CAA-NPR-NRC: A Three-in-One Assault on Indians

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Tamil Nadu Thowheed Jamath activists march towards Raj Bhavan protesting against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) 2019 and National Register Citizens (NRC), in Chennai on Dec 28, 2019. — IANS

Read NPR Manual and save yourself from Jumlas

M. Burhanuddin Qasmi | Caravan Daily

THE NATIONAL Population Register (NPR) exercise is about to begin across the country from April 2020. A thorough reading of the NPR Manual along with the Citizenship Act 2003 and its 2019 Amendment gives a you clear understanding as to what these are  — and why you will need to oppose these without Jumlas from anyone.

On the one side, the top BJP leadership says the BJP government didn’t utter the word National Register of Citizens (NRC) ever since the party came to power in 2014 and there is no relationship between the NRC and NPR. This claim is utterly false and misleading.

The present National Population Register (NPR) is NRC in a different format. It is entirely different from what it was during the UPA period. The government will seek documents during the NPR, as also verify and crosscheck them. The NPR officials will be entitled to decide about your citizenship and make an entry into the NPR. They will also put a mark D (as ‘doubtful’) against entries if they so feel. This is a red signal.

Assam is exempted from NPR because an NRC exercise was recently conducted, which, as a matter of fact, took 19 lakh residents out of the National Register of Citizens (NRC) list. If NPR is not NRC, then a question is, why was Assam not included in the NPR? Is Assam not part of India?

The BJP-led government is campaigning to make people believe that there is no link between the NRC & NPR, and that the CAA is just an exercise to “give citizenship, not take it away”. In Assam, 19 lakh citizens are already in deep trouble.

CAA may help five lakh illegal Bangladeshis in India to gain citizenship as refugees, but the remaining 14 lakh who are from all religions such as Muslim, Hindu, Christian etc and from all classes such as Dalit, Tribal and even the indigenous people of Assam are left out, requiring of them to prove their citizenship in special courts styled as foreigners’ tribunals.

If they cannot prove their citizenship in the FTs, then their ultimate destination will be detention camps; and all their belongings and properties will be confiscated. This is what is stated in the Citizenship Act as well as the Foreigners’ Act of India — and in clear, black and white.

The BJP-led government and its paid trolls including the established media are out to teach us about CAA, NRC and NPR in a doctored manner — as if the whole of India is made of a bunch of fools influenced by those who spread misleading information.

Let’s do a simple thing, and there is no need to listen to anybody. No more of jumals please, just read for yourself the NPR manual along with the Citizenship Act 2003, its amendment in 2019 and the Citizenship Act 1955. Try to figure out who is a foreigner and who is a citizen of India as per the Constitution of India. All these things are available online. Please read, form your own opinion and take your own decision as to whether India needed a new law, which went against the Constitution. This is because CAA is anti-Constitutional and CAA is anti-national. Therefore, we reject CAA; and India is firmly against CAA.

Remember, we had a Citizenship Act 1955 which gives citizenship without being biased or communal, without discrimination against any religion. We have offered citizenship to many people in the last more than 65 years; those who were genuinely in need, who could meet the set criteria of being Indian; and we may do so in future too, remaining committed to the tenets of our secular and democratic Constitution. In fact, there was –or there is — no issue at all. The issue, rather, is that the present government is offering Indian Citizenship to illegal immigrants from three Muslim majority countries and at the same time bent on putting millions of its own citizens in deep trouble through the NPR, the NRC and the CAA. This is a ‘three in one’ and ‘one in three’ hit, if you may so understand.

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(The author is director of Markazul Ma’arif Education and Research Centre (MMERC), Mumbai and editor of Eastern Crescent, English monthly.)

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