Both the government of Assam and the Union government are justifiably worried about the fallout of the publication of the draft tiol Register of Citizens (NRC) due by the last day of the year. What is perhaps even more worrying is that the expected opposition to the publication of the draft NRC has been delayed and has not yet been as vocal as one might have expected. It is quite possible that the organizations and political groups opposed to the updating of the NRC have decided to adopt the strategy of delaying the agitations and other initiatives planned for a concerted opposition to the publication of the updated NRC till the end of December 2017 to ensure a more intense demonstration of their opposition to a vital undertaking much delayed due to all the wrong reasons. It will be important not to forget that all the opposition to the updating of the NRC has been coming from non-Indian migrants mainly from Bangladesh who are determined to legalize their illegal residence in India by becoming Indian citizens. They realize only too well that an updated and fully correct NRC will permanently deprive them of any chance of securing Indian citizenship. As such, the key to perpetuating their stay in India (legally or illegally) pivots on every possible initiative to delay or sabotage the publication of the updated draft of the NRC. Unfortutely, the help for such sinister objectives has come from politicians who have delayed the updating of the NRC largely for electoral gates. We often tend to forget that for decades together they have delayed all initiatives for the updating of the NRC mainly because an updated NRC, cleaned of the mes of non-Indians, would strike a vital blow at the ambitions of politicians who seek power without performance and are not averse to using even illegal foreign voters to attain their objectives. That is why the voters lists of Assam are packed with the mes of non-Indians who are largely illegal migrants from Bangladesh and Nepal. And over the decades, every attempt at updating and correcting the tiol Register of Citizens has been delayed by politicians with a vested interest in retaining as many illegal migrants from Bangladesh is possible in order to keep their vote banks safe with a huge number of illegal foreign voters. Had the Supreme Court not taken a hand in the matter of updating the NRC, these politicians would have done everything possible to totally sabotage all attempts at updating the NRC.
Given this scerio, it is tural to expect intensive opposition to the publication of the draft updated NRC in December this year. And because this irratiol and unpatriotic opposition to the updating of the NRC constitutes an antitiol stance, it is in the fitness of things that the Union Home Ministry should have discussed the situation in Assam recently at a high-level meeting. The operatiol group of the Unified Command is reported to have deliberated on the possible fallout of the publication of the draft updated NRC and formulated strategies for dealing with any kind of the law-and-order situation arising from the publication of the draft updated NRC. Highly placed official sources have said that a deterioration of the law-and-order situation in the State cannot be ruled out considering that some organizations and individuals have launched a “misinformation campaign” on the issue of updating the NRC. It will be recalled that the launching of the first pilot project on the updating of the NRC at Barpeta had led to violence resulting in the death of four persons. As such, one cannot rule out a recurrence of such mischief in a situation where the updating of the NRC on a large scale has almost been successfully completed. It is important to appreciate that the motivation for all kinds of destructive activities even leading to violence cannot be ruled out as the task of updating the NRC nears completion. But it is heartening to note that the security forces as well as the Army have evinced the determition to ensure that the updating of the NRC is successfully completed without antitiol elements having the means to sabotage this vital undertaking.