The recent announcement regarding the beginning of a nationwide NRC(National Register of Citizenship)exercise by Union Home Minister Amit Shah has raised many doubts and apprehensions among those from the minorities. Many regions in the country have already begun to see a series of protest demonstrations against the exercise.
One of the groups that is vehemently opposing the nationwide NRC exercise is a civil-rights group called United Against Hate(UAH).
The group has announced that it would launch a nationwide non-cooperation movement against the Narendra Modi government’s plan to stretch the NRC, that had so far been confined to Assam and start it across all parts of India. The group announced its plans to vehemently oppose the government’s NRC plan by running a sustained campaign against the Citizenship Amendment Bill(CAB). They plan to do this through a series of rallies, programs and demonstrations held across the country. Those who will be heralding this movement have also said that in an act of protest, they will not be submitting their own documents to the government and neither will they allow others to submit their’s. They have planned to boycott the NRC exercise and sustain a civil disobedience movement throughout the country against the NRC exercise. One of the founding members of the UAH is Mr. Nadeem Khan who strongly feels that such a movement will pose an important challenge before the makers of the NRC.
Khan alleges that the NRC and the CAB are nothing but the state’s tools to create existential problems for the Indian muslims and to make them vulnerable to state sponsored harassment. He also said that it was a way of diverting the attention of the citizens from issues that were really important. His group along with prominent social activists would organise a nationwide non-cooperation movement.
We are aware that the NRC exercise which has so far only taken place in Assam has received widespread criticism for having left out nearly two million people. It was only recently that the US Commission on International Religious Freedom said, “ The NRC is a targeted mechanism to disenfranchise Assam’s Bengali Muslim community, implicitly establishing a religious requirement for citizenship and potentially rendering a large number of Muslims stateless.”
Khan added that anybody who does not have records of holding land will have an extremely tough time in proving his/her citizenship and a large section of people who don’t have enough money to get their due documents made will be forced to live in a permanent state of anxiety. How will landless farmers come up with a land record to prove their citizenship rights? In Assam that has a population of 3 crore people, officials spent 10 years and Rs 1,300 crore for the exercise. It is easy to imagine how much time and money will be spent when the NRC is conducted for the whole country.
On Wednesday, Home Minister and BJP leader Amit Shah had said that while the NRC would be carried out throughout the country. No one irrespective of religion, should feel worried. He asserted that this was just a means to get everyone under the NRC and the governor would bring out the controversial CAB so that it could grant citizenship to all communities except illegal Muslim migrants.