NRC: Anti-Illegal Immigrants Or Anti-Muslim?

PUBLISHED ON: July 26, 2019 | Duration: 49 min, 24 sec

  
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This week, the Supreme Court extended by one month its deadline for a National Citizen's Register to be completed by the government in Assam. It will now have to be done by August 31. The exercise, which is taking place only in Assam for now, was put on the fast track by the top court in 2015. It aims to weed out illegal immigrants and ensure only genuine Indian citizens reside in the state. But the process of the NRC has been deeply flawed from the start. The basic premise of putting the onus on individuals to prove their citizenship has been problematic. People have to produce documents to show that they are genuine citizens and not everyone has that paperwork. There are over four million people who have currently been excluded from the list and they have a right to appeal to foreigner tribunals and then the courts. If all these options fail, they can be jailed in detention centres, but some of the examples of those excluded has been jarring - like a former armyman who is currently out on bail after being excluded from the list. Critics say the BJP has decided to make Muslims the real target. They point out that it is no coincidence that the government has a bill ready which will exclude only Muslim immigrants from neighbouring countries to seek refuge in India. The BJP denies this; the government says the exercise is only aimed at illegals. But the story is no longer about Assam. Home Minister Amit Shah has declared in parliament that illegal immigrants from every inch of India will be thrown out. So what is the NRC really about? Is it anti-illegal immigrants or anti-Muslim?
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