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Vote for NRC

The fate of the National Register of Citizens (NRC) appears to be hanging on fire after the Registrar General of India (RGI) has made it clear that it would not provide funds

Vote for NRC

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  4 April 2021 5:00 AM GMT

The fate of the National Register of Citizens (NRC) appears to be hanging on fire after the Registrar General of India (RGI) has made it clear that it would not provide funds to the Assam Government to continue with the exercise beyond March 31, 2021. This development has come at a time when political parties are making the NRC an issue in the ongoing Assam Assembly elections. As reported in the media, Jaspal Singh, Joint Director in the Office of the Registrar General of India (controlled by the Home Ministry) has informed the Assam Government that all activities for NRC updation must be completed within the approved cost of the scheme by March 31, 2021. The RGI's office has also made it clear that there is no provision for allocation of funds beyond March 31, 2021. It may be recalled that while the final NRC — an updated version of the 1951 NRC — was published on August 31, 2019, it had several serious flaws like inclusion of names of a large number of persons who are beyond doubt illegal migrants from erstwhile East Pakistan and present-day Bangladesh. It is also important to keep on record that while some political parties like the Congress and All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF) had "accepted" the NRC, the BJP had rejected it for obvious reasons. There is no second opinion over the fact that Assam had faced massive infiltration from erstwhile East Pakistan and present-day Bangladesh when the Congress was in power. The present-day generations of Assamese and other indigenous communities must also remember the fact that while several lakh people had taken shelter in Assam during the civil war and liberation movement in erstwhile East Pakistan in 1969-71, the then Congress governments – in Delhi or in Assam – had failed to ensure return of all the refugees after Bangladesh was liberated by the Indian Army. Even prior to that, except for Lokapriya Gopinath Bardoloi and Bimala Prasad Chaliha, no other Congress chief minister of Assam had ever raised their voice against large-scale influx. One chief minister, namely Hiteswar Saikia had once stated in the Assembly that there were 30 lakh Bangladeshi infiltrators in Assam; within less than 48 hours he withdraw the statement after the pro-Bangladeshi lobbies including a section of his own Congress legislators had threatened to pull down his government. The AIUDF, which is today an ally of the Congress party, was established immediately after the Supreme Court had struck down the notorious IMDT Act; the sole declared intent of AIUDF at the time of its formation was to protect the interest of the people who were likely to be adversely affected after the IMDT Act. Who are these people? They are those people who were prevented from being identified by the IMDT Act! At the time of the crucial ongoing Assam Assembly election, all right-thinking and patriotic must keep this in mind while going to the polling station to exercise their voting rights. It is a fact that some political parties and leaders had helped the illegal migrants and their offspring procure various vital documents through fraudulent means to enroll their names in the NRC. Who could these political parties and leaders be but those in the AIUDF and those allying with them? Moreover, who were the people who had opposed eviction of encroachers from Kaziranga National Park? Who were the self-styled intellectuals of Assam who had opposed eviction of encroachers from Kaziranga and from the hills and wetlands of Guwahati city? Who were the people who oppose eviction of encroachers from river-beds, reserve forests and other government land? Who are the people who now want to provide land patta to people occupying – encroaching upon – government land? These are things the right-thinking and patriotic people should keep in mind while casting their votes. The patriotic and right-thinking people should also keep in mind that the Supreme Court had described infiltration to Assam as a silent demographic invasion. Patriotic and right-thinking people should keep in mind that Gen SK Sinha, a patriotic Governor of Assam, had in his famous report to the President of India in 1998 had said that a day will come when the illegal migrants who are settled in the border districts of Assam will demand merger of those districts with Bangladesh, and that they will one day cut off the Siliguri corridor that connects Assam and the Northeast with the rest of India. The NRC must be corrected, name of every illegal migrant must be removed, and name of every Indian citizen must be included at any cost. The Centre, the MHA, the RGI – all should keep these things in mind and not take a hasty decision of stopping funds to complete the NRC.

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