Skip to main content

Govt order to "declare" 20 lakh Assamese foreigners: blogger; it's conspiracy to brand 1.9 crore illegal citizens: CJP

An NRC office in Assam
By Our Representative
Will a whopping 20 lakh Assamese be declared foreigners? In a significant blog, senior Guwahati lawyer Aman Wadud, referring to the May 2, 2018 order of the State Coordinator of the National Register of Citizens (NRC) – signed by Prateek Haleja, IAS, in charge of home and political department, and state coordinator of NRC – has apprehended that stage has been already prepared exactly for this.
The order, sent to officials looking after the job of scrutinizing citizenship across all the state’s districts, citing an year-old judgment of the Guwahati High Court, insists on the need to “make references” of not just those who had entered Assam after the cutoff date, March 25, 1971, but also their siblings, i.e. “such persons, namely, brothers, sisters and other family members”, wanting their citizenship should also be kept “pending.”
Suggesting that the order contradicts the provision of the Citizenship Act, 1955 and other Rules, Wadud says, Sec 3 (1)(a) of the Act “states that every person born in India on or after January 26, 1950, but before July 1, 1987 shall be a citizen of India by birth.”
Based on this, Wadud argues, “Now even if a person is declared as ‘foreigner’, his siblings might have born in India before July 1, 1987, which makes them a citizen of India by birth.”
According to Wadud, “There are many cases where one member of a family is declared as ‘foreigner’ and the same tribunal has declared their siblings as Indian citizens. So keeping the names of siblings of so-called foreigners pending in NRC is illegal and contradictory to relevant statutes.”
Wadud argues, so far, there are around 80,000 persons who have been declared “foreigners”.
“Let’s assume, on an average a so-called foreigner has four siblings. That makes a total of 3.2 lakh siblings. Along with the declared ‘foreigners’, this makes up a total of four lakh people.”
“The family members of these four lakh people will include their children and grandchildren. On an average at least six family members of each person (considering higher fertility rate among poor and illiterate people who have been declared foreigners) thus it makes over two million people!”
Contradicting the NRC order, Wadud says, the Guwahati High Court, its order vide order dated May 2, 2017, only asked “the jurisdictional Superintendent of Police (B) to enquire into the status of the brothers, sisters and other family members of the declared foreigners and, thereafter, to make a reference to the competent Foreigners’ Tribunal.”
But, says Wadud, the tribunal order dated May 2, 2018 “equates the siblings and family members of declared ‘foreigners’ with D-voters aka Doubtful Voters”, a term coined by the Election Commission of India in 1997 to identify “any voter whose citizenship documents appeared to be inadequate”.
Meanwhile, a human rights organization, Citizens for Justice and Peace (CJP), has in an online petition has apprehended that the whole game is “one of a conspiracy of ‘othering’ and exclusion.” Asking people to sign the petition, which is to be sent to the Supreme Court of India, says that, in all,”3.29 crore people from 68.27 lakh families in Assam have submitted over 6.5 crore documents with the NRC to prove their Indian citizenship.”
CJP underscores, “But the NRC recently published a list of only 1.9 crore as legal citizens. A huge number of 1.39 crore Assamese, almost all Muslim, are under threat of having their legitimate citizenship revoked.”
It continues, “Imagine your citizenship being revoked. You find yourself suddenly stateless, without not just a home but also the right to call a country your home. You are condemned to soul-crushing poverty, you cannot earn a livelihood, cannot send your children to school!”, insisting, “Proof of citizenship is just a “tool of exclusion.”

Comments

PRATEEK HAJELA, IAS, STATE COORDINATOR, NRC, ASSAM said…
NRC update in the state of Assam was ordered by the Hon'ble Supreme Court of India in their orders issued in 2013. Since then, the process is being closely monitored by the Hon'ble Supreme Court of India. NRC update is a legal process carried out in accordance with the provisions of The Citizenship Act, 1955 and The Citizenship (Registration of Citizens and Issue of National Identity Cards) Rules, 2003 with cut-off date of 24th March, 1971 decided as per Assam Accord. NRC update provides for an exhaustive, objective and transparent system of verification which gives adequate opportunity to each applicant to prove his/her eligibility for inclusion in NRC. It is worth mentioning that during the period of last 3-4 months, approximately one crore people have appeared before different verifying authorities, wherein they have been given fair opportunity to project their cases. This also proves that the public have actively participated and cooperated with the verification process. Compilation of verification results has still not completed. As such, figures of rejection projected by various persons, organisations, media etc are totally speculative in nature. The NRC authorities are absolutely confident of producing an accurate NRC that ensures inclusion of all genuine Indian citizens and exclusion of all ineligible persons.

