Agroup of special rapporteurs of the United Nations has raised questions on the process of updating the National Register of Citizens (NRC) in a letter to the External Affairs Minister of India. This is rather surprising not merely because letters of protest on the internal affairs of any member country of the United Nations are not commonly encountered, and the locus standi of the rapporteurs to raise questions on such internal matters of any sovereign country (unless the help of the United Nations is formally sought) can well be called to question. In any case, the principal objection of the rapporteurs of the UN appears to be that there is no official policy outlining the implications of the updated NRC for those who will be excluded from the final NRC. According to the letter in question, they will be treated as foreigners and that their citizenship rights may be revoked in the absence of a prior trial. What seems to be abundantly clear is that the UN rapporteurs have mistaken the illegal migrants from Bangladesh to be Indian citizens. This could well be the outcome of illegal migrants from Bangladesh successfully pretending to be aggrieved Indian nationals who are being treated as what they really are—foreigners. The United Nations rapporteurs would do well to bear in mind that these are matters on which mere rapporteurs of the UN have very little to do unless the country in question has actually approached the UN for help. They should be informed that the Supreme Court had ordered the updating of the NRC and that the apex court has been monitoring the work much better than unauthorized and uninformed rapporteurs of the United Nations can ever hope to do. UN rapporteurs will do well to realize that they have no business to meddle in the internal affairs of any member nation of the UN unless the help of the UN has been formally sought.
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EDITORIAL • NATIONAL NEWS
July 15, 2019
D.C. Pathak (The writer is a former Director Intelligence Bureau. The views expressed are personal. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org) India’s...