the country’s vision of being a $5 trillion economy. That is visionary. But how can India reach such great heights if uncertainty and disorder is the order of the day? A forward looking administrator knows too well that disharmony among the citizens will hamper growth and impede progress. A senior BJP leader is reported to have compared illegal migrants to termites. What reaction will such utterances invoke? At this juncture India needs more unity not fragmentation of its populace if it is to have its head above the waters.

The government spent a colossal sum of money on the whole NRC exercise but it has fallen shabbily short of expectations dismaying almost all, including political parties with the ruling BJP party in the mix. They are alleging that the NRC is flawed and alongside civil communities are threatening to challenge it in court.

Nearly Rs 12,000 crore of taxpayer’s money was spent on the exercise, yet we are in a quandary. And there are reports that some legislators are asking for a similar exercise to be undertaken in other states of India. Tiwari wants one in Delhi. The Assam exercise has created hardships and anxieties for millions of people. Do we want a pan-India repeat of the same?

Kausal Srivastava
By email

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