TRENDING

Economist-editor's allegations on Narmada defamatory, baseless: Medha Patkar

Counterview Desk  In a reply directly addressed to well-known economist, journalist and columnist Swaminathan S Anklesaria Aiyar’s two articles in the Times of India (republished here and here ), calling them defamatory and wondering whether they were borne out of “ignorance or a conspiracy through political alliance”, Narmada Bachao Andolan leader Medha Pakar has said that the Narmada Sardar Saravar Project and the people's movement by adivasis, farmers, labourers, fish workers, potters and all the generations’ old communities from the river valley have suddenly come to be focused on, since the Gujarat elections are in the doorstep. She believes that while the “defamatory accusations with baseless conceptions such as ‘urban naxals’ are to be laughed at as the electoral strategic moves, one gets shocked to read the articles by a known old columnist like Swaminathan Ankalesaria Aiyar, published in a reputed daily like the Times of India." According to her, Aiyar’s two articl

Corporate-political party nexus? Rise and rise of Gautam Adani under Modi regime

By Sandeep Pandey*  In last five years Rs 10,09,510 crore taken as loans by various companies from banks in India have been declared as Non Performing Assets, an euphemism for writing them off. Out of this State Bank of India alone wrote off Rs 2,04,486 crore. Only about 13% of the total written off amount was recovered. Identity of the defaulting borrowers, most of whom are influential corporates, is not revealed. Compare this to the loans taken by farmers. The names of defaulting farmers is displayed on walls in tehsil offices to shame them and some unlucky ones also land up in lock-ups there. On the contrary, a few corporate defaulters have fled the country and quite curiously the authorities didn’t seize their passports like they do with some dissenting intellectuals or activists booked under mostly false cases. Now consider the donations received by political parties in the form of electoral bonds. The identity of the donor need not be revealed even to the Election Commission or i

Facing tough times, Rajasthan's Raika herders hold first-ever camel cheese festival

By Rosamma Thomas*  During the pandemic, the annual Pushkar camel fair in Rajasthan did not occur for fear of contagion; in 2022, it was called off again as lumpy skin disease affected cattle. At Sadri in Pali district, however, festivity continues – a two-day Camel Cheese Festival was held on November 23 and 24, 2022. Visitors spent time with the camel herds and their Raika, drank camel-milk tea with the herders and then returned to lunch at the Kumbhalgarh Camel Dairy, from where the Kumbhalgarh Fort is visible, to taste camel cheese. The Raika herders have been facing a tough time – camels are no longer used as much for transport or agriculture in Rajasthan. The animals have limited utility, but their milk is prized. Camel Charisma, the dairy at Kumbhalgarh, sends camel milk across the country to people who use it in therapy – for autistic children, improved blood sugar levels, or even to treat cancer. It is believed that the health benefits of the camel milk is because the animals

'Extremist' US Hindu global group funding hate against Indian Churches: NGO groups

Counterview Desk  As many as 14 civil rights and faith-based organizations in co-signing a letter to the US Senators, Representatives, State Governor, and other elected officials have demanded the FBI, Internal Revenue Service (IRS), and Department of Justice should investigate into Texas-based organization Global Hindu Heritage Foundation (GHHF) a fundraiser campaign for demolishing churches in India. Co-signed by Federation of Indian American Christian Organization in North America (FIACONA), North American Church of God, Southern Methodist University (SMU) Human Rights Program, Amnesty International - Dallas, World Without Genocide, Center for Pluralism, Genocide Watch, The Indian American Muslim Council (IAMC), Limitless Church, Justice for All, Hindu for Human Rights, North Texas Peace Advocates, Good Citizens of DFW, and the North Texas Islamic Council, the letter has been sent to Senators John Cornyn and Ted Cruz; Representatives Michael C Burgess, Pat Fallon, Van Taylor, Terr

Carbon abatement to tackle climate change: India's failure has 'outpaced' its success

By Satorupa Karmakar*  On November 01, 2021, India took a pledge of reaching a carbon-zero stage by 2070, at the COP-26 held in Glasgow, UK. As ‘ambitious’ and dubious it may sound to some, with a short-term delay in renewable energy generation (which gained the pace post-September 2020) and drastic fall in greenhouse gas (GHG) emission level as COVID-19 emerged as a ‘necessary evil’ , the path of India’s clean energy mission could be seen being paved throughout this time. Currently ranked as the third largest GHG emitter in the world, India is projected to demand more energy in coming years due to a large population base (1.3 billion as per 2011 Census data) and primarily coal-based fast-growing economy. Rapid industrialisation in post-colonial developing countries like India, stimulated by a larger and cheaper pool of fossil fuels and labour-force depicted a continuous upsurge in temperature, heavy precipitation in some places with an overall declining rainfall and a burgeoning soc

