Since the final draft of National Register of Citizens (NRC) was released, exclusion of around 40 lakh people in Assam, has become a hot issue for political debate in India. BJP is terming these people as “Bangladeshi infiltrators” whereas, the opposition leadership is accusing BJP for vote bank and divisive politics. Out of 3.29 crore applicants for the NRC, 2.89 crore have been found eligible for inclusion in the complete draft leaving the names of 40.07 lakhs. Attempting to satisfy the opposition, Home Minister Raj Nath Singh said that the NRC was being demanded in Assam for a long time. BJP leader Amit Shah said the NRC is a national security issue. BJP MLA from Telangana known for making controversial statements namely T Raja Singh Lodh, said that if “These Rohingyas and bangladeshi illegal immigrants “don’t leave India, “They should be shot” so that India will be safe.
Trinamool congress had moved an adjournment motion in the Lok Sabha on the NRC issue, which was not taken up in the Lok Sabha on the NRC issue, which was not taken up by Speaker Sumitra Mahajan. Congress leader MallikarjunKharge said “ original citizens” of the state are being asked questions and this is creating division in the state based on caste and creed. Expressing concern over the exclusion of 40 lakh names in the final NRC draft, West Bangal CM Ms Banerjee said those “Indian citizens have become refugees in their own land”. She even said that “ Family members of the former Indian president Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed are also not listed in the NRC.
She attacked the BJP by saying that ruling party’s divide and rule politics will create a situation of a civil war. She further said that the BJP’s audacity has grown so much that it now says that what it started with Assam will continue in West Bengal. MarkandeyKatju a former judge of the Supreme Court said , “I see no solution to the imbroglio, only more tension, insecurity, anxiety and possibly worse. What Hiren Gohain believes to be a ‘solution’ actually resolves nothing.”
NRC issue will turn out to be one of the bigger campaign issues in the run-up to Indian General elections 2019. As per adopted pattern , BJP will push it as an issue of national security and crucial solution to the problem of unemployment. In case the issue remains unresolved, the world will soon witness another “ Rohingya” Refuges like crisis.
(The author is a human rights activist and an eye watcher of socio-political contexts. Views are his own)