Home Minister Amit Shah, who has been roaring at the time of talking about implementing NRC in the entire country, now looks bent down on the issue of National Population Register i.e. NPR?
|| Anjan KumarSamal
After all, why did he say in Parliament that NPR would neither require any citizen of India to show any proof nor put anyone in the suspicious accounts in the ‘D’(Doubtful)category?
Is there any pressure on the government by the common men of India?
Is this the real power of common men in a Democratic Government?
Is the result of the unprecedented pressure by both BJP’s allies along with Increasing pressure on the international level?
The answers to these questions will be easily found when the citizenship law i.e. CAA, National Register of Citizens i.e. NRC and NPR and protest against these new citizenship laws countrywide as per which the attitude of the union government has been changed.
The government has been claiming that these three (CAA, NPR & NRC)have not been connected. But the truth is that they all are interlinked with each other.
Mr. Shah and his cabinet accompany may have forgotten but in the ear-drums of common men, still echo the words of Mr. Amit Shah those he urged in the parliament of this country, that ‘Just Understand the Chronology of CAA & NRC’.
If you understand in the word ‘chronology’ as was urged by the Home Minister that denotes that first, the citizenship law will come, then the NRC will come’. His statement meant that NRC and citizenship law are linked.
It is also clear in CAA that the citizenship of Hindus, Sikhs, Parsis, Jains, Buddhists, and Christians of Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Bangladesh will be given citizenship of India through this citizenship law leaving the only religion ‘Muslims’.
When the citizenship law passed, there was strong opposition. More than two dozen people lost their lives across the country protesting on this new law of citizenship. Demonstrations were held across the country. The pressure was also felt at the international level. BJP’s allies started registering objections.
The government has shunned the NRC and said that there has not been any discussion of bringing NRC despite the Home Minister’s official recorded statement in the parliament that NRC will be imposed across the nation at any cost.
Even our Prime Minister had to come in front for damage control for which in a rally in the Heart of National Capital he contradicted the Home Minister’s statement that there is no question of NRC and this government has not uttered NRC at anywhere at any point of time.
Therefore many political pundits of this country voice that this contradiction between the speech of Nation’s Home Minister and the Prime Minister is unprecedented and unfortunate for the world’s largest democratic government.
The protest, however, did not stop.
Amidst this protest, when the news of Rs 3941 crore budget for updating NPR came forward for the first time, a fresh controversy arose over it. It was said that the government wants to implement NRC through the back door. Then sources were told that information was asked for 21 points from all the people for NPR. Earlier in 2010, information was asked for only 15 points and there was no compulsion at that time.
This time six more points were added. This included information such as the name of the applicant, father’s name, mother’s name. This time, the last three points – mother’s name, father’s name and husband and wife’s name were made one point.
New information was asked this time-
Date and place of birth of parents
current residential address
Permanent account number ie PAN
Aadhar (if any)
Voter ID number
Driving License Number
In such a situation, doubt on NPR is justified and also a huge concern. The reason for concern is that it will not be easy for a large number of people to tell the date and place of birth of the parents.
That too when it is difficult for most people of the earlier generation to have a birth certificate. That is, if the date and place of birth of the parents of the person concerned are not known, then in NPR, crores of people will come on the list of suspicious Sections under the ‘D’ (doubtful) mark. Under Rule 4 and Sub-rule 4 of the Citizenship Act 2003, if any citizenship is suspected, he/she will be identified only by showing his/her authenticated proof of citizenship. If he will not able to prove it, then he will also be fined Rs 1000.
What does senior advocate Prashant Bhushan say?
Prashant Bhushan, a senior Supreme Court lawyer and social activist on the NPR process, says, “A local official will come, make some inquiries, ask for some papers and if he is not satisfied, he will put in your name under the section of ‘Doubtful’. The district magistrate will cross-check after it. It’s also astonishing to imagine that how will a District Magistrate decide the fate of citizenship of anyone in this country.
After this, if your name will not appear in the NRC, you can appeal to the Foreign Tribunal. The foreign tribunals are made in Assam in the same way to validate citizenship.”
Mr. Bhushan further says that the judge should be in the Foreign Tribunal in Assam, but unfortunately, many bureaucrats were placed in these tribunals for which many kinds of mistakes have occurred.
The effect of these above concerns of the common people who therefore relentlessly opposing every part of the country.
Under pressure, the government rejected this and said that there is no link between NPR and NRC. Amit Shah reiterated that NPR’s data will never be used for NRC.
But the truth is that the government has already said in Parliament at least 9 times that NRC and NPR are connected and the data of NPR will be used for NRC. It is also mentioned in the citizenship law 2003.
Demonstrations started against the citizenship law but later it also included the issue of NRC and NPR. Seeing the opposition of the people, the BJP was also seen coming on the back foot. Opposition parties had already opened a front, BJP’s allies also came out in protest. The BJP is involved in a coalition government in Bihar, yet Nitish Kumar passed a resolution in the Legislative Assembly to implement the 2010 draft to NPR for the state of Bihar.
States such as Kerala ruled by opposition parties have also passed the resolution against NRC including states like Punjab, West Bengal, Bihar, Kerala, Odisha, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Telangana.
It is perhaps difficult for the BJP, which has lost elections in many states one after another sticking on the issue of NPR.
BJP has already lost in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh and then Maharashtra, Jharkhand, and Delhi. The party also did not do well in Haryana as per the High command’s expectation. BJP’s allies are also upset with NRC-NPR.
Now the new problem in front of the BJP government is also the shortage of time.NPR is to be ready by 2020. That is, if BJP used some tricks, then it would have needed time for this. In such a situation, it is not difficult to guess why Amit Shah said on the NPR in Parliament that, ‘No documents will have to be submitted. Provide information related to the paper you have and just leave other blank that you don’t have’.