Cleaning up the mess from 20 years ago

Thursday, 25 February 2021



Cleaning up the mess from 20 years ago

Sidharth Bedi Varma | April 28, 2018 16:26 hrs

What will the NRC deliver? What will be the authenticity of the document in its final form? These questions have plagued the minds of the people in the state for quite some time now.


For one, identification of ‘non-citizens’ is very volatile right now. There is still a big question mark as to how the legacy data is being used to identify a citizen. A couple of days back, the news reported that a 150 member family had used the legacy data of one person to verify their citizenship. While I’m not saying that this is illegal, imagine how tedious the task might have been. One mistake and that’s 150 additional people given citizenship rights.


However, Assam’s skewed up demography has happened over time and largely because the appropriate state machineries failed to ‘follow up.’ This calls for intense work at the NRC office.


Internal sources revealed that there are cases where the Foreigners’ Tribunal (FT) had identified possible foreigners and registered cases against them back in 1998. It was then that other machineries like the Police, Election Commission and other civic bodies had to follow up with the ‘suspect’ and then have them prove their citizenship. However, going by the reports and case numbers, the police in several cases followed up with these ‘suspects’ only sometime in 2016-2017. 


Now in this gap of almost 20 years, did the police think that the foreigner would not try and settle in, get a job, start a family? Of course not, the state machineries certainly knew and while keeping their mouths shut, made some money out of it. The foreigners’ in these 20 years have assimilated among the general population. 


How is the current NRC office expected to clean the mess with just two drafts and a seating for ‘objections and claims’?


Maybe the final draft can take a little bit more time, but it is essential that the authenticity of the document is unchallengeable. 

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