Skip to main content

CAA-NPR-NRC will 'target' 99% homeless, who are without birth certificates: NCU

Counterview Desk
Claiming to base on a survey in five states (Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu), which finds that over 99% of the homeless people do not have birth certificates, a civil rights organization which networks activists, researchers, urban practioners, lawyers, informal sector workers, has claimed that the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), as also the proposed National Register of Citizens (NRC) and the National Population Register (NPR), are likely to adversely impact this section the most.
Calling CAA-NPR-NRC “anti-constitutional”, the National Coalition for Inclusive and Sustainable Urbanisation (NCU) in a statement said that “the CAA-NRC-NPR will directly target unorganized sector workers, homeless people, migrant workers, basti dwellers, transgender persons”, adding, since most of these people do not have birth certificates, the NRC-NPR-CAA is a “dangerous proposition” for them.

Text:

India has been going through tumultuous times. The massive inequities in Indian cities are best highlighted by a recent Oxfam report. Shockingly, just 63 billionaires have more money than the entire budget of the government of India. This disparity is mirrored in asset holdings in cities.
The difference between the top 10 per cent and the bottom ten per cent is 50,000 times in Indian cities! This is further accentuated by the huge informality that exists in urban India-93 per cent. This exposes the extreme vulnerabilities faced by urban population.
These inequities have become especially starker since 2014, because of the NDA government’s anti-people and anti-poor policies, which have imposed untold hardships on all marginalised sections of society, especially Dalits, Adivasis, Muslims, Women and Minorities. The constituent members of the NCU have been at the forefront in trying to combat the adverse consequences of these myopic policies across the length and breadth of the nation.
Some of the more visible issues include inaccessible education, denial of housing and other essential public services, illegal evictions under the false pretence of constructing world class cities and through the government’s flagship programmes such as the Smart City Initiative, Swachh Bharat Mission, Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojna, Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation etc. All of these collectively target only certain classes, castes and minority communities.
These issues are even more starkly felt in numerous cities in Jammu & Kashmir and the North-East, where the NDA’s unconstitutional mandates, norms and repressive practices have further accentuated these problems. These policies cumulatively impinge upon our right to the city, which a recent high court judgment held as a fundamental right.
The NDA’s brazen threat to impose the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, the National Register of Citizens and the National Population Register (CAA-NRC-NPR) despite widespread opposition, including from 11 state governments further exacerbates the problems faced by the urban poor.
We at the NCU are deeply concerned that the CAA-NRC-NPR will directly target unorganized sector workers, homeless people, migrant workers, basti dwellers, transgender persons. For example, the enumeration process of the proposed NRC-NPR will adversely impact the 1.77 million homeless people in India. 
Furthermore, our own surveys in just five states (Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu) reveal that on average, 99% of all homeless people do not have their own birth certificates, which in the context of NRC-NPR-CAA becomes a dangerous proposition. 
The assumption that everyone living in India is an illegal immigrant until proven otherwise is patently unconstitutional, violates the inalienable rights of millions of Indians
Moreover, 30 percent of urban homeless population do not have any identity proof. Similarly, there are a number of Nomadic and De-Notified Tribes, as well as migrants driven by rural distress who do not possess and will not be able to furnish the requisite documentation that the NRC-NPR process will undoubtedly expect. 
The NCU firmly believes that the burden of proof of citizenship should not fall on citizens but on the State. In other words, the government cannot begin with the assumption that “everyone living in India is an illegal immigrant until proven otherwise”. This is patently unconstitutional and violates the inalienable rights of millions of Indians.
The cost of implementing the NPR and the NRC must also be taken into consideration. The estimated cost of preparing the NRC, based on the experience of Assam will be Rs 55,000 crore. These precious funds should be diverted towards health, employment and education of the most vulnerable inhabitants of the country.
The detention camps under construction at a nationwide cost of Rs 220,000 crore should be stopped and the precious funds should be diverted to the health facilities, employment and education of the most vulnerable inhabitants of the country.
In these perilous times, seeing the imminent danger to the urban poor, which includes more than 6.5 crore slum dwellers, 93% of India’s labour force which is in the informal sector, and innumerable other vulnerable groups, it is vital to express solidarity with these groups, and stand steadfastly with them in this time of uncertainty.
Therefore, we as urban practitioners and concerned citizens of India unequivocally reject the CAA-NRC-NPR and extend solidarity with millions of conscientious Indians who are courageously opposing it in various forms.

