Being NRC negative


Being NRC negative

Swapnil Bharali | July 28, 2018 16:11 hrs

A friend’s office caretaker is an “Assamese Nepali” – the same variety of people that the more famous Mani Kumar Subba is. Not too educated and without much societal clout as is expected from people of their stratum, Pradhan’s existence at the moment is shaky apparently. His name has not figured in the last draft NRC as he wasn’t able to provide an impressive “legacy” and so, is uncertain that his name will figure in the forthcoming NRC set to be published on July 30.


At the other end of the spectrum is this eminently respectable lady, a well-known and celebrated writer, currently residing in her own property in one of the posh residential localities of Guwahati. She faces the same situation as Pradhan simply because she was born in another country, grew up in Shillong because her parents were stationed there being in government service, did her college in New Delhi and never had the occasion of casting her franchise in Guwahati because her name featured in a voters’ list elsewhere. In short, her “legacy” does not feature Assam at all despite the fact that none could be more Assamese than her. It’s quite unlikely that her name will feature in the forthcoming NRC.


Now, these two examples, under no pretensions, can be considered as foreigners. Nor are they perfect cases to be referred to a Foreigners’ Tribunal. And yet, it is crystal clear that a huge number of such names will obviously be dropped from the NRC. While, Pradhan was almost panicking, the lady is confident that she cannot be uprooted from her current existence simply because of the “legacy data” binding that the NRC updation exercise was governed by. The software used was apparently not receptive to any other documents that could have been provided as proof of Indian citizenship.


Beyond July 30, the “Claims and Objections” facility that the government will provide will imminently take centre-stage. The trick for the bona fide citizens who have not been able to provide acceptable legacy data is not to panic and trust the government to come up with the requisite solution. For such people, being NRC negative is not the end of the world and they may please tackle the situation with dignified calmness. 

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