The final National Register of Citizens, popularly known as the NRC for the state of Assam is all set to be released on 31st August. The long standing demand of the indigenous people of Assam, which had been ignored by successive governments all these years, was fulfilled by the Modi government in its first tenure. The NRC aims to identify illegal settlers of the state and exclude their name from the register, hence making them liable to face the proceedings of the foreigner’s tribunal which will then decide upon the veracity of their status in India. NRC in Assam is India’s first and largest exercise to diversify between actual Indian citizens and illegal immigrants, mainly from Bangladesh. Following the fulfilment of this demand by the Modi government, Assam has been calm as compared to the pre-2014 era. The government has set up NRC Seva Kendras in each district of the state, along with several hearing centres in these districts. Each such Kendra looks after the inhabitants of 2500 households in the region. The NRC updation process is both offline as well as digitised.
As mentioned already, 31st August is the date when the final NRC list will be published. This has caused many left-leaning portals and media establishments to indulge in utter hogwash in the context of NRC. With merely three days remaining, these portals and media outlets have begun publishing opinion pieces which paint the entire NRC process of Assam in bad light, while some have even gone on to indicate that all this is a precursor to a Jewish-like holocaust in India.
The media is orchestrating an anti- NRC narrative, perhaps to cause unrest in the country, particularly in Assam, which has been unusually peaceful for some time now, except for the anti-Citizenship Bill protests last year.
The infamous leftist portal, The Wire did not mince its words to criticise the NRC exercise. In an article titled ‘In the idea of an All-India NRC, echoes of Reich Citizenship Law’, by one Nizam Pasha. In it, the author draws a parallel between the NRC and the German Reich Law which Hitler used to distinguish roughly between German Christians and Jews. This law formed the cornerstone of identifying those who did not have the ‘pure blood’, and hence became a precursor of the Holocaust. According to the author, a similar situation is being witnessed in India. The Wire, known for spreading fake news and half cooked stories has not shied from offering itself as a platform for propaganda yet again. In the article, one cannot help but notice how important facts have clearly been ignored. The author goes hard on the Supreme Court for not handling the issue of NRC before Triple Talaq. It almost sounds as though he is annoyed at how Triple Talaq was given more importance over NRC. What the author does not mention, and what the editors at The Wire did not add, is that the entire process of NRC updation is being directly monitored and supervised by the Supreme Court, Hence, to draw a parallel between India and Nazi Germany, to obviously establish a parallel between Modi and Hitler, looks all too infantile. To add on to this childish rant, the Citizenship Amendment Bill too is brought in to spice things up. Though the bill has not been passed by the Parliament, the author claims that NRC and CAB will together be used to disenfranchise Muslims. This funny conclusion was arrived at after the author realised that NRC was not being exercised on the basis of religion. Hence, to add the angle of religion, he only thought it fit to bring in the Citizenship Amendment Bill.
The Scroll meanwhile covered a story about some children not being included in the draft NRC. The Scroll attempts to make the reader think that since the names of these children are not included in the draft NRC, they might face immediate deportation or detention in something called a detention camp, which The Wire compared these camps with the Nazi concentration camps. What we are not told is that the persons whose names do not show up in the NRC will get a hearing at the Foreigners Tribunal, the decision of which can be challenged both at the High Court as well as the Supreme Court.
The Quint, famous for being a messiah for Pakistanis to further their anti-India propaganda did a story about how a family met with an accident after returning from an NRC hearing from Golaghat district of Assam. The Quint attempted to pin the blame of the accident, in which two lives were lost, on the NRC exercise itself. The family had received a notice for a Hearing to take place 300 km’s from the victims’ residence.
The Hindu carried a story about some shoddy survey conducted by a particular ‘National Campaign Against Torture’, NCAT which claimed that 89% of those who were excluded from the draft NRC suffered from ‘mental torture’. A quick google search about this survey, or the agency NCAT, yielded no results. However, the catch is actually in the sample size of the survey. A whooping of 91 respondents were surveyed! Yes, that’s huge! [41 lakh people had been excluded from the draft NRC. The Hindu thought it best to carry a story about a survey with a sample size of 91 though.]
All being said, it is worthy to be mentioned that in an exercise of this magnitude, errors are bound to creep in, which can be rectified. It is also unfortunate that genuine Indian citizens were excluded from the drafts. However, the media’s attempt to show an apocalypse and end-of-time situation is outrightly condemnable. Not that we should expect any better from this section of the media, however they just don’t stop stooping to new lows, abandoning any modicum of decency which they should be having.