Comments

TRENDING

Modi, Shah 'forget': Gandhi’s first Satyagraha was against citizenship law of South Africa

By Nachiketa Desai*
Hindu fanatic Nathuram Godse assassinated Mahatma Gandhi once on January 30, 1948 but his followers raising the war cry of ‘Jai Sriram’ are killing the Mahatma every day. In his home state of Gujarat, Gandhiji was killed a thousand times in 2002 when over 2,000 Muslims were butchered, their women raped, homes and shops plundered and set on fire and even unborn babies ripped out of the wombs of their mothers.

Union Budget 'moves away' from Right to Education, 1.3 lakh schools closed down

By Dr Aparajita Sharma*
It was a shocking reply by the Union human resource development minister to a question raised in Parliament on closure of schools in a country where lakhs of children are still out of school. On December 2, the minister, Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’, told Lok Sabha that the NITI Aayog’s education project, Sath-E, has led to 35,996 schools of different levels being merged in Madhya Pradesh, 4,312 in Jharkhand and 1,803 in Odisha. NITI Aayog is the Central Government’s policy think-tank.

Modi 'warned': Will not remain silent when women are labelled terrorists and traitors

Counterview Desk
As many as 13 women's rights organizations and 162 individuals have issued an open letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi stating that in the light of hate speeches during Delhi elections, especially directed against women, it is his "Constitutional duty to protect all citizens" and tell his partymen "to fight the elections in a manner that upholds the Constitution, not one that increases the fear and insecurity among women."

Savarkar 'criminally betrayed' Netaji and his INA by siding with the British rulers

By Shamsul Islam*
RSS-BJP rulers of India have been trying to show off as great fans of Netaji. But Indians must know what role ideological parents of today's RSS/BJP played against Netaji and Indian National Army (INA). The Hindu Mahasabha and RSS which always had prominent lawyers on their rolls made no attempt to defend the INA accused at Red Fort trials.

Savarkar in Ahmedabad 'declared' two-nation theory in 1937, Jinnah followed 3 years later

By Our Representative
One of the top freedom fighters whom BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi revere the most, Vinayak Damodar Savarkar, was also a great supporter of the two nation theory for India, one for Hindus another for Muslims, claims a new expose on the man who is also known to be the original proponent of the concept of Hindutva.

Mystery around Gujarat PSU 'transfer' of Rs 250 crore to Canadian firm Karnalyte

By AK Luke, IAS (Retd)*
While returning from a Board meeting of the Oil India Limited (OIL) in Ahmedabad some time in 2012, two officers of the Gujarat State Fertilizers and Chemicals Ltd (GSFC), Nanavaty and Patel,  saw me off at the airport. They said they were proceeding to Canada in connection with a project GSFC had entered into with a company there. As we were running late, I hastily wished them the best.

Anti-CAA: Mallika Sarabhai joins students, faculty to protest dy CM's 'divisive' talk

By Our Representative
Taking strong exception to deputy chief minister Nitin Patel’s statement against those protesting against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and the proposed National Register of Citizens (NRC), well-known danseuse Mallika Sarabhai has joined tens of activists and students and faculty of Gujarat University, CEPT University, Indian Institute of Management-Ahmedabad, Gujarat Vidyapeeth and Nirma University to say that they are seeking “azadi” from the fascist and communal forces of the country.

Law 'governing' world's tallest Statue of Unity refers to local tribals as occupiers

By Rohit Prajapati, Krishnakant*
The recently enacted Statue of Unity (SoU) Area Development and Tourism Governance Act, 2019 in Gujarat comes amidst a terrifying atmosphere of intimidation, house arrests, detentions and FIRs, not to mention the overarching implementation of Section 144 across the state.