I wrote this to a friend. But I think some of you who are still confused about the whole CAB/NRC/NPR issue, either due to Govt’s counter propaganda or just a heap of misinformation floating around, might want to read it. It’s my own research. Feel free to differ with the conclusions. But pay attention to the events.
1. The story of NRC begins with Assam. During the end of british rule a lot of migration began to happen to Assam due to its geography, weather etc. Mostly bengali traders started to settle there. That started the discord among locals which brewed till the 70s. It peaked post 71 when around bangladesh creation (1971) a lot of refugees (Hindu and Muslim) from bangladesh started coming into Assam. Many places the local started to get outnumbered.
2. Things came to a boil in 1985 when World’s Largest Student Movement happened in Assam under the leadership of Prafulla Mahant, student leader and future boss of Assam Gan Parishad (AGP) and Chief Minister. Separatist groups like ULFA (United Liberation Front of Assam) also got violent around the same time.
3. That’s when the first major step was taken by the Indian govt under Rajiv Gandhi. Where the Indian govt and Assam leaders signed what was called the ASSAM ACCORD. In this certain promises were made to Assamese people how the state will get rid of the illegals through a process.
4. Now getting rid of illegals is a very complicated process. With such a large open border, it’s even difficult to implement. So it was decided that we need a process that can identify who is an outsider. The process was NRC. The idea was let everyone prove their citizenship in Assam through documents. Those who could show documents upto 71 will be deemed citizens, rest will be illegals.
5. The fundamental problem in such an exercise is in the rural areas, among the unorganised sectors (farm labourers, dihadi mazdoors etc) people don’t normally have documents. So that exercise was always going to be chaotic. Which is perhaps why the previous governments kept delaying the NRC process. Though to be absolutely fair, the Congress was also using a lot of illegals as a vote bank.
6. When BJP came into power they saw an opportunity to make inroads into Assam politically by doing NRC. Doing the propaganda in Assam that we are going to filter out the illegals from Assam. BJP even managed to crack Assam in elections based on these promises.
7. Trouble started when actual NRC process started being implemented. More than 50000 civil servants were employed, the most cumbersome beaureaucratic process of documentation, identification and detention followed in Assam.
8. Almost 3 crore enrolled for NRC. Bouyant that the NRC will throw up a lot of muslim illegals, Amit Shah even tom tommed in parliament how not just Assam but the entire country was going to go through NRC. That was the first warning bell.
9. BJP knew that their bread amd butter the Ram temple issue was going to be obsolete soon. They saw in NRC their next Ram temple that can keep the pot boiling for next 20 years.
10. But Assam threw a spanner into their plans. As many as 19 lakh of 3 crore (7 percent) were identified as illegal! But guess what, only 5 lakhs were muslim, rest were all largely Bengali Hindus. It’d have been a suicide in Bengal - BJP’s next big target destination after Gujarat and UP - if they had proceeded with the implementation of the NRC result. So the entire process that cost 1600 crore was scrapped and it was decided to do a fresh NRC later!
11. Now how do you avoid putting NRC in cold storage forever. It’s too creamy an issue for BJP to let go of. How do you make sure that only muslims get kicked out under this. That’s when the CAB was envisioned or revisioned.
12. There is already the Citizenship Act in the constitution (1950). It clearly defines who is a citizen of this country. Unlike many countries in the west India does not have a provision in constitution to offer citizenship to refugees. They get to stay as refugees, but are not given a chance to become citizens even after having lived here for generations. Case in point, Tibetan buddhists.
13. The CAB proposes to make this vital change in the Citizenship Act. Now it’s a noble humanitarian gesture from a state to grant citizenship to refugees, however in case of the CAB, it violates one basic tenet of our constitution. It discriminates between refugees based on religion.
14. The moment this amendment is allowed, we break the very basic premise of partition. India had always opposed Jinnah’s two nation theory that Pakistan is a land for Muslims and India for Hindus. Our great leaders chose India to remain a secular nation with no religious identity or state religion.
15. But the RSS, though always abusing Jinnah, are his closest allies. They agree and they believe that India is a Hindu nation and others can live here with that acceptance. Like how Hindu and other minorities live in Pakistan knowing its clear identity as an Islamic nation. A sort of what we call as second class citizenship.
16. The intent of the CAB is to automatically safeguard the multi million hindus without documents when NRC comes. It’s the muslims, their intended targets, who will be made to run from pillars to post to prove their citizenship.
17. For the layman BJP’s narrative is simple - we are only giving shelter to the Hindus who are persecuted in our neighbourhood. “If Hindus are not protected by India, then where they will?” That’s the innocent line behind the evil design.
18. If we were so concerned about refugees in neighbourhood, why not allow the Rohingya muslims in Burma who are actually minority and getting massacred by a brutal Buddhist military regime. But NO, why would we give shelter to Muslims!
19. The basic idea is to disenfranchise a lot of Muslim voters who constitute at least 15 to 20 percent of opposition vote.
20. And then to keep the pot boiling. Riots are happening in UP. It will eventually help the Yogi govt consolidate in UP like it happened in Gujarat.
21. But its the rest of the country where the BJP is in trouble now. They didn’t expect this kind of backlash. The PM was forced to scream at a rally that NO NRC is being discussed, even though Amit Shah had brazenly said this in the parliament. These gentlemen were just riding high on the fact that the public is allowing them to get away with almost everything - demonetisation, removing 370 in kashmir, putting the state in lockdown.
22. NRC was meant as a solution only for the Assamese who want to protect and preserve their own identity. The Ahomiyas are opposing CAA because it legalises lakhs of illegal Bangladeshi Hindus and Muslims. Their fight was never against any particular community.
23. To do NRC in the whole country is a Tughlaq level idea. Impractical, impossible, chao creator. Just one small state cost it 1600 crore. Imagine over the whole country. A chaos thousand times bigger than the demonetisation.
24. Only these gentlemen can come up with such ideas. To divide and divert from the core issue. Which is that our economy is failing.
25. These are Nazi tactics. NRC is nothing but Nuremburg Laws updated for India. What people don’t understand is, under this bill, ANYONE WITHOUT A DOCUMENT is an illegal and an infiltrator whether you are from here or not. It makes a mockery of a thousand other cards we were made to make as identity.