By Arun Srivastava
The exercise to verify and identify the illegal migrants residing in Assam and create the National Register of Citizens (NRC) for the state has been going on for nearly four years, and so far not less than 2 million people have been delisted. Going by the utterances and mood of the BJP leaders and ministers of Modi government it appears that the process of their deportation would start soon.
The Union government might be under legal obligation to carry out the scheme, but its implementation has exposed the deep designs to throw out the secular and anti-saffron elements from the state. It is worth mentioning that while the verification programme was in progress names of many genuine Indians, even former soldiers were dropped from the list. They had to run from pillar to post as the political parties failed to muster strength and launch a popular mass movement against this nasty design of the saffron cadres and activists.
Though The general secretary of CPI(M) Sitaram Yechury observed ; “NRC was introduced in Assam as per the Assam accord and the exercise was carried out under the supervision of the Supreme Court. But NRC cannot be extended beyond Assam and if any such attempt is made, we will resist it. It would be absolutely wrong to launch it in other states,” he could not come out with proper explanation why the party did not raise its voice in Assam to stop discriminating actions of the state’s BJP government.
Ironically the political parties, especially CPI(M) and other left and democratic forces in Assam instead of raising their voice and protesting the discriminatory action of Narendra Modi and Amit Shah have virtually been maintaining a passive posture.
Nevertheless with the Modi government and saffron brigade turning its focus on West Bengal, the CPI(M) has become proactive and have announced their intentions to take on BJP and RSS leadership head on. The polit bureau of the party recently issued a statement expressing apprehension about the nature of the entire procedure. It said “exclusion of over 1.9 million persons (in Assam) has roused legitimate fears that a large number of Indian citizens have been excluded.”
Obviously this should have motivated the CPI(M) and other left and democratic forces to have hit the streets in a massive way. They should have acted as the vanguard. The CPI(M) is of the opinion that the current procedure is inadequate to address the concerns of the excluded people and leaves too much to the discretion of the tribunals’ personnel. It is really intriguing how could the CPI(M) and other left parties failed to raise this in the early stage of the process. The demand that the Indian citizens who have not found a place in the list must not have been sent to the detention camps as it violated basic human rights.
CPI-M leaders have revealed that party workers would resist if Assam NRC -like detention camps come up in Bengal. There is no ambiguity that Modi and Shah are not following the Constitution. The guiding element has been their commitment to RSS and Hindutva.
What nature of justice Modi and Amit Shah would be doing to the families who unfortunately do not have papers to establish their identity. Already four such persons have died suffering heart attack. The state government is facing the lurking threat of eviction of such people is evident from the consistent reiteration of the chief minister Mamata Banerjee of not getting scared of Modi-Shah threat.
Worth noting that a couple of days back Sitaram Yechury had said that the National Population Register (NPR) is going to be the basis of the launch of NRC across the country. Without naming the BJP, Yechury said, “Now they (BJP) have started the National Population Register. It was going on earlier, but was discontinued after Aadhaar was universalised.
“NRC was introduced in Assam as per the Assam accord and the exercise was carried out under the supervision of the Supreme Court. But NRC cannot be extended beyond Assam and if any such attempt is made, we will resist it. It would be absolutely wrong to launch it in other states,” said Yechury at a Memorial Lecture.
BJP leadership and Modi government want to remove illegal immigrants but there is no guideline on how these people can be identified. They are simply targeting a community and indulging in polarisation. It is really a matter of disgrace that through the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill they are planning to alienate a particular community. It is a threat to the Indian Constitution and violates the basic tenets of the Constitution the fundamental rights. In India citizenship is granted not on the basis of religion but saffron people are trying to change it.
The threat of NRC implementation has already turned Bengal into a political battleground. While left is planning to take on saffron, the TMC has already moved to the battle ground. Omission of a large number of Hindu Bengalis from the National Register of Citizen (NRC) in saffron party-ruled Assam has provided enough strength to it.
The pace with which the CPI(M) has been on decline in recent times, the leadership must harden their stance on this issue. The NRC has been carried out in Assam. It was been witnessing repercussions in Bengal particularly in areas closer to the neighbouring state. At least five persons have suffered heart attack for losing their existence and identity. For people the self-identity is more important than the religion.
While for the TMC the fight for updating the NRC is an “anti-Bengali” move, the left must project it as a tool to target the secular and democratic forces. The BJP which claims to be the champion of Hindus and its rights should explain how come Hindus and Bengalis were omitted from the list. (IPA Service)