The failure of NRC

The final list of the National Register of Citizens (NRC) which was released on Sunday declared 19 lakh citizens of Assam non-Indians. These people now face an uncertain future. Those who have been excluded from the NRC have 120 days to appeal against it at the Foreigners Tribunals. The NRC operation, which had started with the aim of identifying illegal Bangladeshi migrants, has caused chaos in Assam. Within families some have their names missing from the list while others have somehow made it to the list. The 19 lakh people who failed to make it to the NRC list now will have to follow lengthy process of first appealing to the Foreigners Tribunals.
They have the option of appealing to the high court and the Supreme Court too. This is going to be one lengthy battle. Especially the poor citizens will face a torrid time. Managing lawyers’ fees to appeal to the tribunals and the courts is going to be a costly affair. The ruling BJP, which often touted that the NRC would help to identify illegal Muslim Bangladeshi migrants, has started to complain about it after many Hindu Bengalis too failed to make it to the list. Assam minister and party stalwart Himanta Biswa Sarma said he has no faith in the NRC and said he didn’t think it would help remove illegal immigrants. Analysts believe that now the saffron party will push for the citizenship amendment bill (CAB) in order to give citizenship to Hindu Bengalis in Assam. This may open up another new battleground between the government of India and the indigenous people of the Northeast region. The majority of the indigenous people of the NE region is against the CAB and had bitterly opposed it when the union government had tried to pass it just before the 2019 general election. Just to cover up the failure of the NRC, the government should not commit the mistake of pushing the CAB. This will have huge repercussions and may push whole NE region into chaos.