BJP-RSS trap opposition in 'futile row' around Savarkar, freedom movement

By Prem Singh*  Everything in this article is just a repetition. I have been saying all this since 1991-92. It is obvious that the Congress and the RSS/BJP do not like my ideas. But most socialists, advocates of social justice and communists also dislike my thoughts. I watch their measures and efforts to deal with the present crisis with interest. I respect them and also participate. Yet, the fact it, we fall behind again and again, and the crisis goes ahead. Instead of being a solution-providers, we are seen to be a part of the crisis. How long will this last? Perhaps, if the new generation thinks differently, things may turn for better! 1 To say that modern Indian society and politics are passing through the deepest crisis ever will surely be a repetition. The crisis is deeper than the spreading of communal hatred we witness around us. In fact, the business of communal hatred is flourishing by taking its manure and water from the deep crisis. The crisis of neo-colonial slavery is pro

Demand to withdraw 'anti-environment, anti-adivasi' forest conservation rules 2022

By Gopinath Majhi*  The Campaign for Survival and Dignity (CSD), Odisha, a coalition of adivasis and forest dwellers’ organisations, has sent a memorandum to the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) raising serious concerns over Forest (Conservation) Rules, 2022, notified by the Centre on June 29.  Contending that recent amendments and a host of executive orders/guidelines issued by the ministry undermine and dilute the FRA and threaten the rights of adivasis and forest dwellers, CSD demands that the 2022 FC Rules should be rescinded forthwith. Demanding withdrawal of such anti-people and anti-environment rules CSD Odisha organised a protest Dharana in front of State Assembly today on 25th November 2022 and submitted memorandums to the Hon’ble Governor of Odisha, Chief Secretary and Commissioner-cum-Secretary, ST & SC Development Department for conveying our concerns against the FC Rules 2022 to the Central Government for its withdrawal. The memorandums w

GM mustard not swadeshi, it's a patent of MNC Bayer, GoI 'misleading' SC: Modi told

Counterview Desk  In a representation to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, as many as 42 farmers’ organisations though their representatives , backed by senior scientists and experts, have said that the Government of India (GoI) should stop misleading the Supreme Court “with untrue and incorrect” statements on GM mustard. Insisting that India does not need unsafe GM mustard, in their representation, they urged the Supreme Court to order immediate uprooting of GM mustard crop in various locations. The representation comes even as a penal of experts, coming down heavily on the GoI for refusing to see how in less than a week’s time the pollen from GM mustard will “start contaminating” non-GM mustard fields with transgenes, including male sterility and herbicide tolerant traits. Alleging that the GoI is actively misleading the Supreme Court with untrue and incorrect statements on GM mustard, Kavitha Kuruganti of the Coalition for a GM-Free India said, “We can list at least five areas where Gov

Shedding Hindu-Hindi-Hindustan? New Modi-Shah love for Tamil Nadu 'ignores' Periyar

By Sandeep Pandey*   The Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS) or the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) have long argued for ‘Hindu-Hindi-Hindustan’, which into recent years has translated into a crisper English expression: ‘One Nation-One Religion-One Language’. Given this backdrop, it is curious that the BJP government has organised the Kashi Tamil Sangamam in Varanasi, the Prime Minister’s constituency. Why did the BJP and RSS feel the need for such an event? All Narendra Modi events are highly publicised and have multiple political objectives. It is never an innocuous religious/cultural event as it may appear from the face of it. Afterall, RSS calls itself a cultural organisation, but has never ceased to surprise us with its political designs. Tamil Nadu has a long history of opposing imposition of Hindi by Union governments. Periyar EV Ramasamy had opposed the idea of compulsory teaching in Hindi as far back as in 1937. The 1960s witnessed violent protests against Hindi in which a number

Never-ending saga of sin tax: What if murder is taxed at Rs 1 crore, rape at Rs 5 crore?

By Moses Raj GS, Sangeetha Thomas*  What should have ended by June 30, 2022 as a 5 year experiment has resurfaced. The government has extended the levy of GST compensation cess by another 4 years till March 31, 2026. This cess, dubbed as the sin tax imposed on sin(ful) goods, is double the highest slab on indirect taxes. But only a few pay for it and the majority benefit, unendingly. The year 2017 is a landmark year for indirect taxes. With the grand idea of ‘One Nation, One Tax’ as a fiscal slogan subsuming all State based taxes such as octroi /entry tax, Value Added Tax (VAT), sales tax, taxes on lottery, betting and gambling, luxury tax, purchase tax, entertainment tax, property tax, professional tax and central sales tax into a single framework of Goods and Services Tax (GST) changed the contours of revenue collection. Complicating it further, India, with each State having its own size and revenue problems, has the most complex and highly centralised indirect tax structure in the w