NRC or National Register of Citizens is a register containing names of all genuine Indian Citizens, in this case, Indian citizens residing in Assam.

 

Background of the Issue:

 

NRC is being updated by order of the Supreme Court in wake of agitations pertaining to demand of addressing illegal migrants issue in Assam.

 

There has been consistent migration of people, first from East Pakistan, since Independence, the issue compounded during creation of Bangladesh when millions of refugees entered India during 1971 war.

 

Even after creation of Bangladesh illegal immigration continued due to economic and political issues in Bangladesh. This led to conflict between native population of Assam and Bangladeshi immigrants leading to Assam movement of 1980s which culminated in Assam Accord of 1985.

 

Assam Accords mandated that migrants who entered state after 24th March 1971 should be identified and deported. So on Supreme Court’s order, NRC is being updated to identify illegal immigrants.

 

This is further creating following issues:

 

  • The updation is being politically exploited with several negative consequences.
  • Relations between India and Bangladesh are being negatively affected as Bangladesh denies immigrants being their citizens.
  • There has been exclusion and inclusion errors. Families have been separated, even some legislators do not have their name in updated register.
  • Harassments on charges of being an illegal immigrants are being witnessed.
  • Even mob violence cases have been witnessed.
  • Many people who are genuine Indian citizens do not have proper documentation, these people are facing issues of inclusion.
  • The officials preparing the draft are being accused of being biased.

 

Even after completion, question arises regarding what would happen to illegal migrants, would also raise questions on Indian democracy and our image abroad which would in turn affect our participation in global institutions.

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