Waquar Hasan | Caravan Daily
NEW DELHI – A documentary made on the Assam NRC (National Register of Citizen) titled “Stateless – An unconventional story of New India” has brought up the pain and sufferings of those who have been excluded from the final list making them Stateless on this planet.
The 21:45 minutes documentary made by the Student Islamic Organization (SIO) by talking to the victims and the experts on the issue was released at a National Convention in New Delhi on October 5.
“SIO had made a documentary named “State of Doubt” in its last term (2018) when the NRC’s draft list was published. This documentary is in continuation of that which we are making on the final list of the NRC. In the last documentary, we tried to present the overview of the NRC. But in this documentary, we tried to tell the issue of the NRC from the victim’s perspective,” said Azharuddin Pilakodan, Director of the Documentary.
This is the second documentary released after the final list of the NRC published. The earlier one titled “State of Stateless” was made by the team of civil rights group United Against Hate.
Over 1.9 million people have been excluded from the final list of the NRC which the authority released it on August 31, 2019. The issue has drawn huge national and international criticism and outrage raising the question where do around two million people will live. The excluded people are being termed as “Bangladeshi infiltrators” but the Bangladesh government said that they have been told by the Indian government that the NRC is the internal matter of India. They don’t need to worry about it.
In this documentary, people from Assam’s Barpeta district can be seen expressing their anger and complain regarding the process of the NRC. They have raised the questions over the Foreign Tribunal’s judgment to declare them ‘Foreigner’.
Anwora Khatun, whose husband in the detention center, can be seen saying that her husband’s parents and his two sisters are Indian but his husband has been declared as “Bangladeshi”. She asked that how can be one family member “Bangladeshi” in the whole family.
One Mariyam Nessa, who has been excluded from the NRC, said that she has five siblings but she was the only one declared ‘foreigner’.
The film maker Azharuddin said that his team interviewed the victims of the NRC irrespective of their religion. And the documentary also throws light on the constitutionality and modalities of the NRC. They also tried to cover the functions of the Foreigner’s Tribunal (FT).
“Muslim community in Assam had wholeheartedly welcomed the NRC process. To welcome it was their misery. The reason to welcome was that once the NRC list comes up, the tag of being potential infiltrator will go away for once and all. For this reason, they have been providing full cooperation to the authorities. Muslim community has not held any protest and created outrage against the NRC till releasing the final list,” said Azharuddin.
He said that he met many activists in Assam who are up with the PIL to challenge the judicial process of the NRC. But they are not filing it at present because they are facing many obstruction at the Supreme Court. He said that the NRC authority is declaring the citizens ‘foreigner’ even though they provide the documents which the apex court has mandated.
He said that the Foreign Tribunal is a bureaucratic body not court which can only talk about the documents. But here it has given the judgment about the citizens which is not under their jurisdictions. These are the things to be challenged in the Supreme Court in the coming days.